A Psalm of Asaph
“God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods. How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah. Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked. They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course. I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes. Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations.”
Introduction: the judgment of the judges
“Psalm 82 and 83 are the last Psalms of Asaph, our friend. We’ve been through the last ten Psalms with him. Again, a remarkable man. We are told in 2nd Chronicles chapter 29, verse 30 in fact, let me read it if I can find it here. It says, “Moreover, Hezekiah the king and the princes commanded the Levites to sing praise unto the LORD, with the words of David, and of Asaph the Seer.” So Asaph known in the days of David as a prophet, before they’re called prophets we’re told they called them Seers. And they knew Asaph had a prophetic gift, so as he writes down these last two Psalms, that come through his quill, the LORD, the Holy Spirit ministering through him, he does something very interesting. In Psalm 82, he writes about the judgment of the judges. That whatever the Supreme Court, its foundation is on dirt, is not the same as the Supreme Court is in heaven. And that those whom God has appointed, in Romans 13 it tells us civil magistrates, civil authorities, are to the be messengers and the servants of God, and they’re going to be judged. And particularly in Israel, they were to be judged. Look, Abraham said to the LORD in Genesis 18 when he was going to judge Sodom and Gomorrah, and he was worried because Lot, he had relatives there, Abraham said to God, ‘Certainly, shall not the judge of all the earth do right?’ And certainly, because the Lord is the ultimate Judge, and we believe that he’s righteous, that he’s fair, that he’s benevolent, he’s merciful [as demonstrated in John 8:1-11], certainly the Judge of all the earth does right. But he had appointed in Israel, judges, in and amongst the children of Israel, that would hear cases, and that would make decisions in those cases. Unlike our jurisprudence system, it was a much purer form, it was directly from the Word of God. Though many of our things [within our laws and Constitution] are from the Word of God in our jurisprudence system, in those days, they opened the Scroll of the Word of God, and made decisions according to the Word of God. So in Exodus 21, verse 6, Exodus 22, verses 8, and twice in verse 9, the judges are called “elohim”, “gods.” Jesus, in an argument with the Pharisees in John chapter 10, it says the Jews wanted to stone him, and then he says ‘For what, what good work are you stoning me for?’ and they say ‘For a good work we stone thee not, but for blasphemy and because thou being a man, makest thyself God.’ Jesus answered them “Is it not written in your Law, I said ye are gods?” If you look down in verse 6 here of Psalm 82, it says “I have said, Ye are gods;” made them judges. So Jesus says ‘Hey, it’s written in your own Word, I said, ‘Ye are gods.’ If he called them gods, unto whom the Word of God came, and the Scripture can not be broken,’ as they were supposed to judge, then he says ‘Say ye of him whom the Father hath sanctified and sent into the world, ‘Thou blasphemest because I said I am the Son of God?’ So Jesus used this verse, acknowledging that the judges of Israel had been given that title. Because as they judged the nation, it was strictly by the Word of God, so they were speaking on his behalf. And in the several places where they’re actually called ‘elohim.’ It isn’t the heresy that has gotten into the Church [greater Body of Christ] through Copeland and Hagen, that you’re gods, and they go back to the Old Testament, and they elevate human beings more than they were ever meant to be elevated. It’s the oldest lie in the Book, Satan comes to Eve and says ‘The day you eat thereof you shall be as God.’ So he’s going to debunk all of that in this Psalm, and what he’s going to say, look, in a judicial system, and it should be good for us to hear, as we look at our nation, and we wonder, ‘What are they doing!?’ with some of the decisions they make. It should be good for us to hear that he’s looking down, saying, ‘Wait! You are supposed to be making decisions on my behalf, there’s a standard of righteousness, and even if you are a civil servant, you’re supposed to judge the poor, and the less fortunate, in a way that’s representative of what’s right and what’s wrong.’ So he has some very plain and clear challenges to the judges, and in his day, and it is the problem of every generation. This Psalm is not dated, because the truths here are timeless. The first verse and the last verse, verse 1 and verse 8, Asaph is speaking. Beginning in verse 2 to verse 7 God speaks. So it’s an interesting Psalm. Asaph calls “Court in session” in verse 1, “God standeth” he says, “in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.” i.e. ‘the elohim, the judges of Israel.’ God is having this song written against the judges of Israel in a failed judicial system. God now speaks in verse 2, the indictment comes. “How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah.” They were taking bribes. There’s the indictment. Look, see that little word Selah there? You remember what that means? ‘Hey, what do you think about that?’ It’s really easy for me, again, because I have a granddaughter named Selah. She’s seven now, birthday’s today, which means her twin brother’s birthday is also today. My mother is a fraternal twin, my wife is an identical twin, you can inherit that. You can’t inherit that, that’s just a shot in the dark, and you happen to get identical twins. Fraternal twins are inherited because you’ve had to spit out two eggs in a cycle, so every fifth cycle you could have fraternal twins again, just for those of you who are worried about that. And no one can calculate the fifth cycle because it gets all messed up after birth, so you only know it happens again (when it happens again). But my granddaughter’s named Selah, and ah, she says things, and I think ‘That’s a good name for her.’ You know, she was four, she’s a carnivore like me, and at Christmas I always make a seven rib standing rib roast, I mean, that’s expensive, it’s a big piece of meat, but it brings the whole family. Free meat, they all come, you know, it just, and it’s wonderful, there isn’t anything, I envy no man when I’m with my wife and my kids and my grandkids, I don’t envy a billionaire, I envy no man, I set there, I look at that crew, I think ‘Man oh man.’ And Selah loves, “It’s almost Christmas time Selah, you know what that means?” Now you think she would say “Presents”, she says “Grandpa’s Christmas meat!” That’s what she thinks about, when Christmas is coming. So when she was four, we were sitting at the table, she likes it kind of rare, like me, you know, cut off it’s horn, put it on the plate. And she said “Put a little salt on there.” She’s a little four-year-old with one of those little funny forks that’s not a real fork, and I put the salt on and she’s eating it, and she says “When I grow up, I’m going to marry grandpa.” And I thought, ‘What do you think about that?’ That’s a perfect, you know, just explanation of Selah, ‘What do you think about that?’ And we’re going to see that here in the Psalm, God’s saying something remarkable, he says “How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked?” Look, they ain’t getting away with anything. Wherever you think there’s injustice in the world, they’re not getting away with it. You know, it’s interesting, even amongst lawyers, in regards to premeditated murder, when they get somebody off the hook, there’s a saying amongst trial lawyers, and it’s “Nobody gets away with the Big One.” because inevitably they see somebody who they got off who they know is guilty, end up in a car wreck, end up with a disease, end up an alcoholic, they have this saying amongst trial lawyers, “Nobody gets away with the Big One.” But there’s a bigger saying than that, and it’s right here, ‘Nobody gets away with it, nobody gets away with it.’ Look, these judges, the Supreme Court today, all the District Judges, all the judges that say “Take ‘Under God’ out of the Pledge of Allegiance’” are gonna stand under God, one day, and explain why they were so adamant about that. And in God’s Court Room, there’s no appeals. There’s no defense when you stand before him, because he’s omniscient, he knows everything, he knows the end from the beginning, so you can’t make an appeal, because you can’t say anything he don’t know. You can’t defend yourself, because he knows everything. So his verdict is final. And it’s good for us, as we go into these things, you know, even for me to take inventory, you know, I want to live my life now, the right way, just so when I do stand before him, I don’t regret anything I did in January, 2014.
