27 Jul 2020

The Cedars of Lebanon

The beautiful country to the north of Israel—along the Mediterranean—is one known to biblical students of Israel. Lebanon, that grand land that produced the cedar for Solomon’s splendid First Temple, has unfortunately been on the frontlines of terror for generations.

In 1982, a tragedy that will last generations occurred when President-elect Bachir Gemayel was assassinated on the orders of Syrian dictator Hafez Assad. The 34-year-old attorney was on good terms with Israel, and in particular, in his memoirs, Israeli legend Ariel Sharon lamented the damage this caused to the region. He had worked very hard to establish a relationship with a sane Lebanese government.

Today of course, Lebanon remains in the grip of terrorists. In the 1970s and 1980s, the PLO decimated the country. Now, Hezbollah is established and has political seats in the government. The “military wing” (terrorists) have stockpiled weapons from Iran and others and estimates are that many tens of thousands of rockets are stockpiled. Hezbollah routinely threatens war with Israel and this week, the IDF moved to bolster its defenses. According to the Jerusalem Post:

“The Israeli military deployed troops to Division 91 of the Galilee Division and 210 Bashan Division along with artillery and intelligence troops. Iron Dome missile defense batteries were also on alert as well as Israel Air Force jets.

“IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi, who met earlier in the day with ‪US Army General and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley who landed in Israel to discuss Iran and its proxies like Hezbollah, will remain at the IDF’s Kirya Military Headquarters on Friday due to the tensions.

“Hezbollah has pledged in the past to retaliate for any fighter that is killed by alleged Israeli airstrikes in Syria and the IDF on Friday warned Beirut that it ‘holds the Lebanese government responsible for all actions emanating from Lebanon.’”

I do believe that a potential Hezbollah conflict, on a wide scale, would have Bible prophecy implications, since such a confrontation would involve war-like conditions. If Hezbollah can threaten Tel Aviv and Israel’s “breadbasket” in the area between the mountains and the sea, Israel would necessarily have to meet such a threat robustly.

We will watch this latest escalation. War with Lebanon in 2006 left Israel with a bad taste in its mouth, but recent comments by American officers familiar with the region left no doubt that such a war today would end badly for Hezbollah. No doubt it would, but taken collectively, all these enemies require a level of preparedness that few countries can achieve. Israel can, but we must intercede in prayer for the Jews of Israel.

I noticed a small-but-important item this week from the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center:

“Palestinian sources reported the detention of Adnan Ghaith, the governor of the PA’s Jerusalem district, at his home in the Silwan neighborhood of east Jerusalem (Wafa, July 19, 2020). On July 19, 2020, sources also reported the detention of the head of Palestinian general intelligence for the Jerusalem district, Jihad al-Faqih, while he was on his way home to the town of Qatana northwest of Jerusalem (official Fatah Facebook page, July 19, 2020).”

For anyone that’s visited Jerusalem, you’ve seen or perhaps even driven through Silwan (I would not). It is located beneath (on a hillside) the City of David, an archaeological area adjacent to the Old City.

What the above paragraph illustrates for you, I hope, is just how close Israel’s enemies are to her. Imagine that you live in Dallas and over in Plano, a deranged and vicious enemy lives. This is what Israel deals with on a daily basis.

Much is being made of the regional threats to Israel now, including Turkey, Iran and even certain African states. Then there is the terror threat from within Israel.

As always, I advocate being cautious when predicting that Gog and Magog is ready to break out, but pray like never before for the safety and security of Israel.

More than a few of us feel the Messiah’s footsteps approaching, and I think that’s legitimate, given the increasing pressure on Israel (which will spill over post-Trump) and the insanity that the global community has plunged into.

Look up, saints!