The Psalms are a wonderful collection of the poetry David created, as well as from other authors. Moses is credited to have written Psalm 90, and 12 Psalms (Psalm 50 and Psalms 73-83) are credited to Asaph. Asaph was one of the Temple leaders in charge of the musicians during the time of King David.
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It struck me that many of these psalms Asaph wrote don’t seem to be at the time of King David. They talk often of how God has abandoned his people and ask for his intervention to save them from their adversaries.
Here are some examples (all my quotes are from the CJB):
(1) Why have you rejected us forever, God? ;
(9-11) We see no signs, there is no prophet anymore; none of us knows how long it will last. How much longer, God, will the foe jeer at us? Will the enemy insult our name forever?
(1) God, the pagans have entered your heritage. They have defiled your holy temple and turned Yerushalayim into rubble.
(5) How long, Adonai? Will you be angry forever?
(15-17) God of armies, please come back! Look from heaven, see, and tend this vine! (referring to Yehuda) Protect what your right hand planted, the son you made strong for yourself.
It is clear to me that the references in these psalms could not have been at the time of David, or even Solomon since the kingdom did not have these issues of abandonment. However, when we consider that the Bible often refers to descendants using the name of their ancestor, even when it is generations later, these psalms could have been written by the descendants of Asaph, who would have been fulfilling the same role in the Second Temple during the time of Nehemiah as the original Asaph did under King David. If this is the case, then the references to God having judged, punished and abandoned the people, with their enemies having taken over, would make sense.
Now we come to Psalm 83. As I read this psalm, I was not transported back to the days of the Second Temple; on the contrary, I was thinking about today.
Verses 5-9 say this:
They say, “Come, let’s wipe them out as a nation; let the name of Israel be remembered no more!” With one mind they plot their schemes; the covenant they have made is against you- the tents of Edom and the Yishma’elim, Mo’av and the Hagrim, G’val, ‘Amon and ‘Amalek, P’leshet with those living in Tzor; Ashur too is allied with them, to reinforce the descendants of Lot.
Who are these countries today? They are Jordan, Iraq, and the surrounding countries. The plans they made to wipe out God’s people way back in the time of Nehemiah (about 450 BCE) are still being made this very day. Modern-day attacks are no different than what these ancient civilizations tried to do. Today, they fire rockets to kill innocent civilians, they build tunnels to invade the country, and there are even political attacks from European countries (such as the Brexit movement) and the United Nations. There are even attacks from within our own Congress! These recent activities were, and are, intended to do just what the Assyrians, Babylonians, Greeks, and Romans tried to do, which is to destroy God’s people.
Yet, Israel remains. And it is not just surviving, but thriving! And where are the Babylonians? The Philistines? The Romans? The Assyrians?
Let’s not stop there: what about the Crusades? The Spanish Inquisition? And, of course, the Nazi’s- where are they all today? Gone, and what is left of their country is no longer a world power. In fact, some of these countries are barely surviving.
Psalm 83 ends with a request to God to shatter and destroy the enemies of Israel, to let them be ashamed forever, and to let them know that “you alone, whose name is Adonai, is the Most High over all the Earth.”
I see the End Days approaching, prophecy coming true as the whole world seems to be reviving Anti-Semitism and coming against Israel. This is what the Prophets told us would happen, what Messiah said would happen, and what was revealed to John when he had his vision on the island of Patmos. God is done judging Israel- now he is turning his wrath upon the nations of the world, the Goyim, for their part in all they have done to try to destroy the apple of God’s eye.
We should be calling out to God for his help, but not to stop the terror. Yes, pray for Israel, but not that it finds a peace which men make, but that it finds the eternal peace God will provide for it. That means it must go through the fire, so pray for the trip to be swift.
We are going to be hurt. Israel and the Jewish people, as well as those that support them, will not be judged, but as the nations are judged the Jewish people will feel the brunt of the hatred that the nations will have for God’s punishment. It is inevitable, it is no longer coming but has already arrived, and it will get worse! It’s fine to pray and cry for relief, but I recommend you also steel yourself for the coming tsuris. Pray for strength, pray to maintain your faith, and pray that God’s work is finished swiftly.
I do not look forward to the destruction, strife, and evil that will be perpetrated in the near future. No one wants this to happen, but it is God’s plan and I will not turn my face away from God. I do not want to hear someone tell me, “Get thee behind me, Satan!” There has never been a lasting peace between men, so why waste time asking for it? And why even expect that it could happen?
Do the right thing and ask God to send the Messiah so we can have eternal peace, the kind that only God can create.
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Until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!