The modern Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan was recognised as an independent nation on 25 May 1946, making it, as the time of writing this, 74 years of age. As often happens to the men of that age, problems start to multiply and the end of the road comes into view.
Jordan signed a peace treaty with Israel on the 26 October 1994, finally ending the hostility that had resulted in the Six Day War in 1967, in which Jordan along with other Arab nations had fought an intense conflict with Israel. During that war, Jordan lost control of the West Bank.
Since that peace treaty, Jordan has managed to weather a number of crises involving wars in neighbouring Arab countries and has managed to keep Iranian forces out of its territory. Under the peace treaty, neither Israel nor Jordan will permit attacks by third party forces to be launched on each other from their territory.
Since its founding the population of this country has grown rapidly, either by natural growth or by waves of migrating refugees: first the Palestinian refugees from Israel’s War of Independence, and later refugees from other regional wars or from ISIS.
Despite having extremely scarce water resources, Jordan has managed to achieve the highest rate of connection to potable water for its population of any Arab state.
Recently, however, Jordan has found itself under increasingly determined pressure from Iran to destabilise the country. Iran would very much like Jordan to become another proxy, joining with Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza to become a third proxy to fight Israel, assisting Iran’s intention to ‘wipe Israel of the face of the map.’
While Jordan resists these pressures, it remains secure. Should they falter, however, and allow their large Palestinian-Arab population to force it into an existential conflict with Israel, the result could be a disaster for Jordan.
Psalm 83 is a prophetic psalm-prayer written around 3,000 years ago which envisages just such a conflict:
O God, do not keep silence; do not hold your peace or be still, O God!
Even now your enemies are in tumult; those who hate you have raised their heads.
They lay crafty plans against your people; they consult together against those you protect.
They say, ‘Come, let us wipe them out as a nation; let the name of Israel be remembered no more.’
They conspire with one accord; against you they make a covenant—
the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagrites,
Gebal and Ammon and Amalek, Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre;
Assyria also has joined them; they are the strong arm of the children of Lot.Selah
Do to them as you did to Midian, as to Sisera and Jabin at the Wadi Kishon,
who were destroyed at En-dor,who became dung for the ground.
Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb, all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,
who said, ‘Let us take the pastures of God for our own possession.’
O my God, make them like whirling dust, like chaff before the wind.
As fire consumes the forest, as the flame sets the mountains ablaze,
so pursue them with your tempest and terrify them with your hurricane.
Fill their faces with shame, so that they may seek your name, O Lord.
Let them be put to shame and dismayed for ever; let them perish in disgrace.
Let them know that you alone, whose name is the Lord, are the Most High over all the earth.
While many of the tribes mentioned in the psalm have long disappeared as political entities, their descendants remain with us and the locations they lived in then are known today. Assyria then is Syria today. Philistia then is identifiable as Gaza today. The habitants of Tyre (southern Lebanon) can be identified as the people within the Hezbollah-dominated region of Lebanon. Interestingly, these three regions have fallen within the influence of Iranian power.
The rest of the places and peoples mentioned in the psalm, the places Edom, Moab, Gebal and Ammon and the peoples Hagrites, Amalek and the children of Lot are all within the Kingdom of Jordan today.
It seems this psalm is expressing a prayer of the Israelis and those who support them; they are calling out to God to act in a time of desperate struggle. Echoing the calls of the modern-day BDS movement and Hamas, the psalm prophesies that ‘They say, ‘Come, let us wipe them out as a nation; let the name of Israel be remembered no more.’
The question is: will God answer this prayer, a prayer He himself inspired all those centuries ago? Will the Gazans, Hezbollah and even Jordan come to ‘ know that you alone, whose name is the Lord, are the Most High over all the earth.’
Right now that would seem utterly impossible. If it ever comes to pass, it would be proof positive that the God of the Bible is indeed the ‘Most High over all the earth.’
There is another prophecy concerning Ammon and Moab, and it makes uncomfortable reading. It comes from the prophet Zephaniah, chapter 2, verse 1-11:
Gather together, gather, O shameless nation,
before you are driven away like the drifting chaff [Note the parallel to the last section of Psalm 83]
before there comes upon you the fierce anger of the Lord,
before there comes upon you the day of the Lord’s wrath.
Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land [or earth], who do his commands;
seek righteousness, seek humility;
perhaps you may be hidden on the day of the Lord’s wrath.
For Gaza shall be deserted, and Ashkelon shall become a desolation;
Ashdod’s people shall be driven out at noon, and Ekron shall be uprooted.
Ah, inhabitants of the sea coast, you nation of the Cherethites!
The word of the Lord is against you,
O Canaan, land of the Philistines;
and I will destroy you until no inhabitant is left.
And you, O sea coast, shall be pastures, meadows for shepherds and folds for flocks.
The sea coast shall become the possession of the remnant of the house of Judah,
on which they shall pasture, and in the houses of Ashkelon they shall lie down at evening.
For the Lord their God will be mindful of them and restore their fortunes.
I have heard the taunts of Moab and the revilings of the Ammonites,
how they have taunted my people and made boasts against their territory.
Therefore, as I live, says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel,
Moab shall become like Sodom and the Ammonites like Gomorrah,
a land possessed by nettles and salt-pits, and a waste for ever.
The remnant of my people shall plunder them,
and the survivors of my nation shall possess them.
This shall be their lot in return for their pride,
because they scoffed and boasted against the people of the Lord of hosts.
The Lord will be terrible against them;
he will shrivel all the gods of the earth,
and to him shall bow down, each in its place,
all the coasts and islands of the nations.
Already, in our generation, we have seen the fortunes of ‘the house of Judah’, the Jews, restored. This seems to be an early indication of what is to come.
Given that the issue of Israel and the Palestinians is the most important issue in the Muslim world, these prophecies are not without significance. They seem to be telling us that, despite the best efforts of the Muslim world, in the end these efforts cannot succeed to destroy Israel, whether by Iran and its current and future proxies, or indeed by the whole Muslim Ummah acting together, as many call for.
The reason for this seems to be little to do with the strength of Israel, and everything to do with the strength of the God of the Bible, the ‘Most High over the Earth’.
Compared to Him, all the other ‘gods’ that humans worship will be shrivelled. This should give every Muslim pause for thought. Sterile arguments against Christian theology are no match for the empirical evidence of God’s actions in the lives of nations.
Choose this day in whom you will believe. Christ is King and ruler of all Creation. He died for you, to bring you to the true and living God, the God who is love, the God who is your heavenly Father. Welcome Him into your hearts and you will find Him ‘lowly and gentle in heart’. Oppose, hate and fight against Him and His chosen people, Jews or Christians, and in the end you will experience His wrath and judgment.
‘It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God.’ The Lord bless you,
President – Jesus Christ for Muslims