Home » Advanced Search » Psalm 83:16-18

Psalm 83:16-18

Psalm 83:16-18
View Download and Print Options

Ps 83:16-18, ‘Fill their faces with shame, THAT they may seek your name, O YHWH. Let them be put to shame and dismayed forever; let them perish in disgrace, THAT they may know that you alone, whose name is YHWH, are the Most High over all the earth.’

Two points — First, there is a surprising tension between Asaph’s prayer for God’s enemies to be ‘dismayed forever’ and the desired result of this dismaying, namely, ‘that they may seek your name’. May they be shattered and utterly ashamed forever precisely so that they might seek the name of YHWH. The desired seeking of YHWH’s name seems to be beyond forever, that is to say, it seems to be on the other side of the terminal finality of their death under divine judgment. As if one could be slain forever, cast into the unending disgrace of final abandonment…and then—beyond that experience—live again to hope in and seek after and acknowledge the supremacy of YHWH. How can this be? That leads to the second point.

The only way this can happen is *in the flesh of the crucified and risen Jesus Christ*. In Him, the enemies of YHWH (whom He substitionally bears and represents in His own Body) are indeed filled with shame, in Him those who raise themselves against God do indeed perish in disgrace, and—in the mystery of His cross—they do indeed ‘perish forever’. When Jesus offers Himself to God *through the eternal Spirit* (Heb.9:14), He endures an ‘eternal’ death. In the finite temporality of His sufferings which are nevertheless experienced within the eternal Spirit, He bears the ‘forever’ death of those who have earned that death through their sin.

And yet, He is raised up again beyond this death, beyond forever, beyond the ‘eternal’ death which He bore in and through the eternal Spirit. In this way, He Himself (as the slain and risen one) becomes the means by which all those IN HIM truly do ‘perish in disgrace…forever’ and yet beyond—and by—that forever death, come to seek the Name of YHWH and confess Him as God Most High; a name they seek and know and an confession they make precisely and only as YHWH is known IN the crucified and risen Jesus who enables that seeking and knowing in the first place (Phil.2:6-11)