The destruction of Israel?
On May 28th, 1967, Gamal Abdel Nassaer, President of the United Arab Republic, said, “We plan to open a general assault on Israel. This will be total war. Our basic aim is the destruction of Israel.” When war broke out on June 5th 1967 the United Arab Republic was joined by Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Algeria, Sudan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Morocco. The attempt by this confederacy to drive Israel into the sea was unsuccessful. In six days the war was over. Israel was the undisputed Victor. This war was quite unique in that it took only six days. Israel re-possessed the Old City of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount itself. This 1967 war would not be the final attack against the Land of Israel. In fact after the six day war as a diplomatic gesture the Israelis gave the site of the Temple Mount back to the Muslims. At the time it was a big mistake which every Israeli has had to live with for 50years.
In 1973 the Yom Kippur War began when Egypt and Syria launched a surprise attack against Israel with the backing of other Arab nations and of the Soviets. The attack took place on Yom Kippur when most Israelis were in synagogues praying. Forces from Egypt and Syria crossed the cease-fire lines at the Golan Heights and Sinai. Egypt attacked Israel across the Suez Canal, gaining the upper hand for the first four days of the war. Israel was in serious peril, and 3,000 Israelis were killed in the fighting; but by the end of a couple of weeks, the Israelis had improved their positions considerably and completed their encirclement of Egypt’s Third Army and the city of Suez, advancing to within 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Damascus and 101 kilometres (63 miles) from Cairo. Their enemies were completely routed!
When Israel became a nation
Back in 1948 when Israel became a nation there were just a few hundred thousand Jewish settlers in Israel at the time surrounded by about 40 million Arabs bent on Israel’s annihilation. Israel was attacked but defeated their enemies. Of course Israel has been attacked many times before in its long history. The ancestors of the Arab nations have always been in conflict with Israel. It goes all the way back to what happened between Isaac and Ishmael and after that with Jacob and Esau. To this day their descendants have been at war with each other.
A future war?
In Psalm 83 we see Asaph the Psalmist reflecting on the past attacks on Israel and wanting the LORD to deal decisively with Israel’s enemies as He had done in the past. When you consider the attitude of the nations since 1948 to Israel’s existence Psalm 83 becomes a reality as we see the same ancient enemies that Asaph writes about making a comeback once again to conspire against Israel and to destroy them and this time they are a united force with one common agenda, namely the destruction of Israel as a nation. They are arising from the same geographical locations as Israel’s ancient enemies. Historical events that are described in scripture that relate to prophetic events in the future have a way of repeating themselves as a pattern and will continue to do so until there is an ultimate fulfilment.
Nothing new under the sun
Solomon wrote; “That which has been is that which will be, And that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9) It would seem Asaph in the Spirit was foreseeing or contemplating a future attack on Israel which would happen in the last days before Jesus comes back. The four modern day Arab/Israeli conflicts that occurred in the years 1948, 1956, 1973, 1967 in the twentieth century were all patterns of this Psalm 83 war to come in which Islam itself would receive a crushing blow but not be eliminated. Some Bible Scholars think that Psalm 83 is directly connected with the Gog-Magog invasion of Israel described in Ezekiel 38-39, however, this war in Psalm 83 would seem to be fought against Israel’s immediate neighbours. In the war described in Ezekiel 38-39 there are some nations involved which are not mentioned here in Psalm 83.
A temporary peace achieved?
In Ezekiel 38 the nations that attack Israel will attack “a land of unwalled villages; a peaceful and unsuspecting people-all of them living without walls and without gates and bars.” (Ezekiel 38:11-12) Certainly this would not describe Israel’s current situation today. It would seem that something has to happen for Israel to end up living securely. Psalm 83 may well be the means by which a temporary peace is achieved. This war will deal such a devastating blow to Islam that it will be forced to retreat as it were “to lick its wounds for a time.” In a very real sense “the Beast will be wounded by the sword yet still live.” The other nations who see this defeat would undoubtedly back off from hostile intentions fearing Israel’s military might and expertise which today is awesome. During this time Israel will be left alone to rebuild and expand economically and militarily as it trades with other nations. However, all of this will be deception for Israel. Their covenant of so called ‘peace’ with the nations including their immediate neighbours they have defeated will be “a covenant of death.” (Isaiah 28:15) In Psalm 83 it seems we are dealing with a future Arab/Israeli war in the Middle-East that will see Israel make a crushing defeat on its immediate Islamic neighbours. Of course this attack on Israel by its immediate Islamic neighbours will foreshadow the main invasion to come sometime after the Land of Israel has been restored from war. With these things in view let’s look at this Psalm…
(Vs.1-5) “O God, do not keep silent; be not quiet, O God, be not still. See how your enemies are astir, how your foes rear their heads. With cunning they conspire against your people; they plot against those you cherish. “Come,” they say, “let us destroy them as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more.” With one mind they plot together; they form an alliance against you.”
