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War with Syria in the Summer?
Who will Israel lean upon?
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June 21, 2007 - Audio, 10.90 MIN
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News reports inform us that Syria is preparing for war with Israel in the summer. Who will Israel lean upon should such a conflict errupt? Will God preserve Olmert as he did Israel's leaders of old?

Syria making preparations for war with Israel; Hamas' takeover of Gaza complete; Ehud Barak, the former Israeli Prime minister who offered to give the West Bank to Arafat wins the Labour party primary election and is sworn in as minister of defense in Israel; Gay pride parade to go ahead in Jerusalem; Mr. Putin asserted his place in the world; European Union governments agreed on a constitutional treaty.

Welcome to another edition of Bible in the News.

We begin with a headline in the Arab Media claiming that “Syria is Making Preparations for War with Israel.” Arutz Sheva stated the following:

“A Qatari newspaper, Al Watan, reported Friday that Syria is making concrete preparations for war with Israel, saying that the Syrian government has removed the Government and State Archives from the Damascus area. According to the paper, this move indicates preparations for war. Syrian parliament member Muhammad Habash confirmed on Al-Jazeera Arabic world news satellite TV last week that Syria is indeed engaged in active preparations for a war with Israel. The conflict, said the Syrian MP, is expected to break out during the summer months.”

Arutz Sheva confirms these reports were backed up by the head of Mossad, Israel’s international intelligence agency, Meir Dagan, who “warned that Syrian President Assad was putting up a smoke screen by claiming he wants to open peace talks with the Jewish State.” Furthermore, “IDF Chief of Staff Lt-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi has also raised the issue numerous times. “The IDF is preparing for an escalation on both the Palestinian and the northern fronts.”

This reminds us of the Biblical phrase that describes “the time when kings go forth to battle”. Will there be war this summer? That, we do not know. Syria has twice before been goaded into war with Israel by Russian influences behind the scenes. Syria’s hostility with Israel goes back a long time before that. In 2 Samuel 8:5-7 we read, “David slew of the Syrians two and twenty thousand men. Then David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus: and the Syrians became servants to David, and brought gifts. And the LORD preserved David whithersoever he went.” Will God preserve Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert? Hardly likely on any account of his own. How can a man who supports Gay Rights parades through the city of Jerusalem where God has chosen to set his holy name expect to be preserved by God? It is interesting to read the record of 1 Kings 14:21-25 where Rehoboam, Solomon’s son “reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the LORD did choose out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there.” We read that during his reign,

