I want to start with an analogy: think of the ticks on the last hour clock as Israel – Jesus Christ is the reason for the clock to exist in the first place – And the result the clock is supposed to produce the restoration of man to God, both of Jews and everyone else, by revealing God’s plan through Christ. The end of the book of Revelation makes this clear: ‘And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.’ God wants to restore everyone to the perfection He intended, not to judge them. Prophecy is about how He has done and will do both through Jesus Christ – I just want us to remember that.
This post focuses on the fact that we couldn’t even read the last hour clock without Israel. Just like when we learn how to read a clock, we can learn how to read the direction of the world and what God is doing with it by understanding what He’s done, is doing and will do with Israel.
Ever since Abraham, God has been working out His plan for the world through Israel. His promises to this nation are unconditional, which means that He’s still working out His plan for the world through Israel!
Thus says the Lord,
Who gives the sun for a light by day,
The ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night,
Who disturbs the sea,
And its waves roar
(The Lord of hosts is His name): “If those ordinances depart
From before Me, says the Lord,
Then the seed of Israel shall also cease
From being a nation before Me forever.” Jeremiah 31:35-36
Until the sun and moon stop working, Israel keeps ticking away on the last hour clock. Take this latest clash with Hamas.
This particular attack from Hamas (and we might as well say Iran), isn’t precisely foretold by any of the Biblical prophets, although the spirit of those organizations is.
Psalm 83 has been the spirit of Israel’s neighbors for decades:
For behold, Your enemies make a tumult;
And those who hate You have lifted up their head.
3 They have taken crafty counsel against Your people,
And consulted together against Your sheltered ones.
4 They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation,
That the name of Israel may be remembered no more.”
Attacks on Israel such as the war of Independence in 1948, the Six Day War in 1967, the Yom Kippur War in 1976, and the several intifadas launched against Israel in the last few decades, were motivated by the spirit of cutting them off from being a nation (as Psalm 83:4 makes clear). If you keep reading that passage, the historic names of the surrounding Arab nations are there – Edom, Moab, Ammon, Assyria…
But this particular attack wasn’t primarily provoked by the sheer existence of Israel – it was a political move by Hamas (who control Gaza) to gain and/or prove their popularity with all of the Palestinian people after the Fatah party president Mahmoud Abbas canceled their elections several weeks ago (when he realized he would lose – to Hamas). Notice that the West Bank/Abbas section of the Palestinians haven’t been firing rockets at Israel; it’s been the religious arm of the Palestinians in Gaza, where Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood are in control. The former is focused on the national/statehood aspect, and the other on spreading Islam (which explains their position as a proxy for Iran).
All of that being said, there are prophetic ticks in this latest middle east action. So let’s examine the situation to see what they might be.
These would be:
- That Israel is secure and prosperous
- None of her neighbors are condemning her, at least not strongly (apart from, of course, Iran and Turkey), and are certainly not attacking on behalf of Hamas or the Palestinians, and neither are any of the important players in the western world.
Now let’s look at how those could be ticks on the last hour clock.
- Israel is secure and prosperous.
Ezekiel describes them as “a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gate,” with “the waste places that are again inhabited,” and “a people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell in the midst of the land” (Ezekiel 38:11-12).
As the last hour ticks down, the Jews will be back in their land, gathered from the nations (see: WWII), and growing: their population, economy, stability.
I’ll touch on a few of the ways Israel is growing:
They’re planning a new oil pipeline to the Mediterranean, which could move 1.2 million barrels from Eilat to Ashkelon!1
They’re making deals with countries in the region, like the $10 billion investment of the United Arab Emirates into the Israeli economy.2
As of this year, Israel is now in the top-20-economies-in-the-world club, at number 19, with $43.7 thousand per capita.3
They’re also innovating on the forefront of many fields: medical, agricultural, scientific, technological, and more.4
Israel also has a military that you don’t want to mess with…5 The technological capabilities are first-class, with very precise targeting systems, and the space-age interception of the Iron Dome.
They export worldwide, being the 9th largest exporter of tropical fruit in the world.6
“But you, O mountains of Israel, you shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to My people Israel, for they are about to come. 9 For indeed I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown.” Ezekiel 36:8-9
Now the ceasefire has begun on Israel’s terms. It’s a unilateral ceasefire because that gives Israel the power to eradicate any future threats that even think about arising in Gaza. Israel is confident and strong enough to tell the world that this is how it’s going to be.
I could go on, but you get the picture!
Israel must be in this situation, because a) God promised it, b) they have to be in a position of some prestige and importance in the world to “confirm a covenant” with the prince that shall come, a.k.a. the Antichrist (Daniel 9:27), and c) be prosperous enough that Rosh, Persia, and Gomer will come down to plunder its riches.
It’s certainly taking the right steps to be in that position.
