Saturday, February 4, 2012

It's all about Syria: Massacre in Homs, UN Security Council vote, prophecy nearing fulfillment

Sobering news today in the wake of the bloody massacre in Syria last night. Assad is hanging on and the world is tense and watching.

Last night I was relaxing while surfing the internet. I had my Twitter stream up, and suddenly all these tweets started coming in about violence in the Syrian city of Homs. Twitter was flooded with tweets and re-tweets of people saying that a violent battle was taking place. The tone soon shifted to people making an outcry that civilians were being massacred. The pain and outrage, distress and despair was evident in the people by the tweets I was watching scroll quickly up the screen. Hundreds upon hundreds of tweets rolled past my tearing eyes. Cries of shame upon Dictator Assad's men who were killing innocent people. Reports of blood literally running in the streets. Mourning over children with no heads. Bodies piling up. A hospital obliterated. Many tweets contained links to videos and photos with appropriate warnings of the graphic nature of the images. I didn't click on any of those but one did catch my attention: amateur video of a very large explosion at Hama. The Syrian inky night sky lit up orange as the entire horizon fired up from some kind of weapon of mass destruction. It was VERY disorienting to watch and read about a massacre in real time. Nothing can prepare you.

Some tweets:
  • My city is bleeding. We're being attacked since 8 pm. 5 hours, 230 dead, 800 injured.
  • BBC's Paul Wood breaks cover in Homs Syria. Reports Free Syria Army will begin "general assault" in next 24 hrs in retaliation for attack
  • BBC reports Homs "Does seem to have been sustained bombardment, large sustained attack"
  • The Syrian embassy in Tripoli of Libya is now under the control of Syrian revolutionists
  • Horror. GRAPHIC: Another video from Khaldiyeh, dead young men, many injured, people screaming
  • Jon Williams- Has Homs proved final straw for some? Syrian "Independence" flag reported flying over embassy in Greece.
  • Tunisia expels Syria ambassador over Feb 3 "bloody massacre" in Homs that killed over 200 people (via @AP)
  • Guardian news Top story: Fury over Homs massacre as UN security council gathers for Syria
Soon the tone shifted again to freedom fighters trying to organize worldwide protests at embassies outside of Syria. Some did respond, and were attacked, such as Greece. Others called upon the UN to shame Russia for diluting the latest resolutions condemning the violence.
  • People all over the world are asked to go to the Syrian embassies & protest Syria
  • They're chanting "one solution, one solution - revolution, revolution" in Wash DC
One man tweeted, "Mankind has never been so connected as it is today. Yet, we stand powerless". I understand his sentiment. We watch, we see, yet what can we as individuals do in the face of such vivid violence in real time? Some called for uniting at embassies around the world in protest. Greece and Washington DC, as well as people Spain responded and assembled in front of the Syrian embassy in their capitals. In other words, anger was palpable. I mourned, and soon I had to turn it off, the devastating implications of the massacre were too great.

"Today, European envoys to the Security Council said they would vote Saturday on a draft resolution backing an Arab League call for Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down amid talk that Russia would ask for a delay. The ambassadors spoke as they headed into an unusual weekend session. The urgency was heightened by an assault by Syrian forces firing mortars and artillery on the city of Homs."

This morning "Obama said in a statement on Saturday that he condemns Mr. Assad's “unspeakable assault.” He called for the Syrian leader to step aside and make way for a democratic transition." This is essentially what the UN Security Council Resolution calls for.

UN web cams inside the voting chamber ahead of the vote show heavy lobbying of the Russian envoy to get him to soften his stance. A similar resolution was proposed to the Security council in October but members China and Russia vetoed it. They are trying not to have a repeat of that awful decision, particularly in light of last night's massacre and the additional dead by Assad's orders since October. Voting will occur momentarily... it is a tense moment for the watching world.

OK, I watched the UN Security Council vote live. Russia and China voted no, meaning they vetoed the draft resolution condemning Syria's violence and calling for Assad to resign. Russia and China both are prophesied leaders players in future Middle East violence as per Ezekiel 38-39 and Rev 16:12.

I think often on the prophecy in Isaiah 17, whereupon Damascus will be destroyed, it will be a heap of ruins (V. 1).

This oracle in its entirety has a partial fulfillment in 722 and 732 BC of Samaria and Damascus. It is obviously a partial fulfillment because Damascus, though defeated by the Assyrians, the city continued to be a city under their rule. It was never razed to the extent that the prophecy indicates it will be someday. The middle of the chapter focuses on the defeat of Samaria, and then toward the end of the short chapter at verse 12-14a you see the following:

"Woe to the multitude of many people Who make a noise like the roar of the seas,And to the rushing of nations That make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters! The nations will rush like the rushing of many waters; But God will rebuke them and they will flee far away, And be chased like the chaff of the mountains before the wind, Like a rolling thing before the whirlwind. Then behold, at eventide, trouble! And before the morning, he is no more."

Two thoughts here. One is that 'the mighty rushing waters' is always used as a metaphor in the bible for outcries, restless and angry multitudes upset about something. Certainly last night was evocative of that verse. Today might be worse, considering that Russia and China stand by Assad's violence and outrages against the people.

