Psalms and the Enemies of Israel

In the 4th chapter of his book, The Harmony of the Prophetic Word, Arno Gaebelein wrote about “The Nations the Enemies of Israel–Their Final Opposition to Jerusalem Followed by Judgment Upon Them.” As before, he begins with the OT Scriptures and moves to the New to show that all of God’s word is consistent in what it says about the future, and the book of Psalms is no exception. He says, “The Book of Psalms is full of prophetic descriptions of the enemies of Israel and the believing remnant; their prayers for the overthrow and destruction of these enemies are then not only timely but will also be answered.”

Consider, for instance, Psalm 2:1-3. Why are the nations in tumultuous agitation, and why do the peoples meditate a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the princes plot together against Jehovah and against His anointed. Let us break their bands asunder and cast away their cords.” Gaebelein explains that these verses describe the attitude of the nations during the final days of the current age, before the second coming of Christ. It is echoed in Psalm 46:6 which states, “The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved.”

He offers another picture of the nations’ opposition to the LORD and his people from Psalm 79:1-3. “O God, the nations are come into Thine inheritance, Thy holy temples have they defiled; they have laid Jerusalem in heaps. The dead bodies of Thy servants have they given to be meat unto the fowls of the heavens, the flesh of Thy saints unto the beasts of the earth: their blood have they shed like water round about Jerusalem. And there was none to bury them.” (Compare this with Rev. 11.) And another illustration is taken from Psalm 83:1-6. “O God, keep not silence; hold not Thy peace and be not still, O God: for behold Thine enemies make a tumult and they that hate Thee lift up the head and consult against Thy hidden ones; they say, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, and let the name of Israel be mentioned no more. For they have consulted together with one heart; they have made an alliance together against Thee.”

Gaebelein concludes that “we learn then that the nations are not alone the enemies of God’s chosen earthly people, but that at the end, immediately before the King is enthroned upon Zion’s hill, they will band themselves together, and, consulting together, they will form an unholy alliance against His people, against God, and His Anointed. It is true, history shows in the past such conspiracies of nations against the chosen nation, but the great and powerful alliance of the nations is yet to come. It falls in the period which we described in the last chapter, the great tribulation.” All through history, the nations have opposed God’s plan and his people, and this will not only continue but will intensify in the days immediately preceding the return of the King to earth.

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