God’s Indictment Of The Judges In The World---For Not Delivering The Poor, Needy and Fatherless
Here is God’s indictment, verse 2, “How long will ye [judges] judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah.” ‘You’re all playing games, you’re taking bribes. What do you think about that?’ Then he comes back, and he challenges them, and the challenge implies that they’re not doing the things that he said. Look, ‘he has shown thee O man, what is good and what the LORD desires of you, that you do good, you walk justly, you show mercy before your God.’ They weren’t doing any of those things. So he says here to them in verse 3, imagine if this was the rule of our land in America amongst all judges. First of all, “Defend the poor and fatherless:” he says that because they weren’t doing it, “do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.” (verses 3-4) He says ‘Defend them,’ then he says ‘Deliver them,’ “rid them out of the hand of the wicked.” ‘Don’t let other people take advantage of them,’ and he says, “They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course.” (verse 5) God then says of these judges. King James says “are out of course.” It means “are tottering, they’re shaking.” That’s because, look, the foundations of the earth are not geological, the foundations of the earth are not granite or stone, the earth is a stage for the drama of redemption to be enacted upon. The earth is just a stage for humankind, to live out it’s pilgrimage and discover the True and Living God. And he says ‘When humankind is so unjust and so cruel, the very foundations of what the earth is supposed to be is tottering.’ And this evening, look, we look around us, we see what’s going on in our nation, we see what’s going on in the world, we just see the insanity around us. But look at, the last verse says “Arise, O God, judge the earth:” the reason, “for thou shalt inherit all nations.” (verse 8) The good news is, this ain’t the end. It is not just going to get worse and worse and worse and worse and worse and worse and worse and worse till we’re barricaded in our house with brown rice and water and shotguns. That ain’t gonna happen. Jesus is coming. He’s coming. And he’s going to make everything right. There’s going be an age of peace, where men beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruninghooks [literally, scythes], and men are not going to learn war anymore, and the knowledge of the LORD is going to cover the earth as the waters cover the sea [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/kingdomofgod/mkg1.htm] I’m gonna sit around and cry for the first 100 or 200 years. It’s coming. And look, here’s the trouble, it’s just, any politician that stands in front of us and says ‘I’m going to fix the economy,’ look, I’m 63, I’ve been listening to this for a long time, they all say the same thing. The might and the blessing on a nation depends on its righteousness. You can’t slaughter a million babies a year, you can’t thumb your nose in the face of God, you can’t throw morality out the window and resurrect the economy. Because God’s the one whose in charge. If we would get to our knees, if we would get to our senses, if the Church [greater Body of Christ] catches fire, and a grass-root revival sweeps across this nation, we could see some wonderful things happen. But we have a problem, look, our judicial system, our legislative system, the executive branch, we should support the poor and needy, everybody in this country should have medical. People in this country that need food should be able to eat. We’re a wealthy nation. But the problem is, human beings are sinful. So when you make something available for free, the people who don’t need it for free, abuse the system, and it costs the system more, when you got to get to the people that really have a need. Then they want to condemn the fat cats on the other end, and the problem with the fat cats, the millionaires, is a hundred years ago they built hospitals, and they built orphanages, and they reached out and they helped less fortunate people. The problem is today, there’s sinful people amongst the fat cats, some of them are doing great things, but you got these guys on Wall Street and Fanny Maye and Freddy Mack and all who ripped everybody off because they’re just greedy. There’s sinful human beings on both ends of the system. That’s the problem. And God has things to say about it. But it also says ‘If my people,’ we can point at Hollywood, we can point at the Grammy’s, we can point, he says ‘If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and turn from their wicked ways and seek my face, if my people will do that, then I will look down from heaven and heal their land,’ and I know the context that it was in. But it’s still the Word of God.
Be Careful How You Judge, You Judges, Because You’re All Gonna Die Like Everybody Else
God’s heart is “Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.” (verses 3-4) But he says, “They know not,” the judges, “neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth” they’re tottering, “are out of course.” (verse 5) “I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High” he had given the position of civil government, “But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.” (verses 6-7) He said, ‘Keep in mind, you think you’re something now,’ he says to the judicial system, to the judges, ‘be careful when you’re exercising authority and you’re making calls, because you’re gonna die like’ literally it’s ‘humankind, you’re gonna die like everybody else. You’re headed to the same place everybody else is headed, a hole in the ground.’ Sobering, when you hear it from him. “ye shall all die like humankind, and fall like one of the princes” and then Asaph, the Psalmist again, cries at the end, “Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations.” (verse 8) and we know his judgment is just, it’s going to be merciful, that’s a great day when it begins to happen. “Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations.” There’s no debate there, I like that, that’s a great, great thing. So if you’re having bad day, or watching the news, or it’s driving you crazy, ‘Why are they making those decisions?’ just go back and read Psalm 82 and get everything back in perspective. There’s a better deal coming, you know, the universal healthcare is on its way.
A Song or Psalm of Asaph
“Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God. For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head. They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones. They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee: the tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot. Selah. Do unto them as unto the Midianites; as to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the brook of Kison: which perished at Endor: they became as dung for the earth. Make their nobles like Oreb, and like Zeeb: yea, all their princes as Zebah, and as Zalmunna: who said, Let us take to ourselves the houses of God in possession. O my God, make them like a wheel; as the stubble before the wind. As the fire burneth a wood, and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire; so persecute them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm. Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, O LORD. Let them be confounded and troubled for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish: that men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.”
