"The burden of the word of the Lord concerning Israel: Thus declares the Lord, who stretched out the heavens and founded the earth and formed the spirit of man within him: 2“Behold, I am about to make Jerusalem a cup of staggering to all the surrounding peoples. The siege of Jerusalem will also be against Judah. 3On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples. All who lift it will surely hurt themselves. And all the nations of the earth will gather against it. 4On that day, declares the Lord, I will strike every horse with panic, and its rider with madness. But for the sake of the house of Judah I will keep my eyes open, when I strike every horse of the peoples with blindness. 5Then the clans of Judah shall say to themselves, ‘The inhabitants of Jerusalem have strength through the Lord of hosts, their God.’ "
"6“On that day I will make the clans of Judah like a blazing pot in the midst of wood, like a flaming torch among sheaves. And they shall devour to the right and to the left all the surrounding peoples, while Jerusalem shall again be inhabited in its place, in Jerusalem."
7“And the Lord will give salvation to the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem may not surpass that of Judah. 8On that day the Lord will protect the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them on that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the angel of the Lord, going before them. 9And on that day I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem." (Zechariah 12:1-9)
The Spectator: Israel Under Siege: The Jewish state faces an ever-increasing threat from Islamist neighbours
"When Israel last entered Gaza, in Operation Cast Lead three years ago, the Arab World was stuck in the stasis it had been in for a century. Since their last defeat against Israel in 1973, the dictators had stuck to their old borders. Unpleasant, certainly, but not eager for conflict or any other variety of change. Their stance may have included populist denunciations of Israel, but they rarely took any genuine interest in the subject, any more than they took any interest in the welfare of their own people. But Israel’s new neighbours are more than racketeers: they are ideologues..."
"It is obvious why this matters to Israel. The country is surrounded. All its efforts at normalisation in the region have come to nothing. To the north, Lebanon remains dominated by Iran’s proxies of Hezbollah. Egypt and Gaza are under the control of the Brotherhood. Syria is a redoubtable enemy and ally of Iran. But when the opposition have toppled Assad, they will be just as hostile and almost certainly head in the same Islamist direction. In recent days even the majority Palestinian Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has begun to look vulnerable. The situation is now so unstable that the King has had to cancel his visit to Britain after thousands have come out on to the Jordanian streets demanding his downfall."
In my opinion, Turkey and Jordan are the next nations to watch. I've written about Jordan recently, and Turkey is admirably covered in The Spectator's article.
Please continue to pray to the Holy Spirit for wisdom and understanding of the times. Pray that those with an unregenerate heart would respond to the touch of the Lord and that He would give them salvation. Pray for Christians and missionaries in this region. Whatever you feel led to pray for, please continue praying. Prayer is powerful. See John Piper's exposition of the Revelation verse about prayer in his sermon "The Prayers of the Saints and the End of the World"!
"And when he broke the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God; and seven trumpets were given to them. And another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel's hand. And the angel took the censer; and he filled it with the fire of the altar and threw it to the earth; and there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and an earthquake."
John Piper-- Prayer and the Consummation of History
The utterly astonishing thing about this text is that it portrays the prayers of the saints as the instrument God uses to usher in the end of the world with great divine judgments. It pictures the prayers of the saints accumulating on the altar before the throne of God until the appointed time when they are taken up like fire from the altar and thrown upon the earth to bring about the consummation of God's kingdom."Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." (Philippians 4:6)
In other words, what we have in this text is an explanation of what has happened to the millions upon millions of prayers over the last 2,000 years as the saints have cried out again and again, "Thy kingdom come . . . Thy kingdom come." Not one of these prayers, prayed in faith, has been ignored. Not one is lost or forgotten. Not one has been ineffectual or pointless. They have all been gathering on the altar before the throne of God.