Thursday, January 21, 2016

When Will Psalm 83 Unfold?

Is Psalm 83 A Prophetic End Time War For Our Times?

Question : Is Psalm 83 truly a prophecy about an end time war of our 21'st century times?

Answer : I believe that Psalm 83 is devotional prayer of the seer Prophet Asap, who foresaw a distant time in which the enemies of Israel will conspire against the very existence of the nation of Israel and will try to cause a genocide of the nation of Israel which the Lord God has brought in to existence in our times by His supernatural power.

The regathering of Jews from around the world to come to land of Israel and become assimilated to become the nation of Israel is one of the greatest sign of the end time event of the last days has happened in 1948 and the nation of State of Israel has continued to the present time in the twenty first century.

Isaiah the prophet clearly foretold of a time in which the nation of Israel will regather the second time,
"11 It shall come to pass in that day that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people who are left, from Assyria and Egypt, from Pathros and Cush, from Elam and Shinar, from Hamath and the islands of the sea. 12 He will set up a banner for the nations, and will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth." (Isa 11:11-12).

Here in the above passages the key word are
"the second time", "the islands of the sea", "the remnant of His people" and "from the four corners of the earth." We know that the first time the Jews were exiled was in the time of Jeremiah and time that preceded him, and when they all returned from Babylonian and Assyrian exile, it was the “first regathering” (Is. 10:20-27; 44:26-45:8). About 50 thousand Jews from Babylon returned immediately under Zerubbabel (Neh. 7:6-7, 66-67). Nearly a century later, Nehemiah led another group from Shushan in Persia (Neh. 1:1; 2:1-11). No other place in the Bible other than these above first regathering we see any regathering mentioned in the Bible. In both these above instance only Babylonian and Persian names are mentioned indicating that people who regathered have come from that nation and not from other regions mentioned as from all over the world and even the islands of the sea as in Isaiah. Because Isaiah was writing before the first dispersion under Nebuchadnezzar (8th century B.C.), this second time cannot be that 70 years exile to Babylon or the even the exile from Egypt which was not just "the remnant of His people" from "the islands of the sea" and "from the four corners of the earth" but rather a whole nation that came out in exile.

At the core of it these verses were and are prophetic in nature, it foretold and foretells events which took place between 1880 and 1948, as well as events yet to come
(Isa 11:12; 27:6; 43:5-7; 66:8; Jer 16:14-15; 23:3-8; 29:14; 30:3; 32:37; Ezek 11:16-17; 20:41-42; 28:25-26; 34:12-14; 37:21-22; 39:25-29; Amos 9:11-15; Zec 8:4-8; Ezek 36-37).

Here is what Psalm 83 reveals,
"1 Do not keep silent, O God! Do not hold Your peace, and do not be still, O God! 2 For behold, Your enemies make a tumult; and those who hate You have lifted up their head. 3 They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, and consulted together against Your sheltered ones. 4 They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more.” 5 For they have consulted together with one consent; They form a confederacy against You: 6 The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites; Moab and the Hagrites; 7 Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek; Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; 8 Assyria also has joined with them; they have helped the children of Lot. Selah 9 Deal with them as with Midian, as with Sisera, as with Jabin at the Brook Kishon, 10 Who perished at En Dor, who became as refuse on the earth. 11 Make their nobles like Oreb and like Zeeb, yes, all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna, 12 Who said, “Let us take for ourselves the pastures of God for a possession.” 13 O my God, make them like the whirling dust, like the chaff before the wind! 14 As the fire burns the woods, and as the flame sets the mountains on fire, 15 So pursue them with Your tempest, and frighten them with Your storm. 16 Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek Your name, O LORD. 17 Let them be confounded and dismayed forever; Yes, let them be put to shame and perish, 18 That they may know that You, whose name alone is the LORD, are the Most High over all the earth." (Psalm 83:1-18).

So where does Psalm 83 come to fit in this scenario?

I agree Asaph wrote 12 psalms, and Psalm 83 is one of the most prophetic of his psalms. Asaph was a seer-prophet
(2 Chronicles 29:30). Definitely Asaph as a seer-prophet must have been seeing the future enemies of the nation of Israel because most of the nations mentioned were not enemies at that time like Assyria but later and some were not even in the fray at that time in 1000 B.C.

Psalm 83 should be understood not as a specific war, distinct from the Battle of Gog of Magog which is the final battle of Armegeddon before Christ reigns on earth, or other wars of the Antichrist before it, rather it should be seen as a imprecatory prophetic prayer of the seer Prophet Asaph against the evil attitude of the confederation of nations particularly surrounding it in conspiracy against Israel which is a sovereign nation to annihilate its very existence from the map of the world in the last days after the second regathering of it.

