The Signs of the Times (36): Damascus

editor - 24 February 2019

 ‘A prophecy against Damascus: “See, Damascus will no longer be a city but will become a heap of ruins. The cities of Aroer will be deserted and left to flocks, which will lie down, with no one to make them afraid. The fortified city will disappear.
Isaiah 17:1-2 (NIV)

There are many unfulfilled prophecies in the Bible. They speak about wars in the Middle East. Like Isaiah 17:1-2 for example. This speaks about a complete destruction of Damascus, the capital of Syria, which you can see from the Golan Heights in Israel when skies are clear. This has not yet happened in history. In the continuing turmoil in the lands of the Middle East almost daily Syria and its capital Damascus are in the news. Will this ultimately lead to its total destruction? Never in the history has Damascus been completely destroyed. But one-day it will. Because the Bible tells us so. It does not say how. Or by whom. By an earthquake? By bombs during a war? The prophecy does not say, but the end-result is clear: total annihilation.

And what about Isaiah 19:16-17 in which Egypt shudders with fear because of what the hand of the Lord will do to Egypt through the land of Judah (Israel)? In the 1956 war between Egypt and Israel the Israeli army stood in a few days’ time at the border of the Suez-Canal. But this was not the final fulfilment of this prophecy. Because the end-result of what ‘the uplifted hand of the Lord Almighty’ by the tiny nation of Israel will do to them is that the Egyptians will no longer worship Allah, but the God of Israel. Verse 22 says: ‘The Lord will strike Egypt with a plague; He will strike them and heal them. They will turn to the Lord, and He will respond to their pleas and heal them.’

Or Psalm 83:1-18 with a first circle of nations around Israel – and Assyria (which today is Iraq) in the background. Together in unity, united by their hatred against Israel and the Jewish people, they declare: ‘Come let us destroy them as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more.’ The Psalm knows what the true nature of anti-Semitism is: hatred against Israel and the Jews is deep down hatred against the God of Israel: ‘With cunning they conspire against Your people; they plot against those You cherish…With one mind they plot together; they form an alliance against You.’

Or Ezekiel 38 and 39 with a second, wider ring of nations around Israel (Syria and Egypt are no longer mentioned here!), that suddenly want to wipe Israel off the map. With Turkey and Iran and the former Soviet Republics and Russia in the background? An Islamic holy war, a jihad, against Israel?

And Zechariah 12: 1-3 (and 14) in which all nations – you might say in our days the ‘United Nations’ – will try to move the immovable rock Jerusalem. ‘The Lord, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the spirit of man within him, declares: “I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves.’

And what about the prophecy in Ezekiel 35-36 about Edom, present-day Jordan, being destroyed? And there are many more unfulfilled prophecies!

It is tempting to see a domino effect in this. It starts with Syria. Israel with its back against the wall strikes back and destroys Damascus. Then Egypt joins in and is also struck. After that, the ‘first ring’ around Israel gets involved and Israel barely survives. But then the ‘second ring’ joins in, and against such a ‘jihad’, such overwhelming political and military powers, Israel no longer will be able to stand.

But then the LORD fights on behalf of His people and the ‘power’ of Allah is publically broken. After that all the nations, the whole world gets involved. But again the Lord acts in favour of His people Israel, in order that the nations will know Who is truly God: The God of Israel, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Creator of heaven and earth, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Compared to Him all other ‘gods’ turn out to be idols. All is well that ends well. But one must be careful. Because in this way one is creating again one’s own, new end-times prophetic timetable! And the Bible is not a jig-saw puzzle of prophetic Bible-verses!

But no matter how things will take place – and God’s Word will absolutely be fulfilled: it ends with the Coming of the Messiah of Israel, the King of kings and Lord of lords, Jesus Christ.

Then will be fulfilled what Paul writes in Philippians 2: 9-11: ‘Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father!’


The Signs of the Times
Many people are afraid of the future. Will the turmoil in the world lead to World War III? Or is there still hope? What do the ancient prophecies of the Bible teach us? Are we at the beginning of the end of this world? Or are we approaching a new beginning? Could Israel be a sign of hope? In this new series Rev. Willem Glashouwer looks at 52 of the many signs of the times that are mentioned in the Bible. The English edition of ‘The Signs of the Times’ is available in our webshop. Order today!

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