Hi friends! Thanks for following along as we make our journey through America, Israel and the Church. What began as a few well-thought ideas has grown into our study through 1&2 Thessalonians, and occasional current event updates, and the Lord continues to fill my mind with more truth to share. I pray you are blessed.
Our study is currently near the end of 1 Thessalonians, but if you are new here, you are welcome to join us! 2 Thessalonians will follow. We are currently focused on the church, and more specifically, how we should live in these last days. The latest lesson, taken from 1 Thessalonians 5 is found here.
This past weekend, however, was a busy one in the Middle East, provoking the question, “Is the Middle East reaching a boiling point?” It appears that way, and here are some thoughts about the events of the weekend.
Unless you have been living under a rock, you are very likely aware that the Biden administration continues to reverse everything President Trump accomplished, including stability in the Middle East. Major events occurred over the past few days, which triggered action in that region of the world.
Two of those things involve Iran and Saudi Arabia, primarily. First, the Biden team apparently made an offer to get Iran back to the negotiating table. Unbelievably, the current administration has already removed some key sanctions on Iran, even before negotiations have begun. Thus, the US is starting out at a deficit in negotiations with Iran. Furthermore, Iran reportedly laughed off direct negotiations, seeming to mock the Americans, while quickly taking the upper hand against the weak foreign policy team Biden has put forth. America may be on a trajectory in which Iran will completely dictate the rules of the game.
Meanwhile, an Israeli cargo ship was attacked by Iranian rockets near Oman, in the Persian Gulf. Though Iran denied responsibility, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it was clearly an Iranian attack, and he vowed to take action.
Action followed on Sunday night, as Israel took aim at Iranian targets near Damascus Syria. Those targets were Iranian Revolutionary Guard targets, sending a well-timed message to the Iranian Ayatollahs that attacks will come fast and furious if Israeli vessels are attacked. Iranian threats toward Israel have increased dramatically since Biden’s inauguration, and the US has taken very little (if any action) on Israel’s behalf.
You will find more details at Netanyahu Accuses Iran of Attacking Israeli-Owned Cargo Ship.
In other action, several airports in Saudi Arabia have been shutdown following Iranian-backed Houthi attacks on several airports. It is clear that Iran has set its sites on Israel, America (following Iranian-backed attacks last week on US military bases in Iraq), Saudi Arabia, and other allied countries. What’s driving it all? A weak US administration. Iran could hardly wait until Donald Trump was out of office, as backdoor negotiations between John Kerry (the Obama-era Secretary of State who was lead negotiator of the failed nuclear deal) and Iranian Foreign Minister Javid Zarif were underway even before Trump’s presidency was over. Sure enough, under the Biden administration, America has rolled over at Iran’s command in the nuclear deal.
To top it off, Biden continues to alienate Saudi Arabia. A few days ago, reports of the Saudi crown prince’s knowledge and perhaps involvement in ordering the killing of one of their own journalists in Turkey was declassified. Though the action appears to be a violation of human rights, and should be condemned by the American administration, the relationship with Saudi Arabia will be greatly damaged, at best, and destroyed, at worst. Those things should never happen. Yet, the Biden administration obviously has a different set of standards for the Iranian regime who routinely murders their own. Humiliation of Saudi Arabia may just push the Saudis more quickly into an alliance with Israel, the UAE and Bahrain, though, if they know the US is no longer standing in their corner.
So, what’s the point? The Middle East seems to be reaching the boiling point that will trigger the northern invasion of Israel prophesied in Ezekiel 38-39. For example:
- Saudi Arabia will be among a group of Muslim-dominated countries who will not invade Israel. UAE, Bahrain are included in that group, known, along with Saudi Arabia, as part of the Arabian peninsula…Sheba and Dedan in Ezekiel 38:13.
- The destruction of Damascus is prophesied in Isaiah 17:1, and many believe will be the catalyst to the Ezekiel war. Bombings near that city should always raise red flags to those who study God’s Word.
- Iran will be a key player (“Persia,” according to Ezekiel 38:5) in the invasion, and is now emboldened to take on Israeli ships and other assets, whereas American sanctions have kept them penned down the previous 2-3 years.
- The US is nowhere to be found in Ezekiel 38, meaning something happens to remove America from the world stage. Could it be we implode from within? Suffer large losses (or even defeat) at the hands of Iran or China (who is also playing the Biden administration like a fiddle)? The rapture?
It’s too soon to know with certainty what will take America out of the picture, but I certainly know what my desire is! However, as much as we might long for the rapture, it may also well be that Christians will live through some troubling times. Not to be confused with the wrath of God, called the tribulation, that occurs after the rapture, those troubling times will stretch us as never before, but come nowhere close to being the wrath Revelation describes as the tribulation.
Friends, we may think we have gone through a difficult year in 2020, but that could be only the tip of the iceberg. As believers, it is time for us to make a choice: will we take a stand on the truths of God’s Word, press into Him and do our Father’s business; or will we be overtaken by the waves of trial that will likely come upon us? One thing is sure: if we don’t live for our Lord now, in the easy stuff, how will we live for Him when real trials come upon us?
We have a Savior and Lord who has promised to guard and protect us as we live in the center of His will. It is definitely time to take up our “safe place,” where we are committed to be about our Father’s business, trusting His loving care! Where are you standing right now?