Thursday, May 29, 2008

Hezbollah Gains Control of Lebanon

The terrorist group Hezbollah has taken control of Lebanon, following a bloody internal conflict over the last few weeks. This is significant for a number of reasons. Now Hezbollah can control the northern border with Israel, without obstruction. Hezbollah has also been re-arming themselves with a variety of missiles, acquired from Syria and Iran for the last two years. Two years ago, we watched a one month battle take place between Israel and Hezbollah. Despite the U.N.'s Security Council resolution that Hezbollah disarm, Lebanon's new government have now informed the world that they have no intention of disarming Syria and Iran, both of whom have stated their intentions for the destruction of Israel on numerous occasions, have supplied Hezbollah with thousands of missiles, all intended to reach Israel in the next conflict.

The prophets Zechariah and Ezekiel predicted these events nearly 2,500 years ago. According to Zechariah, "...all the nations of the earth are gathered against her". We also know from Ezekiel 38-39 that a massive invasion of Israel will take place, as led by Russia "from the far north" and Iran (aka "Persia"). We watch these events in the middle-east with great interest, as they are stated to take place "in the latter days", which is old testament code for the time just preceeding the coming of Christ. We also watch these events because God will reveal Himself during this epic war: "I will make known my holy name among my people Israel, I will no longer let my holy name be profaned, and the nations will know that I the Lord am the Holy One in Israel" (Ezekiel 39:7), as he destroys the invading force, presumably in a supernatural manner. Ezekiel 39 gives us great detail for these events.

It seems hard to believe, as we haven't seen God directly intervene on this earth, in such a dramatic manner, since the time of Christ. However, for those of us who have doubts, God left us with this word, as spoken through the prophet Ezekiel, "It is coming! It will surely take place, declares the Sovereign Lord. This is the day I have spoken of" (Ezekiel 39:8). That scripture removes any doubt - this invasion will take place, and it appears to be shaping up exactly as described throughout these two chapters in Ezekiel's prophecies.

Israel is preparing for another conflict this summer. Will the next conflict evolve into the epic battle described by Ezekiel? No one can know for sure, but with every development in the middle-east, things seem to be moving rapidly in that direction. We watch these events in the middle east because watching prophecy unfold reminds us of the exact nature of prophecy fulfillment, and that tells us something very important: God knows all, and reveals His presence through prophecy.

After all, God has informed us that HE, and HE ALONE will conclude this war and He will do so for one reason:

"I will display my glory among the nations" (Ezekiel 39:21)

So we'll continue to be obedient to Jesus' command to watch these signs, as we prepare for His coming. At the same time, we all must remember to pray for the Nation of Israel as they face their enemies, all of whom are arming for the next invasion. We can also rest assured - God is in control and He will make this abundantly clear very soon. Keep watching!

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