Psalm 83, the last Psalm of Asaph. You know, it’s interesting, this is really prophetic. You read through it, you hear about Israel’s enemies, the enemies of God’s people. It puts it in the context of a confederacy of ten nations that have come against God’s people. Certainly, with Fawcett, you know the commentaries by Jamison Fawcett & Brown, Fawcett over a hundred years ago, said this Psalm awaits a future fulfillment in the Last Days. He ends by using the word JEHOVAH. Look in verse 18 of Psalm 83, “That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.” This is the LORD taking his place over all of the nations of the earth, there’s not going to be any confusion about who this is. ‘Everybody’s got their God,’ no, this is THE GOD, the God of Israel, the Living God, Jehovah. And there’s only four places in the Old Testament when the translators wrote out “Jehovah.” When you read through your King James, at least, wherever there’s a capital L, capital O, capital R, capital D, that indicates that in the Hebrew the word is YAHWEH. YHVH, the Tetragrammaton, Jehovah. Wherever you have Lord, capital L, small o, r, d, the word is Adonai, and that can be applied mostly to the Lord, but to a human being also. But this is so emphatic, here, Exodus chapter 6, verse 3, Isaiah chapter 12, verse 2, and Isaiah 26, verse 4 are the four places in the Old Testament that the translators felt there was such emphasis in the grammar, there was such an emphasis, that they actually wrote out the word Jehovah. So we have it here. All of the things that are going to happen in this Psalm, finally the prayer is, “that men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.” (verse 18) So we head into this last Psalm by Asaph the Seer. Certainly it is a prophetic Psalm. Let’s read, the first four verses kind of tell us of the prayer for deliverance, the cry for deliverance, then verse 5 down to verse 8 give us the nations aligned against God’s people. Verse 9 to 12, the Psalmist Asaph says, ‘Look, remember what you did in the past, in the days of the Judges, when the Midianites, in the days of Gideon, how you moved supernaturally, when the odds where so huge against us, we didn’t stand a chance, and you moved and you delivered us. Do it again.’ And then verses 13 down to 18 he says, ‘LORD, use nature, use whatever you do, and turn ultimately in the process, to turn the hearts of men to yourself.’ You know, that’s revival. And that’s what we should pray for. But let’s look into it.
He begins the first four verses, Asaph, again, no exact historic fit. As you read the nations here, there’s no historic battle where they can specifically identify this group of enemies, this “confederacy.” Neither is there one in the future. But still it’s a picture of ten nations, gathered around Israel, to destroy Israel, which is not old news, that’s this morning. It says, “Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God. For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head. They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones.” the Hebrews, those hidden ones, hidden by you (O LORD), “They have said,” tell me if you’ve heard this in the news anytime lately, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.” (verses 1-4) It seems we’ve heard that, haven’t we. First there’s the plea, ‘LORD, keep not silent, hold not your peace, be not still,’ because sometimes God in his silence seems disengaged. Sometimes that’s misinterpreted. Sometimes in your life and in my life, in much less of a problem, when we’re crying out to him, we’re asking ‘Lord, you have to get involved, you gotta help me out, you gotta do this, this is unjust, what’s happening? This is gonna be bad, God, if you don’t bail me out of this,’ and it seems to linger, it seems to go on, and we misinterpret his silence as inactivity, as ambivalence, ‘he doesn’t care.’ And you look at the world we’re living in today, he’s been silent in one sense for a long time. And I always again sense, when it gets quiet over in the Middle East, something’s cooking, there’s always something cooking over there, something’s always wheeling and dealing and shaking under the current, something going on over there. But here the Psalmist says, ‘LORD, don’t do this, don’t keep silent, don’t hold your peace, don’t be still O God, you need to move,’ “For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head.” (verse 2) ‘For, lo, consider this,’ imagine saying this to God, “consider this.” You ever done that? ‘Lord, did you ever think of this? How bad it’s gonna look if this happens to your pastor? Your rep’s on the line here, Lord.’ “For, lo,” consider this, “thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head.” ‘LORD, they’re not just our enemies, your enemies make a tumult.’ “they that hate thee have lifted up the head. They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones.” (verses 2-3) that’s always the way it goes. You know, Jesus would say to Saul of Tarsus, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me, it’s hard to kick against the goads.” Because when people hate God, they go after his people, because God’s not around to hassle. I mean, he’s out of reach. So when people in this world are mad about righteousness or truth, when people in this world are aggravated by Biblical morality, they go after God’s people. He says here, ‘LORD, they hate you, they’re your enemies, but they’ve taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thine hidden ones, those hidden by you,’ literally in the Hebrew, that God knows how to care for his people. And this is what they’ve said, “They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.” (verse 4) God’s people, from being a nation, isn’t that remarkable? Because from 70AD to 1948, that couldn’t be said. Now that they’re back in the land again, we’re hearing those voices raised. Look, anti-Semitism is Satanic. God has a special role for the nation of Israel and for the city of Jerusalem. His Son Jesus is going to come and rule the earth from Jerusalem, for a thousand years. Paul takes the time to tell us in Romans chapter 11, ‘Has God cast off his ancient people? God forbid, that hasn’t happened.’ There’s still a plan. If you don’t believe me, go home and watch the news. This is what they’re saying ‘Let us cut them off from being a nation,’ we hear it again, in our day. We hear it in the U.N. when the Iranian leader spoke there, “that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.” (verse 4b) cut off, not gonna be there. That’s their prime objective.
