Saturday, March 5, 2011

Get Your Thoughts In Order--Trouble For The Neighbors

It is important to remember that all of the prophets addressed problems in their day while also speaking to future generations.  Many of these books have dual fulfillments.  Parts of their prophecies have been fulfilled while some  speak specifically to the last days.  Zephaniah is no different.  To him the Day of the Lord was that day when God judged Judah for the sin in the land by Babylon's hand.  However, it was also that day when the finality of God's judgement brings complete redemption to the land forever.  This has not happened, so Zephaniah is also pointing to the time shortly before the Great Tribulation and the ensuing return of Jesus Christ.  Much of the first chapter deals with Judah's transgressions; nonetheless, when did God destroy all of the animals and people and strip the surface of the earth.  Revelation informs us that this will happen in the Great Tribulation.  We will look at chapter 1 in depth later.

Yesterday, we established the warning that the Day of the Lord is near.  Zephaniah gives us hints about the earth just before Daniel's Seventieth Week begins. God used Babylon to partially fulfill judgment on the neighbors of Israel then.  Yet, not all that was mentioned about these lands has happened.  When looking at prophecy it is important to see where these lands are currently.  What we find is another dual fulfillment.  These same lands are causing Israel problems again today.  They will incur a future justice that will completely fulfill God's judgment on them for their treatment of His chosen.

Notice the present day location of Gaza (grey), Ammon (purple), and Moab (dark mustard).  The Gaza strip is one of contemporary Israel's constant threats.  Who currently holds IDF soldier Gilad Shalit?  Who lobs rockets and mortar fire at the Negev region of Israel constantly?  Who has a terrorist organization as their government elected as a result of a "democratic" process?  Who is funded like mercenaries by Iran itself?  Give yourself a cookie if you answered "Gaza".  

Notice Zephaniah 2:5, "Woe unto the inhabitants of the sea coast, the nation of the Cherethites!"  The word Cherethites has an interesting history.  King David had a group of men that worked under him called the Cherethites.  They were "executioners" for him as they inflicted capital punishment. They were from Gaza.  Cherethite means executioner!  Hamas has boobytrapped civilian homes and children's toys in their skirmishes against Israel.  They have fired at Israeli soldiers from elementary schools and from mosques.  They have executed many Christians and opposition leaders.  One journalist entitled them, "Hamas, jihad mad executioners."  The Cherethites were also paid mercenaries and in a way so is Hamas.  Today, Hamas receives funds and direction from Iran.  Soon they will find themselves under the Heavenly Executioner's justice.  For their crimes against God's purposes the land of Gaza will suffer utter destruction. "I will even destroy thee, that there shall be no inhabitant." (v.5) An American plan caused Israel to give this land up, but a battle near the Day of the Lord will see God giving this land back to Israel.  "And the coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah; they shall feed thereupon: in the houses of Ashkelon shall they lie down in the evening: for the LORD their God shall visit them, and turn away their captivity."

"I have heard the reproach of Moab, and the revilings of the children of Ammon, whereby they have reproached my people, and magnified themselves against their border."  Zephaniah 2:8  What a verse!  It speaks of a people who are trying to redefine the borders of Israel.  What is all of the fuss in the news about today anyways?  The same border that this verse speaks of--well sort of--is part of our current news.  The point is that these jealous tribes were trying to steal covenant land from Israel then and the same thing is happening again now.  These countries, Moab and Ammon, are part of present day Jordan. Look at this attached article.   Abbas calls for full Palestinian membership in the UN  What about this article?  More nations will recognize Palestinian state, PA says  The nations of the world are bending backwards over themselves to redefine the borders of Israel.  They want to turn the West Bank into a Palestinian state.  A thorough study of the problem shows that there was already supposed to be a Palestinian state in the region.  It was Jordan.  The Palestinians were given the land of Jordan and the Jews were to receive the current land of Israel.  Here is a Wiki link to the history behind that.  British Mandate for Palestine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Both of these nations will be crushed shortly before the Tribulation.  Not only will the issue of the West Bank be solved, but the nation of Israel will increase its borders to include the East Bank.  This land was originally part of Israel anyways as you can see from the map above.  It was the land of Reuben, Gad and half of Manasseh.  It appears that a war will devastate this region shortly before the Day of the Lord.  Its destruction will be so massive that it will leave Jordan looking like Sodom and Gomorrah.  Israel will suffer also, but a surviving remnant will possess this land. "This shall they have for their pride, because they have reproached and magnified themselves against the people of the LORD of hosts."  Zephaniah 2:10 

We have a couple of other nations to talk about another day and we also want to confirm this from other prophetic texts.  That will be coming soon.  Should this all happen suddenly how is your relationship with Jesus Christ.  Time is quickly fading.  Look to Jesus now!  There is a "too late"! 

As In The Days of Noah--Godlessness in the Last Days

Israel and the Middle East

1 comment:

  1. The Bible tells us that in the end times all nations will come against Israel and she will stand alone...But never fear there is one who will never leave her or forsake her. Trust HIM...I like what it says in Zechariah 12:2 Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah [and] against Jerusalem....................A cup of trembling that is like saying a cup of for a drink world?