A dear friend of mine in Paris, France recently bemoaned what she described as the constant drone by the modern news media on events unfolding in Israel. “It has nothing to do with us.  Why is the media so obsessed with what’s happening in Israel?”

Her criticism may well echo those of a broad cross-section of people across the world who question the seemingly irrelevant and misplaced fascination with happenings in the Middle East.  At the same time, it displays a myopic view of the pivotal role the nation of Israel plays in the unfolding of eschatology, concerning expectations of the end of the present age, human history, or the world itself.

Still others are dismissive of events surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict because of the historically complex nature of this struggle.  After all, this small strip of land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea has been a focal point of unrest for over two thousand years.  It was conquered by Arab Muslims in the seventh century.  It was host to the Crusades between 1050-1300. It was conquered by the Ottoman empire in the sixteenth century.  It still is revered to this day as “holy land” by three major world religions:  Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Following the horrors of the Holocaust, in 1948, the State of Israel was established.  Then, during and immediately after the Six-Day War of 1967, over 250,000 Palestinians fled from the West Bank and Gaza when these territories were captured by the Israelis.  Despite several local skirmishes since then, Jewish occupation of Israel remained stable until 1973 when, during the Yom Kippur War, she was attacked by Egypt, Syria and other Arab nations.

The most recent terrorist attack by Hamas against Israel in October of 2023, exposed once again the vulnerability of the Jewish people to the ongoing threat of annihilation.  At the same time, this atrocity has revealed some rather interesting stage-setting facts from a biblical viewpoint.

Students of bible prophesy may recognize the current attacks on Israel as yet one more domino in the foreshadowing of what is to come in terms of the end times.  In Ezekiel 37 and 38, we are told that after the regathering of Israel, the nation would fall under attack by a large force to the north called Magog.  Some have identified Magog as Russia.  While no one can say with absolute certainty, the same passage of scripture announces that one of its allies, Persia, will march with it against Israel.  Persia is the ancient name for modern Iran. 

 The recent war in Ukraine has fundamentally changed the Russian-Iranian relationship.  Many say the level of cooperation between these two countries has now reached unprecedented levels, and that there has been a significant increase in shared military capability and weaponry.

Today, Iran has been designated by the U.S. government as the “foremost state sponsor of terrorism.”  It is the largest financial supporter of Hamas, and its chief supplier of the rockets and funding needed to launch the recent attacks upon Israel from its base in Gaza. 

In a poll conducted in 2018 by Christian research organization LifeWay Research, a staggering 80 percent of evangelicals agreed with the statement that the creation of the modern state of Israel was a “fulfillment of Bible prophecy that shows we are getting closer to the return of Jesus Christ.”

Why should what’s happening today in Israel matter? Because it represents the clearest indication of the unfolding of biblical prophesy. While it is the humanitarian crisis that has drawn the news media’s attention to this war, these events portend of a far greater significance for those with a biblical understanding of end times.

Larry L. Crain, www.crainlaw.legal

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