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The Damascus/Psalms 83 Question

Most of the following worries in the Middle East center around a number of factors: 1) Israel’s impatience with threats from its enemies; 2) Iran’s bellicose posturing in threatening to use its missiles; 3) the Syrian regime’s feared ability to wage biological and chemical warfare; and 4) (of particular concern for many Bible prophecy students) the so-called Psalms 83 war.

I term it “so-called” because I remain unconvinced that the Scriptures involved indicate a prophesied war–for reasons I will address in due course. Other factors just mentioned dominate news coming out of the region where Armageddon is foretold to bring the world together for the final and most horrific war of the age.

Israel has good reasons to be short of temper and of patience, although the leadership has shown remarkable restraint to this point. The Jewish state has been threatened with annihilation by all leaders of the Arab League at one point or the other. With the record of that leadership’s predecessors attacking viciously in the relatively recent past, Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu can hardly disregard current Arab League semi-encirclement, the ring of hatred having tightened rapidly with the Muslim Brotherhood-spawned Arab Spring uprisings and now the tremendous growth of ISIS.

The Persian branch of Islamist rage has superseded the Arab rage to the point that Iran now threatens to produce weapons that can indeed do what Arabs from Nasser to Sadat and beyond could not. There remains concern that Bashar Al Assad has weapons of mass destruction in the form of biological and chemical agents that his Syrian regime might rain down on Israel’s citizenry, should the dictator begin to lose in his effort to stay in power. He has shown he can and will wage such   warfare upon his own people.

The Iranian leadership, as well as Russia, and to some extent, China, continues to back Al Assad. The Russians and China do so for the most part by refusing to allow U.N. action against the Assad regime in the Security Council, where each holds veto power. Russia has given somewhat stronger backing by moving some naval military assets into the waters nearby.

Iran, on the other hand, backs Assad with threats of military action, all the while displaying a growing missile arsenal–even demonstrably proving it now has an intercontinental ballistic missile that is capable of reaching the U.S. homeland. Iran’s apparent determination to stand by the Al Assad regime’s refusal to give up power is doubly troubling. Reports of weapons of mass destruction hidden away in Syria’s military arsenal, if more than rumors, make the threat of a Middle East conflict of major magnitude a real possibility. Iran apparently possesses the technological knowledge and hardware to assist Assad in raining terror upon Israel in order to divert attention from his own possible overthrow. He might choose all-out war if he is about to go the way of Saddam Hussein, Mubarak, and Gaddafi.

Enter one more worry voiced by many emailers of late: the Isaiah 17:1 prophecy, which follows: “The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap” (Isaiah 17:1). The Syrian capital city is, like so many other prophetic indicators today, front and center in the news headlines. The question is: Will we soon witness the complete destruction of Damascus as given in the Isaiah 17 prophecy?

Further: Might an attack on Israel on that city bring about the Psalms 83 war, bringing all of Israel’s enemies into coalition that will declare that war on the Jewish state? As stated many times in this column, most every major Islamist terrorist organization is headquartered in this, the longest continuously inhabited city in world history. A single strike of a relatively low yield nuclear weapon could do the job in a single flight of an Israeli fighter-bomber. The heads of the terrorists’ hydra-headed serpent could be lopped off in that single blow.

My belief is that the Psalms 83 matter is a prayer for God’s protection, and that it will be answered when the “many people with thee” of the Ezekiel 38-39 Gog-Magog war will be destroyed, except for one-sixth of those forces. My assessment is that whether the Psalms 83 Scripture indicates an actual war or is an imprecatory prayer for God to vanquish Israel’s surrounding enemies, the attack on Damascus–if the destruction does come from an Israeli attack—and such a war won’t happen until after the Rapture of the church.

Such an event would take the world out of the time of “business as usual,” as Jesus prophesied in Luke 17:26-30 and Matthew 24:36-42, 44, in my opinion.