“And Judah did evil in the sight of the LORD, and they provoked him to jealousy with their sins which they had committed, above all that their fathers had done. For they also built them high places, and images, and groves, on every high hill, and under every green tree. And there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.”
Ehud Olmert’s own daughter openly confesses to being gay – indeed the Sodomites are in the land. It is interesting that the next verse in this chapter records the invasion of Israel by her enemies. How long Olmert will hang on we do not know. However, the Bible tells us, in the days of Jotham king of Israel, “the LORD began to send against Judah Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah” (2 Kings 15:37). Is God stirring up the Syrians again to snap Israel to attention? Who will Israel look to for their deliverance? Well this week Olmert was back in America meeting with George Bush. Israel is putting their trust in the King of the South, a power who will not deliver protection to Israel when it needs it. Ezekiel 38 and Daniel 11 show that although America and her allies will have a military presence in the Middle East at the time of the end, they will not be able to protect Israel. America is like Egypt of old – of whom Rabshakeh correctly said in 2 Kings 18:21,
“Now, behold, thou trustest upon the staff of this bruised reed, even upon Egypt, on which if a man lean, it will go into his hand, and pierce it: so is Pharaoh king of Egypt unto all that trust on him.”
So is the president of the United Sates unto all that trust on him. America has a biblical role to play – but, Israel needs to put their trust in the Lord God of Israel, who delivered Hezekiah from the king of Assyria. Perhaps if Olmert broke up the houses of the Sodomites as kings Asa and Josiah did, and put his trust in the Almighty, God would preserve him. A very unlikely possibility for this corrupt politician. Problems continue for the Palestinians. Time Magazine reported on June 19th,
“The catchphrase for the Bush Administration's attempt to exploit the new Hamas-Abbas divide is "West Bank first." The idea is to provide economic and diplomatic support to the emergency government Abbas has installed in the West Bank, while isolating Hamas in Gaza. It is an inverse version of the "Gaza first" approach previously advocated by moderate Israelis and, briefly, by Secretary of State Colin Powell during his ill-fated shuttle diplomacy to the region during Bush's first term.” However, the article continues: “Abbas may honestly want peace with Israel, but he doesn't control even the ministries in the Palestinian Authority, let alone the Fatah movement as a whole. Those ministries, where much of the U.S. aid will end up, remain corrupt, self-serving fiefdoms disinclined to pass benefits onto the Palestinian people. "The Palestinian Authority, including the West Bank ministries and Fatah are more corrupt and more fractured now than when Arafat ruled," says Prince. In essence, the U.S. risks funding the very groups that have driven frustrated Palestinians into the arms of Hamas to begin with.”
The focus is being redirected from Gaza to the Moutains of Israel, where Gog will come down, and the great conflagration of Ezekiel 38 will take place. Meanwhile, in Russia… the Economist reported on June 14th, in an article entitled Strategic surprise, The riddle of Russia's offer to help defend Europe from missiles:
“The Russian president surprised G8 leaders on June 7th with a proposal to end the row over missile defences in Europe. Instead of building a new radar in the Czech Republic, America could share data from the Gabala radar that Russia leases from Azerbaijan. Mr Putin said this would offer better protection from Iranian missiles, and that Russia would no longer have to aim its warheads at Europe, as he had threatened.”

An interesting proposition considering the alliance between Iran and Russia outlined in the Bible. Where does Iran get its missile technology from? Why, from Russia of course.

Russia continues to rise in influence as the Economist reported June 14th in an article entitled, Chilling Time, Vladimir Putin asserts his country's place in the world:

“Arriving fresh from the G8 summit, Mr Putin asserted his place in the world and wrote off existing global organisations as archaic, undemocratic and unwieldy. “The world is changing before our very eyes,” he said. “Countries that seemed hopelessly backward only yesterday are becoming the world's fastest-growing economies today.” Russia no longer wanted simply to be part of the world's outdated architecture, but to change it,” Putin said. Russia’s turning back is over, and it is looking to “change the world”.

The changes it will implement are laid out in Ezekiel 38.

Finally, in Europe we read of the European Union governments agreeing to a contitution treaty. The Economist reported on June 19th,

“EU leaders will meet in Brussels on June 21st-22nd to salvage what they can of the text. Their aim is to rescue whatever they think is most useful, notably elements that make for greater institutional coherence and fairer decision-making in a club that has now grown to 27 members.
The EU's leaders agree that the new replacement treaty should be ratified by national parliaments, avoiding any more pesky referendums. All know that some referendums would be lost, certainly in Britain and perhaps in the Netherlands too. Because so many countries promised to hold referendums on the constitution, breaking these promises requires them to be able to argue convincingly that any new treaty is a different, more modest beast. And that means ditching the parts of the old text that are not strictly needed, or that overly provoke voters.”

Europe continues to amalgamate and its member nations find ways to “have one mind” and “give their power and strength unto the beast” (Revelation 17:13). It is out of the mouth of this European beast, along with the Russian dragon and the Papal false prophet that the cry will go out to

 “make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.” (Revelation 17:14).

As we sit on the edge of our seats, watching Bible prophecy unfold before our eyes in the news, let us make every effort to ensure we are “faithful” to the “call” so that we might be “chosen” in the day of Christ’s return, by his grace.

Tune in next week as we watch with excitement the “Bible” in the News. This has been Jonathan Bowen reporting. or

Bible in the News provides a weekly analysis of world politics and events
in the light of Bible prophecy — the Bible in the News!