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Pastor Matthew Fanning

March 1, 2010

Psalm 83

Part 3

What the Answer Will Look Like


By:  Pastor Bill Randles

“Deal with them as you did with Midian, with Sisera, with Jabin, at the brook Kishon-who were destroyed at Endor, who became dung for the field. Treat their great men like Oreb and Zeev, all their princes like Zeba and Zalmuna…cover their faces with shame so that they may seek your name, O Lord.” (Psalm 83:10-14)

Because we believe that the Psalms are God given expressions of the hopes, aspirations, prayers and worship of Israel, and particularly of Israel’s Messiah, we believe that these prayers are as sure to be answered by God as any other promise or prophecy of scripture. “The word of the Lord is sure, enduring forever.” (Psalm 19)

Therefore the fate of Israel’s near neighbors is grim. God himself has inspired the requests of this desperate plea for deliverance, and shall surely answer these cries in due time. Just what exactly would such answers look like?

“Deal with them as you did with Midian, Sisera, as to Jabin at the brook Kishon”-

The Psalmist was led to pray for a repeat of the battle recorded in Judges 4 and 5 in which God used women in prominent roles to lead Israel’s hosts to destroy an Arab multitude. Deborah the prophetess mobilized the ragtag army of Israel after 20 years of oppression, and received the word of the Lord, a battle plan to overcome the advantage the Arabs had in superior armor (900 chariots). They were to be drawn into the swollen, flooded plain of the Kishon brook, thus nullifying the chariot mobility.

When Sisera, the enemy commander fled on foot, to save his very life, he was drawn into the tent of the wife of an ally – Jael - who gave the exhausted general warm milk, putting him to sleep. She then took a tent stake and a mallet and drove it through his head!

“Blessed above women shall Jael the wife of Heber be, blessed shall she be above women in the tent. He asked water, and she gave him milk, she brought forth butter in a lordly dish. She put her hand to the nail, and her right hand to the workman’s hammer and with the hammer she smote Sisera, she smote off his head, when she had pierced and stricken through his temples.”   (Judges 5:24-26)

Somehow this story is re-capitulated. In fact this is the oldest story of all, Deborah and Jael’s story is an echo of the primal promise - the seed of the woman, the serpent crusher. Jael is given a similar blessing to Mary - “blessed are thee among women”.

“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed, He shall bruise thy heel and thou shalt bruise His heel.” (Genesis 3:15)

There is no doubt that the confederacy formed against Israel is Satanic, and the prayer is that Israel would, like Deborah and Jael, be empowered to crush the serpent’s head.

“Make their Nobles like Oreb and Zeeb - their princes like Zeba and Zalmuna.” (Psalm 83:11)

This reference is to a later oppression of Israel by their Midianite (Arab) neighbors. God raised up Gideon, to be a judge and a savior to them. After reducing the army of his people to a mere 300 chosen men, the innumerable hosts of the Arabs were utterly routed, chased out of the Holy Land and scattered! Their leaders Oreb and Seeb (Raven and Wolf) were beheaded.*

Of particular interest is the fate of the princes Zeba and Zalmuna. These princes were captured and presented to Gideon, who personally slew them. After words the word of God tells us that Gideon then -

“Took away the crescent shaped ornaments that were on the camels’ necks.”  (Judges 8:21)

The crescent moon was the symbol of the pagan god Sin, who later was known as Bel, then Habul, the Nabatean moon god who eventually morphed into Allah. The prayer is specific, “…do unto them as you did unto Zeba and Zalmuna…” it involves the crescent symbol and the destruction of the princes who have conspired against God’s “hidden ones” (Psalm 83:3).

Because the confederacy arrogates to themselves that which God gave to Israel, God is asked to make them “as the stubble before the wind”-

“Who said let us take the houses** of God as our 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.” (Psalm 83:13-14)

A horrible destruction is coming to the Arab world, when he says it will “set the mountains on fire” this is a reference to all of the Governments of the earth, which will be sucked into this conflict. The destruction coming will involve the obliteration of Damascus (Isaiah 17), the cities of the east side of the Jordan River (Jeremiah 49), Egypt (Isaiah 19), and ultimately all nations (Joel 3:1-3).

The answer to these pleadings will provoke a conflict that will eventually lead to the near destruction of Jerusalem itself, which will be the final outrage which will bring the actual bodily return of the Lord’s Messiah -

“Behold the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee, For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled: and the women ravished; and half the city shall go forth into captivity, and the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle and his feet shall stand on the mount of Olives…” (Zechariah 14:1-3)

The embattled Israel pleads with Jahweh to utterly shame those who unite against her very existence. Twice he prays that they be shamed…which is interesting because the Arab Islamic culture is a shame based society, and perhaps as the cartoon fiasco has shown us there is nothing they fear more than being shamed.

“Cover their faces with shame, that they may seek thy name, O Lord, let them be confounded and troubled forever; yea let them be put to shame, and perish…” (Psalm 83:17)

Twice he prays about shaming the enemy, but perhaps there is a glimmer of hope in one of these imprecations. When he prays the first time for shame - it is that even they may “seek thy name”- in other words he is actually praying for their conviction and repentance unto salvation! I believe millions who are now trapped in Islam’s dungeon, will be liberated and saved unto God by Jesus Christ!

But the second time he prays for shame is grim, “Let them be confounded and troubled forever, let them be put to shame and perish.” For those who are set in their ways, confirmed in the “everlasting hatred”, sold out to the moon god, seeking the glory of Allah and the 72 virgins, nothing awaits but the terror of “everlasting shame and contempt” (Daniel 12:1-2) in God’s lake of fire.

As for the Jews and the Muslim world, so it is for the whole world, that by Israel’s next, dreadful war, all of the world will be brought to a choice - neutrality will not be an option. By this fulfillment of His prophetic word God is calling all men everywhere to repentance, this is brought out in the last verse of this Psalm-

“That Men may know that You, whose name alone is Jahweh are the most high over all the earth.” (Psalm 83:18)

*Head wounds in the Bible are usually reminders of Genesis 3:15

** Literally “the pastures of God”- the land flowing with milk and honey

***Literally  “Like the thistledown”