The “Damascus” Pronouncement.
Damascus shall cease to be a city
It shall become a heap of ruins.
The towns of Aroer shall be deserted
They shall be a place for flocks
To lie down, with none disturbing.
Fortresses shall cease from Ephraim
And sovereignty from Damascus
The remnant of Aram shall become
Like the mass of Israelites
–declares the Lord of Hosts
In that day
The mass of Jacob shall dwindle
And the fatness of his body become lean:
After being like the standing grain
Harvested by the reaper–
Who reaps ears by the armful–
He shall be like the ears that are gleaned
In the Valley of Rephaim.
Only gleanings shall be left of him
As when one beats an olive tree:
Two berries or three on the topmost branch
Four or five on the bough of the crown
–declares the Lord, the God of Israel.
In that day
Men shall turn to their Maker
Their eyes look to the Holy One of Israel
They shall not turn to the altars
That their own hands made
Or look to the sacred posts and incense stands
That their own fingers wrought.
In that day
Their fortress cities shall be like the deserted sites
Which the Horesh and the Amir abandoned
Because of the Israelites
And there shall be desolation.
Truly, you have forgotten the God who saves you
And have not remembered the Rock who shelters you
That is why
Though you plant a delightful sapling
What you sow proves a disappointing slip.
On the day that you plant, you see it grow
On the morning you sow, you see it bud–
But the branches wither away
On a day of sickness and mortal agony.
Ah, the roar of many peoples
That roar as roars the sea
The rage of nations that rage
As rage the mighty waters–
Nations raging like massive waters!
But He shouts at them
And they flee far away
Driven like chaff before winds in the hills
And like tumbleweed before a gale.
At eventide, lo, terror!
By morning, it is no more.
Such is the lot our despoilers
The portion of them that plunder us.
-Isaiah 17 (JSB)
Sometimes the very last thing you expect, when trusting the Lord to direct you in your studies, is to be led directly to a section possibly relevant to world events you are currently watching unfold.
There are two schools of thought on discussing prophecy in relation to present events: One school suggests not interpreting ‘prophecy’ in respect to current events until well after the ‘current events’ have passed. The other school believes that while many biblical prophecies refer to events closer to a prophet’s place in history, and may appear to have been fulfilled, it doesn’t mean that complete fulfillment of the prophecy won’t take place at a later date. So, for instance, Damascus, the oldest, continually inhabited city since pre-historic times, while having been invaded and faced destruction and defeat many times throughout history, has never ‘ceased to exist’ in its entire history.
It matters not whether the prophecy concerning the utter destruction of Damascus has been fulfilled or is being fulfilled. What matters is the ‘dogs of war’ have been ‘unleashed’ and ‘havoc’ reigns in Syria. People are being slaughtered wholesale and once again, the world community watches, wringing their hands, wondering “What to do? What to do?” None of them dares to take a firm stand for justice and mercy. Much like they did when Bosnian Muslims were being slaughtered and dumped in mass graves, while they watched and cried, “Peace! Peace!” How many have to die this time? Be sure that if the world community does nothing to prevent poison gas attacks, no matter which side committed such an atrocity, Israel will not stand idle long with such a threat hanging over their heads, and really, who could blame them?
Again, the world community cries, “Peace! Peace!” but does nothing concrete to achieve it in Syria. Sometimes you have to put yourself between dogs to separate them and put them back on their leashes. Sometimes you get hurt doing it but if you don’t, many more people may be hurt. Sometimes you have to have one or both of the dogs put down, if their violence and aggression is beyond rehabilitation. No one likes that but sometimes it is necessary.
Pray for peace. Pray for Syrians. Pray for wisdom for those who can intervene between the ‘dogs of war’. Pray for Israel.
The Lord is coming!