News is abuzz over the potential US strike in Syria. President Trump has cancelled a trip to South America in order to remain at the White House to manage the situation, and movement of US vessels and aircraft has been observed in the Mediterranean. The Pentagon has likely drawn up possible attack options, while the President is soliciting assistance from current allies such as France, Saudi Arabia, Britain and Qatar. All have called for Syria to be held accountable, though it remains to be seen how active they will be in any military action.
Following Trump’s recent announcement that he plans to pull US troops out of Syria, he now walks a thin line in determining how to orchestrate an effective strike on Syria.
News reports can be found on almost any news outlet, so if you are interested in more logistical detail, just scan the news outlets. However, I think it is important to view current events through the lens of Scripture, so let’s consider a logical stream of Biblical thought:
- Isaiah 17:1 tells us Damascus will be utterly destroyed in the last days. Damascus and the surrounding area are taking a beating, and should the US or its allies strike hard and relentlessly, Damascus will cease to exist.
- As you likely know, Russia has propped up the Assad regime in Syria almost from day one of the Syrian civil war. Putin has become “czarish” and is calling the shots in much of Syria. No one has attempted to restrain Russia and Putin is smelling the power he so desperately desires.
- Along with Russia, Iran has set up camp inside Syria. In fact, it is believed that the helicopter that deployed the latest rounds of chemical weapons took off from an Iranian-controlled base. That base (T-4) was attacked by Israel soon after the chemical weapons attack, destroying infrastructure.
- Turkey is the “silent partner” at the moment (though not-so-silent in the grand scheme of things). Wanting their piece of Syria, their motive is to drive out their arch enemies, the Kurds.
- Taken together, Russia, Iran and Turkey make up the key players (though not the only players) in the coalition named in Ezekiel 38. A ruler (Gog) will arise out of Russia and will command the invasion of Israel. Puting could well be that ruler Ezekiel describes, and we could well be on the verge of that War of Gog and Magog.
- It is believed by some well-known Bible scholars that the destruction of Damascus (Isaiah 17:1) could be the spark that lights the Ezekiel 38 fuse.
- Interestingly, the United States is not mentioned specifically in Ezekiel 38, and only as a spectator if one believes the US is a “village of Tarshish” (Britain or Spain), alluded to in Ezekiel 38:13. (More detail in Week 8 of the study, Looking for the Blessed Hope.) If the War of Gog and Magog is indeed at hand, we can expect America’s power to be taken away somehow, because they will not be a major world player at that point. What will happen to diminish or totally dissolve America’s military might? Internal collapse? External attack? Rapture? (That’s my pick!)
Most are oblivious to what it taking place in the Middle East right now. Many of those who do have an inkling are expressing fear. But let’s anchor Biblical truth here! As believers in Christ, we should most definitely care about what it taking place in the world. We should be praying as Scripture commands, and we should be doing whatever the Lord leads us to do. We must be about our Father’s business!
But, dear friends, Scripture is filled with “do not fear” messages! We do not have to be afraid of what is happening, or what is about to happen. We know how it all ends! As believers in Jesus the Messiah, we are another day closer to joining our Savior for eternity! Therefore, we stand firm. We stand bold in our faith. We stand steadfastly with Israel (while the world turns their back on her).
Prophecy is not meant to scare, but to prepare! It is time to take stock in what we believe and how we live it out. It is a time to prepare to meet our Lord!
“Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.”
Are you ready?