Hezekiah was a descendant of King David, and he was a good king:
- He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned for twenty-nine years in Jerusalem . . . He did what was right in the sight of YHVH, in accordance with everything that his father David had done. He removed the high places and smashed the memorial stones to pieces, and cut down the Asherah. He also crushed to pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the sons of Israel had been burning incense to it. And it was called Nehushtan. He trusted in YHVH, the God of Israel. And after him there was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, nor among those who came before him. For he clung to YHVH. He did not desist from following Him, but kept His commandments, which YHVH had commanded Moses (2 Kings 18:2-6)
Hezekiah witnessed an amazing national deliverance from Assyria, where 185,000 enemy soldiers were struck dead by the Angel of YHVH (2 Kings 19:35). He was also supernaturally healed from a mortal illness, and lived fifteen years longer than had originally been prophesied by Isaiah (2 Kings 19:1-11). Yet in those fifteen years, boasting of his riches to Babylonian envoys (in violation of Deuteronomy 17:15-17), Hezekiah catalyzed God’s judgment of exile on his kingdom and his people:
- Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of YHVH: ‘Behold, the days are coming when everything that is in your house, and what your fathers have stored up to this day, will be carried to Babylon; nothing will be left,’ says YHVH. ‘And some of your sons who will come from you, whom you will father, will be taken away; and they will become officials in the palace of the king of Babylon.’” Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of YHVH which you have spoken is good.” For he thought, “Is it not good, if there will be peace and security in my days?” (2 Kings 20:16-19)
Hezekiah’s response makes one’s blood run cold. “So the judgment will fall on my kids, but at least I’ll be ok!” he sighed with relief. “There will be peace and security in my day!” This perspective, also held by sundry politicians, military strategists and intelligence chiefs, assumes that as long as ‘the tuna doesn’t hit the fan during my time in office,’ all will be well.
- As we look at the rush of recent events, we might be tempted to borrow Hezekiah’s attitude. We might talk about how it’s true that bad things are about to happen to the Jewish people. We may have a crafted theology which sees Israel as a significant prophetic chess piece, but if we shed no tears while communicating this, our message will leave the heart of Jerusalem cold (see Isaiah 40:1-2). Some of us might glibly assume that God will allow the Jews to go through hard times, but He will never allow us to undergo hard times. Yet a long, hard look at history shows us that such events have been the experience of many followers of Yeshua. The Hamas massacres, rapes and kidnappings are not to be classed simply as a Last Days signpost. They are about real people who lives have been destroyed, snuffed out, shattered – by jihadi terrorists who will continue to do the same time and again, until they are once and for all destroyed from off of the face of the earth. We must press in to get God’s heart here.
Who must respond to terror?
Heads of state and talking heads have been making pompous declarations on news media about the right and wrong way that Israel should respond to Hamas jihadi terror. They lecture and browbeat Israeli officials, trying to trip them up about supposed humanitarian considerations – but for the most part avoid discussing the grievous acts of war that Hamas inflicted on innocent Jewish civilians. But it needs to be clearly stated: if Hamas had only massacred one kibbutz, or had only kidnapped two Israelis, that would still have been an act of war – a casus belli. It is Israel’s international right and moral obligation to respond to such terrorism with deadly force to perpetrators, planners and providers of shelter. Those who are attacked have the God-given duty to remove all threats. This was the case after 9/11 in dealing with jihadi terrorists hiding out in Tora Bora, Afghanistan or on ṭarīq al-mawt (the Highway of Death) between Kuwait City and Saddam Hussein’s Basra. It was the case after Hitler invaded Sudetenland, Poland and France at the onset of WWII, shipping millions of Jews to murder sites in Eastern Europe. And it is Israel’s task now to do what must be done, and to do it quickly, in Gaza.
The world has a short memory. As Andy Warhol once said, even earth-shaking media events only get “fifteen minutes of fame.” The gasps of many who saw snippets of the demonized cruelty of Hamas atrocities, have quickly morphed into accusations that Israel invented these events. Today the IDF showed journalists footage taken by Hamas jihadis of ghastly atrocities proudly filmed and broadcast in real-time during the massacres on Israeli kibbutzim, as well as clear instructions given to these Hamas terrorist to kill everyone they saw, to behead victims, to cut off their legs, and even to rape corpses.
What is nearly beyond belief is that large demonstrations around the world have gathered to curse Jews, to call for them to be gassed outside Sydney’s iconic opera house, to cheer on Hamas. We are living in a twilight zone similar to the rise of Nazi Germany, and enemies of the Jewish people are sprouting up like mushrooms after the rain. A Cornell University professor say he was “exhilarated and energized” by Hamas’ October 7 massacre. Pro-Hamas marchers in Warsaw carried signs reading “Keep the world clean” with a picture of a Star of David on a garbage can, or ‘Armia Izraelska to są terroryści’ (‘The Israeli army are terrorists’). “I am here because I believe that killing innocent people is simply wrong,” Ola, a participant in yesterday’s protest in Warsaw, told the Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper. “I do not support Hamas, but Israel’s actions are equally inhumane. And I always stand on the side of the weaker.”
