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Another Lebanon War on the Horizon?
Will the arms buildup in the Middle East result in another war, and will this war bring peace?
December 18, 2010 - Audio, 12.00 MIN
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God is a revealer of secrets and has drawn back the curtain on some of the activities in the Middle East showing an arms buildup with weapons supplied by Israel’s enemies, (identified in Ezekiel 38). Will this arms buildup result in a war that will change the scenario in the Middle East, ultimately leading the "peace and safety" described in Ezekiel 38?

  Welcome to another edition of the Bible in the News.

A Revealer of Secrets

Although man tries to “draw the curtain” on his activities, loving darkness rather than light, the words of Ecclesiastes are coming to pass:

“Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.” (Ecclesiastes 10:20)

The little birds have been very busy telling the secrets of the governments of the world and revealing what is going on behind the scenes. The reason is, behind all the “plans of men” a greater power is at work:

“This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.” (Daniel 4:17)

God is a “revealer of secrets” – and during the past few weeks we have seen the curtain drawn back on the Middle East and the real fears and concerns of the nations in the Middle East as discussed in last week’s Bible in the News. The truth is, mankind might think he can hide things behind a curtain of deceit, but in the end the truth comes out:

“Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” (Hebrews 4:13)

The Lord has a way of opening the doors, he is described as “bringing to light the hidden things of darkness” and “making manifest the counsels of the hearts” in 1 Corinthians 4:5. If the governments of this world think they can operate behind a cloak of secrecy and go against the will of God – they are dreaming.

The Lord instructs his people to “let your communication be, Yeah, yea; Nay nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil” (Matthew 5:34). The evil of the world is being disclosed, and those who are “watching” are being given an opportunity to see the finger of God at work.

In the headlines this week we see the prospects of another Lebanon War on the horizon.

A Rejuvenated Hezbollah

Reports of a possible takeover of Beirut by the Hezbollah continue to hit the headlines. In November, the Jerusalem post spoke of the strong possibility of a Hezbollah takeover. It would appear the Hezbollah is looking for an excuse to exploit and take over the country – turning it into a openly Shi’ite state hostile to Israel. It was the Hezbollah that launched attacks on Israel 2006, sparking the Second Lebanon War, which many critics within Israel believe was bungled by Israel’s prime minister of the day Ehud Olmert.

Not only this, but the re-arming of Hezbollah has been in full swing. Ynet News, reporting on many of the Wikileaks revelations quoted some of the leaked diplomatic cables. A November 2009 cable from US diplomatic staff in Damascus stated,

"Syria's determined support of Hezbollah's military build-up, particularly the steady supply of longer-range rockets and the introduction of guided missiles could change the military balance and produce a scenario significantly more destructive than the July-August 2006 war.”

The article went on to state:

 A particularly grave concern was that Hezbollah had been provided with sophisticated Fatah-110 missiles, which are deadly accurate and would have the capacity to strike most of Israel, including Tel Aviv.

Ynet Daily then quoted the New York Times:

 The New York Times said that, according to a Pentagon official, Hezbollah's arsenal now includes some 50,000 rockets and missiles, including some 40 to 50 Fatah-110 missiles and 10 Scud-D missiles.

 According to the New York Times, the cables notes that Israeli officials informed American officials in November 2009 that if war broke out, they assumed that Hezbollah would try to launch 400 to 600 rockets a day, and sustain the attacks for at least two months.

"The newly fortified Hezbollah has raised fears that any future conflict with Israel could erupt into a full-scale regional war," the report said.

These fears are reiterated by voices from inside Israel. Retired Major General Eilad, former national security adviser to prime ministers Sharon and Olmert,  was quoted by The Jerusalem post on Thursday,

“a war waged only as Israel-versus- Hezbollah might yield better damage on Hezbollah, but Hezbollah would inflict far worse damage on the Israeli homefront than it did 4-1/2 years ago…. Our only way of preventing the next war, and of winning if it happens anyway, is for it to be clear to everyone ... that another war between us and Hezbollah will be a war between Israel and the state of Lebanon and will wreak destruction on the state of Lebanon, And as no one -- including Hezbollah, the Syrians or the Iranians -- is interested in this, this is the best way of creating effective deterrence”

In a nutshell, another war with Lebanon would much more damaging than the last one – to both sides.