The Ten Nation Confederacy Against Israel
Now, verses 5 through 8 kind of give us the confederacy. It says “For they have consulted together with one consent:” the Hebrew is “with one heart” this is an emotional thing, “they are confederate against thee:” ‘it isn’t against us, LORD, they’re confederate against you,’ “the tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot. Selah.” Edom is on the southeast of Jerusalem, of Israel, the area of Petra, if you’ve been with us, we’ve been there [but since this is prophetic, it also includes who Edom has become historically, which is the Turkish race, from Turkey stretching all the way through parts of Siberia to Mongolia, see http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophets/edom/Edom%20in%20Prophecy%201.html] “the Ishmaelites and Hagarenes” most of them are northeast of the land of Israel today [actually, Ishmael are the Arabs in general, and the Hagarenes would be the Arabic Egyptians of today]. “Moab,” and the second name “Ammon,” those are the sons of Lot, and those are Amman, Jordan today, Moab and Ammon are to the east of God’s people, of Israel. “Gebal and Tyre” which he’s going to name in the end of that verse, are up north and northwest. “Amalek” would be amongst the people southwest. The “Philistines” with the inhabitants of Tyre, the Philistines, Gaza today, on the west side of Israel, the inhabitants of Tyre, northwest. And then “Assur,” the progenitors of Assyria, the most dominant power, far to the north, outside the rest of these. It’s very interesting, it says “Assur is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot. Selah.” it’s literally “they have become an arm for the children of Lot. What do you think about that?” [Comment: Ancient Assyria, after they were conquered by the Babylonian Empire under Nebuchadnezzar and his father, many of them as armed refugees, fled northwestward into what is now Germany. Many of the incredible warlike traits found in the Huns, and later the Germans during two World Wars, directly mirror the ancient Assyrians. In one bass-relief of an ancient Assyrian battering-ram machine, the machine resembles a modern battle-tank. In prophecies found in Isaiah, it says Assyria will be the rod of punishment God uses against his people Israel during the end-times. This is not talking about the people now living in the region of ancient Assyria along the Caspian Sea.] So it gives us this confederation of ten nations, nations today, Arab, Muslim nations surrounding Israel, that are determined to wipe them off of the face of the map [except for Assur, which will probably end up leading a future coming United States of Europe, the future Beast Power of Revelation 13 and 17, and Daniel 7. See, http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophecies/2ndcoming_4.htm]. I don’t believe that Psalm 83 gives us a battle other than Ezekiel 38, or Armageddon, this is probably pointing us to Armageddon, it’s just giving us the picture, the lesson here is not so much the geographical identification of the nations. As it is, that like always, God’s ancient people are surrounded by enemies, and God himself, like he always has, is going to stand up, and he’s going to handle that in such a way, that he will get the glory, nobody’s going to touch his glory. That’s the lesson here. This ten nation confederacy, and the arm of them in the far north [Germany, with the U.S. of Europe], it’s kind of contemporary when you look at what’s happening in. It’s interesting, you see Putin made a statement today, that America’s becoming an immoral and Godless nation. Imagine Russia saying that about us. It’s pretty remarkable. Because they were, for a long time, from Czar Nicholas all the way up, some change, revival has gotten into Russia, imagine them saying that about us. ‘OK here’s the nations, surrounding Israel, LORD, these are our enemies, these are the ones that are saying ‘Let’s wipe Israel off the face of the map,’ and by the way, Putin’s not happy with Israel. When Putin was just there a little while ago, he met with Netanyahu. Netanyahu said ‘Well what about Iran?’ he [Putin] said, ‘Ya, ya, don’t worry, we’ll take care of that.’ What about Assad in Syria, ‘Ya, ya, we’ll take care of that.’ ‘Well, what do you want to talk about?’ ‘The natural gas,’ the largest natural gas fields in the world now, off the shore of Israel. Because that’s one of Russia’s, Russia is one of the largest natural gas exporters in the world. Now Israel has larger natural gas fields than Russia. Putin said ‘I want to talk about them.’ Netanyahu said ‘That’s not up for negotiation. We can talk, but that’s not up for a deal.’ And he [Putin] left Israel, angry. It’s about the gold, it’s the golden rule, he who has the gold rules, that’s the golden rule. So it’s interesting, even in this picture, you have all of these nations, and then their arm which is aiding them, what’s abetting them, is a large dominant nation to the north.
