Daily Archives: October 21, 2017

Protestantism: ‘You are saved by grace’. Catholicism: ‘There can be no absolute assurance of salvation’.

Leading up to Reformation Day – Tuesday, 31 October, it’s important to stress that many Christians today have abandoned the Reformation and its core teachings for the sake of ‘unity’ with the pagan practices of the Roman Catholic Church.

5 SOLAS SymbolCredit: PirateChristian.Com for the 5 Sola symbols.

The Reformation had dared point to the Word of God alone as their final authority and not to man. They dared to challenge the ‘superpower’ of Rome, with many losing their lives, proclaiming that it is God alone who saves us; not man and his works.

This article stresses why the Roman Catholic Church is still one of the biggest enemies of the church today.


In a number of articles where we exposed how Hillsong was grooming Christianity to embrace the Roman Catholic religion when the Pope visited Sydney for World Youth Day (WYD, SYD 2008), we provided images of a booklet that circulated…

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October 21, 2017: Verse of the day

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13    O my God, make them like whirling dust,

like chaff before the wind.

14    As fire consumes the forest,

as the flame sets the mountains ablaze,

15    so may you pursue them with your tempest

and terrify them with your hurricane!

16    Fill their faces with shame,

that they may seek your name, O Lord.

17    Let them be put to shame and dismayed forever;

let them perish in disgrace,

18    that they may know that you alone,

whose name is the Lord,

are the Most High over all the earth. [1]


83:13–18 In its bold plea for God’s judgment on His foes, Israel leaves nothing to the divine imagination. The details of the punishment are specified. Let them be like the whirling dust, or as some translate it, like a tumbleweed. Let them be like the chaff driven before the wind. Let them be pursued as if by a fire sweeping through the woods, and consumed as if by a raging holocaust. Let them be terrified by the Lord’s storm. Let them be thoroughly put to shame so that men might seek the Lord. Let them perish in disgrace so that men might learn that Jehovah alone is the Sovereign Ruler over all the earth.

Strong language? Yes, strong but not unjustified. When the honor of God is at stake, love can be firm. Morgan explains:

These singers of the ancient people were all inspired supremely with a passion for the honor of God. With them, as with the prophets, selfish motives were unknown. Selfishness sings no song, and sees no visions. On the other hand, a passion for the glory of God is capable of great sternness as well as great tenderness.[2]


13–16 Your tempest. The Lord has all the forces of creation at his command and they often become, as here, symbols of his own power—to scatter, destroy, disorientate and disappoint (shame, disappointment of all they hoped) his foes. But his ways are ever full of purposeful mercy and in our prayers we should share that attitude. Sometimes people must be brought to nothing (13–15) so that they may be brought to God (16).

17–18 Your name. The note sounded at the end of the last section becomes a dominant theme. The prayer with which the psalm opens, be not quiet (1), becomes a prayer for a voice of divine revelation, let them know (18), addressing those who, left to themselves, plotted the elimination of the church (4). Whose name is (18) is rather ‘by’ or ‘because of your name’: i.e. ‘by’ telling them who and what he is, he will win them to himself; or because he is what he is he must move out towards them in revelation.[3]


Shaming of the Enemies (83:13–16)

Commentary

13–15 The enemies are the enemies of God. The godly must turn to him for deliverance and submit to his will. The believing heart calls on the Lord to act speedily for his righteousness’ sake. The emphatic use of “God” in v. 13 expresses the prayerful submission to the will of the heavenly Father: “My God, make them …” He prays that the curses of God will overtake the arrogant.

The psalmist likens the enemies’ lot to that of “tumbleweed,” “chaff,” and “forest” (vv. 13–14). “Tumbleweed” (galgal, lit., “wheel”) is a plant of the wild artichoke family (Gundelia tournefortii), a plant with wheel-shaped stems and thistles (see Avinoam Danin, “Plants as Biblical Metaphors,” BAR 5 [1979]: 20–21). Others translate galgal as “whirling dust.” The metaphor of the “chaff” is more common (cf. 1:4; 35:5; Isa 17:13; Jer 13:24). The psalmist prays that the Lord may destroy the enemies like “fire” destroys forests and the vegetation on the mountains (v. 14; see Reflections, p. 953, Imprecations in the Psalms). He also prays that the Lord will confound the plotting of the wicked as by a “tempest” and “storm” (v. 15). The enemies are “astir” against the Lord (vv. 2–4), but he will “terrify” them.

