Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Get Your Thoughts In Order--Trouble for Syria

"God's messenger!  Lord, you must be kidding!  Is this some sort of divine joke?  Who wants to preach forgiveness to an enemy that has been a thorn in your side your entire life?  Who wants to preach a message of repentance to a nation that is filled with wickedness?  Revival!  Revival? 'I want to see them destroyed'", thought Jonah.  It was somewhere between 785 to 770 BC and the prophet is being sent as an ambassador of reconciliation to a nation that Jonah wishes to see destroyed.  He is being sent to call the chief city of Nineveh to repent and turn to YHWH.  He runs.  He pouts.  He questions.  After some "fishy" circumstances he finally obeys and preaches one of history's greatest revivals while throwing a hissy fit the whole time.

Two other prophets around 150 years later get the assignment that Jonah longed for.  He wished to pronounce judgement, but God extended mercy and spared the nation of Assyria for another 150 years or so.  Nahum and Zephaniah portent what Jonah only wished he could speak.  Zephaniah says, "And he will stretch out his hand against the north, and destroy Assyria; and will make Nineveh a desolation, and dry like a wilderness (2:13)."  Nahum seems to remind us that the Lord always seeks repentance before He sends justice.  The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet (1:3).  The time of mercy has passed for Nineveh and Assyria. Now justice must come.  "She is empty, and void, and waste: and the heart melteth...(2:10a).

Zephaniah prophesied of this devastation some two decades before Nineveh's demise and Nahum delivered his message up to fifty years before.  Their prophecies were fulfilled with utterly amazing accuracy as you would expect coming from the LORD who knows all!  In 612 BC Nineveh was totally destroyed and left abandoned just as God had said.  Nineveh was left a barren waste covered with desert sand and forgotten until it was rediscovered in the mid 1800s.  Other than being a great archaeological site, it is still empty.  Yet, a nation bearing the name of Syria is located in the same region as ancient Assyria and there are still some prophecies related to this land that have yet to be fulfilled.  God is never wrong and Zephaniah seems to point again to another dual fulfillment.  

Notice that Damascus is a part of this map of the Assyrian Empire.  Damascus is currently the capital city of the contemporary nation of Syria as the map below shows.

Zephaniah is one of many books that seem to point to a total destruction of this land at some point just before or at the beginning of the Tribulation.  An article below speaks of another text dealing with this region that has yet to find a total fulfillment.  "The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.  The cities of Aroer are forsaken: they shall be for flocks, which shall lie down, and none shall make them afraid. The fortress also shall cease from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus, and the remnant of Syria: they shall be as the glory of the children of Israel, saith the LORD of hosts"  (Isaiah 17:1-3).  

Present day Syria is also mentioned as part of a confederation of nations that are consumed by the Lord.  This prophecy from Psalm 83 is also yet to be fulfilled.  This coalition has the goal of destroying Israel forever.  "They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance" (Psalm 83:4).  "Assur {The land of Assyria named for Shem's second son, Asshur} also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot. Selah" (Psalm 83:8)  Listen to what Zechariah says of this land near the time of that latter rain, "And he shall pass through the sea with affliction, and shall smite the waves in the sea, and all the deeps of the river shall dry up: and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down, and the sceptre of Egypt shall depart away"  (Zechariah 10:11)

Things are not looking too good for Assyria--present day Syria!  Egypt is not looking much better.  Egypt is also listed in Psalm 83 as the Hagarenes--descendants of Hagar.  Since we see this entire region in turmoil, it might be wise to keep an ear ready for a shout from above.  Prepare yourselves!  Truly, the Day of the Lord is near.

The Nations of Psalm 83

I have cut off the nations: their towers are desolate; I made their streets waste, that none passeth by: their cities are destroyed, so that there is no man, that there is none inhabitant.
Zephaniah 3:6

Israel and the Middle East

Wow!  I could not have asked for better timing for this news article.  Syrian Pilots Flying Libyan Warplanes, Rebels Charge - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News ***

End Time Technology

Alien Life in Meteorites: 'Remarkable Achievement' or 'Garbage'? - FoxNews.com  I do not have much space to comment here.  The scientific community is desperately trying to find life in space to bolster the ailing theory of evolution.  They know that there has not been enough on earth to spontaneously generate life for sometime so they are looking for life elsewhere in hopes of providing the prop to hold up this lie.  The man that claimed to find micro fossils has made this same unsubstantiated claim before.  

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