‘Remember, O LORD, How You Defeated Our Enemies In The Past---Do That Now’
Here’s what Asaph now, crying out, says “Do unto them as unto the Midianites; as to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the brook of Kison: which perished at Endor: they became as dung for the earth.” (verses 9-10) here’s some information we don’t get in Judges, specifically, about Endor. “they became as dung for the earth.” Remember that first battle there, with Debra and Barak, and Sisera comes, it says they had 900 chariots of iron, when they came. Those are [in today’s way of viewing it] 900 Abrams tanks. You have to understand that culture. Nobody could stand against that, nobody could deal with that on the plains of Jezreel. And they come to do battle against God’s people, and every natural means of measuring that circumstance would say ‘We are goners, we’re doomed, there’s no way out of this, no we can’t stand up against this.’ And you know what happened? God turned on the spigot, and it started to rain, and the whole battle field there at Armageddon, the Valley of Jezreel turned into mud. All of the chariot wheels stuck in the ground, the horses couldn’t pull them, and Barak and his archers and his spearmen, Sisera’s charioteers were sitting ducks, they mowed them down, though they were vastly outnumbered. And Sisera then fled. And he ran into the wrong girl on the wrong day. Ran into a girl named Jael, she said ‘You’re tired, you look worn out, why don’t you take a nap in my tent. In fact, I’ll give you some warm milk to help you doze off.’ And it said when Sisera fell asleep Jael went in, and she took a tent stake, which is about this long, and a mallet, hahaha, you gotta love this girl. And he was snoring, sleeping, she put the tent stake on his temple and took a mallet and drove it through his head, nailed his head to the ground, the big, scary Sisera that nobody stands a chance against, just got pegged to the ground by Jael, in the tent. Isn’t that funny how God can turn things, girls don’t get any ideas, this is an Old Testament situation, this is not getting rid of a husband that snores, it’s none of that here. This was the hand of God in a remarkable situation against a vast and powerful enemy. ‘You know, here are all these ten nations [during the time of the end], we’re all surrounded, there’s no way LORD, you have move, you can’t remain silent, do what you did, we have a history, we know what you’ve done in the past, you’ve done this, LORD, this remarkable victory you won here.’ Then he says in verse 11, “Make their nobles like Oreb, and like Zeeb: yea, all their princes as Zebah, and as Zalmunna: who said, Let us take to ourselves the houses of God in possession.” (verses 11-12) This is during the days of Gideon, the first battles were in Judges 4 and 5, now we’re up to Judges 6 through 8, and Oreb and Zeeb were the commanders of the Midianite forces. Zebah and Zalmunna were Midianite kings. And it says they came over the land like locusts, there were 135,000 of them. And there were Amalekites mixed amongst them. And you had Gideon threshing the grain, and the LORD said, ‘Mighty man of valour,’ and Gideon said, ‘Who, me? I’m out here grinding grain in a secret place because I’m worried about getting killed, my father’s house is the least in our tribe, and I’m the least of my father’s house, you got the wrong Gideon.’ God calls him, sets him apart. And of course, they gather thousands, thousands to go to battle against the 135,000, and yet they’re so far outmanned. And God said, ‘I don’t want to do it this way,’ you know he whittled him down to 300, you know the story. 300 Israelites against 135,000 Midianites. And God said, ‘Alright, take these bowls, light a torch, put it inside the bowl, everybody get a trumpet in your hand, and when it’s dark tonight,’ I’m sure God made it overcast that night, ‘I want 300 of you guys to come running down the hills, break the bowls, so they hear all this crazy noise,’ they look up and all of a sudden all these flames appear out of nowhere, and everybody’s blowing their trumpets, like there’s armies running down the hill, and it says the Midianites got up and slaughtered each other, because it was dark. You can’t see whose in front of your shotgun, everybody’s just pulling the trigger, they’re stabbing each other, it says they wiped themselves out. It says they captured Oreb and Zeeb, means the Raven and the Wolf, it’s what their names mean, and they put them to death, and Zebah and Zalmunna escaped, the kings of the Midianites, without an army. And that wasn’t even, that was just psychological warfare. The first one, there was a supernatural rain, at least they had mud helping them. This one, God just, it’s called “discomfited” in the Old Testament, they were all so freaked out, that they slaughtered themselves. He said, ‘Do it that way, if you want to, with all these ten nations that are around us.’
