By Nathan Jones
Who are the Psalm 83 nations planning Israel's destruction?
In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" TWave Radio episode, Pastor Vic Batista of Miami's Calvary Chapel Aventura and I will discuss the end times war found in Psalm 83.
Antisemitism on the Rise
Vic Batista: Nathan, in the last segment you took us through Psalm 83:1-4. Could you recap?
Nathan Jones: Asaph was the author of this Psalm, or song. He was one of King David's prophets and musicians. Asaph was a seer and he could see as the Lord gave him prophecy about the future. What he prophesied in Psalm 83 he wrote in song format, though we don't have the music today.
"Do not keep silent, O God! Do not hold Your peace, and do not be still, O God! For behold, Your enemies make a tumult; And those who hate You have lifted up their head. They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, and consulted together against Your sheltered ones. They have said, 'Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more.'"
Vic Batista: When we look at verse 4 we hear those very words spoken frequently by those in Islam and to some extent what we are hearing happening in the United States of America. Antisemitism is going to increase to the point to where these Psalm 83 nations want to come and destroy Israel. That is really the focal point, right?
Nathan Jones: Exactly! The enemies that surround Israel are what we are talking about — Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Gaza and Egypt. Those are the nations that want to destroy Israel. They are the traditional enemies of Israel all the way back to Joshua's time period.
It was prophesied that Israel would have to deal with these nations, and certainly over time, they've had many wars with Israel, but Israel never subjugated the nations around them. Today we are reading about this prophecy that Israel's enemies want to destroy them as a nation, but Israel hasn't been a nation since 70 AD. The Roman's destroyed Jerusalem and dispersed the Jews. The Jewish people wandered without a homeland for almost 2,000 years. Finally, in May of 1948, Israel became a nation again. So, all of a sudden Bible prophecy scholars are seriously looking at Psalm 83 because Israel is a nation once again.
Today we bear witness to the Islamic hatred of Israel. It's interesting that Israel's enemies historically in the Old Testament were scattered and divided. Now, they are all united by Islam, by a religion, that consistently wants to destroy Israel. Islamic leaders make statements all the time about the destruction of Israel. They create intifadas where they try to get the Arab people in Israel to rise up against the Jewish people living there. Iran is desperate to make a nuclear weapon which the Ayatollahs aren't even hiding anymore the fact that they want to use it to destroy Israel. ISIS' goal is to not only march through Iraq and Syria, but then through Jordan and conquer Israel. The UN makes resolution after resolution against Israel. They too want to destroy Israel. So, there is certainly a satanic hatred just burning with uncontrolled rage towards Israel right now.
Vic Batista: That's why I encourage Christians to pray for Israel. These are God's chosen people. God still loves them, though His focus has been on the Church for the last 2,000 years. It's amazing to me what Satan puts into the heart of man, because he is really the one who is behind all this hatred of God's people.
Nathan Jones: Ephesians 6:12 tells us that, "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." And so, behind all our world governments there are satanic principalities and powers working behind the scenes. There is a spiritual warfare going on behind this global rise in Antisemitism.
Satan has always hated the Jews. He hates the Jews because God made promises to the world which through them would bring the blessing of His Messiah. Jesus came from the Jewish people. The Jewish people also provided the Bible. God promised the Jewish people that a remnant of them would one day be saved and they would become a priestly people during this Millennial Kingdom, which is still yet to come. Satan believes that if he can destroy the Jewish people, he can thwart God's plan. We know that Satan will never be victorious in that goal. Right now, though, Israel has got to go through quite a refining fire as the nations surrounding them want them destroyed. That is where Psalm 83's prophecy comes into play.
The Confederacy of Schemers
Nathan Jones: In verse 4, we're left with no doubt that these nations who are against Israel are gathering together to decide how to destroy Israel. Their purpose is to make Israel "remembered no more." The only way to accomplish that is the complete genocide of the Jewish people, to utter destroy the Jewish people.
Now we get to Psalm 83:5-8 which says:
"For they have consulted together with one consent; they form a confederacy against you: The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites; Moab and the Hagrites; Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek; Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assyria also has joined with them; they have helped the children of Lot."
That list of nations can be kind of confusing because Psalm 83 was written in 1,000 BC, so 3,000 years ago. These are the names of the nations that surrounded Israel at that time, but they have modern counterparts today. It is interesting how we can turn on the news and watch and see these very same nations today want Israel destroyed.
When Psalm 83 talks about the tents of Edom, that is the Palestinians who are the descendants of the Edomites. They're the Palestinians and those who dwelled in Southern Jordan at the time.
Concerning the Ishmaelites, Ismael was the father of the Arabs, so the passage is talking about the Arabian nations.
Moab is also the Palestinian descendants of today who lived in central Jordan at the time.
The Hagrites, or the Hagarenes, is another name from this passage. There's a little debate over this reference, but many Bible prophecy scholars believe their the Egyptians.
Gebal is Hezbollah which occupies northern Lebanon. Ammon are again the Palestinian descendants who once covered the northern Jordan area. Amalek was also the Arabs, and they are the ones who now live in the Sinai Peninsula. Philistia, the Philistines, is Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Tyre is up north, and they today are Hezbollah from southern Lebanon. Assyria is the Assyrians who once covered northern Iraq which pretty much covers the land that ISIS is taking over right now.
Vic Batista: All those nations surround Israel?
Nathan Jones: Yes, they do. And, these nations in Psalm 83 are not prophesies as the nations that Ezekiel 38 & 39 are prophesying about. The Gog & Magog War of Ezekiel 38-39 contain Russia, Iran, Turkey, Libya and Sudan and all those 'Stan nations. Psalm 83 are not mentioning those. It also is not talking about Armageddon, which covers all the nations of the world against Israel. Psalm 83 particularly names the countries that directly border Israel.
Vic Batista: Excellent point! This is exactly how the world is lining up today.
I noticed two things, Nathan, when you were reading verse 5 specifically. "For they have consulted together with one consent and they have formed a confederacy against you." We see how the enemy, Satan, is bringing all these nations together to form a confederacy all united in one consent to destroy Israel.
Nathan Jones: Surely people are wondering just how could the nations surrounding Israel join together. Until Islam, these nations were totally separate and they did not get along well. They would frequently attack each other. But, then when the religion of Islam conquered the Middle East, it united the people with a common religion. Yes, there is infighting in that religion, especially between the Sunnis and the Shiites, but overall as a religion they agree on one major thing — death to the Jews!
In the fifth segment of our survey of the Psalm 83 War, Vic and I will look at why the Church is betraying Israel.