“For thus saith the LORD, Thy bruise is incurable, and thy wound is grievous. There is none to plead thy cause, that thou mayest be bound up: thou hast no healing medicines. All thy lovers have forgotten thee; they seek thee not; for I have wounded thee with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one, for the multitude of thine iniquity; because thy sins were increased,” Jeremiah 30:12-14.
A BBC news report (Bowen: US sets clearer red lines for Israel as ceasefire ends), which has been mounted on its website for some days, has reported in its comments, warnings given to Israel about the limits of the support the USA will give to it in its battle with Hamas.
Biden’s chief diplomat, Antony Blinken, is referred to at length.
“On the evening before the fighting resumed, he repeated America’s support for Israel’s right to defend itself, and once again condemned Hamas. Mr Blinken repeated his insistence ‘that Israel act in accordance with international humanitarian law and the laws of war, even when confronting a terrorist group that respects neither’. Then Mr Blinken made his starkest public statement yet about how Israel should fight the war. Mr Blinken said that it meant ‘taking more effective steps to protect the lives of civilians, including by clearly and precisely designating areas and places in southern and central Gaza where they can be safe and out of the line of fire’. ‘It means avoiding further significant displacement of civilians inside of Gaza. It means avoiding damage to life-critical infrastructure, like hospitals, like power stations, like water facilities.’ ‘And it means giving civilians who’ve been displaced to southern Gaza the choice to return to the north as soon as conditions permit. There must be no enduring internal displacement.’ . . . Antony Blinken, has spoken clearly, in public, about the way the US wants Israel to fight Hamas. If Israel kills anything like as many Palestinian civilians as it did in the north, in defiance of the stated will of Joe Biden, the US president will have to decide whether he can continue to give Israel so much support, not just on the battlefield but also in the United Nations Security Council, where the US has used its veto many times to protect Israel.”
There certainly is a limit to the support Israel may expect from those, who in the past, may have shown sympathy.
In the verses from Jeremiah, I have quoted above, it is clear that a time will come when Israel will be ABANDONED by her former allies to her fate at the hands of her historic enemies and haters!
1. The Bible identifies the enemies who will be in a confederacy against Israel at the close of this age. “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,” Psalm 83:6-8.
This list comprises those nations constantly in the headlines today as they howl against Israel. They may go under modern and more familiar names on our maps and the news reports, but they are the same ancient enemies identified here under their Bible names.
The simple truth that God can declare “the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure,” Isaiah 46:10, is thus demonstrated. None of the schemes of men will catch God unaware or unprepared!
“Who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me,” Isaiah 45:21.
Though the leaders of these nations mentioned in Psalm 83, will not be deterred by the fact of God’s omniscience, as set forth in these words, for they do not believe that simple truth, but it ought to send shivers down the back of their military commanders that their plans are known by God and have been put on public display in His Word for over 3000 years!
2. Their evil plan of genocide is set forth here. “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. . . . . Who said, Let us take to ourselves the houses of God in possession,” verses 4 and 12. The enemies may, as verse 3 of this Psalm 83 states, “have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones,” but their craftiness will stand them no good in the end! The Lord will not utterly forsake Israel.
Note the words in verses17-18. “For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after. Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob’s tents, and have mercy on his dwellingplaces; and the city shall be builded upon her own heap, and the palace shall remain after the manner thereof.”
In all the threatenings of God’s judgment against Israel in the latter days, there is always the mitigating reference to God’s future intervention and the deliverance of His ancient people and a re-instating of them in the land He promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob!
At the time of this final, all-out assault upon Israel, God will stir the hearts of the remaining remnant of His ancient people to call upon Him and pray thus. “Do unto them as unto the Midianites; as to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the brook of Kison,” verse 9. Their prayer continues: “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,” verses 13-17.
God will answer that prayer in its totality!
3. It should be noticed that at this time of spiritual awakening amongst the remnant of Israel, that are there in Jerusalem at the end, there is a recalling of God’s dealing with them in mercy in ancient times. That is presently not the case. The vail that is upon Israel blocks out a seeing of such mercy in the Old Testament Scriptures. But that will change when the Lord removes that veil of blindness. Paul wrote of this. “Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away,” 2 Corinthians 3:16. Thus they will pray in light of past deliverances. “Do unto them as unto the Midianites; as to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the brook of Kison.”
This is a reference to the deliverance wrought for Israel in the days of Gideon.
“And Gideon sent messengers throughout all mount Ephraim, saying, Come down against the Midianites, and take before them the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan. Then all the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and took the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan. And they took two princes of the Midianites, Oreb and Zeeb; and they slew Oreb upon the rock Oreb, and Zeeb they slew at the winepress of Zeeb, and pursued Midian, and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon on the other side Jordan,” Judges 7:24-25.
It should be noted that following this defeat of Israel’s enemies, back about 3300 years ago, it is stated: “Thus was Midian subdued before the children of Israel, so that they lifted up their heads no more. And the country was in quietness forty years in the days of Gideon,” Judges 8:28.
Indeed, so complete was their overthrow, the name of the Midianite nation never appears again in the Bible, except in this prophecy in Psalm 83 and in a like prophecy in Isaiah 9:4, 10:26 and Habakkuk 3:7. All of these references relate to a similar defeat of their enemies of Israel at the return of the Lord. There is one other reference in Isaiah 60:6, but that is of events in that age which is to dawn after the return of Christ and the redemption of the Jews.
“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee. The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the LORD,” Isaiah 60:1-6.
4. Psalm 83:18, sets forth the ultimate purpose of the redemption of Israel, indeed of all God’s wonderful works. “That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.”
Nothing will be more evident than this wonderful truth in that day when the Saviour returns to save Israel, overthrow His enemies and take up the reins of government of the kingdoms of this earth.
“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever,” Revelation 11:15.
“They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea,” Isaiah 11:9.
It is the blessed privilege of the Christian to know with assurance what lies ahead in this world, for the Jewish nation and for the redeemed of the Lord.
Christian, read and study what God has said and so enter into the joy of being one of God’s confidants.
“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand,” Revelation 1:1-3.
Rev Ivan Foster (Rtd)
6th December 2023