Psalm 83 is a desperate prayer to God by a besieged Israel, asking for a response from the Lord, asking God for a declaration of war, for an action by God against an enemy alliance. All of Israel’s ancient enemies have united against them in an unprecedented “evil alliance” which openly threatens to wipe out the name and existence of Israel. Apparently there is a unifying force that has emboldened these enemies to attack Israel. They really feel their time has come. Historically this particular alliance has never occurred because there were too many competing issues dividing Israel’s neighbours among themselves yet something has united them enough to transcend their differences. The only unifying force today in that region of the world would be Islamic ideology backed by Satan himself.
The whole Arab world is up in arms
Today the whole Arab world is up in arms against Israel. Their leaders are constantly plotting together how to eradicate Israel and establish a so called ‘Palestinian’ State. Even an Israel/Palestinian State will not satisfy them. They are making themselves God’s enemies as they try to steal the Land God gave to the Jewish people as an everlasting possession. Of course the Arabs are all Islamic and Islam itself is an anti-Semitic ideology as well as a religion that hates Jews and Christians and wants them exterminated from the earth. While the Palestinian leaders say they will compromise with a so called ‘two state’ solution in reality the Arab leaders want all of the Land of Israel especially the city of Jerusalem. Their hate for the Jewish people has a long dark history going all the way back to Ishmael and Esau yet is still perpetuated today by their descendants. Just a few examples of this perpetual hatred are clearly seen today expressed by contemporary Islamic leaders.
Khaled Mashal (Hamas) He is a political leader of Hamas speaking before tens of thousands of supporters to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the founding of Hamas in December last year 2016 said that the Jewish state would be wiped away through “resistance,” or military action. “The state will come from resistance, not negotiation,” he said. “Liberation first, then statehood.” He also said back in 2006, “Allah’s promise and the Prophet’s prophecy of our victory in Palestine over the Jews and over the oppressive Zionists have begun to come true… Before Israel dies, it must be humiliated and degraded. Allah willing, before they die, they will experience humiliation and degradation every day… Allah willing, we will make them lose their eyesight, we will make them lose their brains.”(Al-Jazeera TV, February 3, 2006) Dr. Walid Al-Rashudi (Saudi Arabia) He is from the Department of Islamic Studies, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia has said, “By Allah, we will not be satisfied even if all the Jews are killed.” (Al-Aqsa TV, February 29, 2008) Ahmad Dahbour, (Palestinian Authority propagandist) He said, “The treacherous Zionist enemy will never permit us to lessen our revenge towards him or stray from our confrontation against him, until he is wiped off this land, which is saturated with the blood of the martyrs.” (Jerusalem Post, March 23, 2008). Abbas Zaki , (Palestinian Authority representative in Lebanon) He said, “The PLO… has not changed its platform even one iota… the Israeli ideology will collapse in its entirety, and we will begin to progress with our own ideology, Allah willing, and drive them out of all of Palestine.” (NBN TV, April 9, 2008,) Riyad Nasan al-Agha, (Syrian Minister of Culture) He said, “I am optimistic that within ten years, Israel will come to its end.” (Al-Hiwar TV, April 19, 2008). Mahmoud al-Zahar (the co-founder of Hamas) He said, “Now more than ever I tell you – we will never recognize Israel… We will form the Palestinian state on all of Palestine’s territories and the sun of liberty will burn the Zionists.” (UPI, May 14, 2008). Salman al-Odeh , (a Saudi cleric) in January 2013 told viewers of a lifestyle programming channel that Jews are murderous tricksters who exaggerate the Holocaust in order to scam world governments, and use human blood to make Passover matzas. (Times of Israel Jan 31st 2013).
