Israel and Egypt Sign $15 Billion Gas Deal, Successful Arrow 3 Test Launch

For those of us keeping tabs on action in the Middle East, it was a busy news weekend…and it hasn’t stopped as a new week starts!

As you know, there was action on the Gaza border over the weekend.  Following a bomb explosion that wounded Israeli soldiers, reports are that Israel took out 18 high-value targets in Gaza, including a terror tunnel and Hamas military targets.

On Sunday night, another missile was fired into Israel, to which the Israeli Air Force responded by attacking additional “underground infrastructure.”  Unlike the past where Israel often warned Hamas to stop firing missiles into Israel before taking action, the IDF’s action is swift and severe these days.  As pressure mounts from Iranian aggression in both the Gaza Strip and Syria, Israel is left with little room for patience and Benjamin Netanyahu has been adamant that Israel will not allow Iran to encroach on Israeli borders or threaten their security.

In breaking news, Israel and Egypt signed an historic $15 billion gas deal, confirming the growing relationship between the two nations.  Again, Bible prophecy coming to life.  Read the entire chapter of Isaiah 19…things eventually turn out well for Egypt!  Those who bless Israel will be blessed!

Also, Israel successfully test fired the Arrow 3 defense system, designed to intercept high-altitude rockets beyond earth’s atmosphere.  Deemed a great success, the Arrow 3 is also scheduled to be tested in Alaska later this year.

The birth pangs continue, and we continue to watch world events line up with what the prophets foretold.  Keep your earthly eyes on Damascus and Iran (who is driving what we see in the Gaza Strip and elsewhere).  Keep your spiritual eyes on things above!

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

Understanding the Impact of Last Weekend’s Iranian Drone Incident

As you know, an Iranian drone penetrated Israeli airspace last weekend and was downed by an Israeli Apache helicopter.  Israel then retaliated by attacking the launch site, but in doing so, incurred a downed F-16 fighter jet.  The aircraft crashed in the Galilee area, but thankfully the pilots ejected and are going to be okay.

Following that incident, Syrian media declared an “historic victory,” and Arab officials stated:

“This is an event that defeated the myth of the superiority of the Israeli air force.  It is a strategic, political and military slap heard in Washington, Tel Aviv and Turkey and applauded by Moscow and Iran. It is a historic day and very significant in the history of the open struggle between us and the Israeli enemy….We in the Arab Syrian Republic – army and people – have risen from the rubble and destruction and debris and we have gained back our health.”

So, while Syria and Iran are claiming a great victory, the reality is that Israel took out at least 12 very high value targets, and put a severe dent in the Russia-Iran relationship.  (I’m not convinced Moscow applauded the event!) This is important, but involves some detail, so I yield to one more knowledgeable than I am.  Amir Tsarfati provided a prophecy update yesterday, including logical analysis of exactly what happened in the incident, and the impact to Russia, Iran and Israel.

For those interested in a Biblical perspective of what we see happening in Syria these days, this update is well worth the time.  Enjoy!

IDF Responses following Saturday’s Confrontation with Iran

IDF official: Response to future Iranian violations will be more forceful

Israeli F-16 (photo credit: REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)

As you know, Iran sent a drone into Israeli territory on Saturday, which was shot down by an Israeli Apache helicopter.  The IDF retaliated by taking out the launch site and destroying key facilities on the Iranian airbase in Syria.  Unfortunately, amidst those attacks, an anti-aircraft missile hit an Israeli F-16 fighter jet, causing the pilots to turn the plane back toward Israel and eject.  The jet crashed in the Galilee area but the pilots successfully parachuted to safety.

The IDF has released information and statements regarding the incident, indicating they do not want escalation, but vow to respond even stronger if threatened again by Iran.  Here is information and various statements from IDF officials:

BREAKING: Israeli F-16 Shot Down

Image result for israeli f-16 jets

Israeli F-16

Early this morning (Israel time) an Iranian drone was discovered crossing into Israel from Syria.  An Israeli Apache helicopter shot down the low-flying drone and the IDF immediately retaliated by striking Iranian targets in Syria.

In the midst of the action, an Israeli F-16 was hit by anti-aircraft fire in Syria and turned back toward Israel, where the plane crashed in the northern Jordan valley.  Thankfully, the two pilots ejected safely and are alive.

My friends, the action is heating up.  Just days ago, Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to take whatever action necessary to protect Israel.  Iran flying drones into Israel is a severe violation of Israel’s sovereignty, and such actions will simply not be tolerated.  Unfortunately, it seems Israel will once again be drawn into a war in which they never wished.

We’ve talked much about the coming War of Gog and Magog, described in Ezekiel 38-39, but I want to draw your attention to Ezekiel 38:10-13:

Thus says the Lord God, “It will come about on that day, that thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil plan, and you will say, ‘I will go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will go against those who are at rest, that live securely, all of them living without walls and having no bars or gates, to capture spoil and to seize plunder, to turn your hand against the waste places which are now inhabited, and against the people who are gathered from the nations, who have acquired cattle and goods, who live at the center of the world.’ Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish with all its villages will say to you, ‘Have you come to capture spoil? Have you assembled your company to seize plunder, to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to capture great spoil?’”

Russia and Iran are undoubtedly the key players in the northern coalition that Ezekiel 38 describes as coming against Israel.  Indeed, they “devise an evil plan.” (v10)  Israel is the most secure they have ever been in their 70 year history since rebirth.  They are strong militarily, they are prosperous economically, they live in unwalled cities. (v11)  While Iran’s intent is to wipe Israel off the map, Russia (the leader of the coalition) is after “spoils” (oil and gas).  (v12)

But get this: look who is questioning motive, as if to say, “Hey, why are you attacking Israel!” Verse 13 refers to Sheba and Dedan (and others).  Do you know who Sheba and Dedan is?  Saudi Arabia!  Only recently has Saudi Arabia warmed up to Israel.  Until recently, Saudi Arabia could not care less if someone attacked Israel!  This prophecy could not have been fulfilled until only a few short weeks or months ago!  Yet it is in place now!

Friends, we don’t know when Jesus will come to take us (believers in Jesus Christ) out of here.  (That is known as the rapture.  See 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18)  Nor do we know if it will be before or after the War of Gog and Magog.  Regardless, it COULD be any time, and we need to live our lives in anticipation of our soon coming King!  (See Welcome the King Home)  Damascus could soon fall (Isaiah 17:1), and Russia and Iran (along with Turkey, Sudan and Libya) could soon filter right through Syria to Israel’s border (Ezekiel 38-39).  Once that happens, God’s fury will mount and He will take matters into His own hands!  (Ezekiel 38:18-23)

But fear not, Christian brothers and sisters!  We know how it ends, and we know our final destination!  This world is not our home, and we will be called to our eternal home some day.  Maranatha…Lord come quickly!