Why do the nations rage?
In Psalm chapter two it says, “Why do the nations rage 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.” This is the exact description that we have of Israel’s immediate neighbours that will attack them in the Psalm 83 war. Yet they will not prevail over Israel at this time. In fact Psalm chapter two goes on to say, “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.” Of course this prophecy foretells the ultimate victory of the Lord Jesus who will rule and reign from Jerusalem in the future.
A war against the Messiah
This Psalm 83 war against Israel like all of the wars against them is really a war against their Messiah our Lord Jesus Christ. Satan hates the city of Jerusalem and would take it away from the Jewish people because he knows that God’s prophetic purposes for Israel and the nations of the earth are bound up with the city of Jerusalem. The Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour and Israel’s true Messiah is the King that God will install as King in Jerusalem at His Second Coming. In that day the nations that have survived the Great Tribulation will be forced to worship the Lord Jesus ruling from the city of Jerusalem. On that day the ‘mountain’ of the kingdom of Israel will be raised above all of the other kingdoms (mountains) of this world with Jerusalem being the capital of the whole earth. (Isaiah 2:2) In Psalm 83 Asaph asks God to deal decisively with Israel’s antagonists. Indeed whenever the Lord’s people have been persecuted and afflicted and have cried out to the Lord for help and deliverance He has heard their cry and delivered them. Now what did Asaph ask the Lord to do to these nations that would attack Israel in the future. Now let’s look at the text.
(Vs.9-10) “Do to them as you did to Midian, as you did to Sisera and Jabin at the river Kishon, who perished at Endor and became like refuse on the ground.”
Now the former territory of Midian is found through small portions of western Saudi Arabia, Southern Jordan, Southern Israel and the Sinai. Today these are located within the heart of the Muslim world. Of course Mecca is the city that rules over Saudi Arabia and the main source of funding for Islamic terrorists. These people have been Israel’s enemies going all the way back to the time of Ishmael and Esau the fathers of the Arab nations. In Judges Chapter four we see Jabin the king of Canaan and his commander Sisera. They had 900 Iron chariots and had cruelly oppressed the Israelites for twenty years causing the Israelites to cry out to the Lord for help. God had used these enemies against Israel to correct their backsliding but when they repented and turned to Him He sent them swift deliverance. Through Debra and Barak Sisera and Jabib were completely defeated. All of the Sisera’s troops fell by the sword; not a man was left. Sisera himself was killed by a woman. Then we read, “On that day God subdued Jabin, the Canaanite king, before the Israelites. And the hand of the Israelites grew stronger and stronger against Jabin the Canaanite king, until they destroyed him.” (Judges Chapter four) Indeed they had become like refuse (excretion) on the ground. These enemies of Israel ended up like dung on the ground. It does not pay to mess with Israel! Then we read on…
(Vs.11-13) “Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb, all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna, who said, “Let us take possession of the pasturelands of God.” Make them like tumbleweed, O my God, like chaff before the wind.”
Whenever Israel backslid as a nation God rose up foreign armies to attack them and this happened again to Israel forty years after they had been delivered from Jabin and Sisera. This time God sent them Gideon who with a force of only 300 men defeated the Midianites who were also Israel’s immediate neighbours. We are told in the Bible that the Midianites were accompanied by the Amalekites and other eastern peoples. Again Ishmael’s descendants were attacking the Jewish people. Under the anointing of the Spirit Gideon led Israel to a sounding victory over these nations. We read where they captured two of the Midianite leaders Oreb and Zeeb. They killed Oreb at the rock of Oreb and Zeeb at the winepress of Zeeb. They pursued the Midianites and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon, who was by the Jordan. Zebah and Zalmunna the kings of Midian were personally killed by Gideon.
It’s interesting to note that after Gideon had killed these men he removed the crescent ornaments of off the Camel’s necks. (Judges 8:21 NASB) Allah the Mesopotamian moon-god of war was around a long time before Mohammed and Islam. The crescent moon is the symbol of Islam today along with the crossed swords. Israel’s ancient enemies have made a comeback today in the Arab nations bent on destroying them as a nation. The crescent moon-god of the Midianites is the Allah of Islam today.
When the Lord Jesus comes back He will fight as Gideon did against Israel’s oppressors. Like Gideon did the Lord Jesus Christ Israel’s Messiah will remove the crescent moons from the mosques and Minarets within the heart of the Muslim world. Instead of broken and burning crosses there will be broken and burning crescent moons. Israel’s true Messiah will make Islam “like tumbleweed, and like chaff before the wind.” Islam’s armies and terrorist organizations that have attacked Jerusalem will be totally and forever annihilated at the Second coming of Jesus Christ! They will be utterly destroyed and obliterated Like Oreb and Zeeb, like Zebah and Zalmunna who had said, “Let us take possession of the pasturelands of God.” This is precisely what Israel’s Islamic neighbours want to do today. They want the Land of Israel as their possession and especially Jerusalem! Of course Satan is behind this aggression.