Anti-Semitic rhetoric or deadly intentions?
Of course there is no end to the Rhetoric and abundance of Anti-Semitic proclamations of one sort or another. This is not only common place throughout the Middle-east but is also being promulgated in Islamic Mosques across Europe, Great Britain, and America and to a degree in Australia. What they say to the media in English is one thing but what they say to their congregations in Arabic is something entirely different! Having said this with all of the present strife on the Temple Mount and the whole Muslim world becoming more aggressive towards Israelis Pslam 83 may well become a reality in the not too distant future.
A cunning conspiracy
Notice our text says, “With cunning they conspire against your people; they plot against those you cherish.” Islam practices Al Taqiyya, the Islamic Art of Deception. Al-taqiyya and dissimulation are words used for a practice of Muslims blatantly lying to non-Muslims. All but some of the most fundamental Muslims consider the act of Al-taqiyya or lying to non-Muslims to be a good work. It is very common practice for Muslims, especially leaders, to lie about the war against non-Muslims. These lies come in many forms such as denying that Islam is a war against non-Muslims, that the Koran teaches salvation through fighting and killing non-Muslims, feigning sympathy for the US concerning 9/11, or Muslim countries denying that they have military intentions against Israel, the US, or other non-Muslim countries. They act in peace until they have the upper hand and then they strike like a deadly adder! Today the western powers are trying to broker peace-treaties in the Middle-East between Israel and her immediate Muslim neighbours which of course is not new. President Trump is also seeking a peaceful solution. There have been many so called ‘peace’ treaties since 1948 and things have still not settled down as yet. Although it talks about peace there is no way that Islam will keep it. They will only feign peace negotiations if it will further the cause of Allah which in a nutshell is global Sharia Law.
Israel’s destruction is on their agenda
Notice also our text, “Come,” they say, “let us destroy them as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more” With one mind they plot together; they form an alliance against you.” This is the goal of Islam. Whether it is Hezbollah in Lebanon or Hamas in Gaza sending rockets into Israel they all want Israel destroyed. Ahmadinejad the former Iranian President called Israel a “disgraceful blot” on the Islamic world. Now according to the Bible Ishmael’s descendants the Arabs, including the ‘Palestinian’ Arabs will always be at war with each other. As God said; “He (Ishmael) will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers.” (Genesis 16:12) This is the true state of the Islamic world today. They may join forces against a common enemy but when they have finished fighting that enemy they go back to fighting among themselves. Just look at the war and hostility between the Shiites and the Sunnis today. In the Islamic world you have Muslims killing Muslims. Fundamentalist Islam can never assimilate with other religions, ideologies or cultures because it is Hydra with many heads, an ideology, a political, economic, militaristic and religious Empire within itself. Yet in this alliance Sunni and Shiite join forces to attack and to annihilate Israel.
An alliance against God
Notice also our text, “They form an alliance against you.” Dividing up the Land of Israel or renaming it Palestine or trying to make it a Palestinian State is going against the decree of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who brings down judgement on the heads of those who seek to destroy Israel or divide up the Land. Ultimately God will bring all of the nations arrayed against Israel into the Valley of Jehoshaphat where He will enter into judgement with them for dividing up His Land as well as their treatment of His people Israel. As God has said; “In those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will enter into judgment against them concerning My inheritance, My people Israel, for they scattered my people among the nations and divided up My land. They cast lots for My people and traded boys for prostitutes; they sold girls for wine that they might drink.” (Joel 3:1-3) Just before he left Office Obama tried to get Israel to push back their territory to their pre-1967 borders meaning the West Bank, Gaza Strip and, the Golan Heights and notably, eastern Jerusalem which in effect would make Israel indefensible. Hopefully President Trump will not try to enforce this policy on Israel. Time will tell of course in this matter. So then who are these neighbouring states that Israel will fight if Psalm 83 happens?
(Vs.6-8) “The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, of Moab and the Hagrites, Gebal, Ammon and Amalek, Philistia, with the people of Tyre. Even Assyria has joined them to lend strength to the descendants of Lot.”
