The Coming War in the Middle East
by Dean Odle
Isaiah 17 says that Damascus, Syria shall be taken away from being a city and made a ruinous heap (vs. 1) by the children of Israel (vs. 9). The attack will begin in the evening and before morning Damascus will be totally destroyed (vs. 14). According to Wikipedia, Damascus is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. So the prophecy of Isaiah 17 has never been fulfilled. A British newspaper reported in April that an Israeli leader warned that Israel has intel that Syria has been arming Hezbollah, the radical terrorist group in Lebanon with ballistic missiles. And Israel now considers Hezbollah a branch of the Syrian army. If attacked, Israel stated that they will return Damascus, Syria to the stoneage. That means a nuclear or neutron bomb to completely destroy a city of that size and to cause the cities nearby to flee (vs. 2&9).
After looking back at Ezekiel 38 & 39, I believe this will happen as part of the Gog/Magog war that deals with the nations to the north invading Israel. And that they will be completely decimated by Israel/God. It also mentions Persia (Iran) and others being involved. It will be so bad that it says Israel will be burning their enemies weapons for seven years and that men will be hired to do nothing but bury dead bodies for months. This is not Armageddon that happens at the end of the last seven years but this Gog/Magog war will start the process of the final years of mankind as we know it.
After a nuke is released in the Middle East by Israel, the world will panic and rush to stop this war. Then, a man will step forward and get Israel and the Arabs to sign a peace treaty. He will be looked at as a hero and the savior of mankind. Daniel 11:23 says "after the league (treaty) is made with him, he will work deceitfully...and become strong with a small people." However, as part of the peace treaty and Israel's promise to not nuke anyone else, the Jews will get to rebuild their temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem across from the Dome of the Rock. This where the Antichrist will step in at the midpoint of the last seven years and declare himself to be God (2 Thess. 2). After that, he will empower his false prophet to initiate the mark of the beast to control all financial transactions worldwide. And those who refuse this mark and will not worship the Antichrist or his image will be killed (see Rev. 13). This will begin a massive persecution of Christians...and yes I believe that we Christians will be here for at least a year or two after the midpoint of the tribulation but more about that later.
The final judgments of God and the return of Jesus Christ are almost upon us. The good news is that the Isaiah 17 prophecy of Damascus being destroyed will cause man to look to his Maker (vs. 7). I believe this earth shaking event will cause many lukewarm and indifferent people to turn toward God and spark a revival of repentance and the fear of the Lord. If you are not right with God, humble yourself, turn from sin and worldliness and ask Jesus to wash your sins away. Then let Jesus be LORD of your life and start sharing God's Word with everyone you can. Time is short.