Such an attack and a war would be catastrophic to the world’s economy, and in other ways that are almost incalculable. Sudden destruction comes, according to Jesus’ words in those passages, similarly to the situation in the cases of the Flood and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah–that is, after Noah and Lot were safely out of range of harm at the time judgment fell. It fell immediately after they were safely in the ark and in the city of Zoar.

He said that as it was at that time, so will it be at the time He intervenes again into the affairs of men in a catastrophic way. Again, Luke 21: 28 are applicable. “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.”

 


7 Comments

  1. Bro Stef says:

    As I read scripture I don’t see anything specifically that tells us that the church or bride has to be gone for evil or a war (Ezekiel 38) to happen. I know many lean on 2Thess2 as the reason that we are gone. Using a literal interpretation I just can’t get there after 42 years of study and I have tried.

    • Dennis Whelan says:

      I think one good reason to believe that we are gone is that after the rapture Gods focus goes back on the Jews for that final seventieth week. His intervention {Ez:38} then sets the stage for the advent of the Antichrist to come to power.

  2. What’s more likely to cause Psalm 83 war is an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuke plants before they achieve nuclear weapons

  3. Dennis DenHartog says:

    Terry…thank you for your continued vision and wisdom. Here’s what’s amazing to me…I’m 70 years old…I own and run an insurance business…My family belongs to a bible preaching church…I’m blessed that my whole family is saved…however, my church is like many in that pretty much nothing is mentioned from week to week regarding prophecy. The dots in the middle east aren’t even mentioned let alone connected. It’s like our church, membership around 600…exists in a vacuum…not grasping where we are in relationship to the prophetic time line. And indeed if you have a handle on that, then we are living in exciting times. So, I get my prophetic mind fed from folks like you. Keep up the good work!!

    Dennis DenHartog, Iowa

    • Glenn E Garner says:

      Dennis, perhaps you’ve heard of Sons of Issachar (1 Chronicles 12:32) I belong to a Bible Church where we have such a group. We meet every Tuesday morning over breakfast. I joined them about four years ago when about 20 guys met weekly, but now attendance runs between 50 and 80 men and women because we focus on the world’s threats toward the Church. As the above passage says they “understood the times, with knowledge what Israel should do”

      If you need more info, Dennis, let’s open an email didlogue.

  4. Don Salter says:

    It’s quite likely Iran already has nuclear capability but lacks sufficient quantity of weaponry to conduct and sustain an all out war, hence the stalling and delay tactics. Iran needs time to build up their nuclear arsenal but, be assured, when they think they have enough on hand, they will not hesitate to use them.

  5. alain humbert says:

    Whether Psalm lxxxiii is The Prophecy about the next Israeli-Arab war
    that will see Israel expand his borders from the Euphrates to the Nile,
    or just A Prayer TO GOD For Protection, is beside the point.

    1/
    Of course the occurrence of such a war has its own Biblical Logic.
    For, for Israel to dwell peacefully in internationally-guaranteed secure,
    and therefore unprotected borders, his immediate hostile neighbours
    have to give up their insane religious obsession with the annihilation
    of Israel.
    Something that cannot happen by diplomacy in the foreseeable future.

    2/
    For Damascus to be Israeli-“taken away from being a city”, something
    very game-changing must happen.
    Right now, the Syrian war is dragging on despite the apparently temporary
    Magoggian-Persian-Damascus-regime team ‘s slightly upper hand.

    3/
    There is also the added troublesome factor of The Kurds with their presence in 4 adjacent Islamic countries not friendly with each other (Turkey,Syria,Iraq,Iran) and who are maddeningly resolved to restore Kurdistan, their country.

    4/
    The Khomeinist regime in Iran has seen its soldiers and its Hezbollah
    minions alarmingly depleted in Syria, while they should be attacking Israel.

