Hezbollah, Lebanon and the Palestinians
Fulfilling Prophecy – Psalm 83
Remember Hezbollah? Back in 1983 it was the
perpetrator of the truck bomb murder of 241 US Marine peacekeepers
while they were sleeping in their Beirut barracks. Hezbollah soon
became a state within the state of Lebanon — flexing its terrorist
muscles with impunity. So much so that the UN finally passed
Resolution 1559 requiring the disbanding and disarming of Hezbollah.
Of course, Lebanon never did this.
In June, Hezbollah initiated a terrorist raid
into Israel killing members of an Israeli army patrol and kidnapping
two Israeli soldiers. This was nothing new, but enough was enough.
Israel demanded the return of their kidnapped soldiers alive and a
withdrawal of Hezbollah’s highly sophisticated military bases from
southern Lebanon. Hezbollah refused. Tired of waiting for the
enforcement of UN Resolution 1559 requiring the disbanding and
disarming of Hezbollah, Israel took the role of the enforcer.
Israel’s surgical bombing of Hezbollah’s civilian-shielded bunkers
began. After a week, ground troops attacked Hezbollah’s strategic
rocket-launching sites that were raining havoc on northern Israel.
Another Israeli-Arab war had begun. Hezbollah’s rockets were solely
targeting the Israeli civilian population, whereas Israeli bombing
targeted Hezbollah sites that were bunkered under civilian
structures surrounded by civilian occupied buildings.
After the death of Mohammed in AD 633, the Arab
armies swarmed out of the Arabian Peninsula, pushing westward in
North Africa to the Atlantic Ocean and eastward to India.
Consequently, there are now 52 Arab states. Additionally, there are
Moslem nations like Turkey and Iran that have a large minority of
But, a very special portion of land in the
Middle East was spared Arab domination — the land of Israel. Israel
had been a disobedient people. Therefore, in AD 70 God permitted the
Roman army to temporarily disburse His people from their land during
a “double” period (1845 years) of punishment. The land of Israel was
to remain relatively sparse of population — “desolate of man and
beast.” Jeremiah 16:13-18; 33:10. After the “double” ended in 1878,
Jews were miraculously permitted to return to their land. Finally
the UN partition vote granted them the opportunity to establish an
independent state in 1948. The Arabs would have none of this. Armies
of six Arab nations stormed the newborn Israeli State. Outnumbered
600 to 1, God gave the victory to Israel. Three more wars followed.
Miracles happened. Israel won each war. Why?
Psalm 83 appears to describe an ongoing
conflict between Israel and the Arabs that will climax in a final
war in which Israel will win a decisive victory over the Arabs.
Psalm 83 is a prayer in which Israel asked the Lord for deliverance
from a group of nations that verses 3-5 show are united in a
confederacy or league for one purpose — the destruction of the
nation of Israel. In the 1950s the Arab League of Nations was
actually formed. It united the Arab nations together for the very
purpose of the destruction of Israel.
Verse 6 mentions some of these nations. Bible
scholars and historians agree that ancient Israel was never
confronted by such an elaborate alliance of nations, namely,
Ishmaelites, Edom, Ammon, Amalek, Hagarenes, Gebal and the
Philistines. Therefore, this prophecy must have an end-time
fulfillment. These Old Testament territories are in modern times the
nations of Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Syria.
Obviously the Philistines represent the
Palestinians. Edom, Moab, and Ammon occupied what is the
modern state of Jordan. Gebal is Lebanon (Joshua 13:5,6.)
Iraq was populated by the Hagarenes or Hagarites that dwelt
east of Gilead in the wilderness of the River Euphrates (1
Chronicles 5:1,9,10.) The Ishmaelites settled what is today
Saudi Arabia and Ishmael’s eldest son, Nabajoth, is
identified with Syria.
Lebanon (Gebal) and Tyre play a
prominent role in Psalm 83. Hezbollah is headquartered in Tyre which
has been heavily attacked by Israel’s army in this current war. Back
in the 1970s the PLO had 6,000 Palestinian terrorists in southern
Lebanon creating havoc in Galilee, northern Israel. Thousands more
Palestinians were amassed in the environs of Tyre where Arafat was
Finally on June 6, 1982, in “Operation Peace of
Galilee” the Israeli army invaded Lebanon and pushed the
Palestinians back to Tyre. Israel was ready to take Arafat
and the upper echelon of PLO leaders captive. But something
incredible happened. Bewildered and bitterly disappointed Israel
watched as the US Navy intervened and gave Arafat and his henchmen
safe passage to Tunis. Meanwhile US Marines were stationed in Beirut
to keep the peace. That’s when Hezbollah, a new Shiite terrorist
group, murdered the US Marines. This caught the eye of Iran, the
theological center for Shiite Moslems. Through Syria, Iran
bankrolled and provided the military might for Hezbollah.
