Are we closer than we think?
Tension is mounting worldwide right now over the possibility of a military strike by the United States against Syria over their alleged use of chemical weapons on their own people. This is partly because of our nation’s failure to assemble a coalition of allies to support such a move. And, it’s also because of Russia, Iran and Hezbollah’s strong support of Syria and pledge to defend them if such an attack occurs.
Here in the U.S., a lack of support, even among the President Obama’s own party, is raising the stakes of making such a unilateral move. His failure to follow through on his 2012 "red line" warning to Syria and decision last week to let Congress decide has greatly damaged his credibility both at home and around the world.
Thus, the question is "Will we still launch a strike against Syria to save face or will we do nothing, causing the enemy to further view us as inept and weak-willed?"
Tough questions for sure.
But, perhaps a greater question in all of this is "Are we closer to Armageddon than we realize?"
To answer that, we should take a look in God’s Word to see what it has to say about the Syrian capital of Damascus in End Time prophecies.
Believe it or not, the prophet Isaiah had much to say about this oldest, continuously inhabited city on the planet. She has at least 5,000 years of recorded history, with some scholars believing she’s been around longer than that.
Regardless, Is. 17:1-6 records that Damascus will one day cease to exist as a city.
She will become a heap of ruins. Few, if any buildings, will be left standing and there’ll be no inhabitants there other than all kinds of wildlife.
In addition, many of the fortified cities in northern Israel will also be destroyed. Even a cursory examination of vv.7-14 reveals great devastation that will occur — primarily because Israel has turned from the God Who can save them.
Another question is, "Will an attack on Syria lead to an expanding war in the region?" It would seem that Ezekiel 38-39 says it will. "A vast and awesome horde" — i.e., an enormous coalition of nations — will sweep down on Israel "like a storm and cover the land like a cloud" (Ez. 38:9).
With Syria and Israel lying in ruins, the enemies of Israel will view her suffering as an opportunity to invade with an ultimate goal of destroying her forever.
However, according to Psalm 83, they’ll discover that God has a different plan in mind and will destroy these invaders Himself in a most miraculous and unusual way. All of this will be just a part of what Jesus referred to as "the Beginning of Sorrows" (Matthew 24:8).
So, back to the original question: "Will we attack Syria?"
The answer: Only God knows.
But, one thing is clear: We are much closer to the above-cited events than we realize. And, the results will be much more catastrophic than any of us can imagine. That’s why it’s important to have true Faith that’s like a "sure-and-steadfast Anchor" (Hebrews 6:18-19).
And, that Anchor is Jesus Christ, the Risen Savior.
As Thomas Paine wrote on Dec. 23, 1776, "These are the times that try men’s souls." Therefore, each one of us should "humble ourselves before a mighty God, pray and seek His Face as never before while turning from our sinful ways. Only then will He hear our prayers, forgive our sins and heal our land" (II Chronicles 7:14). Only then.
May God have mercy on our souls. And, may He bring us to that place of brokenhearted repentance before it’s too late.
To contact Bro. Tom or receive his daily e-mail devotional, entitled "Morning Manna," write him at P.O. Box 10614, Fort Smith, AR 72917 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.