Psalm 83:5 “With one mind they plot together; they form an alliance against you” (NIV).

Observation: Ten nations were said to be plotting Israel’s destruction. The writer’s appeal for their defeat is colorful, to say the least; he asks that God make them “like refuse on the ground” and like “tumbleweed [and] chaff [blown] before the wind” (Ps. 83:10, 13, NIV).

Application: Who is it that the psalmist would like to see blown away? It is nations that plot destruction “from their tents” (v. 6)—Edomites, Ishmaelites, Moabites and the like. It is remarkable how little has changed with the passing of some three thousand years. Today’s enemies have far greater capacity for destruction than their ancestors, yet the plotting is still often conducted from tents and caves.

We may long for the sweet innocence of the past when the most we had to fear as a nation were arrows and musket balls. Now we face suitcase nukes, long-range missiles and Internet hackers. Oh for the seeming simplicity of national enemies we formerly faced.

On a more personal level, former challenges to purity by such things as smoking, drinking, and heavy petting have advanced to more vile pursuits such as Internet pornography, homosexual unions, and ever more destructive addictions. From today’s vantage, past dangers seem simpler and less threatening, victory more assured. But if I feel more threatened today it is not because of an increase in oppression’s effectiveness; it is because I have allowed a muscular enemy to become my focus. My gaze has fixed upon him rather than upon rescuer God.

The psalmist concluded his chapter by writing, “Let them know that You, whose name is the LORD—that You alone are the Most High over all the earth” (v. 18, NIV). When I grow fainthearted I must remember that He is my everything: Salvation, Healer, Deliverer, and Peace. Whatever the size of the enemy I face, he is as a tumbleweed in the face of a raging wind if I will but fix my focus upon the Lord Almighty.

Circumstances change, belligerence adopts new language and more modern weaponry, but God never changes. He remains the Most High over all the earth, eager to receive me in the most violent of life’s storms.

Prayer: Lord, Your attributes win every time. You deliver me from the most powerful of enemies and keep me in perfect peace as my mind is fixed upon You.