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A Prayer of Revival from Psalms

Psalm 83:16 (ESV) … “Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek your name, O Lord.”

For the first time in Psalm 83 the people of Israel call on the Lord (Yahweh) rather than on God (Elohim). With a surprising change of tone, they appeal to the Lord to shame their adversaries so that the enemy nations would be prompted to seek his name. This in effect is asking the Lord to act with grace to save those who had conspired to exterminate Israel. Their hope is that “the nations will become seekers of the true God and worshipers of the Most High.” The nations need to experience the dishonor and shame they had planned for Israel in order that with their pride broken they may turn humbly to the Lord. The Lord’s judgment, then, would be his severe mercy that has a gracious, saving effect on Israel’s enemies.[1]

Fill their faces with shame; i.e. cause their enterprise to fail, and so bring them to shame and confusion of face. That they may seek thy Name, O Lord. A merciful purpose lies behind the greater number of Divine visitations. They are intended to scourge men into submission, and cause them to turn to God. The psalmist, being in full sympathy with God, desires that his merciful intentions may have effect.[2]

[1] Estes, D. J. (2019). Psalms 73–150. (E. R. Clendenen, Ed.) (Vol. 13, p. 126). Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group. [2] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). Psalms (Vol. 2, p. 185). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

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