Seducing the West with their suffering
There is a popular Arabic proverb than throws some needed Middle-Eastern light on current events: “Darabani wa baka, wa sabaqani wa eshtaka” (‘First he hits me. Then he starts to cry. Finally, he runs ahead of me to the judge and sues me’). This dynamic has been perfected by Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood Islamist terror group controlling Gaza. Its name in Arabic is Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya – ‘The Islamic Resistance Movement.’ Hamas fired rockets against civilian centers in Israel (which is a war crime) from the middle of civilian Palestinian centers in Gaza (another war crime). It stores rocket launchers in Gazan homes and U.N. schools, in mosques and beside hospitals. Its main GHQ is located under Al-Shifa Hospital, the largest medical complex and central hospital in the Gaza Strip. Hamas has used Gaza’s Palestinians as human shields in order to block any IDF attempt to remove these threats. Any civilian casualties would automatically be blamed on Israel by Hamas in lockstep with the world’s media.
In the riveting 1998 thriller ‘The Siege’ starring Denzel Washington, Bruce Willis, Tony Shalhoub and Annette Bening (as the CIA agent Elise Kraft), Elise comments about the Palestinians: “My father used to say Palestinians seduce you with their suffering.” This seduction dynamic is on full view on the nightly news, as Hamas atrocities morph into virtual blood-libels against the IDF.
“Hamas terrorists who took part in the October 7 massacre of southern Israeli towns received precise instructions to make deadly chemical weapons to use on civilians, President Isaac Herzog confirmed in an October 22, 2023 interview with Sky News . . . The IDF found a USB key on the body of one Hamas terrorist containing a PDF of al-Qaeda material which included instructions to behead babies and guides on how to take hostages and create improvised ‘cyanide dispersion devices’”
The prince of Persia is on the move
The prophet Daniel was informed by the angel Gabriel in Daniel 10:13-20 that a high-level demonic prince – the prince of Persia – was engaged in face-to-face combat with the Archangel Michael, the protector of the Jewish people. The great End of Days battle known popularly as the War of Gog and Magog describes Persia/Iran as one of the Last Days invaders of Israel:
- So I will turn you around and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them magnificently dressed, a great contingent with shield and buckler, all of them wielding swords; Persia, Cush, and Put with them, all of them with buckler and helmet; Gomer with all its troops; Beth-Togarmah from the remote parts of the north with all its troops – many peoples with you (Ezekiel 38:4-6)
The participants in this battle are listed – a confederation of Arab, Islamic and Turkic nations: Persia (Iran), Cush (Sudan/Ethiopia), Put (Libya), Magog (formerly the ancient Scythian homeland north and northeast of the Black Sea, presently in southern Russia between Crimea and Muslim Azerbaijan), Meshech and Tubal (both in modern Turkey), Gomer and Beth Togarmah (both are ancient names for Turkic areas on the Black Sea, possibly extending up to Ukraine). As well, Sheba (modern Yemen) and Dedan (modern Saudi Arabia) take a lively commercial interest in the proceedings.
On Monday October 23, 2023, Iranian Admiral Ali Fadavi (also Deputy Commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards, spoke to students at the University of Tehran where he was asked about the possibility of practical action against Israel: “Some of you young people consider practical action to be a direct missile to Haifa. Of course, if it is necessary, this will be done, and it will be done without hesitation . . . The Resistance Front’s shocks against the Zionist regime will continue until this cancerous tumor is eradicated from the world map . . . Another shockwave is on the way, if Israel does not end atrocities in Gaza,” he said.
In the country known today as Turkey/Türkiye (but known as Meshech and Tubal in Ezekiel’s day), Hamas has their forward HQ for terrorist planning under the warm tutelage and financial support of the government. The head of Hamas’ Politburo Ismail Haniyeh, was asked to leave Istanbul and Turkey for a short while after footage circulated on social media showing him and other Hamas members prostrating themselves on the ground in a ‘prayer of gratitude’ while watching news of the Hamas massacre on television. Haniyeh splits his time between Qatar and Turkey. Turkey’s leaders were annoyed by remarks that Saleh al-Arouri, Haniyeh’s deputy, made to Al Jazeera, bragging that Hamas had captured enough Israeli soldiers to force Israel to free all Palestinian prisoners in its jails. Ankara is unwilling to publicly appear as if it is still protecting Hamas after the group’s killing of Israeli civilians.
How should we then pray?
As tanks begin to roll, here are some bullet points to be praying about:
- Pray for ‘shock and awe’ to be successfully carried out by the IDF to thwart the years of planning that Hamas has done – tunnels, mines, commando teams whose job is to kidnap IDF soldiers, and to even make off with their dead bodies. Davidic divine strategies as in Psalm 144:1: “Blessed be YHVH my rock, Who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle!”
- Pray for clarity of strategy, purpose and resolve for Israel’s leaders to deal a final death-blow to Hamas in Gaza – total and unconditional surrender of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and total removal from Gaza for them both
- Pray for the leaders of your nation to receive a revelation of God as the Captain of the armies of Israel (see 1 Samuel 17:45): “But David said to the Philistine, ‘You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a saber, but I come to you in the name of YHVH of armies, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.’”
- Pray for minimal loss of life on all sides except for Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
- Pray for God’s strategies and leading regarding how to deal with Hezbollah, and for the God of Jacob to hold back regional war if possible, involving Hezbollah, Syria, Iran, Turkey, the Yemenite Houthis and other superpowers
- Pray for revelation and clarity to be imparted by the God of Israel to the world intelligence community who have not yet understood what jihad is all about and are fogged as to how to deal with it decisively
- Pray for the physical rescue of the at least 212 Israelis (including babies) kidnapped by Hamas
- Pray for the raising up of Ezekiel’s prophetic Jewish army throughout the earth
Your prayers and support hold up our arms and are the very practical enablement of God to us in the work He has called us to do.
In Messiah Yeshua,
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