A news story just out purports that the actual reason for the Gaza offensive was to train Israeli troops for a battle with Iran. There is always much more going on politically and prophetically than we can see.
Officials: Israel's Gaza Offensive Was Training For A Possible Fight With Iran
"Israel's eight-day Gaza offensive was a dry run for any future armed confrontation with Iran, U.S. and Israeli officials told The New York Times. “In Operation Pillar of Defense, Israel was not confronting Gaza, but Iran,” Israeli ambassador to the U.S. States and military historian Michael B. Oren told the Times."
The news that Egypt's President Mursi has grabbed powers is making more and more headlines now. I had posted it 2/3 of the way down a bit earlier today. By now more and more they are calling him Pharaoh. Remember the Isaiah 19:4 prophecy that Egypt will be delivered to a cruel master. Here is a news update with the prophecy below that.
Reuters: "Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi's decree exempting all his decisions from legal challenge until a new parliament was elected caused fury amongst his opponents on Friday who accused him of being the new Hosni Mubarak and hijacking the revolution."
Al-Arabiya: "With Mursi's absolute powers, will Egypt be corrupted absolutely? Words and expressions such as pharaoh, god, despot and assassin of democracy filled Egyptian media coverage on Friday to brand President Mohammed Mursi following his sudden snatch of sweeping powers."
Isaiah 19:4: and I will give over the Egyptians into the hand of a hard master, and a fierce king will rule over them, declares the Lord GOD of hosts.
I don't know what the prophetic implication is. But God never does anything that doesn't accomplish His ultimate purpose- to bring Himself glory and to bring an end to sin. As we hurtle toward the ultimate end of the end, past the end of Armageddon and past the Millennial kingdom, we can rest assured that the operation Pillar of Cloud was at root a spiritual battle that accomplished something God wanted to accomplish.
What we can see so far in this short term are several things.
"President Mohammed Mursi (Morsi) became president after the Arab Spring revolution when previous president Hosni Mubarak was ousted. Morsi is part of the Muslim Brotherhood group. Morsi was a Member of Parliament in the People's Assembly of Egypt from 2000 to 2005 and a leading figure in the Muslim Brotherhood. He became Chairman of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) when it was founded by the Muslim Brotherhood in the wake of the 2011 Egyptian revolution. He stood as the FJP's candidate for the May–June 2012 presidential election."
"The Brotherhood's stated goal is to instill the Qur'an and Sunnah as the "sole reference point for ...ordering the life of the Muslim family, individual, community ... and state". The Brotherhood's credo was and is, "Allah is our objective; the Quran is our law, the Prophet is our leader; Jihad is our way; and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations."
The Muslim Brotherhood's candidate for Egypt's 2012 presidential election was Mohamed Morsi. The Egyptian cleric Safwat Higazi spoke at the announcement rally for the Muslim Brotherhood's candidate Morsi and expressed his hope and belief that Morsi would liberate Gaza, restore the Caliphate of the "United States of the Arabs" with Jerusalem as its capital, and that "our cry shall be: 'Millions of martyrs march towards Jerusalem.'" [sources, Wikipedia]
I think only a few people recognized the irony that Egyptian President Morsi was the chief negotiator between Hamas in Gaza and Israel. So effectively it was the Muslim Brotherhood negotiating on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslims had high hopes for an obliteration of Jerusalem and the pushing forward of the above stated goals.
When Morsi negotiated a peaceful cease fire with Israel, the People of Egypt became enraged. Thereupon, Morsi granted himself sweeping new powers, effectively becoming a new Mubarak. Thereupon, the people are protesting. Here are some links to that news:
Egyptian President assumes sweeping powers, dubbed new pharaoh
"Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi has assumed sweeping powers, drawing flak that he is acting like a "new pharaoh" and is endangering the gains of the popular uprising which ousted Hosni Mubarak's dictatorial regime. Mursi made the constitutional declaration yesterday that granted him far-reaching powers and also ordered retrials of officials involved in the killing of protesters during the 2011 mass uprising against the Mubarak regime. The decision came a day after the President was praised by world leaders for brokering a truce between Hamas and Israel. Yesterday's constitutional declaration has sparked a fierce debate in the country, with supporters calling it "revolutionary" and detractors slamming the sweeping powers it grants Egypt's presidency as a "coup".