16 The confidence of the nations will be shaken by God’s sovereign presence. The nations had boastfully claimed that they would rid themselves of the “name” of Israel forever (v. 4). Instead, the psalmist prays for the Lord to change their pride and boasting to “shame.” But he shows a deep awareness of God’s gracious nature as he opens a door to those among the nations who will seek the “name” of Yahweh. This thought is repeated in v. 18. God’s mighty acts in judgment must lead to the recognition that Yahweh alone is God (vv. 17–18)![4]


83:16–18 / The final petitions (vv. 16–18) appear to show the same restraint. While a request is made that they perish in disgrace, this does not denote their deaths but simply their defeat, because the petitions both before and after seek to bring them to shame with the ultimate purpose of bringing them to the knowledge that the Lord … alone is the Most High. One of these petitions also echoes an earlier lament: they who plotted to destroy the memory of the name of Israel (v. 4) must seek your name, O Lord (v. 16).[5]


83:13 make them like the tumbleweed Emphasizes God’s power and His enemies’ helplessness against Him.

83:14 As fire burns a forest The psalmist describes how God’s wind surrounds His enemies like fire destroys a forest.

83:16 that they may seek your name The psalmist seems to indicate that God’s enemies will plead for mercy in desperation after they are defeated.

83:17 let them be humiliated and perish The psalmist wishes for the total humiliation of God’s enemies and their total destruction.

83:18 that they may know Knowledge of God can have both positive and negative ramifications. Here the sense is that God’s enemies will know His power as He decisively judges them.[6]


83:15 your tempest … your hurricane. God’s wrath is often compared to a violent storm (Ps. 18:7–15; Nah. 1:3).

83:16 seek your name. The psalm supplies a redemptive reason behind the judgment. As God judges the wickedness of the attackers, they will see their folly and turn to Him.

83:18 Most High. The Hebrew words used sound similar to the most common title of the Canaanite god Baal. The poet is asking God to judge the nations so that they will see that Yahweh, not Baal, is the only God.[7]


83:13–15 In a culture in which remembering a person was very important, an ultimate curse would have been to regard a person’s memory as whirling dust or windblown chaff.

83:16–18 Shame is the opposite of dignity, an attribute of the righteous (25:2; 97:7). seek Your name: Asaph’s first call for God to shame Israel’s enemies is redemptive—that the nations might hear, feel shame, repent, and seek the face of the Lord. Yet if they continued in their wicked path, they would face further confounding and would one day face God in judgment. The title Most High is often used in the Psalms to speak of God’s control over all the nations of the world (47:2; 78:35; 97:9).[8]


83:13–16. The psalmist asked that God would make them like windblown tumbleweed and chaff (cf. 1:4), insecure and pursued, and that He would hotly pursue them as fire consumes a forest on a mountain. Asaph wanted God’s wrath to be like a stormy tempest from which they could not escape. This defeat would shame them and cause many to turn to the Lord.

83:17–18. The psalm closes with a reiteration of the prayer that the wicked be ashamed (cf. v. 16) and disgraced. By trifling with people God cherishes, they would learn the hard way that God alone is the sovereign Lord.[9]


[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ps 83:13–18). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[2] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (pp. 676–677). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[3] Motyer, J. A. (1994). The Psalms. In D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, & G. J. Wenham (Eds.), New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., p. 540). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.

[4] VanGemeren, W. A. (2008). Psalms. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Psalms (Revised Edition) (Vol. 5, pp. 631–632). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[5] Hubbard, R. L. J., & Johnston, R. K. (2012). Foreword. In W. W. Gasque, R. L. Hubbard Jr., & R. K. Johnston (Eds.), Psalms (p. 340). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[6] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Ps 83:13–18). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[7] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 811). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

[8] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 703). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[9] Ross, A. P. (1985). Psalms. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, p. 855). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.