In the future God will bring backslidden Israel back to Himself by allowing them to be almost annihilated by the Islamic forces of the Antichrist. You can read about this in the prophet Zechariah chapters twelve to fourteen and in chapter three of the Prophet Joel and in the prophet Jeremiah. In the Great Tribulation Islam will make a comeback. The forces of Gog (Antichrist) from the land of Magog and the other nations will make a final assault on Israel and Jerusalem will be ransacked with half of the people being taken once again into exile. At this time Israel will have been a land of unwalled villages, a peaceful and unsuspecting people-all of them living without walls and without bars. (Ezekiel 38:11)
When it looks like Israel will be annihilated the Messiah will return with the armies of heaven and completely destroy all of the foreign armies arrayed against Jerusalem. This final defeat of Islam will happen when the Lord Jesus comes back. In the Prophet Isaiah you can read about what will happen to Edom (Southern Jordan and Saudi Arabia) the ‘heart’ of the Islamic world. The Messiah will ride at the head of the armies of heaven and ride out of Edom victoriously having annihilated Islam forever. (Isaiah 63:1-6) Compare: Revelation 19:11-21) Saudi Arabia, the heart of the Muslim world, will burn. The oil fields and the oil reserves underground in Saudi Arabia will erupt turning the whole of Saudi Arabia into a land of burning oil. (Isaiah 8-10)
However, in these studies here we are dealing with the Psalm 83 war which sees Islam defeated, subdued and decimated but not eliminated. This war will be the war that will allow Israel to reclaim all of their land from the Wadi of Egypt to the Euphrates River promised to their Father Abraham. (Genesis 15:17-18) This is to be Israel’s everlasting possession! (Genesis 17:8) The nations of the world will start to trade with Israel and leave them alone to thrive and prosper economically and politically. Their Islamic neighbours will be silent yet ‘licking their wounds’ but also looking for a chance to get back at Israel. Hamas and Hezbollah will have been eliminated and the whole Muslim world decimated. Indeed Israel will thrive and prosper but tragically not looking to God their redeemer or to their Messiah our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Israel will eventually become proud in their prosperity and ease and these will be their downfall resulting in the final invasion by Gog accompanied by the armies of many other nations.
It is possible that great deposits of oil will be found in Israel making them the world leader in exporting oil. It may well be that the armies that will eventually attack Israel will want the oil supplies. Today there are oil companies drilling for oil in Israel. Oil may be what triggers the sudden and explosive invasion of Israel but it will be permitted by God to bring His wayward people back to Himself and to recognize their elder brother and Messiah our Lord Jesus Christ. Now let’s continue…
(Vs.14-15) “As fire consumes the forest or a flame sets the mountains ablaze, so pursue them with your tempest and terrify them with your storm.”
In the Psalm 83 war Israel’s immediate neighbours which today are all Islamic will be thrown back and consumed as a fire consumes a forest with its blazing heat. So Israel will defeat and subdue their immediate enemies. For their enemies it will be as if they have entered a powerful tempest and storm that sweeps them off of their feet as it were and blows them away as chaff is blown away in the wind! Asaph pleaded with God to do this. Gaza will be retaken and Hamas annihilated. Lebanon will be retaken and Hezbollah eliminated! Israel will inherit all of the land allotted to them by God through His covenant promise made to His servant Abraham. God will be seeking to have His name glorified among the nations. Asaph continued to plead with God…
(Vs.16-18) “Cover their faces with shame so that men will seek your name, O Lord. May they ever be ashamed and dismayed; may they perish in disgrace. Let them know that you, whose name is the Lord— that you alone are the Most High over all the earth.”
Asaph besought God to make Israel’s aggressors ashamed that they might seek the Lord. Yet he also prayed that they would perish in disgrace knowing that God alone is the Most High over all the earth. Prophetically this psalm will partially fulfil Asaph’s prayer to God as Israel’s enemies will certainly be ashamed and dismayed and many perish in disgrace. Many indeed will know God’s name and that He alone is the most High over all the earth. Yet it will take one more final assault by Israel’s enemies and their utter defeat to show the nations once and for all that God is the one and only God and that His Messiah and Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ is indeed the KING OF KINGS and the LORD OF LORDS!
In that day the Messiah will ride forth to rapture the saints, annihilate the Antichrist and his armies arrayed against Jerusalem, restore Israel and inaugurate His Millennial reign over all the earth! Indeed we read of the Messiah; “Gird your sword upon your side, O mighty one; clothe yourself with splendour and majesty. In your majesty ride forth victoriously in behalf of truth, humility and righteousness; let your right hand display awesome deeds. Let your sharp arrows pierce the hearts of the king’s enemies; let the nations fall beneath your feet. Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a sceptre of justice will be the sceptre of your kingdom.” (Isaiah 45:3-6)