‘LORD, Destroy Them With Your Whirlwind, With Natural Disasters’
“O my God, make them like a wheel; as the stubble before the wind.” (verse 13) the idea, is seems to be talking about a whirlwind or a tornado here. There’s other dialogue about wild artichokes, we won’t go there [it obviously is a reference to a tornado]. “O my God, make them like a wheel; as the stubble before the wind.” ‘as the chaff that is blown before the wind, do that with them LORD,’ “As a fire burneth a wood, and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire; so persecute them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm.” (verses 14-15) that’s King James, it says “as a fire consumes the forest, and as the flames setteth the mountains on fire”, the fires would spread up the mountains as the winds blow, “So persecute them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm.” (verse 15) ‘LORD, act supernaturally, with the whirlwind, with the flame, with your tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm,’ “Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, O LORD.” (verse 16) [Comment: I just finished reading a book about tornados titled “Storm Kings” and in it, it documented a fire-tornado that got burning in a wooded town north of Chicago in the 1800s, where it destroyed and burned the whole town, including most of the people to cinders, much like the destruction and firestorms that occurred in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But this was a natural tornado caused by massive forest fires which were burning near the town. The utter destruction by high winds coupled to fire was almost unimaginable. This is what Asaph is calling for, for Israel’s enemies. And this kind of fire-tornado is a very real occurrence, as are regular tornados.] “Let them be confounded and troubled for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish:” (verse 17) ‘fill their faces with shame as they flee, just be so overwhelming that they’re confounded, and they realize how stupid they’ve been, and how wrong they’ve been.’ [they may have to do that realizing as they come up in the 2nd resurrection, the Great White Throne Judgment.] Look what he says, “that men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art ‘the most high over all the earth.” (verse 18) That’s how we should pray, you know, it says pray for your enemies, pray for those who despitefully use you. We shouldn’t be praying just ‘Just Lord, mow ‘em down.’ That’s an imprecatory prayer, it’s called, and it’s part of the Old Testament. [Comment: if you believe as some denominations do, that the 2nd resurrection, Great White Throne Judgment, is a resurrection to an opportunity for salvation for all the “unsaved dead,” than an imprecatory prayer is not wrong. Of the estimated 50 billion people who have lived and died over the past 6,000 years, a mere handful by comparison have been called and become believers in Jesus Christ, having the Holy Spirit to salvation. God has a plan, as some believe, for all those “unsaved dead.” To view this alternate belief about the “unsaved dead” see http://www.unityinchrist.com/plaintruth/battle.htm, you don’t have to believe it, it’s a secondary belief.] There’s great things there, I wish you could pray those things, ‘Break their teeth, LORD, break their bones, LORD, burn ‘em up, LORD, mow ‘em down, LORD.’ No, we’re in the New Testament, ‘Turn the other cheek,’ but the idea is, when we pray for revival, we pray for a supernatural moving of God, we’re praying that so that people fall down, and repent. People will fall down and cry upon the Lord, people will realize how foolish and empty their lives have been. Look, that happened to me in the Jesus Movement. My whole generation was taking drugs, turned on and dropped out. The Beatles and Ravi Shankar and Eastern Mysticism, all that stuff was coming in, and God, he cut right across the middle of it with the Jesus Movement, cut it right in half and saved thousands upon thousands upon thousands upon thousands upon thousands of people [to see how this Jesus Movement got started under Pastor Chuck Smith, in his own words, see http://www.unityinchrist.com/history/smith.htm]. And we are desperately in need of the same thing to happen. We want God to move supernaturally, we want him to do something, not just ‘Smoke ‘em God, I watched the news, I’m so bugged with them Lord, could you just smoke ‘em, strike them with lightning today and smoke ‘em?’ That’s not what he wants, he says here, he’s praying, and it should be our prayer, ‘that they might seek thy name, LORD, work in thy tempest, work in your storm, work the way you work supernaturally, do what no one else can do, you’ve done it in the past, do it again, but LORD, do it that they might seek thy name, O LORD, that they might be confounded and troubled, yea, that they might know their own shame, that men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.’ (verses 16-18) God loves every Buddhist, he loves every Muslim, he loves every Hari Krishna, he loves everybody whose into Taoism, he loves every pagan unbeliever lunatic that you know that you’re related to that’s part of your family. He loved us. ‘He so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever would believe would not perish but have everlasting life.’ And we’re praying that God will shake up this old world again, one more time, that we might see men fall on their knees and humble themselves, and know, ‘thou alone JEHAVOH art the most high over all the earth, and over my life.’ That’s a good thing to happen. That’s a good thing to happen.
