While most literate Christians have heard of the “War of Gog and Magog” in Ezekiel 38-39 there is another passage that might be closer on our horizon. Psalm 83 describes a confederacy of countries surrounding Israel who come together for one purpose.
Do not keep silent, O God!
Do not hold Your peace,
And do not be still, O God!
For behold, Your enemies make a tumult;
And those who hate You have lifted up their head.
They have taken crafty counsel against Your people,
And consulted together against Your sheltered ones.
They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation,
That the name of Israel may be remembered no more.”
For they have consulted together with one consent;
They form a confederacy against You:
The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites;
Moab and the Hagrites;
Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek;
Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre;
Assyria also has joined with them;
They have helped the children of Lot. Selah
– Psalm 83:1-8 (NKJV)
Verse 4 states this purpose: “They have said, ‘Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, That the name of Israel may be remembered no more.'” In other words, this confederacy wants Israel to be destroyed.
It is interesting that Iran has been very vocal in its desire to accomplish just this. For instance, a World Net Daily article on February 5, 2012 describes how the Iranian government “has laid out the legal and religious justification for the destruction of Israel and the slaughter of its people.” This is not an isolated sentiment; it’s well known that most of the Arab nations surrounding Israel would like nothing more than to see it gone.
The confederacy described in Psalm 83 uses the ancient names of surrounding nations. An article on the TrackingBibleProphecy.com is one of several sites that has analyzed the names and made a map of the surrounding nations.
One nation that seems to be set apart in the list is Assyria. The Psalm says Assyria has “joined” and “helped” these other nations. That would seem to indicate that Assyria is able to somehow enable the other nations in their effort against Israel. As if there is some special power behind Assyria.
Assyria does not exist today, but the nation which occupies that land today is the nation of Syria. There have been a number of recent events concerning Syria. The current Civil War in Syria is becoming bloodier and more violent by the second, as a World Net Daily article discusses. Another article from the same site discusses how Iran and its terrorist arm known as Hezbollah have effectively taken over Syria. The author, F. Michael Maloof, even goes so far as to say “Syria no longer exists.”
With Iran controlling Syria (Assyria of Psalm 83) it would have significant influence and power; enough to “help” the other nations of Psalm 83. Iran also brings nuclear weapon technology to the table. Additionally, Syria has chemical weapons of mass destruction, as documented in this article from NBC News.
A judgment upon Damascus, the capital of Syria, and surrounding areas is documented in both Jeremiah and Isaiah.
“Behold, Damascus will cease from being a city,
And it will be a ruinous heap.
The cities of Aroer are forsaken;
They will be for flocks
Which lie down, and no one will make them afraid.
The fortress also will cease from Ephraim,
The kingdom from Damascus,
And the remnant of Syria;
They will be as the glory of the children of Israel,”
Says the Lord of hosts.
– Isaiah 17:1-3 (NKJV)
“Hamath and Arpad are shamed,
For they have heard bad news.
They are fainthearted;
There is trouble on the sea;
It cannot be quiet.
Damascus has grown feeble;
She turns to flee,
And fear has seized her.
Anguish and sorrows have taken her like a woman in labor.
Why is the city of praise not deserted, the city of My joy?
Therefore her young men shall fall in her streets,
And all the men of war shall be cut off in that day,” says the Lord of hosts.
“I will kindle a fire in the wall of Damascus,
And it shall consume the palaces of Ben-Hadad.”
– Jeremiah 49:23-27 (NKJV)
The language here is something that has never happened to Damascus in its history; it is a future judgment. Israel must take the situation seriously, as a bordering country controlled by people who want to destroy them also now have means to do it. Psalm 83:2 is clear that the confederacy of surrounding nations is the enemy of God and hates Him. The judgment detailed in Jeremiah and Isaiah could come at the hands of Israel. God has often used nations as agents of His judgment.