I do believe what Asaph was trying to tell us became a reality in 1948 and had become a Palestinian refugee crisis and they would play a part in this overall confederacy of Arab nations surrounding it which had since that time of its inception has been conspiring against Israel and threatening to annihilate its very existence.

Israel has been involved in a number of wars and large-scale military operations, including:

(1) Israeli war of independence (November 1947 - July 1949) - Started as 6 months of civil war between Jewish and Arab militias at the end of the British Mandate of Palestine and turned into a regular war after the declaration of independence of Israel and the intervention of several Arab armies. In its conclusion, a set of agreements were signed between Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, called the 1949 Armistice Agreements, which established the armistice lines between Israel and its neighbours, also known as the Green Line.

(2) Reprisal operations (1950s - 1960s) - Military operations carried out by the Israel Defense Forces during the 1950s and 1960s. These actions were in response to constant fedayeen incursions during which Arab guerillas infiltrated from Syria, Egypt, and Jordan into Israel to carry out attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers. The policy of the reprisal operations was exceptional due to Israel's declared aim of getting a high 'blood cost' among the enemy side which was believed to be necessary in order to deter them from committing future attacks.

(3) Suez Crisis (October 1956) - A military attack on Egypt by Britain, France, and Israel, beginning on 29 October 1956, with the intention to occupy the Sinai Peninsula and to take over the Suez Canal. The attack followed Egypt's decision of 26 July 1956 to nationalize the Suez Canal after the withdrawal of an offer by Britain and the United States to fund the building of the Aswan Dam. Although the Israeli invasion of the Sinai was successful, the US and USSR forced it to retreat. Even so, Israel managed to re-open the Straits of Tiran and pacified its southern border.

(4) Six-Day War (June 1967) - Fought between Israel and Arab neighbors Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. The nations of Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Algeria, and others also contributed troops and arms to the Arab forces. Following the war, the territory held by Israel expanded significantly ("The Purple Line") : The West Bank (including East Jerusalem) from Jordan, Golan Heights from Syria, Sinai and Gaza from Egypt.

(5) War of Attrition (1967–1970) - A limited war fought between the Israeli military and forces of the Egyptian Republic, the USSR, Jordan, Syria, and the Palestine Liberation Organization from 1967 to 1970. It was initiated by the Egyptians as a way of recapturing the Sinai from the Israelis, who had been in control of the territory since the mid-1967 Six-Day War. The hostilities ended with a ceasefire signed between the countries in 1970 with frontiers remaining in the same place as when the war began.

(6) Yom Kippur War (October 1973) - Fought from October 6 to October 26, 1973 by a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria against Israel as a way of recapturing part of the territories which they lost to the Israelis back in the Six-Day War. The war began with a surprise joint attack by Egypt and Syria on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. Egypt and Syria crossed the cease-fire lines in the Sinai and Golan Heights, respectively. Eventually Arab forces were defeated by Israel and there were no significant territorial changes.

(7) Palestinian insurgency in South Lebanon (1971-1982) - PLO relocate to South Lebanon from Jordan and stage attacks on the Galilee and as a base for international operations. In 1978, Israel launches Operation Litani - the first Israeli large-scale invasion of Lebanon, which was carried out by the Israel Defense Forces in order to expel PLO forces from the territory. Continuing ground and rocket attacks, and Israeli retaliations, eventually escalate into the 1982 War.

(8) 1982 Lebanon War (1982) - Began in 6 June 1982, when the Israel Defense Forces invaded southern Lebanon to expel the PLO from the territory. The Government of Israel ordered the invasion as a response to the assassination attempt against Israel's ambassador to the United Kingdom, Shlomo Argov, by the Abu Nidal Organization and due to the constant terror attacks on northern Israel made by the Palestinian guerilla organizations which resided in Lebanon. The war resulted in the expulsion of the PLO from Lebanon and created an Israeli Security Zone in southern Lebanon.

(9) South Lebanon conflict (1982–2000) - Nearly 20 years of warfare between the Israel Defense Forces and its Lebanese Christian proxy militias against Lebanese Muslim guerrilla, led by Iranian-backed Hezbollah, within what was defined by Israelis as the "Security Zone" in South Lebanon.

(10) First Intifada (1987–1993) - First large-scale Palestinian uprising against Israel in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

(11) Second Intifada (2000–2005) - Second Palestinian uprising, a period of intensified violence, which began in late September 2000.

