Posted in gaza, hamas, IDF, jerusalem, jesus, prophecy, rocket

Hamas fires rocket at Jerusalem again, lands at Bethlehem

Joel C. Rosenberg tweeted this morning, ‏@JoelCRosenberg, “Air raid sirens sounded in Jerusalem. All clear now. Missile hit near Bethlehem. No casualties reported. Keep praying. #PillarOfDefense”

“Michael Lawrence, @IsraelSpeaker, reacted this way, “This afternoon’s long-range Hamas missile fell near Bethlehem, holy town for the Christian world. Why is this allowed?”

I didn’t think my spiritual pain could worsen when I’d read the other day that Hamas launched a rocket at Jerusalem but it did when I’d read that the little town of Bethlehem was hit. I admit I began to cry. I honestly don’t know why it hit me so hard.

There are many protests and clashes going on in Bethlehem right now, too. Jerusalem Post reports-

W. Bank: Palestinians protest, clash with IDF troops
“More anti-Israel protests erupted in the West Bank Tuesday as Palestinians took to the streets and clashed with IDF troops. The worst clashes took place in Bethlehem and Hebron, where IDF soldiers used rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse stone-throwers.”

As we approach the season of our Holy Savior’s birth in that tiny village, we always envision this kind of peaceful scene–


Phillips Brooks wrote the lyrics to O Little Town of Bethlehem. He described his horse­back jour­ney from Je­ru­sa­lem to Beth­le­hem, where he as­sist­ed with the mid­night ser­vice on Christ­mas Eve, 1865:

“I re­mem­ber stand­ing in the old church in Beth­le­hem, close to the spot where Je­sus was born, when the whole church was ring­ing hour after hour with splen­did hymns of praise to God, how again and again it seemed as if I could hear voic­es I knew well, tell­ing each other of the Won­der­ful Night of the Sav­ior’s birth.”

And we never envision this kind of violent scene-

Palestinian youths throw stones at Israeli security forces 
Friday in a West Bank village near Bethlehem. source

On Twitter, a Stephanie Bond wrote “Oh little town of Bethlehem how still we see thee riot!” And she posted this photo —

Embedded image permalink

As for the present clashes between Israel and Gaza, there are rumors flying around that change every minute. There is a cease-fire about to be announced. There is no cease fire. Israel does not want a cease-fire. Gaza does not want a cease fire. They are under pressure to accept a cease fire…and on and on it goes. Credible news outlets like CNN, Reuters, JPost and others on Twitter tweet all the above and sometimes at the same time. All I can say for sure is that things are changing by the minute.

The only thing that does not change is Christ’s love for His people- all people, for now. The IDF soldiers, the Muslim rock throwers and the Christians in the little town of Bethlehem. This is the time of Grace. Soon it will be the time of wrath, where there is no grace.

Micah 5:2 spoke of Bethlehem where the savior would be born. We associate the swaddling babe with that city and rightly so. But the same Micah reminds us just a few verses later that Jesus

“in anger and wrath I will execute vengeance on the nations that did not obey.” (Micah 5:15)

The day of grace will end.

Acts 17:30-31 reminds us of that fact-

“The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

In Revelation 6 we read that the souls of the slain cry for vengeance upon the earth.

“When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” ” (Revelation 6:9-10)

MacArthur explains this thirst for vengeance, and it is not what it seems–

“These prayers are not personal vendettas, they’re not thirst for personal revenge. Their holy desire is for the end of iniquity. Their holy desire is for the destruction of Satan. Their holy desire is for the devastation of Antichrist and the false prophet and all who followed him. Iniquity has reached its height in the slaughter, how long until You avenge our blood on…then this phrase, “Those who dwell on the earth?” … Now as we look at Revelation chapter 6 tonight, we are going to come face to face with God’s vengeance. The time of grace is really coming to its end.”

For all those who think that the grace will continue to those who dwell on the earth forever, you’re wrong. I do not know how long our Holy Savior will patiently endure the attacks at Jerusalem and on the people of the apple of His eye. Appeal to Him now while grace is still here. (Isaiah 55:6). Be His recipient of it now!

