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.
- 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
- 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
"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.