“What in the World is Going On!?!”

Do you wonder that at times?  We live in a crazy, mixed up world and news is rarely stunning any more, despite how outrageous it may have once seemed.  Just a glimpse of today’s headlines tells us we live in extraordinary times.

Image result for jordan floodAfter hearing the tragic story yesterday of Jordanian school children washed away in a flash flood (and Israel’s search and rescue efforts to save them), today we read of 8 more rockets fired from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel.

Netanyahu makes historic visit to OmanIronically, in the midst of that chaos, Benjamin Netanyahu (Israel’s Prime Minister) completed an unprecedented, secret trip to Oman to discuss regional peace and a warming relationship between Israel and that moderate Sunni nation.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the planet, another American lunatic is arrested for idiotic behavior, after sending pipe bombs to various anti-Trump political figures and supporters.

So, is the world falling apart?  From a human perspective, it may well appear that way.  However, from a heavenly perspective, I don’t believe things are falling apart…they are falling into place.

First, we must understand that America will not be there to stand with Israel in the end.  This latest ugly American incident is only a microcosm of what is happening in our country.  Short of divine intervention, it appears we will see America spin totally out of control and be overcome by anarchy and lawlessness, where everyone will point a finger at everyone else.  Seems to be happening right before our eyes, and at that point, America will be in no position to help anyone.

Secondly, the happenings in and around the Gaza Strip could well be miniature signs of unraveling of Arab-Muslim attempts to control the Middle East (and ultimately the world).  Right now, Gaza is simply a distraction, but one day in the not-too-distant future, a much greater threat will bear down from the north.  A coalition, led by Russia, but joined by Muslim nations such as Iran, Turkey, Sudan and Libya, will come against Israel, only to find their own undoing!

Thirdly, what do we make of Netanyahu cozying up to the sultan of Oman?  Well, if you have paid any attention to recent news, you know that several moderate Sunni nations, such as Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE (among others) have warmed in relationship to Israel because they all have a common enemy:  Iran!  Oman is in that group of Sunni Muslim states now wishing to explore cooperation with Israel.

Not so ironically, God’s Word predicts all these things!  Israel will stand alone, a northern coalition will attack, and certain Muslim nations (including Saudi Arabia, Oman and others) will stand back and not be involved with Russia and other Muslim groups when they invade upon the mountains of Israel! (Need Bible references?  Joel 3:1-2 and Ezekiel 38-39 are good places to start.)

Indeed, God’s Word is more relevant than today’s headlines!  Therefore, my encouragement to us all is to trust wholly and completely on the Word of God rather than be frightened or anxious about the news of the day!  We serve a faithful God who is fully in control.  We know the end of the story.  So let’s rest in His sovereignty!

BREAKING: Israel Rushes to Aid Jordanian Children Following Flash Flood

Unit 669 simulates rescue operation, January, 2010 (Ofer Zidon/Flash90)

Elite Israeli search-and-rescue unit responds to need in Jordan

Right now the Israeli Air Force’s elite search-and-rescue Unit 669 is in Jordan attempting to rescue children caught in a flash flood near the Dead Sea.  At least 18 have perished when the bus they were on was carried away by flood waters.

Read more about the incident here.

Please take a moment right now to stop what you are doing and pray for the children, their families and the Israeli search-and-rescue personnel attempting to save survivors.

Syrian Borders with Israel and Jordan Open Again After 4 Years

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Israeli and UN soldiers at the Quneitra border crossing between Israel and Syria

For the first time in 4 years, the border crossings between Syria and Israel (Quneitra crossing), and Syria and Jordan (Nasir crossing), are open.  Both are used primarily by UN peacekeeping forces.

Until earlier this year, that region of Syria was controlled by the Assad regime as he pushed rebels all the way to the border.  Russia intervened and is now patrolling the area.  The border openings, however, are being touted as “victories” by the Assad regime, and Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem claimed on Monday “We are now reaping the fruits of the beginnings of victory.”

Meanwhile, from a Biblical perspective, one has to wonder if opening the gates with Russian forces patrolling the border plays into the prophetic future Ezekiel 38-39 describes as the War of Gog and Magog…an invasion of Israel from the north, led by Russia.  Practically speaking, though open, the border will still be guarded.  However, the more permissive Israel and the UN are toward Russia’s presence on an open border, the easier it will be for the Russian leader to storm in from the north just as Scripture says he will!

Certainly, the Lord could change the circumstances and delay the onset of the northern invasion.  However, short of that, one more prop has appeared on the stage of end time events.

Look up, my friends!  Our redemption draws near!

But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.
~Luke 21:28

A Deeper Look at Psalm 122: Verses 2-3

PFTPOJ

A song of ascent, Psalm 122 was recited (or sung) by the Jewish people as they made the trek to Jerusalem three times a year for the feasts.  They were anxious to go “up to Jerusalem” for those special times of fellowship with God.

We’re studying Psalm 122 this week and focus on verses 2-3 today:

Our feet are standing
Within your gates, O Jerusalem,
Jerusalem, that is built
As a city that is compact together

“…a city that is compact together” is an interesting phrase, translated many different ways: “joined together,” “bound together,” “knitted together,” “compact together,” and “solidly joined.” But a literal translation is: “joined to itself together.”  The Hebrew word “חֻבְּרָה” appears only once in the entire Bible – here.

It is a word that means “friend,” and has the connotation of joining together.  Just as Exodus 26:11 indicates the curtains in the tabernacle were joined together as a single unit, so Jerusalem is joined together.  Not to something else, but to itself!

If Jerusalem is joined or compacted together, there must be two parts! Jerusalem must have a “friend” or “companion!”  Might that companion be another Jerusalem in heaven?

There is basis for that in the Hebrew language.  Transliterated, YerushalAYIM = Jerusalem.  Notice the suffix “AYIM.”  It is plural!  There is a Jerusalem here on earth, but also a new Jerusalem to come (Revelation 21:2).  Two Jerusalems…”friends/companions!”

But here is another interesting tidbit regarding the joining together of Jerusalem to itself.  The UN designated Jerusalem an international city in 1947.  Yet, the war of 1948 resulted in Jordan taking control of East Jerusalem, leaving only West Jerusalem to the Jews.  In 1967, however, Jerusalem was reunited when Israel won the Six Day War!  Once again joining Jerusalem to itself!

Today, the battle continues to rage over Jerusalem.  There is a constant “tearing” of the city, yet it is God’s Holy City and will ultimately not only be joined to itself on earth, but will be joined together spiritually with the new Jerusalem!

Pray for that city, dear friends!

See you tomorrow when we look at the next portion of Psalm 122!