Jan 26, 2009

Israel, The Gaza, & Bible Prophecy

By August Rosado

Is the current Gaza military operation setting the stage for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled? Think about this, the world is asking Israel to roll over and play dead while Hamas continues to fire rockets into southern Israel. The world, being led by the UN is condemning Israel on the basis of defending itself from hostile foreign aggression. Does the Bible shed light on the current conflict in the Gaza strip?Is this a "precursor" to the ultimate fulfillment of Bible prophecy in the upcoming days? I believe that it is, and the coming of the Lord is indeed drawing near. Consider what the Jewish Prophet Amos says in 1:6-8:

Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Gaza, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they carried away captive the whole captivity, to deliver them up to Edom: But I will send a fire on the wall of Gaza, which shall devour the palaces thereof: and I will cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod, and him that holdeth the sceptre from Ashkelon, and I will turn mine hand against Ekron: and the remnant of the Philistines shall perish, saith the Lord GOD.

In Amos chapter 1 God pronounces judgment on Israel's enemies. In Amos 1:3-5 God pronounces judgment on Damascus, the capitol of modern day Syria. Syria is a sworn enemy of Israel, and a puppet of Iran and sponsor of terrorism. In Amos 1: 6-8 God pronounces judgment on Gaza, and her inhabitants, the Philistines. The Palestinians of today are not descendants of the Philistines. The Philistines were Greek sea peoples who came over from Asia Minor, and settled on the west coast of the Mediterranean sea. They were staunch enemies of Israel and were always at war with them. In Amos 1:11-12 God pronounces judgement on the Edomites, the descendants of Esau, the twin brother of Jacob.

According to Biblical and modern lineage, the Palestinian people of today are descendants of the Edomites. In Amos 1:13-15; & 2:1-3 God also pronounces judgment on the Amorites and the Moabites. Moab and Ammon were sons of Lot, Abraham's nephew through an incestuous relationship with his daughters, (Gen 19: 30-38).

Esau was the son of Isaac and twin brother of Jacob, (Gen 25:19-28). Today, the Hashmite kingdom of Jordan, an Arab country, is Biblically divided into three sections, Ammonites dwelt in the north, Moabites in the central, and the Edomites in the south. This comprises the State of Jordan today, which by the way consist of 95% Palestinians. The Palestinians of today are asking for their own state, they already have one, Jordan.

Gaza is mentioned 19 times in the Bible, 18 times in the Old Testament, and 1 time in the New Testament, the book of Acts. It's first mentioned in Genesis 10:19 to describe the length of the land of Canaan, modern day Israel from north to south, The Gaza today is considered a "strip" since it's no bigger than the State of Rhode Island. It is twenty five miles long, and about 4-7.5 miles long. It lies on the west coast of the Mediterranean Sea today, The Jewish Prophet Zephaniah 2:1-7 describes the destruction of the Gaza in apocalyptic literature:

Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired; Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD come upon you, before the day of the LORD's anger come upon you. Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD's anger. For Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon a desolation: they shall drive out Ashdod at the noon day, and Ekron shall be rooted up. Woe unto the inhabitants of the sea coast, the nation of the Cherethites! the word of the LORD is against you; O Canaan, the land of the Philistines, I will even destroy thee, that there shall be no inhabitant. And the sea coast shall be dwellings and cottages for shepherds, and folds for flocks. And the coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah; they shall feed thereupon: in the houses of Ashkelon shall they lie down in the evening: for the LORD their God shall visit them, and turn away their captivity.

Even though Gaza came under Babylonian judgment, Gaza's modern day inhabitants, the Palestinians will come under God's wrath for their cruel treatment of Israel. Consider the Jewish Prophet Zechariah in 9:5;5

Ashkelon shall see it, and fear; Gaza also shall see it, and be very sorrowful, and Ekron; for her expectation shall be ashamed; and the king shall perish from Gaza, and Ashkelon shall not be inhabited.

Hamas has ruled Gaza with an iron fist, firing rockets from Gaza into southern Israel. PA President Mahmoud Abbas has lost control of the Gaza to Hamas, and civil war broke out in 2007 between Hamas and Abbas's Fatah organization. This resulted in the loss of life on both sides with innocent civilians caught in the crossfire.

It's interesting that the UN was eerily silent when all this was going on. Israel is looking to eradicate the Hamas from Gaza and install the more moderate "Fatah"faction to once again rule. Remember, just because you cut the head of the snake off, doesn't mean the poison is not still in the fangs. The Palestinians are the modern day Gaza inhabitants and descendants of Esau.

Look at the Jewish prophet Obadiah, as he pronounces God's wrath on the modern day residents of Gaza in verses 17-21:

But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions. And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the LORD hath spoken it. And they of the south shall possess the mount of Esau; and they of the plain the Philistines: and they shall possess the fields of Ephraim, and the fields of Samaria: and Benjamin shall possess Gilead. And the captivity of this host of the children of Israel shall possess that of the Canaanites, even unto Zarephath; and the captivity of Jerusalem, which is in Sepharad, shall possess the cities of the south. And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD's

God says the Jews will be a fire upon the inhabitants of the south (Gaza) and the Jews will posses what rightfully belongs to them. The Palestinians seek to establish a "State within a State" and make Jerusalem their capitol.

Hamas seeks to have their own Government in Gaza, and seeks to continue terrorist attacks against Israel. God say they seek to establish a border, but God calls it a "border of wickedness". Look at Malachi 1:1-4:

The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi. I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob, And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness. Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the LORD hath indignation for ever.

Very strong words from God himself. God's wrath upon the modern day Gaza inhabitants is for their cruel, harsh treatment of Israel. Other passages like Ezekiel 35:1-15 also fortell a future wrath on Esau's modern day inhabitants of the Gaza, the Palestinians. The recent Israeli military operations in the Gaza is setting the stage for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled. Hamas will never recognize Israel's right to exist. Israel will continue to defend themselves against these terrorist seeking their demise. Ultimately, God will defend Israel from those who seek her destruction (Psalm 25:22).

With these events unfolding in the middle east, and the Israeli military operation, "Cast Lead" in the Gaza Strip, the Rapture of the Church will soon take place. All we can do is pray, and say, MARANATHA! Even so come Lord Jesus.