What were you doing on Friday, April 13th, in the evening? If you had the computer on, the TV on, or your phone on during that time, it likely all of a sudden went all a flutter with messages, alerts, and posts. I know mine did. I admit, it was exciting… in fact, many of us wondered (for a few hours) if Isaiah 17 had just started and Damascus would soon be destroyed. We were on the edge of our seats, so to speak, collectively watching and waiting to see if Isaiah 17 would come to pass.
But no, Isaiah 17 had not started, as scripture is very specific that Damascus will be destroyed overnight and become an uninhabitable, ruinous heap. It was clear to see that the short-duration strike of limited scope was not at all what Isaiah 17 foretells. But we have more reason than ever to believe both Isaiah 17 and Ezekiel 38-39 are very near. I’ll explain later, but first let’s look at scripture.
“The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap” (Isaiah 17:1).
Most of us have long thought that Israel will be the one to destroy Damascus due to verse 9 of that chapter, but scripture leaves enough wiggle room that it doesn’t have to be Israel alone who destroys Damascus.
“In that day shall his strong cities be as a forsaken bough, and an uppermost branch, which they left because of the children of Israel: and there shall be desolation.”
We also have the reason why Damascus will be destroyed and the timeframe in which it happens in verse 14.
“And behold at eveningtide trouble; and before the morning he is not. This is the portion of them that spoil us, and the lot of them that rob us.”
Yet we aren’t given much more information as to whether or not Israel acts alone, or if she has help. There are more clues in Isaiah 17 about the timing; we’ll get to that in a few moments. Let’s first look at what actions did and did not take place with the strike conducted by the US, Britain, and France.
President Trump announced several days prior to the event that there would be action taken in response to the chemical attacks on Syrian civilians. According to ‘news’ segments and articles, it took several days’ worth of negotiations for Britain, France, and the Pentagon to agree on what they would and would not strike, and where. However, I recall vividly how President Trump lambasted Obama for giving notice prior to striking an area, and the berating was for good reason. It gives the enemy enough time to move key personnel, equipment, weaponry, chemicals, and even evidence to other locations.
The best strike is an unannounced strike. But that’s not what happened here. Of course, there could be no unannounced “sneak attack” when the US had to bring in aircraft carriers and multiple other military equipment and personnel into the area. That would have been seen by the world regardless, and reported on in an unfavorable light (as has become the custom of the treasonous, anti-American ‘news’ sources in America).
What did they strike? ONLY those places where there was proof that chemical weapons were either stored or were being (or had been) manufactured. In other words… very little. The strike did not include Assad’s palace, nor Syrian government or Syrian military locations. Those went untouched. And the very next morning, video of Assad strutting into work was shown all over Arab ‘news’ in defiance of the very limited strike. Sadly, it was laughable in scope.
This strike came with much coverage of a show; but when the dust settled (very shortly after starting, to much dismay), it was apparent that it wasn’t even a tiny slap on the fingers of Assad, Iran, Russia, and Turkey. If anything, as soon as the US removes our aircraft carrier and other military equipment from the region, it will serve to embolden Iran, Russia, Turkey and other factions much more.
Why? Because, during President Trump’s speech he mentioned that the US wouldn’t be policing the Middle East, that the area had far too many problems for the US to fix, and that ultimately it would be up to the regional nations to find a solution. In other words, he might just as well have said, “Israel, you’re on your own.”
What can we expect will happen after the US is out of the region?
The axis of evil in Syria (Russia, Iran, Turkey, et al) will be emboldened to act against Israel without fear of real ramifications. This puts Israel in a worse position than she was prior to this event. My heart sank when the president got done speaking and when the very short and extremely limited strike was over. This was not Isaiah 17, but it certainly has served to embolden the Ezekiel 38-39 coalition.
Russia announced they would be selling military aircraft and even anti-missile systems to Syria. A month prior, this would have caused outrage from the world. Now? No outrage. Sadly, the world sees it as ‘justified’ after Syria was ‘attacked.’ Never mind the innocent babies, children, and families who were attacked with chemicals yet again by Assad’s maniacal regime. Those poor souls were hoping for help from the US. And they don’t yet know that, sadly, they’ve gotten all the help they are going to get from us. I’m sure many of them will soon feel betrayed all over again.
Why? Let’s look at what the Syrian war is all about (in a nutshell).
Assad is Alawite Shia, and Iran is Shia. Yet the Syrian population was over 80% Sunni Muslim prior to the Assad regime and Iran (with the help of Russia) slaughtering much of Syria’s civilian population. The refugee crisis came from these events. Yet if asked, the actual Syrian people would much prefer to stay in their homelands. They want safe zones in their own country, not to be driven out of their own homes and land. (See video link at bottom of article.)
