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Jeff

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Damascus and Syria

    I do not claim to be an expert on the Middle East or even on prophecy.  I've read the Bible cover to cover at least 20 or more times though and have seen people every time there is a conflict in the Middle East talk about the end times.  It happened last times rockets fell on Israel and when we attacked Iraq.  In a way it is good since it shows that we are trying to fit what the Bible says into our news today.  But, over time I think it makes people insensitive to the signs around them.  Like the little boy that cried wolf, when there really is trouble nobody believed him.

    The Bible makes several references of Damascus and the place where many people died within the last week by chemical weapons.  Most of these references have to do about a time long since past when Israel was carried off into captivity by the Assyrians.  I would point out to you that these Israelites never returned back to their homeland.  The Assyrians ruled in an area now within the boundaries of modern day Iraq.

    One reference is in Isaiah 17:1-3 an oracle against Damascus "Behold, Damascus is about to be removed from being a city, And it will become a fallen ruin. The cities of Aroer are forsaken; They will be for flocks to lie down in, And there will be no one to frighten them. the fortified city will disappear from Ephraim, and sovereignty from Damascus and the remnant of Aram; They will be like the glory of the sons of Israel, Declares the Lord of hosts."

     I have heard people say that because Damascus is referred to as a place of fallen ruin and that they don't believe this has happened before that perhaps it is in reference to a chemical weapon attack or nuclear attack.  I don't think this is necessarily the case and a case in point where the boy has called wolf when no wolf is there.  This is a reference to Damascus being emptied out by the Assyrians, nothing more and nothing less.

    Some related verses that a student of prophecy should consider is verses such as Jeremiah 49:23-24; Zech 9:1 and Micah 1:6.  Does that then mean that the war in Syria is irrelevant to end times.  No, it does not.  Look at what Jesus said in Matthew 24:6 "And you will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rsie against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes.  But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs."

     And for years now we have heard of wars and rumors of wars.  Our country is in some ways tired of wars since being in Afghanistan and Iraq for so long.  We have seen famines and earthquakes.  We have seen horrible things such as 9/11 and other tragedies.  We have seen false prophets rise up as it says in Matt 24:11 and we have seen many people's love grow cold Mathew 24:12.  We have seen many if not most of the signs that Jesus talked about.  This is cause us to consider the times that we are in the end days.

    But, to say that these things have happened so that one day or a particular day Jesus will return is foolish.  We don't know when he will return.  I think it will be soon, but I could very well be wrong.  Jesus said that "The Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will." matthew 24:44.  Our job as christians is not to predict, but to be ready.  We are to be alert and also to be ready and busy until he returns.  Are you busy doing His work? 

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