Egypt braces for mass rallies after Mursi grabs sweeping powers
Isaiah 19:4 declares prophetically that God will deliver the Egyptian people in the last days into the hands of a harsh master. It is not clear whether this is the antichrist himself or simply a cruel man to oppress the people until the antichrist eventually takes over the ten-toed kingdom. (Revelation 13:1, Revelation 17:12-13, Daniel 2:32-33). Maybe Mursi is that harsh master. Maybe not. Keep watching.
In sum, far from the cease fire settling things and calming them down, the cease fire and Mursi's behavior has only inflamed it. All is not well in Egypt.
Many people are vehemently upset with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Millions of Israelis thought the decision to cease fire was made too soon. They wanted Israel to dismantle Hamas entirely, conquer Hamas in total and reclaim Gaza. The ceasefire stopped short of that, in fact giving Hamas impetus to think they had won. Netanyahu defended himself publicly and also on his Facebook page, writing:
"I realize that there are citizens who expect a harsher military action and we may very well need to do that. But at present, the right thing for the State of Israel is to exhaust this possibility of reaching a long-term cease-fire. As Prime Minister, I have the responsibility, and it is the highest responsibility, to make the right steps to ensure our security. That is what I have done and it is what I will continue to do."
One benefit to the cease-fire is that although Netanyahu "has long vowed to safeguard Israel from terrorism, Gaza was never his battle. If the cease-fire holds — a major if — Netanyahu has several weeks to turn domestic and international focus back to his signature security issue: Iran. ... A lingering, bloodier war probably would have distracted the international attention Netanyahu has worked to center on Iran’s nuclear program" as the Washington Post reports.
In October, Netanyahu called for early elections. The election will ideally happen in three months' time, he said, rather than in October 2013, as originally scheduled. They will take place on January 22.
As Dan Ephron writes in The Daily Beast,
"Israel’s prime minister avoided a ground invasion and strengthened his reelection prospects, Hamas won itself some glory, and Israelis and Palestinians ended up right where they started. ... By taking on Hamas without launching a ground invasion, the Israeli prime minister managed to drive up his approval rating, a significant political achievement ahead of Israel’s general election on Jan. 22. Along the way, he broke the ice with Egypt’s Islamic government."
Although the truce hit Netanyahu's support hard he is still ahead in the polls.
Dan Ephron sums up his opinion of the post-cease fire fallout on the Hamas side--
"A political outcast since grabbing power in Gaza five years ago, the Islamic group suddenly has champions across the region, including Turkey, Egypt, and Qatar. It also has the dubious glory that, in parts of the Arab world at least, comes with inflicting pain on Israel. So it didn’t down an Israeli plane or hit the parliament building with rockets, as its silly propaganda campaign maintained. But it did force residents of Tel Aviv into bomb shelters and even fired rockets on Jerusalem. “Hamas wanted legitimacy and got it big time,” said Giora Eiland, a retired major-general and Israel’s formal national security adviser."
The battle is a spiritual one. Whatever is going on is no doubt furthering God's agenda.
"The Lord of Heaven’s Armies has sworn this oath: “It will all happen as I have planned. It will be as I have decided." (Isaiah 14:24)
"for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place." (Acts 4:27-28).
We look to the end, to Isaiah 17, Isaiah 19, Ezekiel 37-38, Zechariah 12 and 14, Matthew 24, and Revelation, among many other books and chapters, and we know that satanic hatred of Israel will only grow, the end will come when they are saying peace and safety, and His purposes are holy and will take place as He wills.
Stay tuned, and keep looking up!