Verse 18. "That men may know " - That they may acknowledge, and be converted to thee. Here is no malice; all is self-defense.
ANALYSIS OF THE EIGHTY-THIRD PSALM
"This Psalm divides itself into four parts: " -
I. A short ejaculation, ver. 1.
II. A complaint against God's enemies, which is the reason of this prayer, ver. 2-10.
III. A fearful imprecation against them, ver. 12-17.
IV. The charitable ends proposed, ver. 18.
I. The ejaculation or prayer: "Keep not thou silence-be not still." Thy enemies are loud in their threatenings, and active in their endeavours, to destroy thy people and thy worship: "Hold not thy peace!"
II. He complains-These are enemies, 1. To thy people, ver. 2. 2. To God himself, ver. 5. Then he describes them, ver. 6-8.
1. They were banditti-spoilers: They "make a tumult," ver. 2.
2. Proud and arrogant: "They have lifted up the head," ver. 2.
3. They were subtle and crafty: "They have taken crafty counsel," ver. 3.
4. They carried their cunning counsel into acts of aggression: "Come, and let us cut them off," &c., ver. 4.
5. They were conspirators, ] 1. Against God. 2. Against his people.
All the world against God and his Church! Not an uncommon case.
6. He gives us a catalogue of these conspirators, ver. 6-8: Edom, &c.
III. He prays to God against them. In which there are four particulars:
1. Their fall and ruin. 2. Their persecution. 3. Their terror. 4. Their disgrace.
These he illustrates by five similitudes:
1. Of a wheel that, running on, crushes all under it successively. 2. Of stubble or chaff, easily driven away by the wind, ver. 13. 3. Of awood or forest in a state of general conflagration, ver. 14. 4. Of a flame that even consumes the mountains, ver. 14.
"Their fall and ruin he wished to be: " -
1. Speedy and perpetual: "Do unto them as unto the Midianites," &c., ver. 9-13.
2. Sudden and violent: "As fire," ver. 13.
3. Terrible and shameful: "Fill their faces with shame," ver. 15, 16.
There are here three particulars of their punishment:
1. Flight. 2. Terror. 3.
Shame and ignominy.
IV. The charitable ends proposed. These were two: - 1. That they might seek after God, be converted to him, ver. 16. 2. That they might know him to be Jehovah, the only true God, that they might be saved from all idolatry, ver. 18.
The spirit of this prayer is, 1. If they will not seek thee, and be converted, let them be confounded in their attempts against thy people. 2. If they will not acknowledge thee, let them be utterly routed and overthrown: "Let them be put to shame, and perish!"