We know that as of 2014, Hamas has been firing rockets from Gaza into Israel and these have destroyed property and killed Israeli citizens. Hamas has also dug tunnels into Israel so terrorists can infiltrate into Israel and attempt to cause havoc. Israeli defense forces have responded with military action against rocket launch sites and have closed many of the tunnels that were dug by Hamas.
Hamas has purposely placed rocket launch sites close to civilian areas and they know that innocent civilians will probably be killed by Israeli response to the rocket attacks. Hamas obviously doesn't care about its citizens; they would otherwise place the rocket launchers away from Gaza neighborhoods. Israel's response to the rocket attacks has caused considerable animosity against it by the nations around it.
Psalm 83 tells us that there is an alliance that will be formed of nations around Israel that will plan in detail how to destroy it as a nation and I believe it will shortly reveal itself to the world. I will describe the nations involved in this alliance and the direction these nations might take in the near future.
Israel's enemies plot against them
A Psalm of Asaph. He was a priest that served in the temple and was responsible for songs of praise to God. He wrote Psalm 83 and other Psalms during the reign of King David, around 1000 BC. He pleads with God to take action against the future enemies of Israel so it will not be destroyed as a nation. Since the people of Israel are still His people, to take hostile action against them is the same as taking hostile action against Almighty God.
83:1-5 O God, do not be silent! Do not ignore us! Do not be inactive, O God! For look, your enemies are making a commotion; those who hate you are hostile. They carefully plot against your people, and make plans to harm the ones you cherish. They say, “Come on, let’s annihilate them so they are no longer a nation! Then the name of Israel will be remembered no more.” Yes, they devise a unified strategy; they form an alliance against you.
Asaph is looking forward 3,000 years into the future and pleading for God to take action against an alliance of nations that wants to destroy the nation of Israel. These nations we will mention shortly hate the nation and people of Israel, so they hate God as well. The military and political leaders of these nations have gathered together to make detailed plans on how to destroy Israel. They have crafty, intelligent military minds analyzing ways, possibly with advice from Russia on the strategy they can take to effect Israel's destruction. The tactics of rocket launches into Israel are just the beginning steps to effect what they think will be Israel's destruction. More destructive measures will follow, possibly using weapons of mass destruction.
The participant nations
83:6-8 It includes the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagrites, Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek, Philistia and the inhabitants of Tyre. Even Assyria has allied with them, lending its strength to the descendants of Lot. (Selah)
Here is a detailed list of nations that will form an alliance and will be plotting to destroy the nation of Israel:
Edom. These are the descendants of Esau and they eventually settled east of the Jordan river in what is now the country of Jordan. So the Edomites are most likely from the nation of Jordan.
Moab. These are the descendants of Abraham's nephew, Lot. He settled east of the Jordan river south of Edom around the Dead Sea. So the Moabites are most likely from the nation of Jordan.
The Ishmaelites and the Hagaraenes. The Ishmaelites are the descendants of Hagar, the concubine of Abraham; she was the mother of Ishmael. The Hagaraenes and Ishmaelites are most likely from Saudi Arabia.
Gebal. These are an ancient people who resided in the city of Byblos; it was located on the Mediterranean Sea. So the descendants of Gebal are most likely from the nation of Lebanon.
Ammon. This is the city of Ammon, Jordan.
Amalek. This is a region in the southern part of modern day Jordan. The people of that area are descended from Esau.
Philistia. These are the Palestinians residing in the Gaza strip.
Tyre. This is a city in what is now southern Lebanon.
Assyria. Around 1000 BC, Assyria was under control of much of the land around the fertile crescent of the middle east including what is now Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq.
The alliance mentioned in Psalm 83 will include the current nations of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinians that reside in Gaza, Israel and Jordan.
Asaph's suggestions for their destruction
83:9-10 Do to them as you did to Midian – as you did to Sisera and Jabin at the Kishon River! They were destroyed at Endor; their corpses were like manure on the ground.
Sisera was the commander of the army of King Jabin of Hazor and attacked Israel for twenty years. The Canaanite army was defeated at the battle of Mount Tabor: see Judges, chapter 5.
83:11-12 Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb, and all their rulers like Zebah and Zalmunna, who said, “Let’s take over the pastures of God!”
Oreb and Zeeb were two princes of the nation of Midian in the time of the Judges of Israel. They would send raiding parties into Israel and attempt to take spoil. They were defeated by Gideon: see Judges, chapter 7.
Zebah and Zalmunna were two princes of Midian that attacked Israel and were soundly defeated by Gideon. They wanted to take over the land of Israel, but they were captured by Gideon and put to death: see Judges, chapter 8.
83:13-15 O my Lord God, make them like dead thistles, like dead weeds blown away by the wind! Like the fire that burns down the forest, or the flames that consume the mountainsides, chase them with Your gale winds, and terrify them with Your windstorm.
