Yes, God decides to prosper some nations (Old Testament Israel most dramatically) at the expense of neighboring nations (three are mentioned in this psalm). As land is limited, when God gives land to Israel, it must come at someone’s expense. In this case, Canaanite fiefdoms “lose.” in that sense, some nations are put down.

The more difficult question is whether God puts down certain nations today. Some Christians teach that America was (and maybe still is) a blessed nation, while America’s adversaries have been subject to God’s judgment. Man First World Christians have imagined that their prosperity is a sign of God’s favor, while the poverty of the Third World shows divine “put down.” Such reasoning is treacherous, for it leads the wealthy to disdain the poor and gives wrongheaded theological support to racism and class prejudice.

Prayer today should include calling on God to restrain evil in certain lands, retard the influence of rules bent on violence, and encourage the work of peace. In praying for such intervention, we may well be asking God to “put down” a nation, while leaving the means and extent of such restraint to divine wisdom.

PSALM 60:8 – Moab is my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe: Philistia, triumph thou because of me.

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