    5/
    And of course there is the ISIS or Daesh or you can call it
    Islamisis, the disease that plagues Islam.
    It’s an organization that has no visible head, no structure.
    Because they are very well hidden worldwide, in places that are
    above suspicion (Yeah, like “World Vision”)
    I have a fancy they are like iron filings on a non conductive tray
    with an electromagnet underneath, that orients them only when
    the current is on.
    I don’t know for you brothers in CHRIST, but my impression is that this plague is like a virus mutated precisely from the pathogenic germ of
    Islamic terrorism, and that is right now eating Islam inside out.
    It ‘s A Trait OF GOD ‘S LAW That HE LETS the wicked destroy the wicked,
    Rather Than Empower the righteous to punish the wicked (for there is no one righteous)

    6/
    The recent Turkish upheaval, in the wake of the Magoggian bold coming
    on strong into Syria that stinks of personal macho posturing (notice his
    rolling-shoulders walk, and the adoption of American-style uniforms for his
    goons) looks as if Ezekiel xxxviii-xxxix Is Just around the corner.
    Of course that the devil is red-hot raging in wanting to jump the gun
    On GOD ‘S PROPHECY.
    But the Magoggian finds himself bogged down in the Syrian quagmire.
    At 1st the enraged Turk looks as if he’s ready to fall into the Magoggian ‘s bear hug.
    But the source for the coup remains murky, and it looks as if the coup sponsors are also the very ones that purposely made it fail by betraying
    the plotters and tipping off the Turk at the crucial moment.

    If the Bay of Pigs precedent is of any indication …

    In any case, the long and the short of it is that now the Turk’s army
    is horribly weakened both in professionalism and morale.
    And that takes care momentarily of one of the Magoggian ‘s thugs
    in his future drive against GOD’ S People.
    For the purge in Turkey goes on unabated.

    The situation for the Turk is like Hitler after the 20th of July 1944.

    Which makes the Turk not that eager to switch alliances now.
    For that will make him chained to the Magoggian chariot whose power
    was his much-hated bane since the Ottoman days.
    So for the time being, the Turk is caught between the devil and a hard-spiked place.
    The Magoggian himself knows that the Turk must be submitted as
    a satellite, instead of being won over as a reliable ally.
    And for that, he is eying the Kurds.

    7/
    And THERE IS What GOD WILL DO regarding the Khomeinist mortal
    nuclear threat against Israel.
    Western Iran is an area of seismic fault lines, and it ‘s there that the accursed regime’ s nuclear explosives production is concentrated
    And the area is also inhabited by the Kurds, no friends of the ayatollahs
    either.

    8/
    The chief Arab nation, namely Saudi Arabia, as long as its mortal Muslim rival the Khomeinist regime is still potent and standing, considers Israel
    as, if not an ally at least the most useful co-belligerent.

    So a purely Arab attack against Israel for the moment, is not only highly
    improbable but impossible.

    But we must keep in mind the supreme and ultimate raison d’etre
    for Islam : the annihilation of Israel.
    And no Islamic country can be at peace with Israel.
    Saudi Arabia feelings toward Khomeinist Iran are those of a mob boss
    for a rival mob boss.
    They have the common goal of killing Israel.
    Khomeinist Iran is the stronger, and hourly howls hyena-like that it
    will destroy Israel and “liberate `Palestine`”.

    Which gives St Vitus Dance fits to the Saudi Wahabists.

    For as Arabs, inventors of Islam, sole interpreters of the “holy” Koran,
    and custodians of Islam’ s sacred places, they won’t let any non-Arab
    Muslim the “honor” of killing Israel and ravish their “rightful” prize in
    their prophet ‘s libidinous paradise.

    9/
    So back to point (2/), there is no doubt that Persia, Syria and their
    Hezbollah-Hamas thugs consider Israel to be the very “Gordian Knot”
    of their problems that must be definitively cut, for their triumph over their Islamic Sunni rivals too.

    In desperation over a quick issue to this Islamic internecine war,
    Persia will prod its Syrian goon into a chemical direct attack against
    Israel which will fatally invite Israel’ s nuclear retaliation.

    There are recent troubling new movements of Hezbollah and Khomeinist
    troops on the Golan near Israel’ s Borders, and their threats of a general
    offensive “against the rebels”.
    ————————————————————————————-

    However, When Things Come To The Matter Of Israel ‘s Safety

    GOD HAS THE LAST WORD.
    .

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