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To Strike Or Not To Strike?

To strike or not to strike Iran?

It is a race of time but time is running out.

Each new day brings Iran closer to producing nuclear weapons of mass destruction. Only the careless, the blind and the naive would think otherwise.

Despite all the past and current diplomatic isolations and international sanctions, Iran continues to be relentless, installing hundreds of new centrifuges at their uranium enrichment facilities, working 24/7 purifying uranium and producing nuclear weapons-grade fuel.

A nuclear Iran is a threat to world stability, and not Israel alone. Every human being living in the world who is concerned about the welfare of their nation and home should oppose a nuclear Iran.

The challenge of Iran is not just the problem of Israel. The Iranian regime not only desires to destroy and wipe Israel off the map of the world, it also challenges the Western civilization and the current world order.

This is not just a conflict between Iran and Israel, but also between Iran and America. Because they are the Friday people, this threat is not only against the Saturday people but also against the Sunday people. Therefore this impending danger cannot be taken easily off our daily life, and be swept under the carpet as if it is none of our business.

According to the media, the Prime Minister and Defense Minister of Israel are currently in their final stages of planning an attack on Iran.

According to the media, the President and government officials of the United States are doing their best in their power to discourage and disrupt Israel's plans.

While Israel appears to be in favor of a pre-emptive strike, the U.S. has made it clear that it believes there is still time for diplomacy and more sanctions.

One after the other, each U.S. senior delegate visiting Israel carried this same message: "Don't mess up our plans and our coming election! Don’t carry out any attack against the Iranian nuclear reactors!"

But the Jewish leaders answered with boldness and courage, "We won't leave our fate in the hands of others. We'll do what we need to do when we need to do."

But all the media and all the politicians in the world don't decide whether to strike or not. They don’t dictate what to do or not to do concerning Israel!

In fact, even the Israeli leaders do not make the ultimate decision! Their fate is truly not in the hands of others or other gods! Their times are in the hand of the Lord!

With all the frenzied hype and continuous stirrings in the media, people are either becoming more fearful or becoming more indifferent by shutting off completely! After endlessly hearing all the news of wars and rumours of wars, night and day, day and night, some are alarmed initially but as the days go by, many have become tired and dull of hearing! 

But who will ultimately decide to strike or not to strike?

While reading Ezekiel 38:14-23, I found the answer. The Lord will decide!

He is the Captain of the host of the Lord! He is the Commander-in-Chief!

God can use Gog as His instrument to accomplish and do His will! The nation of Gog in Ezekiel was a symbol of the evil darkness of the north and the powers hostile to God. But in Revelation, Gog and Magog have no geographic location, and instead they represent the nations of the world, banded together for the final assault against Christ and His people.

So the Sovereign Lord sent Ezekiel to tell Gog this message: “Now while My people Israel live in security, you will set out to come from your place in the far north, leading a large, powerful army of soldiers from many nations, all of them on horseback. You will attack My people Israel like a storm moving across the land. When the time comes, I will send you to invade My land in order to show the nations who I am, to show My holiness by what I do through you. You are the one I was talking about long ago, when I announced through My servants, the prophets of Israel, that in days to come I would bring someone to attack Israel.” The Sovereign Lord has spoken.

The Sovereign Lord says, “On the day when Gog invades Israel, I will become furious. I declare in the heat of My anger that on that day there will be a severe earthquake in the land of Israel. Every fish and bird, every animal large and small, and every human being on the face of the earth will tremble for fear of me. Mountains will fall, cliffs will crumble, and every wall will collapse. I will terrify Gog with all sorts of calamities. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken. His men will turn their swords against one another. I will punish him with disease and bloodshed. Torrents of rain and hail, together with fire and sulfur, will pour down on him and his army and on the many nations that are on his side. In this way I will show all the nations that I am great and that I am holy. They will know then that I am the Lord.”

The Sovereign Lord had commanded Ezekiel to prophesy against Gog. I believe this message is valid today! When the people of God are living in peace in their promised land, their enemies will be aroused by God to attack His own people! They will come from their homeland in the distant north with their enormous cavalries and mighty armies. They will attack Israel, surrounding and covering the holy land like a cloud. At that time, the Lord will bring Gog against His beloved land as everyone watches. Yes, it is the Lord who is behind this war! He has a plan beyond all our understanding and comprehension!

Why? So that His greatness and holiness will be displayed by what happens to Gog, and so that all the nations will know that He is the only one and true God.

Long time ago, the Lord had announced through the holy prophets of Israel that He would bring someone in the future to come against His people. But when Gog invades the land of Israel, God will pour out His fury over Gog!

In His jealousy and blazing anger, God will bring about a mighty shaking in the land of Israel on that day. A great and severe earthquake that will change the landscape of Israel! Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill will be brought low! The crooked places shall be made straight, and the rough places smooth. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together! Yes, every living being will see the glory of the Lord! This was spoken by the mouth of the Lord through His prophet Isaiah.