(12) 2006 Lebanon War (summer 2006) - Began as a military operation in response to the abduction of two Israeli reserve soldiers by the Hezbollah. The operation gradually strengthened, to become a wider confrontation. The principal participants were Hezbollah paramilitary forces and the Israeli military. The conflict started on 12 July 2006 and continued until a United Nations-brokered ceasefire went into effect on 14 August 2006, though it formally ended on 8 September 2006, when Israel lifted its naval blockade of Lebanon. The war resulted in the pacification of southern Lebanon and in the weakness of the Hezbollah (which suffered serious casualties but managed to survive the Israeli onslaught).

(13) Gaza War (December 2008 - January 2009) - Three-week armed conflict between Israel and Hamas during the winter of 2008–2009. In an escalation of the ongoing Israeli–Palestinian conflict, Israel responded to ongoing rocket fire from the Gaza Strip with military force in an action titled "Operation Cast Lead". Israel opened the attack with a surprise air strike on December 27, 2008. Israel's stated aim was to stop such rocket fire from and the import of arms into Gaza. Israeli forces attacked military and civilian targets, police stations, and government buildings in the opening assault. Israel declared an end to the conflict on January 18 and completed its withdrawal on January 21, 2009.

(14) Operation Pillar of Defense (November 2012)
- Military offensive on the Gaza Strip.

(15) Operation Protective Edge (July-August 2014) - Military offensive on the Gaza Strip as a response to the collapse of American-sponsored peace talks, attempts by rival Palestinian factions to form a coalition government, the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers, the subsequent kidnapping and murder of a Palestinian teenager, and increased rocket attacks on Israel by Hamas militants.

As we see and talk about this imprecatory Psalm 83, we see Asaph is petitioning God about a concern — a confederacy of surrounding Arab nations conspiring a genocidal attempt on the Jewish people
(Psalm 83:4, 5-8) and also were sincerely desiring to plunder the wealth of the land and take it for themselves with its geographical location of importance (Psa 83:12). As we know that the imprecatory psalms are those psalms that contain curses or prayers for the punishment of the psalmist's enemies, we clearly see that Asaph as a seer-prophet was seeing in to the future of the end of the last days nation of Israel and was praying to God sincerely to avenge its enemies and conclude with the second coming of the Messiah who will make the world know that Yeshua of the nation of Israel alone is the Lord and the Most High over all the earth (Psa 83:18).

As Psalm 83 is a prophecy for our time, the Arab and the Palestinians do not want peace with the Jews or even a peaceful two state solution. All they want is a Arab palestinian flag to fly over Israel as one of the Arab nation.

It is important to take note of the fact that the nation of Egypt is not included among the nations listed in Psalm 83 and Hagrites do not correlate to Egypt as a interchangeable substitute for its name
(1 Chron 5:10). Egypt was a well known nation at the time of Asaph around 10th century B.C. yet he did not include it in this confederacy of conspiracy of Arab nations around Israel in Psalm 83, and thus we come to know that the Hagarites were a people who lived in the region of northern Jordan, east of Gilead. As we see in the Bible where Prophets of old had prophesied, every name, nation, or region listed in Psalm 83 is specifically mentioned numerous times as being judged and defeated by Jesus, after He has returned to rule on earth for a thousand years (Isaiah 34:5-9 and the same repeated in 63:1-4; Rev 19:15 taken from Isa 63; 66:14-24; Obadiah 1:21; Isaiah 25, Amos 2 and Zephaniah 2:9). In Ezekiel 30, several nations, including Arabia are specified as being judged in the Day of the Lord. In Zephaniah 2, for example, we find the Day of the Lord judgment of the Philistines and Assyria. In Joel 3, Philistia, as well as Lebanon (Tyre and Gebal) are judged at the Day of the Lord. We see a Messianic promise of a inter-national highway interconnecting Israel with Egypt and Assyria which will all be a blessing in the midst of the land where the Messiah will rule the whole earth (Isaiah 19:23, 24-25). The armies of the Beast in Revelation 19:15 are identified as Edom in Isaiah 63:1-6. In both passages, Jesus crushes his enemies like grapes.

