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. 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.(Psalm 83:1-4)
The Psalms of the Bible are usually considered to be inspired devotion, useful for prayer and worship, beautiful and uplifting poetry. This is true, but it is a limited appreciation of what these Psalms have to offer.
The Psalms are Wisdom literature as well, and contain accounts of salvation history. The Psalms are also prophetic. The coming of Jesus the Messiah, his thoughts, suffering and triumph are predicted in great detail in the Psalms.
Finally, the Psalms are Eschatological, they are prophetic teachings and exhortations concerning the end times. Psalm 83 is a prime example of this and as in the other passages I have been sharing in this series, it seems to foretell the scourge of Islam.
Psalm 83 is a desperate prayer offered by a besieged Israel. Her enemies are all of her near neighbors. They have come together as never before in Biblical history, united by a common, visceral hatred of Israel, and also by an anti-God religion, Islam.
The list of nations amounts to Syria, Gaza,Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, in short the Arab Muslim middle east. This list is discussed in detail in another article, The Arab Invasion and it’s Outcome. All of these modern nations are united in hatred by Islam.
They that hate thee, have lifted up their head, in other words the supplicant laments that the enemies of God and Israel have obtained a new confidence.
The rebirth of the nation of Israel and the subsequent failure of five united Arab armies to defeat her in wars of overwhelming numerical, financial and even tactical superiority has been extremely dispiriting to the Muslim Arab world, which is a “shame/honor” culture. That is why the Arabs refer to May ,1948 as “Al Naqba”, the disaster!
But as of late the Muslim Arab world has gained a new confidence. This is because that after steady leveraging of the use of oil, bribery, and immigration, the Arab world has been able to flip the powerful western world, from her pro-Israel position to being anti-Israel.
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:(Psalm 83:9-11)
The Supplicant appeals to previous interventions of God on behalf of Israel,as recorded in the book of the Judges.
“Do unto them as unto the Midianites…” Refers to the incident in Judges 6-7, in which God confused the Midianites, and in their confusion they turned on and slaughtered each other.
“As to Sisera and as to Jabin…” This refers to the story in Judges 4-5. Jabin was a Canaanite King who subjected Israel to raids of plunder,rape and murder. Sisera was the commander of Jabin’s army, which deployed 900 chariots.
What God did to Sisera was to send a rainstorm, so intense it rendered the chariots useless. They bogged down on the plain, and were vulnerable to the footmen of Deborah and Barak.
The proud general Sisera fled on foot for his very life. He was beckoned to hide in the tent of a woman, Jael, the wife of one whom he though was an ally. She coaxed him into relaxation, giving the exhausted heathen Commander warm milk. When he fell into a deep sleep, she took a tent stake, and drove it into Sisera’s temple.
Thus the proud heathen leader was slain by a woman! We find this to be startlingly modern, as we see the ISIS terrorists trying to wipe out the Kurdish Peshmurga militia, among whose numbers of necessity are women. The superstitious among them believe that the warrior who is slain by a woman dies in disgrace and cannot go to paradise!
Make their Nobles Like Oreb and Zeeb,yea all their princes like Zeeba and Zalmuna…This refers back to Godeon’s battle with the Arab multitude in Judges 6-8. The Arab Princes fled, with Gideon’s bands pursuing them. Oreb and Zeeb were caught and forced to confess the killing of Gideon’s brothers.
Zeeba and Zalmuna were caught also, and were personally executed by Gideon himself. The text of Judges literally tells us that they then removed the “Crescent shaped ornaments off of their camels”.
Then Zebah and Zalmunna said, “Rise up yourself, and fall on us; for as the man, so is his strength.” So Gideon arose and killed Zebah and Zalmunna, and took the crescent ornaments which were on their camels’ necks.(Judges 8:21 NASV)
The Psalmist is praying that the Arab Princes of this confederation will be pursued, executed and that the Lord himself will remove the crescent ornaments.
The Lord is coming back to the earth in the character of Gideon.
Finally this Psalm offers another insight which I believe is a foreshadowing of the Islam situation. Twice he prays that the enemies would be ashamed…
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: That men may know that thou, whose name alone is Jehovah, art the most high over all the earth.(Psalm 83:16-18)
As we stated earlier, the psychology of the modern Islamic world is very much based upon a shame/honor system. The humiliation of Al Naqba enrages the Muslims to murderous and self destructive lengths. A Danish cartoon can ignite murderous firestorms all around the world.
The self concept of the Arab Muslim male is fragile. All is comparison. This is why Muslims delight in building towers calculated to be the tallest structure in a city. They relish the humiliation and diminishment of their enemies. Even their vaunted battle cry is one of insecurity, for the literal meaning of Allahu Akbar is “God is greater”. Greater than what?
The Psalmist prays that the enemies of God would be filled with shame, which hopefully would lead to a repentance towards the only true God. There is a healthy shame, rightfully earned which can accomplish a deep work in the soul. “That they may seek you Oh God…”! Many,many Muslims are already beng saved by God’s grace.
But failing that, the Psalmist also prays for an eternal shame for those who would wipe Israel off of the map.“Let them be ashamed that they may perish forever...”.
When the Muslim confederation of Psalm 83 is utterly defeated, routed, even massacred because of the answer to this prayer, The Psalmist hopes that the rest of the world will see it and come to know something of the fear and Majesty of the “only true God”.