There is war in the Middle East….It would be wonderful if everyone could sit down, forgive each other and agree to quit fighting, but that is not going to happen…−Israel is surrounded by people and countries that literally hate them, to varying degrees. Some, attempt to extend an arm of friendship. Sadat paid the ultimate price for this. Others, like Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria, etc. would like nothing better than to see the Jews drown in the Mediterranean Sea. Their dream of a Palestinian homeland would then come to fruition. Regardless, this all must happen. Jerusalem and Israel are so important to the world because God foretold, in Zechariah 12:2-3, that in “that day”, which is the end of the age, He will “make Jerusalem a cup of reeling to all the peoples round about, and against Judah…and in that day, I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all peoples; all who burden themselves with it shall be sorely wounded. And all the nations of the earth shall come and gather against it.”
Ever since Israel was reestablished in 1948 as a nation, since Jerusalem came under Jewish control in 1967, this prophecy has started its fulfillment. God has also revealed that His timetable for the end of the age really gets started once Israel is back in the land. In Joel 3:1-14, God speaks clearly of the end of the age, most specifically the judgment of the Great Tribulation.
In verse 1, God says, “For, behold, in those days and at that time, when I shall reverse the captivity and restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem,” STOP!! We now know the exact date when the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem was reversed and their fortunes restored: May, 1948, when Israel officially became a nation.
Now, look at what God further prophesies will occur, verse 2: “I will gather all nations, and will bring them down into the Valley of Jehoshaphat…” The Dictionary of the Bible, edited by William Smith, 1904, states on p. 373, that there was never an actual spot with this name; rather, it seemed to be a generic name for the Middle East, the area around Israel. If this is true, God will then begin to draw the Gentile nations into the Middle East, after Israel became a nation again.
In verse 2b, God states, “…there will I deal with and execute judgment upon them for their treatment of My people and My heritage, Israel…” God then lists the sins of the nations for which He is going to bring judgment, and it is clear that He is talking primarily about the Arab nations, who have been so responsible for 5,000 years in consistently attacking and trying to destroy the Jews.
In verse 9, God declares this judgment to be war. In fact, in verse 10, God orders the nations to change their instruments of peace into instruments of war. In verses 12-14, God states that all the nations of the world will ultimately be drawn into the Middle East for judgment. We know this scenario is consistent with End Time prophecy in Daniel and Revelation; however, I believe this judgment of the Arabs will begin before the Anti-Christ arises to begin the Great Tribulation. I say this for several reasons:
A. In Ezekiel 38-39, God foretells of a “latter day” invasion of Israel by a confederation of forces led by Russia. God states that several Arab nations will be part of the invading force. He states that Persia (Iran), Cush (Ethiopia), Libya, and the House of Togarmah is Armenia. As you read this list, you must immediately ask yourself the question, “Why did God leave out the Arab nations closest to Israel, and, therefore, most in conflict with her? Where are Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and Jordan?” These nations would surely be most anxious to join the Russians in the great invasion which would overwhelmingly defeat the Jews once and forever.
The answer may be that they have been completely destroyed before this invasion, an event which may be so very close to occurring.
In Israel at Way, Joel Rosenberg defines the current situation of Israel and her crises with the rest of the world. This is a must read for so many reasons. Not only does he show clearly the prophecy unfolding, but he explains it in such amazingly simple terms – As things escalate more and more in the Middle East, Christians need to be aware. To be prepared.
Joel Rosenberg is such a blessing to anyone seeking to truly understand God’s word as it relates to the times we are living in. And what is yet to come.