The Stage Won’t Be Un-Set: Isaiah 17 & Ezekiel 38 in the News
Bible prophecy has significant relevance to our life today—to gently wake the bride (the church) to the season in which we find ourselves.
Many prophecy experts think that the sudden destruction of Damascus will be the catalyst that triggers Ezekiel 38. These 2600+ year-old prophecies have not been fulfilled as of yet. Damascus, though ravaged by the Syrian Civil War, still stands and still has people living there.
In fact, recent news reports inform us that Iran is setting up shop in Damascus and has been laying the groundwork for a highway from Tehran to the Mediterranean Sea—in essence building a caliphate with clearly stated plans to destroy Israel.
Recent (within the past year) airstrikes by Israel against weapons convoys (gifts from Iran to Hezbollah) and an Iranian-built missile factory near Damascus, along with the recent news of an Iranian buildup in Damascus, makes one wonder how close we are to Isaiah 17. We’re not told who destroys Damascus and how it is destroyed, but surrounding verses suggest it’s during conflict with Israel.
Given the current events we see unfolding and the knowledge that caches of chemical weapons are very likely stored in and around Damascus, the fulfillment of this ancient prophecy seems to be nearing. With ISIS contained and the Syrian Civil War brought to a low simmer, Russian and Iranian attention seems to be turning southward toward the mountains of Israel.
For my fellow prophecy students and ministries, here’s what I’m getting to. I had always wondered about the logic behind the fact that Ezekiel 38 involved nations that were at least one country removed from Israel’s borders, yet they attack with ground forces from Israel’s north.
In other words, the attack would have to come from Syria, but Syria is not listed as one of the attackers. If the stage is indeed being set for Isaiah 17 (Vs. 1, Vs. 14) and Ezekiel 38 (and I believe it is), then the Syrian Civil War has served to allow Russia and Iran to form their long-prophesied and unprecedented partnership and presence in the mountains north of Israel. Syria is not listed as an attacker because she is powerless and a puppet regime being held up only by Russia and Iran, who are calling all shots.
Another interesting thing is that Russia’s “hook in the jaw” now takes many possible forms. Trying to establish her presence in the Middle East has been sheer pragmatism by Russia, who desires to reassert her former strength. But in order to maintain her grip, she would instantly be pulled into major conflict if Israel preemptively strikes or retaliates against Iran’s growing presence in Damascus. Russia’s need to control the area may also give her greedy eyes related to Israel’s recent massive oil and gas discoveries. These and several other factors could serve as the hook in the jaw that drags Russia into leading the attack.
We can speculate about the nature of the hook in the jaw, but there is no doubt we are seeing the ground work laid for the relatively soon fulfillment of these ancient prophecies.
When you stop and think about the possibility of current events taking shape exactly as foretold in Scripture, and that they (particularly Ezekiel 38) are end-time prophecies, you realize how close we may be to the rapture—which I believe will happen just before or during these coming events.
I don’t see any way possible that current conditions could deescalate. In other words, the stage will not be un-set. Developments may move quickly, or slowly, but at some point the fulfillment of these prophecies will occur—and we are watching the stage being set daily.
Add this to the convergence of other signs (i.e. mass shootings, record-breaking natural disasters, etc.) and you may find yourself looking up a bit more often. For the watching eye and the waiting heart, it’s clear we’re in the season of the Lord’s return.