Psalm 83: Victory - Gideon Style
Our Enemies Really Conspire - Not Against US - But Against The Lord.
Enemies of all sorts can come against us - from those who were once close to us to vicious enemies that are as cruel as the Nazis. And they "conspire together" against us.
But they are really conspiring against The Lord - NOT a good move on their part.
Realize that any attempt to wipe God's People from the face of the earth is an attack on the lineage of David so that Jesus would not ever be born.
Come, they say, let us destroy them as a nation,
so that Israel's name is remembered no more. (v 4)
That's very similar to when the state churches of Europe - who all presecuted and killed the Free Church Christians - tried to destroy the true believers from the face of the earth. They escaped - first to the Netherlands where they received some protection - and then finally to the Americas.
Now the gospel is preached - by HUGE numbers of Christians - in China, India, Africa, and South America - all over the earth. The gospel message isn't just SURVIVING - it is THRIVING.
The list of those who thought they just might beat God is long - and has grown through the centuries: The Roman Empire (gone), The U.S.S.R. - Soviet Russia (gone), Mao (dead and gone).
With that kind of batting average you'd think Satan would throw in the towel. But persecuting Christians is his only way to get at God. So the Islamic nations are now thinking they can build a dam that can keep the Holy Spirit out.
Islam is like the Moabites and Ammonites - the children of Lot. Lot and Abraham were very close. The Quran quotes the gospel of John - calling Jesus the "Messiah", "The Spirit Of God" and "The Word Of God". But this spiritual cousin is now full of hatred and attacking us.
The Coming Storm
When this Psalm was written the mighty and cruel empire of the Assyrians was just starting to move in:
"even Assyrians" (v 8)
even though they weren't really close enough to be neighbors.
This LETHAL THREAT actually DESTROYED the Northern Kingdom of Israel - and came very close to capturing Jerusalem and destroying the Southern Kingdom of Judah, too.
We can sense the beginnings of a worldwide antichrist regime - as the sense that hating Christians is good and acceptable becomes more common. We are likely to face an unbelievably brutal attack on our faith. Even now they want to control what our pastors and teachers teach the Church.
This Psalm may not mean much to us NOW - but soon it is likely to become VERY meaningful - even painfully so.
Not By Might Or By Power
The Midianites were defeated under the leading of a wonderful little prophetess named Deborah. It was a woman - Jael - who gave Sisera his "coup de grac" - after a cup of warm milk to lure him to his "dirt nap". Gideon had a tiny force of faithful warriors. And it was this tiny force that pursued "Zebah and Zalmunna" (v11) to their destruction.
The Church finally got it's marching orders from Jesus.
God did the marching. It was by His Mighty Hand that the gospel went forth WITH POWER.
We can organize a big evangelistic push. We can train young spiritual warriors by the dozen - and we ARE and WILL. But when we go into action we'll send the choir out at the front of the army. We will worship and praise our Lord - confident and resting in Him.
May are frightened and dismayed about the horrendous struggle described in the book of Revelation. But do you know what most people fail to notice? It will be a time of the greatest and most glorious miracles since the time of the apostles.
"Greater works will you do."
Read about that time. The Christians will most certainly do "greater works" - NOT because they are numerous and mighty. Politically they will have lost the power struggle - as it were. But GOD will do mighty things through this faithful remnant. No matter what your end times teaching happens to be, this much is obvious.
So we don't need to be afraid. We are sealed by God and under his protection.
We are what He calls, "those He CHERISHES" (v3).
It's wonderful to realize that HE CHERISHES US. And we must never forget that. He said, "Not a hair of your head will be harmed." Strange. But that's how we need to see it. We are spiritual, immortal and untouchable. HE will give us the victory.
Pray For Those Who Persecute You
Read what God's going to do with those who attack us and His Annointed One - Jesus. You'll find yourself feeling just a bit sorry for THEM. I really do feel bad for what happened to the Germans when the Nazis lost the war. It was HORRIBLE.
DId you know that one of Judah's kings actually died trying to PROTECT the Assyrians after their power was finally crushed (Josiah)? So pray for those who persecute us.
We will have the victory - though we be comparatively few in number - just as Gideon did.
Not by Might or by Power - but By His Spirit!