Besides Assad wanting to eradicate not just Sunni Muslims, but Christians, Kurds, and anyone who won’t ‘convert’ to Shia Islam, there are the three main Ezekiel 38-39 players in Syria who each have their own reasons for being there. Iran and Assad have much the same ideology. But worse is the Islamic eschatology behind Iran’s desires. They actually believe that their false ‘Mahdi’ will come when Iran has subdued Israel, and when Iran has “set the world aflame in destruction.”
This is why Iran has such an ardent desire to procure nuclear weapons. There is zero doubt that, when and if Iran does obtain nuclear means, they will use them right away. Iran doesn’t try to hide whom they plan to use these nuclear weapons on either; they chant “Death to America” and then “Death to Israel.”
As a side note, Iranian people are not predominantly bent on this goal; instead, they want peace and they want the lifestyle they had up until the 1970’s. If you look back at pictures or video of Iran in the 1970’s, it looked like many modern nations in dress and amenities. However, the 1980’s was the “bloody decade” for Iran, when Shia extremists rose to power and executed thousands of political prisoners in 1988. (Something similar happened last year in Turkey, but in another form of Islamic extremism.)
Most of the Iranian people are disgusted with their government for spending all its wealth on weaponry and military means, as well as for nuclear ambitions and proxy wars against Israel and Sunni Muslims. But they are now under a tyrannical government. A huge, civilian uprising began to surface recently in Iran, but they are outgunned.
On a brighter note: Many Iranian civilians are coming to Christ, after realizing how truly demonic Islam is.
But the Iranian government and military are bent on Israel’s destruction, as well as destruction of the US. They will strike Israel as a proxy war against the US at the first available opportunity. Sadly, I believe the withdrawal of the US military from the region will further embolden and hasten this action.
Another key member of the Eze. 38-39 coalition is Turkey. They are trying to eradicate Kurds in northern Syria, and Turkey’s true desire is to annex northern Syria. Much like Iran (but a different brand of Islam), Turkey has their own version of eschatology. Erdogan dreams of reviving the Ottoman Empire; and he delusionally believes he will be the ‘Caliph’ in this new ‘Caliphate,’ which he insanely believes will be global in scope after (he believes) conquering the region.
Islam is an equal-opportunity, delusional tool of the devil. Would-be dictators and Islam go hand in hand.
Then there is Russia. We’ve all heard the claims that Russia went to Syria to “eradicate ISIS” and to “help Christians.” Folks, that is pure propaganda. The reason Putin is in Syria is twofold: #1. To obtain a warm water port. #2. To secure a Middle East pipeline for Russia’s natural gas.
Russia survives on selling natural gas to other nations, including Europe. Imagine how Putin was infuriated and jealous when Israel found a huge natural gas and oil reserve! Not only that, but Putin tried numerous times to make an arrangement with Israel over the natural gas. But PM Netanyahu wisely refused. Now Israel is selling natural gas to other nations, and Putin is livid over this. He thought he had the market cornered, and now Israel is taking a piece of what he thinks of as his own pie, so to speak.
This unquenchable lust to control the natural gas in the region, and Putin’s desire to take a “spoil” of Israel’s natural gas and oil reserves are the “hooks in the jaws” of Ezekiel 38, the prize of great monetary value that he just can’t resist.
All three of the major players in Ezekiel 38-39 are entrenched in Syria for different reasons; yet each wants to bring about the demise of Israel.
Each of these key members has their own reasons and lusts, as the devil has a tailor-made plan for every egotistical, would-be dictator. Putin, Rouhani, and Erdogan each have vastly different ideas of how to achieve their goals, and the goals themselves are different in scope; yet each of them desires the destruction of Israel. And each of them delusionally believes they will come out as ‘top dog’ in the region.
Even a few years ago it was unthinkable that Iran and Turkey would ever form any kind of alliance. But they are both using this temporary principle: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend, and is useful until the goal is met, the enemy is eradicated, and is no longer useful.”
These factions are right now determining the best strategy for invading Israel on the Golan, as Ezekiel 39:2-5 describes. Isaiah 17 is the most likely catalyst or even excuse to invade Israel. Since the US gave plenty of notice and didn’t touch Syrian, Iranian, Turkish, or Russian interests or military bases in the region, they are now more sure than ever to act on their plan to invade Israel as soon as US forces leave the region.
Sadly, our president made it clear that he doesn’t want to get the US entrenched in ANY of the Middle East’s ‘problems.’ And now we can clearly see why Israel will be on her own in the Ezekiel 38-39 war, exactly as foretold she would be… that no nation would come to her aid during that war, but that God Himself will!