The Israeli army retreated to southern Lebanon
where it maintained a buffer zone to prevent terrorist attacks on
northern Israel. Syria and Iran have been transforming Hezbollah
into a highly professional army with some of Russia’s most
sophisticated rockets, anti-tank missiles and other Russian weapons.
Hezbollah soldiers, rocket launchers and weapons are bunkered down
in civilian population centers throughout southern Lebanon. If
Israel becomes a threat to Iran, it is Hezbollah’s job to take on
Israel. As Hezbollah increased in military might, it harassed
Israel’s buffer zone demanding that Israel withdraw from southern
Four Israeli mothers who lost sons in the conflict with Hezbollah started the “Four
Mothers in Black” campaign for the removal of all Israeli troops from southern
Lebanon. A majority of Israeli public concurred. In 2000 Labor Prime
Minister Barak withdrew all Israeli troops from Lebanon, naively
thinking Hezbollah would be satisfied. It was not. Hezbollah rockets
continued to hit Israel. The
international community did nothing to enforce UN Resolution 1559.
Nothing! Ariel Sharon made the same mistake in the
Gaza unilateral withdrawal. Now PLO / Hamas rockets are being fired
from Gaza all over southern Israel.
Lebanese war is difficult. Why? Hezbollah’s army was
inspired, trained and armed by Iran.
Still for many it is
disappointing. Even if Israel finally wins, it will have suffered
heavy losses. Never before was Israel’s civilian population so
devastated. Why isn’t the Lord giving Israel a decisive victory as
in the past? Perhaps this is the Lord’s way of teaching Israel not
to give up land the Lord permitted them to gain. After all, He did
promise Israel most of Lebanon up to Hamath. Some feel the least
Israel could have done was keep part of southern Lebanon for a
Added to this
sad outlook is the prospect that the current Israeli Government
leadership has expressed the position that this war is impetus to
carry our further withdrawals. That would mean more dismantling of
communities within the historic heartland of Israel—Judea and
Samaria (commonly called the West Bank). The unilateral “convergence
plan’ would further strip Israelis from their Biblical roots and
raise more questions about the security of distance which legitimate
control of Judea and Samaria offer the State of Israel.
Israeli-Arab conflict will eventually culminate in a complete
victory for Israel. The prayer of Psalm 83 will be answered by the
Lord. Israel will take back any land given up. Additionally, she
will acquire parts of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and all of Gaza. Isaiah
11:14; Zephaniah 2:3-10; Zechariah 10:10; Obadiah 19-20 (NIV).
A final comment on Psalm 83. Verse
8 ASV. “Assyria also is joined with them; They have
helped the children of Lot.” Assyria could refer to Iraq;
however, verse 6 identified the Hagarenes
as symbolizing Iraq. Assyria is used in many Israel end-time
prophecies to symbolize Russia. For example Micah 5:5, and Zechariah
10:10. The Greek word for helped literally means strong
arm which could symbolize military help. When Russia was a
super-power vying with the US for world supremacy it supplied the
Arab nations with military hardware. Why? So the Arabs could defeat
Israel, the US ally, leaving Russia the dominant force in the oil
rich Middle East. In the early 1990s, Russia on the verge of
bankruptcy toppled as a world power. Economics have changed. Russia
once again is aspiring to attain world supremacy. Russia is not only
arming Iran but in fulfillment of Psalm 83 is once again the strong
arm of the Arab nations.
televangelists are heralding the invasion of Gog, Ezekiel 38, as the
next prophetic step in the Middle East. But the Scriptures indicate
the above-mentioned decisive Israeli-Arab war must first be fought.
Then Israel will enjoy a short period of peace and security. Ezekiel
38:11. After this Ezekiel 38 will occur—an invasion by Russia allied
with a group of nations including Iran (Persia). Iran never seems to
give up, but Iran will finally learn not to oppose Israel. God will
fight for Israel as in the days of old, and Christ’s Kingdom will be
established in Jerusalem and encircle the globe. Ezekiel 38, 39 and
Zechariah 14. The ultimate boundaries of Israel as defined in
Genesis 15:18 will be acquired after Christ’s Kingdom is fully set
in-depth Bible study on this subject, write or
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Israeli-Arab Peace Process and Bible Prophecy.”