That title isn't mine, but a recent commentary in the Jerusalem Post. It is interesting for several reasons, but two of which are:
- It was written a couple of days ago, before the recent meeting between Syria, Iran and Hezbollah took place (see below)
- The author, like many in the region see the increasing rhetoric (now more than ever, see below) as a lead in to war
"The winds of Middle East war"
"Something is stirring in the Middle East. The winds of war are blowing, picking up speed with each passing day, and the threat to Israel is growing steadily more alarming."
"All around us, trouble - major trouble - appears to be brewing, and it is time we open our eyes and confront the dangers that may lie ahead."
"From Beirut and Damascus in the north to Teheran in the east, and back to Gaza in the south, the "arc of hate" surrounding the Jewish state is speaking openly and brazenly of conflict and destruction."
"According to the paper, Ahmadinejad will soon visit Damascus to meet with Assad, Nasrallah and Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal."
"In light of the brazen threats being made against Israel by the participants, such a convocation starts to look more like a council of war, rather than just another routine gathering of terror chieftains."
"Ahmadinejad, Assad escalate rhetoric"
"Trilateral meeting in Damascus"
Quotes from these articles:
"Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Syria’s President Bashar Assad on Thursday together unleashed vicious rhetoric against Israel, with Ahmadinejad declaring that the “criminal” state of Israel is doomed."
"He added that 'if the Zionist regime wants to repeat its past mistakes, this will constitute its demise and annihilation.'”
"Assad, for his part, said Syria was 'facing an entity that is capable of aggression at any point, and we are preparing ourselves for any Israeli aggression, be it on a large or small scale.'”
“The problem in the Middle East is not the Palestinian problem, which will be solved in a peace process with Israel. The central problem in the Middle East is Iran’s attempt to take control of the Arab Middle East, which is why it is building an atomic bomb, and why it is supporting and developing terror organizations like Hizbullah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza,” Peres said.
In a separate article, we see an "interesting" quote by Ahmadinejad: "Ahmadinejad Envisions Middle East 'Free of Zionists'".
"Ahmadinajad, for his part, told the reporters, “The new Middle East [a phrase originally made popular by President Shimon Peres who envisaged a peaceful, prosperous region – ed.] will be a Middle East without Zionists and without imperialists. With Allah’s help, this will happen."
"If the Zionists repeat their past mistakes, all the nations of the region will stand against them and rip them up from their roots.”
As the first article stated, this actually looks like a council of war.
It strikes me that Isaiah 17 is looming; the destruction of Damascus (in my opinion) will occur early in the process of battles in the region, leading to the epic battle of Ezekiel 38-39. Although many of us do not believe the Church will be here to witness Ezekiel 38-39, it is possible that we will be here to see fulfillment of Isaiah 17.
More importantly, we need to pray for the people of Damascus - that the unsaved will find a way to Christ and the Christians will find a way out of the city before its destruction (for that matter, we pray that all people will find a way out of the city - perhaps they will find their path to salvation at a later date). Either way, we need to pray for the people of Damascus. They have a date with destiny. There aren't many prophetic scriptures as clear and concise as Isaiah 17. Some folks attempt to say that the destruction of Damascus has already happened - in the past - but they forget that the scriptures state that the city will cease to exist:
"See, Damascus will no longer be a city but will become a heap of ruins." (Isaiah 17:1)
"Oh, the raging of many nations -
they rage like the raging sea!
Oh, the uproar of the peoples -
they roar like the roaring of great waters!
Although the peoples roar like the roar of surging waters,
when he rebukes them they flee far away,
driven before the wind like chaff on the hills,
like tumbleweed before a gale.
In the evening, sudden terror!
Before the morning they are gone!"
This destruction of Damascus will happen suddenly - in the course of an evening. Before the next sunrise, the people of Damascus will be gone, and its destruction complete.
This will be the beginning of the process of God's revealing Himself to an unrepentant world. During the battle of "Gog-Magog" which many of us believe occurs soon after Isaiah 17, God will reveal Himself in a huge, dramatic way (Ezekiel 38:18-23 and Ezekiel 39:21-19) - a way that hasn't occurred during the Church Age - a way that God DID reveal Himself to the Nation of Israel - prior to the Church Age. Just one of the reasons that we don't believe the Church will be around to witness Ezekiel 38-39.
His return is near!