Let’s have the musicians come, we have time, we’ll sing a few songs. Look, just in your own lives, you think that there’s injustice? Duh, this is earth, this ain’t heaven [or the Kingdom of heaven on earth, as it will be soon]. There is injustice, we’re on the pilgrimage, we’re not, we haven’t arrived. This isn’t Club Med, this is earth, we’re on our way to heaven [or into the Kingdom of heaven]. You’ll know when we get there, trust me, there’ll be a difference. I won’t be the shepherd, for one, I’ll be looking for a job. Hopefully Rob will let me be back on the worship team. You’ll know. But this is earth, and there’s injustice and there’s trouble, and part of our pilgrimage is acknowledging ‘Lord, you’re the ultimate judge, one day you’ll reel all this in. There are broken lives, and broken hearts. What bothers you about the present injustice is somebody’s supposed to be looking out for the poor, and the broken, and the needy, and the widow, and the orphan and the fatherless. Lord, let it be the Church, show us how to do this, show us how to step in, Lord, show us how to do it, let us be your arms and your legs, let us be the light of salvation, Lord, let those who sit in darkness see a bright light, Lord.’ [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/evangelism/samaritan_purse.htm and http://www.unityinchrist.com/wwcofg/wearesalt.htm and http://www.unityinchrist.com/wwcofg/Questions.htm for some constructive ideas on how to do this, how to be that light.] And when we look at all the nations that are in confederate against Israel, around the world, everybody’s in this. Let me tell you something, oil is more important than blood in the world we live in, money is more important than truth, everywhere. But God is able to move so supernaturally, to such a degree, that even all of those guys that we might think are bad guys, can fall to their knees and seek the True and Living God. That’s what we want. We want an ingathering that’s going to blow everybody’s mind. I want to see David Letterman come out and say ‘Man, I have been so wrong, I have said a lot of things, you know what, let’s just begin the Show tonight with a prayer, would everybody bow their heads, let’s just.’ I don’t care, I’d like to see that. Wouldn’t you like to see that? You guys that are into World Federation Wrestling, you shouldn’t be, but wouldn’t it be nice to see two big monsters come to the middle of the ring and put their arms around each other and say, ‘Let’s just pray tonight, before we do anything else.’ That would be a nice thing. Wouldn’t it be a nice thing? I’d love to see Guy for Ready in every restaurant he goes to, ‘Let’s say grace before we eat here…’ I’d just like to see it go through the whole world, it’d be wonderful, it’d be wonderful. I mean, look, we’re in, so we can’t have an attitude ‘OK, I’m in, come now, get us the heck outa here, the heck with everybody else.’ No, no, we’re in, that’s remarkable and miraculous in and of itself, we’re in, we’re sons and daughters, we’re in, we’re in the Family, we’re on the Journey, we’re coming Home, we’re going to stand in glory, no sickness, no death, no sorrow, no pain, no hatred, we’re going to stand there. Let’s bring as many along with us as possible, let’s do it. Let’s bow our hearts, let’s pray, and let’s worship…[transcript of a connective expository sermon on Psalm 82:1-8 and Psalm 83:1-18, given by Pastor Joe Focht, Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19116]
How should we in the Body of Christ do what the unjust judges aren’t doing? How should we shed that light? See,