Let’s go back to Isaiah 17:14 and revisit the part of the verse that speaks of those who desire to “rob” and “spoil” Israel. Then flip forward three books from Isaiah into Ezekiel, in chapters 38-39. We see the same theme there. The nations that come against Israel want to rob and take “spoil” from Israel as well (Ez. 38:12-13). Is it mere coincidence that the wording is similar?
Let’s also compare Isaiah 17:12-13 with Ezekiel 38:9.
“Woe to the multitude of many people, which make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters! The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind” (Isaiah 17:12-13).
“Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee” (Ez. 38:9).
There are many similarities with the descriptions in both Isaiah and Ezekiel – not just about the “spoil” being the desire of the coalition, but of the “rush of nations” – the “cloud to cover the land.” There are also similarities in the locale of the foretold invasion into Israel. Isaiah 17:13 proclaims they will “be chased as the chaff of the mountains,” and Ezekiel 39:2-5 foretells how the coalition will attempt to invade on the northern mountains (the Golan) and fall on the mountains and open field.
Some may count one or even two of these things as mere ‘coincidence,’ but there is far more here than coincidence.
Now let’s look at the demise of the Ez. 38-39 coalition: Ez. 38:22 and Ez. 39:2-16.
“And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone” (Ez. 38:22).
Between Eze. 39:2-16 we find further information about how those who attempt to invade Israel will be destroyed by God (Eze. 39:2-5) they are destroyed so utterly that God only leaves a sixth part of them (KJV-specific wording). They will be confused and even fight each other. They will fall upon the mountains and open fields of the northern part of Israel (the Golan–Ez. 39:6). God will attack Russia itself by sending “fire” upon them. (Eze. 39:11). Even the Russian leader will have his grave in Israel.
It will take 7 months for those who dwell in Israel to bury the bodies of those who came against them, and seven years to destroy the weaponry left behind from the Eze. 38-39 war.
Israel has the promise that God will indeed intervene in the Eze. 38-39 war. But what of the US?
We do not have such scriptural promises for the nation. I don’t think it can be understated how horrific this is for the US. This nation is already committing the atrocity of abortion on a mass scale, as well as gay ‘marriage’ (a direct contradiction to Biblical marriage as detailed in scripture: between a man and woman, a male and a female).
The LGBT-ABCD-XYZ (whatever they are calling themselves this week) agenda; the delusional misrepresentation of genders (now they claim over 50+ alleged genders, defying even the science they claim to love, only when it suits their agenda, of course); the anti-God anti-Christ movement in public schools; and even in public forums are at a fever pitch.
Does anyone truly believe God is going to bless this mess? And now that we are basically turning our backs on Israel…. all I can say is that judgment is due the US. No, it’s not a popular thing to say; I won’t get any accolades for saying so. But bringing up the truth is more important than pleasing the ear of mankind (Gal. 1:10).
I pray the rapture occurs prior to God’s judgment on this nation. We grace/church-age believers can take comfort in the fact that Jesus has promised to deliver us from the wrath to come, and that we are not appointed to God’s wrath (1 Thes. 1:10, Rom. 5:9, 1 Thes. 5:9). His word even tells us how we will be delivered (1 Cor. 15:49-53, 1 Thes. 4:13-18)—the rapture!
After that, God’s wrath is coming soon upon this God-hating and Christ-rejecting world. There’s no doubt that God will not be mocked (Gal. 6:7). There’s also no doubt that the nations that do not bless Israel will incur curses rather than blessings.
Woe to the world, soon to be left behind.
Are YOU sure you know YOUR eternal destination? If not, now is the time to settle this. Those who profess to have made no decision have actually decided NOT to believe (see John 3:18).
There are only two choices: Believe on Christ alone for salvation; that He died for our sins, was buried, and rose the third day (1 Cor. 15:1-4; Rom. 10:9-10; Eph. 2:8-9; John 3:15-18; Rom. 6:23; et al) – OR – reject so great a salvation.
We are all given free will to make that choice on our own. No one can do it for you. A church membership can’t save you, a water baptism can’t save you, your own good works can’t save you either. The only One who can save you is Christ Jesus.
You were not born into salvation at your physical birth; your parents can’t make the decision for you. No other human can. A person either believes and accepts Jesus’ free gift of eternal salvation or they do not. No middle ground.
Choose wisely… your eternal destination depends on it.
Video link: One year ago, CNN got schooled on where Syrians really want to live (in their own land, not in the US or western nations). The impassioned Syrian refugee calls out Obama for doing nothing, and pleads for President Trump to help the Syrian citizens who are under attack from a tyrannical government. He (the Syrian refugee) wants the Assad government held accountable.