Saturday, November 24, 2007

A Coming War - Pt 2



The oracle concerning Damascus. Behold, Damascus is about to be removed from being a city and will become a fallen ruin (Isaiah 17:1).

A couple of posts ago, I mentioned that we had just had Middle East free-lance journalist and author David Dolan on our radio program. Dolan, a former CBS News correspondent, has been living in Israel for the past two decades and has reported extensively on the many conflicts there. As promised, here are some more thoughts on what he had to say.

David's prognosis was decidedly grim. He made several observations, beginning with the upcoming Annapolis "peace" conference in Maryland. David thinks this conference is a sham and window dressing. Nothing much will genuinely come from it. Some of it might well even be designed to provide cover/distract attention from what is really going on - preparations to deal with Iran's nuclear program. And on that note, David says the messages ought to be clear to anyone reading what's going on. There had better be a resolution to this crisis soon, with "soon" being spelled out for emphasis. If the United States doesn't deal with Iran, the Israelis will. They have no choice.

Why? A comparison was made to what took place during World War II. Adolf Hitler breathed plenty of threats toward Jews, and no one took him seriously. Iranian president Mahmood Ahmadinejad and the ayatollahs who pull his marionette strings are threatening to wipe Israel off the map, and soon. While the world appears to roll its eyes, the Israelis are taking Mad Mahmood seriously. In David's view, there is a window of opportunity to get the Iranians to straighten up, but it's a narrow window and it's closing rapidly.

Now, what about the "peace" negotiations? Anyone with half a brain realizes that peace is ultimately impossible between Israel and the Palestinians while a large majority of the Palestinian leadership (not to mention the people) want Israel driven into the sea. Yet Israel continues to receive pressure from the international community to make "painful sacrifices." To the Israelis -- and to the evangelical Christian community that supports them -- this kind of unfair nonsense is getting very, very old. From the leadership on down to the ones on the street who, in interviews, say that this peace is only "temporary" until they're ready to strike again, there is no real desire for peace in terms of two people living side by side in harmony. The only "peace" these evil murderers will accept is the silence that comes with every last Jew lying in their graves. Why the world placates these monsters is beyond any stretch of the imagination. One can only guess, and I don't like the reasons that come to my mind. There are many Arab/Palestinians who indeed DO want peace with Israel. A genuine peace. But should they voice that desire, the radical zealots have no compunction about butchering them as well. It's truly tragic. Arab Christians are caught in the middle. They deserve our prayers and support as well.

When a people is threatened with annihilation, they can only do one thing. That is to defend themselves to the death by whatever means necessary. In the case of Israel, that could well be a nuclear strike of their own if they feel their backs against the wall. Syria is being pressured (according to David) by Iran to share in an assault on Israel. Should Syria indeed attack Israel with troops and thousands of rockets (containing chemical weapons?), Israel might feel no alternative but to launch a severe response. The oracle of Damascus as predicted by the Prophet Isaiah has yet to be fulfilled. Could that be around the corner?

Only the Lord knows. It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority (Acts 1:7). Those are the words of Jesus Himself. So we watch, wait and pray. His purposes will be accomplished. For those of us who name the name of Jesus as Lord and Savior, are we ready to face the difficult times that will come in the wake of such a war? Are we ready to show ourselves as lights in a growing darkness? Will we bring the Lord glory by our faith and resolve, and by the "peace that passes understanding? Will we still boldly share the Gospel as the only true answer for all the world's calamities? Most important of all, are we ready to face Him at last?

4 comments:

Gilbert said...

Keep the quality of the posts up like this, Joel, and you'll wind up as a Pyromaniac. :-D

Well, ladies and gentlemen, there's no need to belabor the point. Joel is spot on, and while David confirms it, much of it is obvious. Syria and Iran---and many (most) Palestinians---want to literally see all Jews eradicated, a second Holocaust. The U.S. is nowhere in Bible prophecy. The liberals have decided to take control, while those who desire to live Godly lives are being silenced in the West. And many "Christian" pastors are following them into the depths of hell. Billy Graham is right: if we don't have judgment on our collective sins in the not-too-distant future, God would have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.

So now what? The U.S. military is too spread thin to invade Iran. I'm wondering if we were behind that attack against Syria a few months ago, or at least had Israel approval from the west to go in there and attack that potential nuke site. As for Iran, 3,000 centrifuges are spinning and spitting out future nuclear warheads. The U.N. said it would be several years before Iran would have weapons. Recently, though, the timetable has been pared down to...oh, less than ONE.

Mark my words: If Iran continues to create munitions for their nuclear weapon program, Israel MUST attack.
Iran will wipe them off the face of the earth. But what about the Bible saying in those days, those in Judea should flee to the mountains? Israel will have severe damage as well.

I know. You must not say "Oh, the Lord is coming back within our lifetimes, very soon", etc. But, given what we see now, I'll just say this: I need to personally get off my can and preach the Gospel fully to more of my friends. I don't know how many more chances I'll have. And I'll leave it at that.

crownring said...

1 Corinthians 13: 1-7

1If I speak in the tongues[a] of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,[b] but have not love, I gain nothing.
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

It is to be hoped that spreading the Gospel does not mean merely going from door to door and telling neighbors and strangers they're going to Hell. Evangelism without personal relationship is like throwing seeds on drought-stricken land and expecting a spectacular harvest. That's why the mega-churches succeed in producing flimsy disciples. Success is not about filling the pews on Sunday, it's about ongoing transformation into the image of Christ and seeking The Kingdom of God.

Matthew 7:21-23

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

I imagine the "Lord, Lord people" includes preaching the Gospel in a way that foolishly hardens resistance towards Christ as well. It makes me wonder how much of that resistance is really due to rejection of the messenger instead of THE MESSAGE.

SolaMeanie said...

Crownring,

While your comments are well taken about being careful with our manner in preaching the Gospel, I think people tend to rely too much on that as an excuse. Ultimately, Scripture itself says the Gospel is a stumbling block, IF the true Gospel is being preached. The very fact that people are called sinners is enough to cause them to decamp hastily. No one likes being called a sinner. On the other extreme, people can be told how much God loves them, and in this narcissistic culture, they'll agree with you.

SolaMeanie said...

Gilbert,

I was thinking about that not too long ago, i.e. the smallness of Israel as a nation. One nuclear bomb, or even a "dirty" bomb as such, would be catastrophic.