While the U.S. is distracted from the world scene by our domestic scandals, huge pressures in the Middle East may be forcing Israel to make some difficult decisions about preemptive strikes against both Iran and Syria.
Iran is fast approaching the point of no return in their nuclear weapons development. In the past, the United States would have found a way to dissuade Iran from completing their evil project. After all, to Iran, Israel is only the “Little Satan,” while the U.S. is the “Great Satan.” Virtually everyone agrees that the world is going to be a much more dangerous place once Iran has the bomb.
Also in the past, Israel would have taken the initiative to stop Iran’s weapons program by launching a quick, surgical strike like it has done in the past with Iraq and Syria. In those days, most of the world understood that Israel simply had to act in self-defense because one nuclear attack would utterly destroy their tiny country.
One news item from The Atlantic this week is an analysis entitled, “Israeli or US Action Against Iran: Who Will Do It If It Must Be Done?” The study was written by Amos Yadlin, director of the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University, and Retired Gen. James Cartwright of the United States Marine Corps. Their conclusion is that the Iranian nuclear program poses an existential threat to Israel but not to the US, and Jerusalem therefore has greater moral authority to strike nuclear sites in Iran. The big question is whether or not it can be done successfully without U.S. assistance.
The other big news from the area is the shipment of advanced Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Syria. Russia has a vested interest in the survival of Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria. Israel would pick the existing government of Syria as the lesser of two or three evils there, but they simply cannot allow those missiles to be installed since they would threaten all of Israeli airspace, including commercial travel. Before any of the missiles were delivered Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said, “If God forbid they do reach Syria, we will know what to do.” Today’s headlines from Israel proclaim:
Israel is also very concerned about the growing strength of Hezbollah, the terrorist group in Lebanon. They are aiding Syrian rebels, and could possibly take control of Syria’s weapons of mass destruction and the new missile systems. Another headline, from last week’s news, was
If Hezbollah gets control of Syrian weapons they will threaten the development of Israel’s two new giant natural gas fields which are expected to supply Israel with all of the energy it needs, and even allow them to become an energy exporter.
All of this brings the world closer to the prophetic war of Gog and Magog, described in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39.
According to Ezekiel, an alliance of enemies will attack Israel in the end-times. The leader will be Gog of the land of Magog (possibly Russia), who is the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. He is assisted by Persia (Iran), Cush (Ethiopia & Sudan), Put (Libya), Gomer, Beth Togarmah and other nations (possibly Turkey and/or other Islamic nations like those once part of the Soviet Union). Most of these names are listed in the genealogies of Genesis 10.
God will bring a quick end to this future war. He may use literal fire and brimstone, as in the days of Sodom, or he might pit nation against nation, the way he often did in the Old Testament, to precipitate a nuclear exchange.
And with pestilence and with blood I shall enter into judgment with him; and I shall rain on him, and on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, a torrential rain, with hailstones, fire, and brimstone. – Ezekiel 38:22 (NIV)
This future war might take place just before or just after the Rapture of the Church (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
Remember what Jesus said about the time when we would see end-times events transpire:
Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”– Luke 21:28