Sunday, March 26, 2017

Approaching the Labor?

“Then behold, at eventide, trouble! And before the morning, he is no more. This is the portion of those who plunder us, And the lot of those who rob us.”  Isaiah 17:14  NKJV

Did you know that labor pains, or contractions, are more likely to occur at night rather than during the day? Now don’t ask me why because I am not a doctor, but I do recall being awakened at night with those memorable words; “it’s starting”. Anyone familiar with what Jesus taught about the end of the age understands that He compared what many of us believe is about to occur with the onset of a woman’s labor pains. If you have followed my thoughts for any length of time, you probably understand that I believe the next major prophetic event on Israel’s calendar is the fulfillment of the Destruction of Damascus that we find in Isaiah 17.

“The burden against Damascus. “Behold, Damascus will cease from being a city, And it will be a ruinous heap.”  Isaiah 17:1  NKJV

This past week has seen several events unfold in that region which may, considering where I believe we are on God’s prophetic calendar, be signs that the onset of labor is fast approaching.  A successful Israeli air attack on an arms shipment intended for use by the terror organization Hezbollah was the first event that caught my attention.  That was followed by the intercept of a missile fired at the jets as they left Syrian airspace by Israel’s missile defense shield.  Days later a drone strike was attributed to the IDF and two more air raids were successfully carried out within the borders of Syria.  Israel’s ambassador was summoned by Russia to explain these actions and warned that violations of Syrian airspace would not be tolerated.

One cannot help but wonder if we are seeing the beginning of an escalation which will culminate in the events foretold in Isaiah 17.  If we consider the times we are living in, especially the presence of Russia in the Middle East, it would appear the stage is being set for all that the Word of God tells us will happen before the time of the end.  After all of this, you might be wondering if I believe that the destruction of the city of Damascus is the beginning of the actual labor, as opposed to just another sign.  Truthfully, I suppose I would have to confess that for quite some time I have thought exactly that. You see, while there are many signs for nine months or so that a woman is pregnant, it is the painful contractions which signal the onset of labor.  So the question we should ask is what event could be the first contraction?

If we were to take a poll, I am reasonably sure the vast majority would say that the attempted Gog, Magog invasion of Ezekiel 38,39 is the conflict which gives the antichrist his opportunity to assume power, and begin the seventieth week of Daniel.

“ ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “On that day it shall come to pass that thoughts will arise in your mind, and you will make an evil plan: “You will say, ‘I will go up against a land of unwalled villages; I will go to a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates’—“to take plunder and to take booty, to stretch out your hand against the waste places that are again inhabited, and against a people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell in the midst of the land.”  Ezekiel 38:10-12  NKJV

Although Gog might have a plan in place, it follows that it would help him immensely if he were to be given an excuse to exercise it.  As I have studied both the Isaiah 17 and Ezekiel 38,39 prophecies over the years it has become my firm belief that the destruction of Damascus by Israel is the excuse Gog is waiting for to implement his evil plan.  So it has been with great interest over the past few years that I have watched Russia begin to move into the Middle East and assume a position from which it could easily fulfill what many believe to be its destiny concerning the future attempted invasion of Israel.

Of course, what I have found to be truly interesting is that Russia has done this by choosing to actively support the regime of Bashar Assad of Syria, and also the terrorist organization Hezbollah.  Why interesting?  Since Israel is foretold to be the instrument of Damascus’ destruction, they would certainly need a compelling excuse to do so.  I have read on more than one occasion the opinion that the last person anyone would want to play a game of chess with would be Vladimir Putin.  I would certainly agree with that sentiment, and it is with that in mind that I look at his moves in the region of the Middle East and especially Syria with great suspicion in regards to the future of Israel.

Any conflict with Syria could easily escalate to the point where the fulfillment of Isaiah 17 could take place.  Assad of Syria and Nasrallah of Hezbollah have made it perfectly clear that they would like nothing better than to see a world without Israel or the Jewish people.   An attack on the nation of Israel which threatens their existence would provoke an overwhelming response, thus putting into motion the evil plan of Gog by giving him the excuse he needs.  I believe too, that when it does occur (and we know it will), in hindsight it will be seen to be the beginning of the “labor” we are watching for. 

“And it will come to pass at the same time, when Gog comes against the land of Israel,” says the Lord GOD, “that My fury will show in My face. “For in My jealousy and in the fire of My wrath I have spoken: ‘Surely in that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel, ‘so that the fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all creeping things that creep on the earth, and all men who are on the face of the earth shall shake at My presence. The mountains shall be thrown down, the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.’ “I will call for a sword against Gog throughout all My mountains,” says the Lord GOD. “Every man’s sword will be against his brother. “And I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. “Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the LORD.” ’    Ezekiel 38:18-23  NKJV

Only time will tell if what we are witnessing today is the lead up to the beginning of the labor pains Jesus taught about, but the one thing I believe all of us can agree upon is that the end is near.  The violence we are seeing on an almost weekly basis now, the moves nations are making, the alliances being made and the threats being offered, are simply too many to be explained away by any other reasoning.  We are at the point where the painful contractions which signal the onset of labor could occur at any time.

Keep watching.