Some keen observers have pointed out that Iran may be testing the waters, seeing how able Israel is to defend itself. Israel is surrounded by terror proxies of Iran: Hamas to the south in Gaza and the Houthis in Yemen with rockets that will now reach southern Israel, Hezbollah in Lebanon to the north, and Shiite militias in Iraq to the east, plus Iran itself building underground silos to house rockets that will reach to every part of the Middle East. But Iran obviously has decided that now is not the time to attack Israel outright. Not that they outright told Hamas to attack Israel, either – as I mentioned, their rockets were launched to gain support and prestige among the Palestinian voters – although much (if not all) of their weapon supplies came from Iran at one point or another. And Hezbollah has distanced itself from any missiles that were fired from within Lebanon’s borders.7
I would hazard a guess that Iran will never feel strong enough to take on Israel without serious help. And that guess is based on the Gog and Magog war of Ezekiel 38, where Persia (ancient name for Iran) is a part of an alliance with Rosh, Gomer, Put and Kush. And this event is based on Israel being there, and – I would further imply – so strong, that it takes the involvement of a superpower, plus several other countries, to actually invade, and that other countries outside of the alliance will not feel it necessary or prudent to intervene on Israel’s behalf.
My first thought when I heard of the Hamas conflict with Israel over the past couple of weeks, and Israel’s unquestionable ability to deal with it swiftly and effectively, was, “Wait, doesn’t Israel need to be somewhat militarily weak in order for the alliance in the war of Gog and Magog to be emboldened to attack them? And wouldn’t the possible liberal and weaker government that was in the works play into that?”
Then I started connecting some more dots, and, as this post has so far demonstrated, I could see that the current events are actually lining up in a more effective way than my snap judgment had perceived.
2. Israel is not being universally condemned for this conflict by her neighbors or other governments.
The most significant of non-condemners are Israel’s Arab neighbors:
- The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, Sudan, Kuwait, and even Saudi Arabia have been practically silent about the entire issue.8
- Some of these countries, plus Egypt, have called for a ceasefire, and some have even voiced a willingness to broker a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas – a much more restrained response than during past conflicts.
- An interesting observation is that Turkey has spoken very vehemently against Israel, and in support of Hamas (Turkey is actually a supporter of Hamas) – remember their going to Russia to say it was time to teach Israel a lesson? Interesting because they’re going to be a part of the Ezekiel 38 alliance.
- The United Arab Emirates has actually told Hamas that planned infrastructure projects are in danger if they continue to attack Israel.9
There have also been some significant supporters from Europe and other parts of the world, who have been unequivocal in their support of Israel’s right to defend itself:8
- Czech Republic
That last one was rather significant, with the JCPOA talks being in Vienna. Their raising the Israeli flag atop the chancellor’s building was something the Iranian ambassador didn’t appreciate – as evidenced by his cancelling his meeting with the Austrian foreign minister.
The Czech Republic, Slovenia, and Ukraine all flew Israeli flags over their capital cities, and the rest tweeted or officially stated their support of Israel and condemnation of the rocket fire from Hamas. The German, Czech and Slovakian foreign ministers actually just visited Israel to show their support!10
The U.S. position is slightly more complex, but our government has expressly stated that we support Israel’s right to defend themselves.
So, where do these ticks put Israel on the last hour clock?
Israel is respected and strong as she has never been since she became a nation in 1948 – and certainly since she was dispersed in the 1st century!
Even I, who am relatively young in my experience of history and world affairs, remember when Israel seemed to be constantly attacked and in danger of being overwhelmed by her hostile neighbors. It seems that almost overnight she’s soared to prosperity and influence – which makes me think that the last few ticks left on the last hour clock will fly by!
She’s flown pretty high, but she could be a bit more prosperous and influential. It will need to be enough to test the friendship of that last member of the Ezekiel 38 alliance to become hostile towards her: Russia.
“Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh… In the latter years you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the nations, and now all of them dwell safely. 9 You will ascend, coming like a storm, covering the land like a cloud, you and all your troops and many peoples with you.” ‘Thus says the Lord God: “On that day it shall come to pass that thoughts will arise in your mind, and you will make an evil plan: 11 You will say, ‘I will go up against a land of unwalled villages; I will go to a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates’— 12 to take plunder and to take booty, to stretch out your hand against the waste places that are again inhabited, and against a people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell in the midst of the land.” Ezekiel 38:8-12
Based on these verses, at the time of the attack:
- Israel is:
- Brought back from the sword
- Gathered from many people
- A land which had long been desolate (and is no longer)
- A place where its people now dwell safely
- A place of unwalled villages
- A peaceful people – who just want peace
- A place filling with plunder-able goods: oil, technology, food, diamonds…
It looks to me like she’s nearly ready!
Remember, it’s laid out in God’s plans, so it was always bound to happen. And how exciting to see it with our very eyes!
It’s also a blaring reminder that so many people are running out of time to escape the judgment that will come on the world when the last hour strikes. Christ has done everything so that we can escape judgment and have pure, perfect eternal life with Him – to know Him as we were created to do, without the hindrance and separation of sin – and all we have to do to get those things is to trust Him and trust in Him to keep His promises.
Because He always keeps His promises! And, except for His first coming to earth to be the Savior, there have never been so many prophecies fulfilled as there have been in the generations since 1948!
“Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors!” Matthew 24:32-33
So, don’t forget that God wants you to be saved and is still waiting to pour out His judgment…
But the time is near!
Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near. Revelation 1:3
So – keep your eye on the clock until next time, or the rapture comes!