Let them know that you, whose name is the LORD
that you alone are the Most High over all the earth. Psalm 83:18
Psalm 83 is clear from the beginning that it was written for times of great danger. As the psalmist wrote, "See how your enemies growl, how your foes rear their heads . . ." (v.2). The Jewish sages explain that this psalm was written specifically for a time in the future when the king of Judea, Jehoshaphat, faced a triple threat - three invading armies from three separate nations - just southeast of Jerusalem. The odds were stacked against him and defeat seemed inevitable. Yet Jehoshaphat, echoing the sentiments of this psalm, turned to God in prayer.
King Jehoshaphat entered the Holy Temple and offered a beautiful prayer which concluded, "Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you" (2 Chronicles 20:12). Jehoshaphat recognized that it was not within his capability to fend off the invading armies. The only solution was divine intervention, and he led the nation in turning their eyes and hearts to God so that He might save them.
The results were astounding. God sent ambushers to attack the allied armies poised to attack Judea. The three armies each suspected the other as staging the ambush, and consequently attacked each other. Meanwhile, Jehoshaphat and his army left for the battle, confident in God's salvation, and with men going before the army singing, "Give thanks to the LORD, for his love endures forever" (2 Chronicles 20:21).
By the time Jehoshaphat and his forces arrived on the scene, the battle had been fought and finished - by God. The enemies had been defeated, not even one survived, and the Jews hadn't even lifted a finger. All that was left were the spoils of war so plentiful that it took three whole days to fully gather.
The story of Jehoshaphat and this amazing victory teaches us that even when there seems to be no chance, with God, we can beat the odds and overcome our challenges. Moreover, sometimes God will bring us to a situation that seems completely hopeless just so that we can learn that He is completely in control and can turn any situation around. The psalmist put it this way when he concluded: "Let them know that you, whose name is the LORD that you alone are the Most High over all the earth."
I want to encourage us to trust God and turn to Him in prayer even in the most desperate situations. God can restore a broken relationship, turn around our circumstances, and heal the sick. "Give thanks to the LORD, for his love endures forever."
With prayers for shalom, peace,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President