There are several stories coming in from the Middle East and it is hard to know if they are related or not. I believe almost every significant story coming from the region is connected, but it can be hard to determine specifically how or how much.
The first story isn't interesting in terms of the idea that Iran is closer and closer to nuclear weapons - thats an old story:
Israel Says Iran Close to Nuclear Capability".
The significance is found when one realizes that more and more "official" Israeli government officials are making these statements publicly. Here, we see that Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak is making the statements. I believe they are warning the world that their backs are against the wall and time is growing short.
Next we see a story about how Israel is attempting to outfit ALL residents with gas masks:
"Israel to outfit all residents with gas masks". One interesting quote from the article:
"The move has heightened expectations that Israel may launch an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities which could spark an unconventional response. It is not known however whether Iran has any chemical or biological weapons capability."
I strongly disagree with one point in the article - the article stated that only Israel (in the region) has development efforts for chemical/biological weapons. This has been proven false as Syria has major programs developing chemical tipped missiles - they have threatened Israel with such weapons many times in the past.
In a third story, one that has been receiving a lot of attention, appropriately, is the uprising in Iran:
Analysis see Iran at breaking point amid protests". Revealing quotes below:
"CNN's Reza Sayah, an Iran native who covers the region, called it an unprecedented uprising, presenting "the most significant challenge" the Islamic republic has faced since its government came to power through a revolution 30 years ago."
"Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council in Washington, D.C. -- a public critic of Iran's hardline government -- told CNN's "American Morning, "I think this may actually turn out to be a breaking point. What we've seen here is how the opposition, six months after the fraud in elections, still have a lot of fight in them. I think they've taken the Iranian authorities by surprise. They're still coming out in huge numbers, and morale seems to be stronger amongst the opposition than among the security forces at this point."
This uprising has been growing in strength and numbers ever since the obvious false "elections" which re-elected President Ahmadinejad. The protests favor movement towards a true democracy and "westernization" of their leadership and culture - and away from the stranglehold that the Islamic religious leaders have had since 1979.
Do these "dots" connect in any way?
Israel leadership are more and more vocal about Iran's nuclear ambitions and the nearness of Iran's nuclear program.
Israel issuing gas masks to the entire country.
And the situation in Iran - potentially toppling their Islamic government.
Lets not forget what ultimately drives Iranian President Ahmadinejad is his devout belief that the Islamic "messiah", the Mahdi is due to resurface on earth and lead the world into Islamic law and rule. He also believes that the Mahdi will only return to resolve an epic war in the Middle East. He sees himself as the Islamic "John the Baptist" - and it is his role to precipitate events which will lead to the Mahdi's presence.
But now, it appears that the clock is ticking on Ahmadinejad. He may see his time in power growing short.
By connecting those dots - one may see that Ahmadinejad would have to act while still in power. If his reign is growing short, then he may take some action against Israel sooner rather than later. Additionally, any action involving Israel could serve as a diversion from his domestic troubles.
It is hard to know where all of this will lead. Regardless, there is a lot of "activity" (for lack of a better word) going on in the Middle East right now.
All we can do, is what Jesus dictated so many times in the Olivet Discourse - particularly Mark's version (Mark 13). We are told over and over to watch for the signs of His return - and to be prepared.
That is exactly what we are doing - watching and preparing for His coming.
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