The most talked-about future events in the Bible are the rapture, the tribulation period, and the second coming of Christ. The signs of the second coming are also a hot topic of discussion. Yet, there is one prophecy that rarely gets noticed — the battle of Psalm 83.
In this week’s news, several of the players are at the center of world events. Therefore, here is a look at Psalm 83.
Preachers often say, “The rapture is the next event of God’s calendar.” This statement may or may not be accurate. There is nothing, in the way of prophecy, that must happen before the rapture. However, there are some prophecies that we do not know where they fall in the sequence of events.
Example — Matthew 24:15 tells us about the Antichrist standing in the Temple. The problem is that the Romans in AD 70 destroyed the Temple. We are sure the event described in Matthew 24:15 occurs near the halfway point of the Tribulation Period. Therefore, the Temple is rebuilt sometime before then. Exactly when? No one knows. Before the rapture? Probably not, but we cannot say for sure.
Another example — The invasion of Israel prophesied in Ezekiel 38-39. I think it coincides with the sixth seal of Revelation. Others believe it comes around the time of the rapture, yet others think it could be as late as after the millennium.
Psalm 83 is this way. We do not know where it falls in the sequence of events.
This week, Israel, the Palestinians, and the terrorist group Hamas have been killing each other. As Hamas and the Palestinians are sending missiles throughout Israel, Israel has been responding by attacking Gaza. Hamas has ruled over the Gaza-based faction of the Palestinian government since 2007.
These three, Israel, the Palestinians, and Hamas, are some of the leading players in the battle of Psalm 83.
Israel’s enemies devise a plan to remove Israel from the map. Psalm 83:4, “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.” They not only want to destroy Israel, but they also want to remove it from everyone’s memory.
Verses 6-8 list those that are confederate against Israel. Some in the list are nations; others are people groups. If we apply a modern-day map to the names uses in Psalm 83, we come up with these places — Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and the west bank. Gaza and the west bank are the current home of the Palestinians.
We have already seen a few of these places join forces against Israel. In 2006 Hezbollah joined Hamas in their fight against Israel. Hezbollah’s headquarters is in Lebanon.
For the last few decades, Jordan has not shown nearly as much hostility toward Israel as the others have. Still, recently there are indications that the crown prince and others in the royal family are not happy with King Abdullah II’s lack of hostility toward Israel.
Could the events of this week lead to these nations joining together? If so, how soon? One thing is sure, it is all coming to boil, and the pot will boil over someday, and Psalm 83 will come to pass.
How does the battle end? The contest ends with the fiery destruction of Israel’s invaders, “As the fire burneth a wood, and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire.”
Interestingly, the land areas invading Israel in Psalm 83 and the areas destroyed by fire in the first two chapters of Amos are the same. Isaiah 17:1 also describes Damascus as “a ruinous heap.”
The destruction from the battle of Psalm 83 appears to devastate Israel and the areas around her. It is a battle and not a war, as the destruction of Damascus takes less than a day (Isaiah 17:14).
If you noticed, I did say Israel is devastated. The “palaces of Jerusalem” are devoured by fire as well (Amos 2:5).
What you have already read is what the Bible says will happen. The rest of this column is my opinion of the aftermath.
I believe Israel is overwhelmed by the attack from all fronts. “The palaces of Jerusalem” is a reference to the Israeli government. Israel has a military technique called the “Sampson option.” As Sampson of the Old Testament found himself in a hopeless situation, he decided to kill as much of the enemy as possible before his demise. When the generals in the field realize the government is gone, I believe they will launch their Sampson option and send the nukes to the invading hordes.
How else would fire destroy such a large territory — Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Gaza, and more in one night?
The world is in an uproar as the center of the Middle East lays in ashes. Step in the Antichrist. The Bible tells us he comes in as a man on a white horse — he is a miracle worker of diplomacy and the man everyone will look to for answers. The treaty of Daniel 9:27 is signed, and the signing of the treaty starts the Tribulation Period. Watch Israel, watch the skies, our redemption draweth nigh.
Mark 13:37, “And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.”
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With houses of worship currently closed or restricted across much of the nation, the editors of the Baltimore Post-Examiner are inviting an array of spiritual teachers to share insights from the ages along with words of comfort and encouragement. These timely messages are not exclusive to any particular faith walk and will be included in our ongoing Spirituality series.
Preacher Tim Johnson is Pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County, Indiana. His weekly column “Preacher’s Point” may be found at: www.preacherspoint.wordpress.com