Monday, July 29, 2013

The prophecy of the 83rd Psalm

That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.
(Psa 83:18)

For many years this psalm was known to me chiefly because of the golden verse for this post.  It is one of the four times that the name of God, Jehovah, occurs in the King James Version of the Bible and I used to quote that verse at the door often while I was a Jehovah’s Witness.  Yet I did not realize the wonderful prophecy it contained, largely because of the Replacement Theology of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

But once again I have Hal Lindsey to thank for bringing my attention to this prophecy by means of an episode of his show some years back after I exited the Witnesses and became more interested in Last Days prophecies and Israel once the blinders came off.  In it Mr. Lindsey posited that the pieces were all falling in place for this prophecy to be fulfilled.  But as I pondered the prophecy his explanation didn’t quite satisfy me.  This one of the prophecies the expositor I look to didn’t cover.  So I listened to mature Christian teachers when they mentioned the prophecy and did research into it to come to the conclusions I have.  So let’s dive right on in:

A Song or Psalm of Asaph. Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God. For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head.
(Psa 83:1-2)

So who was this Asaph?  According to Wikipedia:

“In the Old Testament there are three different men with the name of Asaph. The Asaph identified with these twelve Psalms is said to be the son of Berechiah which is said to be an ancestor of the Asaphites. The Asaphites are said to be one of the families or guilds of musicians in the Jerusalem temple. These pieces of information are clarified in the books of 1 and 2 Chronicles. In the Chronicles it is said that Asaph was a descendant of Gershom the son of Levi therefore he is identified as a member of the Levites. He is also known as one of the three Levites commissioned by David to be in charge of singing in the house of Yahweh. In 1 Chronicles 6:39 David appoints a man named Heman as the main musician or singer and Asaph as Heman’s right hand assistant and the Merarites at his left hand.[3] Asaph is also credited with performing at the dedication of Solomon’s temple in 2 Chronicles 5:12.[3]

As an officer within the Jerusalem religious system, Asaph would have participated in both the public and private side of that system. He served as an official for several years, starting with King David and serving King Solomon as well, if he is the same Asaph mentioned in 2 Chronicles 5.12. During his long term, Asaph surely saw the best and worst of other officials. His complaint against corruption among the rich and influential, recorded in Psalm 73, might have been directed towards some of those officials. The words he used to describe the wicked come from the same lexicon of words used by officers of the cultic/sacrificial system.”

So here Asaph prays to God not to stand idly by while his enemies make trouble.  But what sort of trouble is it which has Asaph so perturbed:

“They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones. They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee: “
(Psa 83:3-5)

Note the underlined portion because it is key to where I’m coming from.  Here we find out what has the psalmist so upset.  He sees nations conspiring to wipe Israel and the Jews off the map.  Since Aspah lived in the days of the Kings David and Solomon, the golden era of ancient Israel, this certainly wasn’t going on in his day.  So he is obviously talking about future events.  It is our belief that what he foresaw is taking place now.  The next portion of the psalm tells us who and goes to why we think so:

The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot. Selah.
(Psa 83:6-8)

The key to understanding this is to go take a look at a map of the ancient Middle East.  What one discovers is that the nations described are the ones surrounding Israel back then.  Those same lands are under Arab domination today with what is left of the original inhabitants all followers of the prophet Mohammad.  Hal Lindsey saw in the Arab Spring the pieces falling into place for a future fulfillment of the psalm when the Arabs would attack the Jews.  Here is a picture with the list:

But look at verse four again, “They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.”  This is exactly what the nations which surround modern Israel have said since the foundation of the Jewish state.  Within days of the creation of the state of Israel all the almost all the Arab nations listed in the psalm attacked and those words were essentially their battle cry.  And the war never really ended, that is one of the dirty little historic histories we don’t see in the media.

The war for Jewish annihilation has hot and cold periods.  The hot periods are well known, the 1956 war, the six day war of 1967 and the Yom Kippur war in the 1970s are all examples of the hot periods.  In between Arabs conduct a guerilla war with Arabs slipping into Jewish communities and murdering them in the night, sometimes whole families of Jews including infants.  Another phase of the colder war is also carried on in more modern days, rocket attacks.  Rockets are launched into Israel by the thousand by so called “Palestinian” fighters.  They are deliberately aimed at civilian population centers with the purpose of indiscriminately killing Jews and striking terror into their hearts.  So the Jews have been under an ongoing siege since day one in 1948.

For the foregoing reasons it is our belief that the fulfillment of the prophecy in Psalm 83 is ongoing and will continue parallel with Jeremiah’s prophecy about “Jacobs Trouble” until it’s on conclusion is reached , possibly when the Arabs think Israel is in a weak enough position they might be able to prevail.  But there is a part of the prophecy they would do well to read:

“Do unto them as unto the Midianites; as to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the brook of Kison: Which perished at Endor: they became as dung for the earth. Make their nobles like Oreb, and like Zeeb: yea, all their princes as Zebah, and as Zalmunna: Who said, Let us take to ourselves the houses of God in possession. O my God, make them like a wheel; as the stubble before the wind. As the fire burneth a wood, and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire; So persecute them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm. Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, O LORD. Let them be confounded and troubled for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish:”
(Psa 83:9-17)

Yes, at some point they will feel emboldened to either attack on their own or join another conspiracy and God will give the children of Israel victory over them.  But that victory will be for a purpose, the one mentioned in our golden text:

That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.
(Psa 83:18)

Amen, Asaph, amen!

Next we will take a look at the prophecy about “Jacob’s trouble,” which is found in Jeremiah chapter thirty.

No comments:

Post a Comment