Almighty God will fulfill this request of destruction of this alliance by Asaph from 3,000 years ago. This alliance will expand from the nations mentioned above to several more nations including Turkey and several Muslim nations north of Israel. This expanded alliance will attack Israel in Seal Two of the Book of Revelation, and God will send torrents of fire down from Heaven and completely destroy them. The only remains of their army will be ashes on the ground.
83:16 Cover their faces with shame, so they "might seek you", O Lord.
The military of this alliance will be totally defeated as the result of God destroying their armies in Seal Two. They will know that Almighty God has soundly reduced their armies to nothing and that the nation of Israel remained safe throughout the battle. They should get on their knees and recognize that God is in control and that He has won the battle over them. They should turn from their hate of the nation of Israel and ask for forgiveness from God. God wants to forgive even those that hate His people and His arms are open wide to all that seek Him and want to follow Him. Perhaps there might be some of them that will indeed ask for God's forgiveness, turn from their hate of Israel and become His followers.
83:17 May they be humiliated and continually terrified! May they die in shame!
The armies of the alliance will be soundly defeated by God: they will be humiliated because they were unable to destroy the nation of Israel; no people of Israel will be killed by the alliance's armies. They will be terrified when they see the fire that God sends from Heaven to destroy them; after the battle of Seal Two, the armies of the middle east will be down to only a few soldiers left.
God is in control
83:18 Then they will know that you alone are the Lord, the sovereign king over all the earth.
The fear of The Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 111:10). At least some of this alliance will recognize that God Himself is indeed in charge of the earth and is it's King and will fear His retaliation. This is a fear that all of us should have; it should cause us to think carefully about the attitude we have and the actions that we are about to take. If we fear God, and then walk with Him, then this fear will gradually change to admiration, respect, gratitude, love and praise: Perfect love casts out fear (I John 4:18 ).
The next step for this alliance of nations that hate Israel
In the near future there will be increased hostility from Syria towards Israel and its leaders will attempt to bring destruction upon the people and military of Israel. A large attack by Syria upon Israel will cause Israel to retaliate and destroy the center of terrorism: Damascus, Syria. Details of this destruction are covered in the article: The Burden of Damascus.
The nations mentioned above are not the final word on this alliance of nations against Israel. After the destruction of Damascus I believe that one more powerful nation will be added to this group of nations and I believe this nation will be Egypt. It will then assume leadership of this alliance of nations against Israel. Egypt will join together with Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq and Jordan and because of its strong military and because of the large oil reserves of Saudi Arabia and Iraq will command economic power over oil importing nations such as those of the European Union, China, Japan and the United States. Egypt will then command the oil-producing nations of this alliance to stop selling oil to the world. Turning off the oil flow even briefly will seriously disrupt the world's economies.
This alliance will be in place before the beginning of the Tribulation. The Book of Daniel, chapter 7 describes in detail this league of nations: Book of Daniel, Part Two. I believe that the Leopard described in Daniel is the nation of Egypt which is allied with the nations of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq and Syria. They are the "four wings" on the back of the leopard, attached at the Sinai peninsula. See a map of Egypt to identify these four nations. As a note, for whatever reason, the nation of Lebanon will opt out of this alliance of nations against Israel since it is not mentioned in Daniel.
I believe that before the Tribulation begins, Jesus will take out of the world His most faithful saints: the Church at Philadelphia. Immediately after their departure, the Antichrist will come to power because of the chaos caused in the economies of the world because of the disruption of the oil supply from Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Antichrist will be very strong and will setup a seven year treaty that promises to protect the nation of Israel. He will remove all military armaments from Israel and will pledge to the nations of the middle east that Israel will not be able to retaliate against them with any more military power.
Egypt will not let the oil pumps be turned on, even after the seven year treaty is signed. Antichrist will be furious and he will then attack and destroy Egypt, the leader of this alliance of nations against Israel. When Antichrist begins his destruction of Egypt, Jesus has opened Seal One of the seven-sealed scroll of the Book of Revelation. The Book of Isaiah, chapter 19, describes the destruction of the nation of Egypt: The Burden of Egypt. After this destruction, Saudi Arabia and Iraq turn on their pumps and supply oil to the world.
After the destruction of Egypt, another even larger alliance of nations will soon form of Muslim countries around Israel. They will attempt to destroy Israel and their attack against Israel is described in: Seal two: Ezekiel chapter 38 and 39. These nations will include Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey, Iran, Libya, Sudan and several Muslim nations around the Caspian, Black and Aral seas. God will destroy these nations by sending fire down from Heaven. He fulfills Asaph's plea for God to destroy the nations mentioned in Psalm 38:9-15. In addition to fulfilling Asaph's request for destruction of Israel's enemies described in Psalm 83, God also destroys several other Muslim nations that also hate and want to destroy Israel.
Here is the sequence of events:
There is a strong possibility when the nations of Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iraq are united together and form an alliance against Israel, then the event of the destruction of Damascus may not be very far into the future. The First Fruits Rapture will then follow on the following Day of Pentecost. Shortly after that, the seven year Tribulation will begin. Christians: keep your eyes on the news coming from the Middle East and be watching and praying for the return of Jesus Christ for the First Fruits Rapture.