Here, the Vienna Boys Choir sings O Little Town of Bethlehem. It is grace, grace, grace Who came to us wrapped in flesh to save the world and those who dwell in it. I cry today because they bomb it and throw stones at it and spit on it. How long, O Lord? The Lord uses Zechariah to remind them and us that His patience will not remain forever–

“For thus said the Lord of hosts, after his glory sent me to the nations who plundered you, for he who touches you touches the apple of his eye: “Behold, I will shake my hand over them, and they shall become plunder for those who served them. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me. Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for behold, I come and I will dwell in your midst, declares the Lord. And many nations shall join themselves to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people. And I will dwell in your midst, and you shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. And the Lord will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem.” (Zechariah 2:8-13)

Such glorious promises! But Zechariah ends the verse with this:

“Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord, for he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.”

And what a day that will be!! A day of wrath and not of grace. Therefore “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15b)

They begin singing at 1:33.

Posted in defense wall, end time, IDF, prophecy

Jerusalem takes down a defense wall

“And ye have numbered the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses have ye broken down to fortify the wall.” (Isaiah 22:10)

Isaiah 22 depicts a warning to the people of Jerusalem. It begins, “Oracle concerning the Valley of Vision”. Jerusalem was known as the Valley of Vision because that is where God revealed Himself to the people. The People were preparing for war because the Assyrians were coming. They stocked up water in the Lower Pool. They gathered materiel such as weapons and chariots. They strengthened the wall by tearing own houses to use for materials. The people were busy, busy, busy. However, they were not doing the one thing they should have been doing: praying. They had not looked to God as their strength and protection, nor had they repented, and in this chapter God was telling Isaiah to chastise them for it.

From ancient times to now, outer city walls were used as a defense against marauding tribes or attacking armies. They provided a vantage point from which to defend the town, and also to watch out for coming trouble. They were almost always masonry, and thick. In Isaiah 21:6 we are told that a common practice was for a watchman to make rounds atop the wall and report on unusual activity. “Meanwhile, the Lord said to me, “Put a watchman on the city wall. Let him shout out what he sees.” (Also 2 Samuel 13:24). Nineveh’s walls were 100 ft. high, with 1500 towers, and broad enough for three chariots abreast. Walls are important.

“and you will say, ‘I will go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will go against those who are at rest, that live securely, all of them living without walls and having no bars or gates,” (Ezekiel 38:11)

However, by the time the last days arrive, Jerusalem is dwelling “safely”, that is, confidently. Some of this misguided attitude may be due to her mental state because Jerusalem has vanquished Damascus in Syria (Isaiah 17:1) and has defeated a large coalition of neighbors who attack her (perhaps in retribution for Syria’s defeat, Psalm 83). Israel relaxes her guard.

And her guard is not all that relaxes. For whatever reason, she had taken down her walls, bars, and gates. Israel never suspects the next attack, coming from a quarter she most assuredly should have suspected: Iran (Persia) and others: God says “I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army—your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords. Persia, Cush (Ethiopia) and Put (Libya) will be with them, all with shields and helmets, also Gomer (Turkey) with all its troops, and Beth Togarmah (Armenia) from the far north with all its troops—the many nations with you.” It is a big alliance that also includes Russia. (Ezekiel 38:4-5)

Which is why this article caught my attention:

AFP/Getty Image

Israel takes down wall near West Bank settlement
The Israeli military yesterday began removing part of an eight-year-old concrete wall which once protected an Israeli settlement from gunfire and shelling, citing sharply improved security as the reason. The Palestinian Authority pointed out that the move, which does not affect the much longer 450-mile separation barrier, will have no impact on the lives of local Palestinians. But it seized on it as making the case for a wholesale easing of restrictions on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

I am not a military expert, but it seems to me the situation in and around Israel is more tense than less. Is more fraught with military intrigue and subterfuge, than not. The Gaza Flotilla attack in which Israel Defense Force soldiers were summarily battered with pipes and shot at was only a month ago.  A Lebanese sniper shot an IDF soldier two weeks ago, when the soldier was simply pruning a tree. Yet Israel feels safe enough to remove a wall from behind which for many years snipers had shot and many attacks had come.

The people had fortified the walls in Isaiah’s day when they had not consulted God. Their strength was misplaced. The Assyrians came and they defeated Jerusalem, despite her fortified walls. Today, they are taking down a wall when they had not consulted God, again placing their own strength and abilities in reading the situation above God’s perspective. Israel’s problem today is the same as it was 3000 years ago: they need God. He is their wall, their hedge. And though He is close to them, and will save them from the coming attack of Gog-Magog alliance, they are not close to Him. Yet. The Gog-Magog battle will change all that. But meanwhile, Israel’s penchant for thinking her safe when she isn’t, continues. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!