In Isaiah 17:1 He is telling the people what will happen to Damascus, capital of Syria. It will be destroyed. I wrote extensively about the prophecy of what is foretold for Damascus, and the wider areas of Syria mentioned in the ensuing verses, here.
I've always thought that the Isaiah 17:1 prophecy is one of the more dramatic unfulfilled prophesies because of its clarity and the absolute fact that though parts were fulfilled in 732BC it has never been completely fulfilled yet. The overnight destruction of the world's oldest continuously inhabited city will be sudden, dramatic, and a clear sign of God.
Given that the so-called "Arab Spring" has wrought geo-physical changes in the Middle East that bible students see brings us to the brink of fulfilled prophecy, such as Ezekiel 38-39, Isaiah 19, and Psalm 83, it is wise to watch Damascus, Syria and the events unfolding there.
The events unfolding there are terrible.
Syria's uprising began along with the other neighboring nations' in the Arab Spring last year, but unlike those events in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya et al, there has not yet been a conclusion. In the other cases, Kings bought off citizenry, depots fell, revolutions staved off, concessions made, elections held. In some form or fashion, even if only on the surface, order was restored. Not so in Syria.
There had been unconfirmed reports of massacres earlier in the week. Massacres are almost a daily event now in Syria, even in Damascus. That much has been confirmed by UN observers. This particular massacre though, involved the killing of children. Hence, the photo.
The caption on twitter states, "A boy in Homs holds this sign during a protest: "Kill me and leave the other children alone."
That same day, Ynet News from Israel reported,
Syria opposition: Regime lost control of Damascus, other cities
Iran and Hezbollah bear some responsibility for the recent atrocities in Syria, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday."It's not just the Syrian government. It is being aided by Iran and Hezbollah," the PM the weekly cabinet meeting. "The world must recognize this focused axis of evil. People must understand what kind of environment we are living in."Netanyahu said Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime is massacring civilians. "We see horrific photos of children and elderly people," he said.
That was Sunday. Sunday saw "the heaviest fighting in the Syrian capital since the beginning of the uprising" and those battles were in Damascus, and there were tanks.
The UK Telegraph reported, Syrian rebels take battle to heart of Damascus: "Government tanks opened fire in central Damascus for the first time in the 15-month uprising against President Bashar al-Assad this weekend, as William Hague compared the situation in Syria with “Bosnia in the 1990s”."
MSNBC reported, "'Battle is in Damascus' as Syrian tanks fire in 12-hour exchange"
As horrific as all that is, what of the children? Is that photo a fake or is it true that that little brown eyed Syrian boy holding the poignant sign?
Assad regime also charged with killing and maiming, arbitrary arrest, detention, torture, and sexual violence against kids"
"UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A UN report released Monday includes Syrian government forces and their allied “shabiha” militias for the first time on a list of 52 governments and armed groups that recruit, kill or sexually attack children in armed conflicts.In Syria, it said, children as young as 9 years old have been victims of killing and maiming, arbitrary arrest, detention, torture, and sexual violence, and have been used as human shields.“In almost all recorded cases, children were among the victims of military operations by government forces, including the Syrian armed forces, the intelligence forces and the shabiha militia, in their ongoing conflict with the opposition, including the Free Syrian Army,” the report said." Left, Bashar Al-Assad, Wikipedia photo
That information is from a UN observer report. Almost 19,000 are estimated to have been killed in fighting and outright massacres by the Assad regime since the uprising began last February, a regime that the Russians have been allies with since the cold war and still are today, despite the horrors the Assad regime is perpetrating. Russia (and China) have several times invoked their UN Security Council veto power to prevent intervention into the ongoing revolution in Syria. The US has ruled out military intervention. Israel has said nothing but of course is watching intently. Turkey, though an ally of Russia and Syria, is getting angry about the influx of refuges into their abutting nation. But still, the fighting goes on.
The Lord is in control.
Children and women are trapped in Homs, and UN observers are trying to negotiate their release. And the regime uses children as human shields. This is brutality beyond endurance.
The US intervened in Libya, Viet Nam, Bosnia, Grenada for heaven's sakes. Will the world stand by and watch children be horrifically used? The LORD'S timing is perfect. His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts. I know it must grieve Him to see children be so evilly used. Yet I will trust Him.
An entire city of 2.6 million people is prophesied to be destroyed in mere hours. That is what Isaiah 17 foretells. There is no weapon that can do that so quickly and so thoroughly as is described here except for nuclear device. The chapter in Isaiah 17 goes on to describe blowback against Israel. Parts of Israel will be reaped when the oracle is fulfilled. (Isaiah 17:4-5).
The Lord is in control. It is still somewhat unsettling to realize the nearness of fulfillment predicted for thousands of years. It is still a grief and a woe to know that children are so horrifically violated. When our society has devolved to the point where small children are willing to sacrifice their lives on behalf of other children, and no doubt ARE sacrificing their lives at this moment, I can't help but plead to my savior for Him to return and gather us all away from this cruel planet.