Gaza’s place in Bible’s prophecies

By Hal Lindsey

The Jerusalem-based Institute for Contemporary Affairs recently released a report authored by Lt. Col. Jonathan Dahoah-Halevi that concludes, to nobody’s particular surprise, that the Gaza Strip has become a haven for al-Qaida terrorists.

Gaza, part of the biblical “land of the Philistines” was the place where Samson toppled the Temple of Dagon on his enemies, giving his life in the process.

Gaza was first conquered for Israel by King David and subsequently fell to the Assyrians, the Egyptians, the Babylonians, Persians and Greeks.

But in the days of King David, it was part of Israel. In Jesus’ day, it was part of the Hasmonean Kingdom that ended with Herod the Great. In 1967, Gaza again became part of Israel when Egypt lost it in the Six Day’s War.

In September 2004, Ariel Sharon announced his controversial disengagement plan under the title, “Gaza First.” Sharon intended to turn Gaza completely over to Palestinian rule, hoping to accomplish two goals in the process.

The first and official goal was contained within its slogan, “Gaza First.” Israel would allow Gaza to govern itself, then use Gaza’s success or failure as a template for future negotiations over the West Bank.

Israel pulled out of Gaza Sept. 12, 2005, leaving behind 1,000 Israeli settler greenhouses to spare the jobs of the 4,000 Palestinians who worked in them.

Before that day was over, the Associated Press was reporting that:

“Palestinians looted dozens of greenhouses on Tuesday, walking off with irrigation hoses, water pumps and plastic sheeting in a blow to fledgling efforts to reconstruct the Gaza Strip.”

As the Israeli settlers were being dragged from their homes, the Palestinians torched the 19 synagogues left standing. Within sight of the smoking synagogues, in a somber farewell ceremony, Gen. Aviv Kochavi, the Gaza commander, expressed his hope the pullout would be a step toward peace.

“The gate that will close behind us is also the gate that will open,” he said. “We hope it will be a gate of peace and quiet, a gate of hope and goodwill, a gate of neighborliness.”

As the gate closed, Kassam rockets began roaring out the abandoned settlements and into the homes and shops of the Israeli cities on the other side.

Within a year, the residents of Gaza elected Hamas on their foundational platform that calls for the destruction of Israel and its replacement with an Islamic state.

A year after that, finds the Halavi Report, “The declared policy of Hamas to provide sanctuary to any jihad fighter invites additional terrorist groups associated with al-Qaida to plant themselves in the Gaza Strip.”

Here’s the amazing part. I believe that this is exactly what Ariel Sharon expected to happen. His only miscalculation was in thinking that, having seen a preview of what a Palestinian state would look like, the world would come to its collective senses.

Sharon underestimated two things: the almost palpable fear among Western governments to do anything that might offend Islam, and the depth of nascent global anti-Semitism. The world fears Islam, but it despises Israel on a level so deep that it is defies logical explanation.

Seen at that level, if Islam destroyed Israel and then went back into hibernation, it would be a fair trade. Maybe it would, maybe it wouldn’t, but for some, especially at the U.N., it’s worth the risk. All they have to lose is Israel.

It is almost impossible to fathom, but, barring that explanation, how does one account for the fact the world is still clamoring for the creation of a Palestinian state?

In every possible area of measurement, the Palestinians have failed the test for statehood.

As a people, the formerly Egyptian residents of Gaza immediately declared independence from the government run by the formerly Jordanian residents of the West Bank and launched a civil war. They are not one people, but two.

As a government, the only thing the Palestinian Authority has proved consistently efficient at is looting the national treasury.

As a society, the moment they were handed a working infrastructure, they looted it out of existence. They exercised their first opportunity at self-government by electing the terrorists who walk among them as their leaders.

Ariel Sharon handed them everything they demanded in Gaza, and they turned Gaza into Afghanistan. Evidently satisfied with the results, the Quartet is now pressuring Israel to allow the PA to turn the West Bank into Saudi Arabia and Jerusalem into Mecca.

Even blindness can’t account for such widespread ignorance of the danger. It goes beyond “blindness,” skids right past “ignorance,” and stops squarely in front of “delusional.”

Why would the world side with an openly terrorist entity – in the midst of a war on terror – at the expense of the only reliable Western allied democracy in the region, leaving it adrift in a sea of rapacious Islamic dictatorships?

Try, for a moment, to substitute some other Western representative democracy instead of Israel into this scenario in your imagination.

Israel is an ally to every nation fighting the war on Islamic terror. Those same allied nations are advancing a policy of granting statehood to terrorists sworn to the destruction of that ally … never mind. The more I try to explain it, the crazier it sounds. And that’s the point.

This is exactly the scenario outlined by the Hebrew prophets as signs of the soon coming of Israel’s Messiah.

The prophet Zechariah predicted the whole world would be united against Israel over the Jerusalem Question (Zechariah 12:1-3); the prophet Daniel (Daniel 9:27) predicted an agreement that seemingly settles the Temple Mount Question; and the prophet Ezekiel predicts that, in the end, Israel will still face a massive Islamic invasion reluctantly overseen by Russia and led by Persia (Iran) (Ezekiel 38:5).

Think about this for a second. Since it is absolutely illogical, and yet it is also exactly the situation we find ourselves witnessing, do you really believe it was all just a really good guess?

It would be amazing enough if the prophets had forecast a scenario that made sense and it came to pass. But the scenario they predicted defies all natural explanation – and yet is coming to pass as literally as it was forecast.

The fact is the Bible is true, and the setup for the fulfillment of Bible prophecies for the final seven years of Tribulation are almost complete. There is only a short time left to choose where you will spend eternity.

Jesus Christ purchased a pardon on your behalf with His own blood at Calvary’s Cross. He extends it to you now. All you need do is accept it. Allow Jesus Christ to come into your life and He will transform it forever.

The choice is yours.

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