Sunday, August 25, 2013

Is It Time?

The burden against Damascus. "Behold, Damascus will cease from [being] a city, And it will be a ruinous heap.  Isaiah 17:1  NKJV
Once again I find myself in a situation where I feel led to remind you of what we are told about the future of Damascus, capitol of Syria, in God’s Holy Word.  As with all prophecy, understanding the “what” is much easier than trying to understand the “when”.  Yet I believe that if we fulfill our responsibility to “watch”, it is certainly possible to see events unfold which could be a harbinger of biblical fulfillment.
For those of you who have requested a copy of my book, or have heard me teach on the subject of Isaiah 17, you are then familiar with the possible scenarios I explore which I believe could produce the fulfillment of this prophecy.  One of the most logical, and in the eyes of many the most justifiable, would be a response by Israel towards Damascus in response to the use of chemical weapons against the Jewish homeland.
This past week has produced evidence, which most observers believe is incontrovertible, that Syria has used chemical weapons against their own people.  This fact, along with Syria’s stated intention to set the Mideast on fire if anyone retaliates, certainly seems to set into place all the conditions necessary to see the events we find in the passage from Isaiah 17 unfold.
I have copied just two of the many articles from this past week about these events for you to read today.  I chose these two for the simple reason that they will give you insight into the mindset of the leadership in Israel today, if in fact you might be of the opinion that they would never use one of their own weapons of mass destruction against Damascus.  I have taken the liberty to highlight in bold type the comments I feel are important for you to consider when thinking about this possibility.
Western-Mid East military action prepared for Syria. Israel, Jordan, Turkey face up to Syrian counter-attack. Russia on war alert
DEBKAfile Special Report August 25, 2013, 7:12 AM (IDT)
Western and Middle East powers led by Washington began moving Saturday night and Sunday morning, Aug. 25, toward a first strike against Syria following the Assad regime’s large-scale chemical attack in eastern Damascus last Wednesday. The first targeted strike may well signal the start of a series of US-led attacks aimed at toppling the Assad regime, debkafile’s military sources report. They may consist of imposing a no-fly zone and the sealing off of sectors in northern and southern Syria against government forces.
Russian forces also went on war alert.  President Barack Obama and UK Prime Minister David Cameron spent 40 minutes on the phone Saturday night amid the strongest indications to date from Washington that direct military intervention by the West was approaching, following a change in the US president’s posture. He has become convinced that the strike would have to be conducted outside the United Nations.
Military commanders from Western and Muslim countries are meeting Sunday in the Jordanian capital of Amman to coordinate action in Syria, with the participation of the US, Britain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, France, Italy and Canada. Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the US Chiefs of Staff chairs the meeting. Saturday night, four American destroyers were moving closer to Syria, armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles, which are capable of precision strikes. 
While Western media are reporting at length on Western, Arab and Muslim military preparations, Israel’s armed forces are moving ahead in secrecy. Its officials spread soothing statements asserting Israel’s non-involvement in the Syrian turmoil, as Israel’s military and intelligence agencies get ready for Syria to counter an attack by loosing missiles against their country as well as Jordan and Turkey. All three also expect an explosion of terrorism.
Saturday night, Syrian information minister Omran al-Zoubi, while denying his government was responsible for Wednesday’s poison gas attack, stated over state television that if Syria came under attack, “a mass of flames will ignite the Middle East.”
Debkafile’s military sources report that Moscow has placed on war alert Russia’s Mediterranean and Black Sea fleets as well as rapid deployment forces in southern and central Russia.

Three Syrian hospitals told the humanitarian group Médecins Sans Frontières Saturday that they had received around 3,600 patients suffering from symptoms related to a poison gas attack. Of these, 355 had reportedly died. 
According to debkafile’s sources, Western demands for proof of the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons before taking action have been countered in the last few hours by the discovery that the forensic evidence will be all but impossible to obtain in view of the special mixture contained in the gas shells. Only tiny quantities of sarin were blended in with a large quantity of riot control agents, a formula developed by Iran to camouflage the use of chemical weapons.
PM: Israel's 'finger on the pulse' of Syria developments, if necessary will also be 'on the trigger'
Netanyahu says situation in Syria is "horrible tragedy, crime."
Israel's "finger is on the pulse" following the situation in Syria, and – if needed – will also be on the trigger, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Sunday in his first public comments on reports that hundreds of Syrian were killed last week by chemical weapons.

What is happening in Syria is both a horrible tragedy and crime, he said at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting.

"Our heart goes out to the women, children, babies and citizens killed in such a cruel way through the use of weapons of mass destruction," he added.

Netanyahu said that Israel drew three conclusions from this episode.

"First, this situation cannot continue. Second, it is forbidden for the world's most dangerous regimes to have the most dangerous weapons in the world. And thirdly, we expect this to end, but we remember the ancient adage of our sages: 'If we are not for ourselves, who will be for us' – that is to say, our finger, our hand, will always be on the pulse. Our finger is responsible, and when needed it is also on the trigger."

Netanyahu said that Israel knows how, and will continue to know how, to defend itself against those who want to do it harm.
President Shimon Peres, meeting Sunday morning with visiting French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, said the cries in Syria of a girl "begging her father to come and save her is a cry to which we cannot remain indifferent."

Peres said that the "time has come for a joint effort to remove all the chemical weapons from Syria. They cannot remain there either in the hands of Assad or of others."

He said that while he could "understand the problems and doubts" about intervening in Syria, "the moral call is superior to any strategic considerations." He praised Fabius for speaking out on this issue, and said his voice "has been the clearest in recent days concerning the situation in Syria."

"In addition to everything else needed to stop this massacre there must be an international attempt to take out the weapons. It is very complicated and it is very expensive but it is more dangerous and more expensive to leave it there. It must be done," he said.
What we see here is very clear.  Israel believes that these weapons must be destroyed, and they are more than willing to respond if they are used against them.  How will they respond?  It is a tenant of international law that you can justifiably respond “in kind” to an attack by another country.  The world, and Israel, considers chemical weapons to be a weapon of mass destruction.  To many, their use would then justify a response in kind, and would certainly come as no surprise.  As far as we know or suspect, the only country in the Middle East, other than Syria, which has weapons of mass destruction is Israel with their nuclear capability.
Will the nations of the world respond to Syria’s use of chemical weapons by force?  Will that response provoke Syria to launch those weapons into Israel?  Will Damascus be destroyed by a nuclear weapon?  It seems increasinly possible that the answers to those questions are about to be revealed.
Keep watching.