Cables from US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in February stated:

"We are aware, however, of current Syrian efforts to supply Hezbollah with ballistic missiles. I must stress that this activity is of deep concern to my government, and we strongly caution you against such a serious escalation."

Arms from Ezekiel 3 8 allies:

What is interesting is the source of much of the armaments coming into Lebanon and into the Palestinian territories. Ynet daily reported on US Diplomatic cables confronting foreign governments for compliance with Hamas:

They expressed repeated concern that the Palestinian terror group Hamas was receiving weapons on huge cargo planes operated by Sudan's Badr Airlines.

Despite Sudan's insistence the cargo was agricultural machinery, the United States asked other countries in the region to deny overflights but Yemen declined, according to a February 2009 cable released to The New York Times.

 In another, dated April 2009, Egypt accuses Iran of providing $25 million a month to Hamas and links Tehran to a Hezbollah arms smuggling cell…

"Syria's determined support of Hezbollah's military build-up, particularly the steady supply of longer-range rockets and the introduction of guided missiles could change the military balance and produce a scenario significantly more destructive than the July-August 2006 war," said a November 2009 cable from diplomatic staff in Damascus.

A particularly grave concern was that Hezbollah had been provided with sophisticated Fatah-110 missiles, which are deadly accurate and would have the capacity to strike most of Israel, including Tel Aviv.

…according to a Pentagon official, Hezbollah's arsenal now includes some 50,000 rockets and missiles, including some 40 to 50 Fatah-110 missiles and 10 Scud-D missiles.

Sudan is encompassed within the biblical geographical area of Ethiopia, mentioned in both Ezekiel 38 and Daniel 11 as marching alongside the Gogian host, while Egypt will be on the receiving end of the invasion:

He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape. But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps (follow at his heels –Tanakh). (Daniel 11:42-43)

Ezekiel broadens the scope of the invaders to include Persia and Gomer and all his bands:

“Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.” (Ezekiel 38:5-6)

Iran is well known to be stirring the pot in the Middle East, but now the bands of Gomer are openly seen as being involved. This week France was announced as supplying arms to the Lebanon government. The Jerusalem Post reported on Friday,

France will supply 100 anti-tank missiles to Lebanon, a government official said Friday, confirming a deal that raised concerns earlier this year, AFP reported.

"[Lebanese] Prime Minister Saad Hariri was informed on Wednesday of the French decision to supply the army with 100 ... HOT missiles that will be used by the military's Gazelle helicopters," the official told AFP.

The official confirmed that "the missiles will be delivered before the end of February and are being given with no conditions attached."

Stepped up Military Activity

The news has been buzzing with growing Israeli military activity this past week. Israeli aircraft were reported as crossing into Lebanese airspace on Wednesday.  Israeli drones performing surveillance were seen flying 91 km south of the capital Beirut.

Israel National News reported on Thursday,

The IDF on Thursday evening completed one of the most extensive drills it has held in recent years… The collaborative training event took place in the Golan Heights on the border with Lebanon, which is considered a particularly volatile zone in light of recent developments, including a mysterious explosion off the coast of Sidon.

Thousands of soldiers and hundreds of armored vehicles dealt with simulated antitank missiles, rockets and mortar shells – as well as motorcycle-riding Hezbollah operatives….

So while the pot begins to boil again in the Middle East we have to ask what the outcome might be? Ultimately, there must be peace in the Middle East as dictated by the words of Ezekiel 38:8

After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.”

While the world is apply extreme pressure for Israel to give up the West Bank – it is the “mountains of Israel” which make up the area Israel is to be settled on according to Ezekiel 38. Some how, and we don’t know how God will bring it about, “they shall dwell safely all of them”. It may be that a conflict in the Middle East will be necessary to change the arrangement of things and bring peace for a limited period of time.

While we cannot predict each move the nations will make in preparing for the Great Day of God Almighty, we do know that events soon to happen will compel the nations to do what under existing circumstances, heaven and earth combined could not move them to do. They will assume the positions assigned to them by the prophets – and fulfill prophecies given millennia ago –ultimately ushering in the kingdom of God on earth. May that day be soon, and may we be found watching and keeping our garments.

This has been Jonathan Bowen joining you for the Bible in the News.

 



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