All living things - the fish in the sea, the birds of the sky, the animals of the field, the small animals that move on the ground, and all the people on earth - will quake in terror at His presence.

Mountains will be thrown down. Cliffs will crumble. Walls will fall to the earth. God will summon the sword against Gog on all the hills of Israel. Their men will turn their swords against each other. Yes, Gog will fight against Gog in the land of Israel!

God will punish Gog and his armies with disease and bloodshed. The Lord will send torrential rain, hailstones, fire, and burning sulphur!

In this way, God will show His greatness and holiness, and He will make Himself known to all the nations of the world. Then they will know that He is the Lord God Almighty.

In Revelation 17:17, God can use the evil people and beings to fulfill His divine purpose and plan. He has placed in their hearts the will to carry out His purpose by acting together and giving to the beast their power to rule until God's words come true.

Isaiah 55:8-9
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.”

While meditating on Ezekiel 38, I recalled what happened on the shore of Egypt before the Crossing of the Red Sea! After the 10 plagues, God again hardened Pharaoh’s heart, so that the Egyptians would pursue after the Israelites. Why? So that He will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, and so that the Egyptians may know that He is the Lord (Exodus 14:4).

While the Israelites camped by the Red Sea, the Pharaoh made ready his chariot and took his people with him. He also took six hundred choice chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt with captains over every one of them. So the Egyptians pursued the Israelites, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, his horsemen and his army, and overtook them camping by the sea.

When Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians marched after them. So the children of Israel were very afraid, and they cried out to the Lord.

Then the Israelites said to Moses, “Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren’t there enough graves for us in Egypt? What have you done to us? Why did you make us leave Egypt? Didn’t we tell you this would happen while we were still in Egypt? We said, ‘Leave us alone! Let us be slaves to the Egyptians. It’s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness!’”

And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”

Then the Angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud went from before them and stood behind them. A glorious shield of divine protection came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel. Thus it was a cloud and darkness to the one, and it gave light by night to the other, so that the one did not come near the other all that night.

Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided. So the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground. The waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.

Then the Lord removed the shield of protection, and the Egyptians pursued and went after the Israelites into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. It seemed like that was the final chapter and ultimate destruction of Israel.

But it came to pass, in the morning watch, that the Lord looked down upon the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud, and He troubled the army of the Egyptians. And He took off their chariot wheels, so that they drove them with difficulty; and the Egyptians said, “Let us flee from the face of Israel, for the Lord fights for them against the Egyptians.” Yes, the Lord fought for His people against their enemies who sought to destroy them.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the waters may come back upon the Egyptians, on their chariots, and on their horsemen.” And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and when the morning appeared, the sea returned to its full depth, while the Egyptians were fleeing into it.

So the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. Then the waters returned and covered the chariots, the horsemen, and all the army of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them. Not so much as one of them remained. But the children of Israel had walked on dry land in the midst of the sea, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.

So the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. Thus Israel saw the great work which the Lord had done in Egypt; so the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord and His servant Moses.

Truly the thoughts of God are nothing like our thoughts, and His ways are far beyond anything we could think or imagine. Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts higher than our thoughts.

God is not interested in destroying the enemies of Israel. He is interested that they too will acknowledge that He is God! That they too will repent and believe in Him!

2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise,
as some count slackness,
but is longsuffering toward us,
not willing that any should perish
but that all should come to repentance.

Why did God send the ten plagues to Egypt?

In Exodus 12:12, it was clearly written: “I am the Lord, and I will punish the gods of Egypt.”

By attacking and punishing the gods of Egypt, God broke the spiritual powers and principalities over the land of Egypt, which were established by the Egyptian gods.

Have you ever wondered why God destroyed the gods of Egypt? I believe that God, besides delivering His people, also desires the Egyptians to believe in Him, and be called His people too.

This is clearly stated in Isaiah 19:19-25:

In that day there will be an altar
to the Lord in the heart of Egypt,
and a monument to the Lord at its border.
It will be a sign and witness
to the Lord Almighty in the land of Egypt.

When they cry out to the Lord
because of their oppressors,
he will send them a savior and defender,
and he will rescue them.

So the Lord will make himself known to the Egyptians,
and in that day they will acknowledge the Lord.
They will worship with sacrifices and grain offerings;
they will make vows to the Lord and keep them.

The Lord will strike Egypt with a plague;
he will strike them and heal them.
They will turn to the Lord,
and he will respond to their pleas and heal them.

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.”

God has included the Egyptians in His master plan of salvation too! Yes, both the Jews and the Gentiles are loved and called to be His people according to His riches in glory!

As God establishes this truth in us, let others rise up early, sit up late, eat the bread of sorrows and worry night and day; day and night while we will sleep soundly as the Lord gives His beloved sleep (Psalm 127:2).

We will trust in the Lord and lean not to our own understanding!


Written on 25 August 2012