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Mideast Turmoil Prepares the Scene for the King of Israel
The Mideast is being reshaped in accordance with God's purpose.
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August 19, 2011 - Audio, 8.00 MIN
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Syria is in turmoil, Libyan rebels continue to press toward the capital as Qaddafi clings to power, the Arabs prepare to take the issue of the Palestinian state to the UN, Iran makes a deal with Russia in regards to its nuclear program and terror attacks and rockets strike Israel! This is David Billington with the Bible in the News.
Syria to the north of Israel is in a state of turmoil. Human rights groups said Assad's forces have killed nearly 2,000 people since the uprising erupted in mid-March. The Assad regime has aptly demonstrated the lengths that dictators will go to cling to power. It is quite likely that Syria will remain in a state of unrest and turmoil for some time, possibly years. How this will affect Israel remains to be seen, but it is a very interesting situation. Especially with the Palestinian refugee camps that are located in Syria. The population of these camps have been attacked by Assad and thousands have fled. Syria has been the home base for a number of terror groups such as Hamas and houses Hezbollah, the powerful and constant threat on Israel's northern border. Whatever transpires we expect Syria to be with the king of the north at the time of the end. We also look for the time of peace and security for Israel as described in the prophecy of Ezekiel chapter 38.

The Palestinian Arabs are preparing to launch their largely symbolic bid for statehood at the UN, this September. This is putting more pressure on the mideast situation and on Israel in particular. However, due to the developing instability in the mideast Israel is becoming more and more vulnerable to the idea of a Palestinian Arab state within its borders.

Then there continues to be the problem of Iran's nuclear program. This week it was reported that Iran and Russia had claimed the 'first step' to a nuclear deal. Meanwhile Saudi Arabia and some of the Gulf States are becoming increasingly worried about Iran's influence in the region and the potential threat to their power. Iran has been fomenting and endeavouring to use the mideast unrest to further its influence in the region. There have been several reports over the last while of the Saudis working quite closely with Israel to counter this threat. What we see is a polarized Arab world just as described in Ezekiel 38. Iran/Persia with the king of the north and the Sheba and Dedan nations of the south in opposition.

Yesterday a coordinated series of terror attacks began which were launched against Israel. Under the headline, "Seven killed in massive terror assault near Eilat", The Jerusalem Post reported: " least seven Israelis were killed and dozens were wounded in a sophisticated multi-stage terrorist attack, believed to be perpetrated by almost two dozen attackers and launched from Egypt's Sinai Peninsula into southern Israel on Thursday afternoon." Since this attack there have been several missiles fired at Israeli population centres in the south causing damage and injury. This situation continues to develop as Bible in the News is produced this week.

Egypt has blamed Israel for "lax security" on it's border which allowed the terror attack to take place. It has been reported that 5 Egyptian troops were killed in the resulting firefight and Egypt has called this a breach of the 1979 peace treaty with Israel. Egypt has now said they will recall their ambassador to Israel. While Israel and Egypt continue to coordinate security matters, the cold peace Israel has had with Egypt is in danger. The ousting of Mubarak in Egypt has currently left Israel in a more vulnerable position.

The things that Israel has trusted in are evaporating. America is a power on the decline whose influence in the world is waning. Her peace treaty with Egypt, which she trusted in is in danger. There was an element of truth in the diatribe of Assyrian propaganda expert, Rabshakeh, when he said: "Lo, thou trustest in the staff of this broken reed, on Egypt; whereon if a man lean, it will go into his hand, and pierce it: so is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all that trust in him." (Isaiah 36:6)

Israel must learn to trust in God in order to be saved. The nation has been shaped by the trouble it has been through and continues to experience. God is working with and preparing the nation. Over the last decade there have been several instances where she has turned to God in prayer. This however, has not been done in truth. The nation must be educated in the truth. This will not happen until after the return of the Messiah. Israel cannot be saved, until the Deliverer comes and establishes the new covenant with Israel as we read in Romans 11:20 and Jeremiah 31:31-34:

"And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:" ... "Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."

While Israel has not yet been saved and will not be until the Deliverer comes, God has been acting toward them in mercy and with favour. They have been brought back to their land again - the time to favour Zion has come. (Psalm 102:13) With rather cold hard human thinking we may imagine that God will not act with favour toward Israel before they are clothed in the new covenant. This is not the case however. Neither was it the case with Adam and Eve. After the first couple had sinned it was God who sought them out in the garden, found them and clothed them in the covenant skins. Before they called, God answered. So it will be with Israel:

"And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD."

The Middle East is experiencing a major reshaping. The angels are hard at work preparing for the introduction of the King of Israel into the world. As time moves on a totally new situation will arise in the Middle East. An old order of things is being swept out of the way and the scenery is being changed and the stage being set for the next act in the purpose of God. The prophet Ezekiel provides us with a snapshot in chapter 38 of the situation in the world, just before the battle of the great day of God Almighty takes place. This is the scene we hope is being prepared as we watch the Middle East change in such a dramatic way.

Return again next week, God willing, for more Bible in the News!

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