Washington Post immediately reported, "Russia and China have vetoed a Security Council resolution backing an Arab League peace plan that calls for Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down. The other 13 council members, including the U.S., France and Britain, voted Saturday in favor of the resolution aimed at stopping the ongoing violence in Syria."

What could God be doing, allowing such evil? How can any nation not condemn a leader massacring children? One answer is that we see the evil inside the Russian envoy's and Chinese envoy's heart that they would vote in this way. God is good and He allows the sins inside of us to come to their full fruition, eventually revealed to one and all. "But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them" (Eph 5:13)

France said of the vote, "France: "History will have no mercy for those who blocked the UNSC from bringing its support to the Arab League efforts."

"Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal." (Ezekiel 38:1-3).

It is interesting to think of the plan God has for Russia and for China (Kings of the East). I don't know about history but I know that God will have no mercy on them. Ezekiel's prophecy continues regarding Russia particularly, "I will call for a sword against Gog throughout all My mountains,” says the Lord GOD. “Every man’s sword will be against his brother. And I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the LORD.”" Gog is destroyed. Ezekiel 39:2 says that God will destroy five-sixths of their army. Then He gives burial instructions.

Secondly the verse that speaks of trouble coming in the evening and then by morning he is no more...what can raze a city that quickly? What would reduce a city to rubble so completely that it is obliterated? A nuclear device. I got to bed at night, on nights like last night, and I wonder, 'Will Damascus be there in the morning?' We are the final generation that will see these things come to pass (Matthew 24:34), we see the other signs, and at some point it will happen. What will be the final straw? Was last night's massacre and today's UN vote the final straw? I do not know, God knows. We trust Him and His perfect plan. Meanwhile, He wants no one to be lost, but all to come to repentance. Hang on Syrians! Jesus loves you! Look UP, for your Redemption draweth nigh, if you but repent and believe!

As for feeling powerless while watching the massacre unfold, we are not powerless. As the tweets rolled by, and the knowledge that many who had died fell into hell instead of heaven, I prayed hard. I prayed that the nearness of death would awaken many to His offer of salvation. I prayed that the seeds that have been left previously by missionaries and Gideons would sprout into understanding. I prayed that the Holy Spirit would grab those He is drawing near and they would respond with an eternity changing decision for Jesus. Prayer is the ultimate weapon. Trusting in His goodness even while dark evil lurks is the ultimate faith.

7 comments:

  1. Not a day goes by that I don't struggle with man's very basic question: Why does God allow so much evil at the expense of the innocent? It's easy to chalk it up to God's holiness and man's depravity. But I believe it's more than that. Studying the book of Job has opened my eyes to the truth that creation can never question its Creator. We only see through the glass darkly. We live in a bubble, so to speak. And we may not have all the answers now, but someday, we will. What matters is that we put our faith and trust in Him. May God bless the Syrian people.

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  2. Please remember that Russia is made up of people. Individuals who laugh and love, hate and become angry, fall ill, marry, have children and want a better future for them - people just like those who live in America and yes, even in Syria and Israel. The government of Russia does not speak for the people of Russia any more than the government of America now speaks for the average American, maybe even less so. Look at the protests and demonstrations that are going on all over Russia even today over the elections that recently happened and the upcoming elections. The people of Russia are not happy with their government. Please remember also, that at this time there are 1000's of Christians in Russia, people who love the Lord and are serving Him just as you and 1000's of Christians in America are doing today. Villify the politicians and those who hold control, but please don't villify the Russian people as a whole. so often when people look at prophecy and they read the names of countries, they forget that those names represent actual people, real, live, breathing human beings who are no different than myself, yourself, your neighbor. There are good and there are bad. Pray for Russia! Pray for China! Pray that there will be a huge harvest for the Lord in the coming days and weeks and months and possibly years. Pray for an out pouring of the Holy Spirit, drawing people all across these lands to Jesus Christ. Don't just see them as Gog and Magog, etc - but see their faces, hear their voices, pray for their souls. God will indeed deal with Putin and his cronies, and many others within the political scene - when it is His time, but please dear Father in Heaven - let there be a mighty harvest of souls for You before then!

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  3. You're absolutely right Anonymous. It's why I was careful to write the Russian envoy's actions were evil and not Russia itself. The evil leadership in the world boggles my mind.

    The senseless loss of individuals caught in the middle of it makes me shudder.

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  4. What do you say to those who believe that the Is 17:1 reference was fulfilled according to II Kings 16? I do feel as you do that what we are seeing now could soon lead to the the fulfillment of Is 17:1. But there are those who dispute that... Thanks for your insight!
    April

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  5. I'd say first that I do not see how 2 Kings 16 even remotely relates. Secondly I say that Damascus is the longest continuously inhabited city in the world. It has never been razed, obliterated, ceased from being a city as the prophecy states it will be. Ever. There has always been someone living in it. Since this is true and verifiable, it becomes moot to say that Is 17:1 has been fulfilled. Easy peasy :)

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  6. I'm speechless, we see the power of sin before us...I'm going to be selfish and say that I wish we could fast forward to eternity. I need to commit to praying for these people, they are going through unimaginable hell and it's only going to get worse. This sort of hell is going to be the norm globally someday...

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  7. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=tLCp1palAdI If you haven't seen this, thought you might find it interesting. You can read the subtitles on the video.

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