“To everything there is a season,” says King Solomon with anointed wisdom. As we wrote back in February 2006, this is a season for war. (You can read “Israel, Hamas, Iran and the Body of Christ: A Time for War” archived on our website.) Yeshua’s followers have always, in a sense, been called to war. “From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.” (Matthew 11:12) But there are times such as these, when, as the kingdom of heaven breaks through to earth, blood must be shed while powers and principalities in the spirit realm contend for the souls of humanity.
What renders Israel’s war, called “Operation Summer Rain,” particularly sobering is that it began concurrent with the period of time in the Jewish calendar called bein hameitzarim or “dire straits.” These three weeks, beginning this year (2006) on July 12 and culminating August 3 with Tisha B’Av (9th of Av), is a time of extremely heightened spiritual and natural warfare for Israel. Devastations and national calamities have repeatedly occurred during bein hameitzarim. (Please see the article entitled “Tisha B’Av” archived on our website under “Biblical Feasts.”)
In this present battle of global proportions, it is again “to the Jew first and then to the Gentile.” (cf., Ro. 1:16, 2:9-10) Supported by weapons and military directives from Syria and Iran, Hizbollah is firing rockets and missiles onto civilian population centers with one purpose in mind: the total annihilation of Israel. The battle is not about Palestinians gaining a sovereign state. It is about terrorist groups in evil alliance with surrounding nations determined to eradicate the Jewish State. It is about the demonic entity Allah daring to contend with the Creator of the Universe. But globally-networked and enraged hordes of hell are no match for our Champion and Savior, the Holy and Righteous Lord of Hosts.
Let us help carry the agony of the Israeli people: the injured and maimed; families who have lost loved ones; traumatized children holed up in bomb shelters, sirens piercing their young ears; a population that is war-weary and increasingly faint at heart. May God give us the grace to hold up their arms, weep with those who weep, and develop strategic avenues of compassionate ministry to the suffering innocents under siege (including Arab civilians). May He also give us the grace to intelligently persevere as much-needed prayer warriors, trusting Him and knowing His ways are always good.
Real Nature of the Battle
Throughout Israel’s 3,800 year-long history, we have sustained the brunt of unjust assault. War is no stranger to us. From the Egyptian exodus, through our wilderness wanderings, and as we passed into the Promised Land, one surrounding nation after another assailed us. The nations’ war with Israel is ultimately their war with Israel’s God.
Antisemitism is essentially an expression of the spirit of antichrist aimed horizontally against humanity, as opposed to vertically against the Uncreated Sovereign One Himself. So we ought not be appallingly dismayed that Israel is at war. In fact, Israel’s brief reprieve from battle in the 1990’s was due to a false peace ushered in through the Oslo Accords in 1993. It merely provided the opportunity for our enemies to amass the very arsenal of weaponry now raining down on the tiny country.
Previously we have written about the biblical relationship between Israel’s obedience and the extent of her physical possession of the Land. In our last newsletter we acknowledged the importance of this relationship, while also pointing out significant other factors that must be taken into account. Israel’s inhabitation of her Land is not dependent solely on her obedience to God. God is doing many things during this season at the same time. His ways are at once both exquisitely complex yet simple. (Please see our July 2006 newsletter, archived on our website under.)
In summary, at this point in prophetic history, God is unleashing His justice. He desires to break the stronghold of Islam and release multitudes of Muslims, including the children of Ishmael, from its death grip. He also desires a cleansing of the Holy Land, a sprinkling of pure water upon His covenant people. The unleashing of His justice is about judgment and mercy. It is about the last days’ harvest and the salvation of souls—and ultimately, His glory manifest in all the earth.
This present war should be seen as birth pangs preceding Yeshua’s return, about which He compassionately yet soberly forewarned. (Matthew 24:8)
It would appear that Syria desires to provoke Israel to take aim at her. Armed with weapons of mass destruction, including biological and chemical agents, and quite possibly nuclear devices, Syria would then dramatically retaliate. Iran has stated it would come to Syria’s aid and has already deployed armaments off Israel’s coastal waters. This could provide the pretext for Iranian President Ahmadinejad acting on his oft-stated goal to “wipe Israel off the map.” It is quite possible that Syria and Iran actually hope the United States will come to Israel’s aid. This would invoke a face-off with the so-called “Great Satan” (US) and “Little Satan” (Israel). This face-off is the ultimate dream of fundamental Islam in its jihad against the Western world. We can not at this time comment on whether direct US involvement would be the will of God.
