Most of the news today are coming from the Middle East, but this first story was unavoidable:
"Teens shot during California church service". After the previous post on persecution of the Church, its hard to believe that there was another shooting at a church service, but here it is. During a church service in Richmond, California, three gunmen opened fire on congregants, injuring two teens. It is unbelievable that this is happening in churches, but it seems to be part of daily life in these end times.
On to the Middle East:
"Are Lebanon and Israel Headed for War?"
The subtitle to this article was perhaps more revealing: "Word on the Streets of Beirut is That The Drums are Beating for Battle". Other quotes:
"...people in Lebanon say tension is now so high the smallest incident may provide the trigger."
"And the next round of hostilities, they warn, will be much broader and more terrible than the last war when Hezbollah battled the Israeli army in 2006."
"The Israelis fear Hezbollah's growing arsenal of long range rockets. They fear for their biggest cities and strategic targets. They see Hezbollah and Syria as Iran's proxies, liable to attack from the north if Israel strikes Iran's nuclear sites. Hezbollah fought the once feared Israeli Defense Force to a standstill in 2006. The Jewish state's reputation and deterrence was severely dented. The Israelis have unfinished business."
"Hezbollah today has somewhere between 40,000 and 50,000 missiles, many more than in 2006, and many capable of hitting targets deep inside Israel."
"Everyone ABC News spoke to expects a brutal Israeli response if war breaks out. Hezbollah is part of the Lebanese government. So, Israel says, all of Lebanon will be responsible for a Hezbollah attack. To reassert military deterrence Israel must achieve a tangible victory."
"And they believe there is substance to Syria's tough talk too. On the road between Damascus and Beirut, residents tell of unusual military activity, all night construction work, army flat bed trucks moving around with their lights switched off."
And of course we know that the whole Middle East situation ultimately boils down to the fate of Jerusalem:
"Jerusalem will be Palestinian capital"
"Abbas: Peace talks can’t start until Israel stops Jerusalem construction."
"Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday said that the Palestinians would not accept Abu Dis, a town between Jerusalem and Ma'aleh Adumim that is currently controlled by the PA, as the capital of their future state, but would insist on receiving control over east Jerusalem."
On cue, the Russians weigh in on the situation regarding Jerusalem:
"Settlement moratorium insufficient: Hours before PM leaves for Moscow, Russian FM calls for ME situation 'alarming'"
"Hours before Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu left for Moscow on Sunday evening, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov – on a visit to Nicaragua – called the situation in the Middle East “alarming” and proposed an urgent Quartet meeting."
“We are quite concerned over the categorical refusal to stop settlement activities in east Jerusalem,” Lavrov said. “We want to help the Palestinians and the Israelis to find conditions for resuming direct negotiations as soon as possible."
With almost any article written about the "Middle East situation", if you dig deep enough, you will find Jerusalem mentioned as a key point, if not THE key point. Sooner or later in any discourse regarding the Middle East, the fate of Jerusalem will come up. As Joel Rosenberg often states: Israel is the epicenter of the world, Jerusalem is the epicenter of Israel and the Temple Mount is the epicenter of Jerusalem. That indeed seems to be the case today.
This is exactly what the prophet Zechariah warned us about in Zechariah 12. Its all about Jerusalem.