Edom and the Ishmaelites: Today this is the area of Southern Jordan and inhabited by the ‘Palestinian’ Refugees. This area would also spread down into Saudi Arabia. Of course Ishmael was one of the fathers of the Arabs. Edom includes Saudi Arabia. Ezekiel chapter 25 tells us that Edom stretches from Teman to Dedan which were located in Saudi Arabia the home of Islam centred in the City of Mecca. In the day the Babylonian army ransacked Jerusalem and marched its emaciated, naked inhabitants in a chained line away from their homeland the Edomites cheered the heathen invaders, shouting “Raze it! Raze it! Even to its foundations!” (Ps.137:7), and rejoicing in the utter destruction of their old adversary, all the while boasting of their own security (Obad.10-12). A prime motivation for their joy over Jerusalem’s destruction was that they envied the Jews because of the land given them by God. They saw the destruction and captivity of both Israel and Judah and fully expected to possess the abandoned territories which, as they saw it, used to belong to Jehovah (Ezek.35:10-12). Their direct descendants are still after the Land of Israel today.
Moab: Today this would be Central Jordan and also the home to the ‘Palestinian’ Refugees. Like their brothers in Southern Jordan they are actively engaged in harassing the Jewish people.
The Hagrites: Today this would be Egypt that had been involved in the four major attacks on Israel in the Arab/Israeli wars of 1948, 1956, 1973, and in1967. Although there is still turmoil in that country they will fight Israel again in this Psalm 83 war and again will be soundly defeated!
Gebel: Today this is the region of Northern Lebanon and also the home to ‘Palestinian’ Refugees. This is in Lebanon itself, 25 miles north of Beirut. Lebanon was at one time considered the only Christian country in the Middle-East, until Syrian Baathists and Islamic marauders dismembered it, driving the Christians out and establishing an Islamic majority, in the late 1970’s.
Ammon: Today this is Northern Jordan and the home to “Palestinian’ Refugees. Like their brothers in Central and Southern Jordan they are also constantly harassing the Jewish people.
Amalek: This is the Negev and Sinai Peninsula area. They had their origin within the Edomites, being descendants of Esau. The Amalekites were the ones who waged a cowardly guerrilla terror war against Israel in Exodus 17, killing the old, sick, and infirm and also children. Amalek was actually a grandson of Esau, or Edom.
Philistia: Today this would be the Gaza Strip and the same territory that was occupied by the Philistines in the time of David. This is the home of Hamas who are constantly sending rockets into Israel. They will be finally defeated and occupied by the Israeli’s. As it is written of Israel, “They will swoop down upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west.” (Isaiah 11:14a) Now the Philistines are long gone but the principality or territorial spsirt that inhabited that area is still there today and the power behind Hamas.
Tyre: Today this would be Southern Lebanon the home of Hezbollah. Assyria: Today the region of Assyria would be Syria, Northern Iraq and Turkey.
The descendants of Lot: Moab and Ammon were the Children of Lot. Moab and Ammon the incestuously conceived ‘children of Lot’ are also related to Israel. Lot was Abraham’s nephew. They too have bought into the hatred, resentment and fear of Israel. Their descendants were the settlers of north and central Jordan. The city of Ammon is named for Ammon.
High expectations and lofty ambitions
These regions that have been mentioned then are the main players in the next Middle-eastern Arab/Israeli war. These enemies of God and Israel feel emboldened as they unify themselves against the nation of Israel. They have high expectations and lofty ambitions. Their aspiration, their goal and their absolute utter and complete passion is to annihilate God’s chosen people, to reverse God’s edict that brought Israel back to the Promised Land. They want to take for themselves the land of Israel and make it their possession for their false god Allah and for the establishment of their ideology Islam. The final conflict could be titled “a battle of the gods.”
God will deal with this axis of evil
In our next study we will see what Asaph asked God to do to that axis of evil that has united together to come against the Lord, against His Anointed One the Messiah and against His covenant people Israel. As it is written elsewhere in the Psalms, “Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against His Anointed One, “Let us break their chains,” they say, “and throw off their fetters.” The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. Then He rebukes them in His anger and terrifies them in His wrath, saying, “I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill.” (Psalm 1:1-6)