What lies ahead?
1. The prophetic Scriptures tell us that Israel will endure war off and on until Yeshua’s return. Whether or not this current round of battle ends in the near future, there will be no lasting peace apart from the Prince of Peace Himself. Let us urge our political representatives not to pressure Israel into a premature cease-fire before Israel is able to successfully dismantle Hizbollah and, in so doing, liberate Lebanon. (Israel was forced once before by the West to prematurely terminate its efforts to eradicate the PLO from Lebanon in 1982-83. This early withdrawal gave rise to the situation before us today.) At the same time, satanic powers fueling the fighting could endeavor to vastly accelerate this military conflagration to cause far greater destruction than necessary, and before God’s appointed hour.
2. God intends to magnify Himself in all the earth through Israel and the battle against her undertaken by the Arabic nations. (Psalm 83) Let us keep this glorious end in mind so as not to lose heart.
3. God will radically alter the spiritual landscape of the Middle East. “In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. The Assyrians will go to Egypt and the Egyptians to Assyria. The Egyptians and Assyrians will worship together. In that day Israel will be the third, along with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing on the earth. The Lord Almighty will bless them, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance.” (Isaiah 19:23-25) Likewise, God wants to restore the glory of Lebanon (Isaiah 35:2) and liberate its people from the rule of rogue terror. The timing of the fulfillment of these prophetic passage is unclear. Total fulfillment may not take place until Yeshua rules and reigns on earth. However, partial fulfillment as we approach that Day could come to pass during this present age, even this season. Watch and pray.
4. The strategy of hell is to seize this opportunity to destroy the Jewish State. While the Israeli Defense Forces are doing their part on the ground, the body of Christ worldwide is called to spiritual battle. The prayerful deployment of the Church could prove the decisive factor. It has been said that history belongs to the intercessors. We urge you to fast and pray. Many of you are able to organize prayer gatherings in your churches or homes. Those of you in Southern California are invited to join our prayer meetings.
How to Pray
1. Psalm 83 – May God glorify Himself, make His salvation known among the nations—especially Israel and the Arabic States—and defeat His enemies.
2. Psalm 27 – Pray for tenacious courage for Israel in trusting God.
3. 1 Timothy 2:2 – Pray for Israeli governing authorities and decision-makers in the Israeli Defense Forces, as well as for world leaders’ responses to the conflict.
4. Pray for the power of the blood of Yeshua (Jesus) and the Name of Yeshua to be released on every battlefield and site of attack.
5. 2 Kings 6 – Ask God to reveal the enemy’s strategies to Israeli intelligence forces.
6. Psalm 91 – Angelic protection and strengthening physically, emotionally and spiritually for Israel’s troops, especially the believers; minimal loss of life and injuries.
7. Grace on every Israeli believer to shine as a spiritual light, whether in the armed forces, bomb shelters, or elsewhere.
8. Proverbs 26:2 – Pray that rockets and other weapons fired into Israel would land in uninhabited spots, causing minimal harm to body and property.
9. Isaiah 19:23-25 – Pray that the present distress would bring about the beginnings of a highway of holiness between Egypt and Assyria, changing the spiritual landscape of the whole Middle East. Pray for the displaced Lebanese people.
10. Proclaim and release divine justice, and mercy amid judgment.
11. Ask for the repentance and salvation of Hizbollah, Hamas, Syria, Iran and Lebanon; however, if they refuse to surrender to the King of Kings, then may He deal justly with His enemies.
12. Pray that world leaders do not pressure Israel toward a premature cease-fire. This would appease the enemy and thereby strengthen terrorist infrastructures. Pray for Israel to maintain a righteous, on-the-offensive, stance.
13. Pray that this conflict will directly involve (only) as many nations as God wants to be directly involved, whether or not that includes Syria, Iran, the US or others.
14. Pray for faithful intercessors in the Church worldwide to arise and remain faithful.
15. Pray for God’s kingdom to come and His will to be done on earth, as it is in heaven.