I do not believe a scenario of first the limited war of Psalm 83, a limited war in the Middle East between Israel and its immediate neighbors which would result in a victory for Israel, and the extension of its borders to become a greater Israel, and then thereafter the broader war of Ezekiel 38 and 39 happening in which a outer circle of enemy nations with Russia's support will come to fight in retaliation against Israel before the time of Armageddon where Messiah Yeshua Himself would show his fury by raining fire and brimstone's to fight for Israel against a coalition of many nations who will want to fulfill the conspiracy of Psalm 83 being convinced by the confederacy of Arab nations around them. But I believe, Psalm 83 is a prayer of Asaph the seer-prophet to God for the protection of Israel as a nation, from its inception in 1948 to the day of Ezek 38 and 39 war which is the one and same war of Armageddon, where Yeshua will defeat all enemies of the nation of Israel to establish a thousand year of reign on earth from Jerusalem
(Zec 8:4-8; 12:3; Ezek 36-37; Rev 19:19-21; 20:4). If Israel annihilates all the nations including Egypt as some prophecy teachers wrongly have taught in a hypothetical Psalm 83 war, how can Messiah rule over these same nations included in Psalm 83 later when He comes to rules over the whole earth from Jerusalem the city of the great King (Matt 5:35)?

Why I do not believe in the above apocalyptic scenario of a Psalm 83 war with nations surrounding Israel which will bring peace and thus leading to Ezek 38 and 39 which some teach to happen before Armageddon of the end because they believe both these war are different and not the same, is because of the nuclear availability and capability of nations with equal power to defend itself and destroy others. Nations in today's world vocally bat for deterrence from first use of nuclear weapons is because they all know that once it is used, the whole world could become a nuclear graveyard and a uninhabitable place for humans where the one who uses it and at the same time the one who is used against will all be completely annihilated forever. Then I believe that the peace that will come to Israel is a false peace brought through Antichrist and thus not through military conquest and superiority of IDF forces
(Dan 9:27; Isa 28:15; John 5:43; Num 25:12-13). And also I believe that the final war of Armageddon and Ezek 38 and 39 war are one and the same. [Here is why I believe that :]. The righteous judgments of the Lord as described in the prophets belong to the Lord Jesus alone and no man or no army (IDF- Israeli Defence Force) will ever be able to claim the victory of the Lord for themselves (Isa 42:8). The Lord alone will be exalted in that day when He defeats all the enemies who want to destroy Israel as a nation (Isaiah 2:17).

For example in the beginning of this year 2016, in the stand off between Iran (Shiite) and Saudi Arabia (Sunni) old feud, when Saudi Arabia looked up to Pakistan which is an unstable Islamic nuclear nation lying between Afghanistan and India, immediately Pakistan warned Iran that in a moment if Saudi Arabia is touched, they will be wiped off the map. For this reason, Iran is now trying to acquire nuclear weapons as much as possible. But because of Iran's apocalyptic belief and rhetoric to annihilate Israel from its existence, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel would continue to closely monitor Iran's compliance, development of ballistic missiles and its involvement in terrorism. “Israel’s policy has been and will remain exactly what it has been: not to allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons.” he said.

First of all to hypothetically say that Israel will conquer over the inner circle of the surrounding core of Arab populations of Palestinians, Syrians, Saudi Arabians, Egyptians, Lebanese, and Jordanians to bring enlargement, prosperity and increase and enhance its national stature in the democratic world of today, casts the people of Israel in a murderous and imperialistic light far worse than what even the most obsessed anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists, so common throughout the Islamic world, would ever claim. To subdue and concurrently occupy, or worse yet, “annihilate” 170 million Arabs by a nation of 6 million Jews which is equivalent of 30 Holocausts, is quite a claim and do not fit the Biblical prophecy of Psalm 83 as in it Asaph the seer-prophet was actually appealing to God for justice on the part of the nation of Israel and not a support for occupation of nations around them. Israel is a peaceful nation and will always stand for its existence and it is not a imperial power that tries to obliterate nations around it for its own gain and will never be. Israel as a nation are always
"a peaceful people, who [will] dwell safely" in the latter years after their second regathering because of God's sovereign protecting hand over them (Ezek 38:8, 11; Zech 8:8; Jer 32:37; Ezekiel 28:25-26; Amos 9:15).

Thus Psalm 83 is not just a prayer of lament but also a real prophecy which had started in 1948 at the inception of the nation of Israel and also fits through rightly in its length of time in their continued fight for its existence since then, which will only culminate fully at the time of the coming of Yeshua Messiah to defend the nation of Israel at the time of Armageddon in Ezek 38 and 39 without which the very existence of Israel will be an impossibility after they will be deceived in to 7 year peace treaty with Antichrist which he will break in the mid-point
(Zech 12:10-11; Matt 21:9; 23:39; 14:1-4, 5-9).

Much Blessings.....


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