Tuesday, July 1, 2008

War and Rumors of War

As we watch the Middle East situation, with Israel and Iran on the brink of war, it is almost difficult to distinguish the actual news from the prophetic scriptures. The news is remarkably consistent with the information provided by biblical prophecy. We know from Ezekiel 38 and 39 that an alliance of nations, as led by Russia and Iran will launch a massive invasion of Israel. Isaiah 17 informs the reader that Damascus, Syria will be destroyed completely, never to exist again as a city. It is often speculated that somehow these two events are related. Syria is currently aligned with both Russia and Iran in mutual defense agreements; if one of these countries is attacked, the others will become involved in their defense.

Just this week, several ominous developments have received much public attention.
ABC news is reporting that Israel is planning an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, and it could occur by the end of the year. Such an attack, which is said to have "enormous security and economic repercussions for the United States and the rest of the world", would result in retaliation against Israel and the U.S. Because of the mutual defense agreements, one would assume that Russia and Syria would also become involved.

Iran responded to this threat by a declaration that they would also close off the Strait of Hormuz, which is a major shipping route for our oil. The Jerusalem Post quoted Vice Adm. Kevin Cosgriff, commander of the U.S. Navy's 5th fleet, with the following statement "any attempt to close off the Strait of Hormuz is an act of war" and said that the U.S. simply would not allow this.

So, in one week, we have another prediction that Israel will launch a strike against Iran's nuclear facilities. We have Iran threatening to retaliate in a number of ways, including a blockade of the Strait of Hormuz. We have an American officer stating that such actions will be a declaration of war against the U.S. We have tangible, well known alliances between Russia, Iran and Syria and many other alignments of Islamic states in the region. All of this occuring while Iran races to develop nuclear missiles at a time when their president promises to destroy Israel.

According to Ezekiel's prophecies, we would expect to see these alliances formed and this invasion launched, "in the latter days", after Israel had been regathered as a nation. Israel became a nation again in 1948. Since that time we have witnessed these military alliances - alliances that would ultimately come together for the sole purpose of destroying Israel - come together in a dramatic manner. Just as the Bible predicted.

Keep watching. The Middle East is a powder keg at the moment. We know what will happen - the only question is when it will happen. Several experts have now declared that they believe Israel will take action before the end of the year.

We are to watch, but we are not to be alarmed. As Jesus stated in Matthew 24 "You will hear of war and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen."

Wars and rumors of war indeed. Just a matter of time.

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