The rockets that Hamas terrorists launched at Tel Aviv happened in the middle of the day, Eastern US time. It landed 15Km from the city in a densely populated area-
Times of India reports, “Militants defied a major Israeli bombing campaign across Gaza on Thursday, firing off volleys of rockets which killed three Israelis and sparked panic in Tel Aviv. It was the farthest distance ever attained by fire from Gaza. Defence Minister Ehud Barak gave the go-ahead for 30,000 reservists to be called up, with the army saying it was “in the process of expanding the campaign.”
There is much propaganda on the side of the Gazans and Hamas. This Israel National News report explains:
“Barely one day into the fighting in Hamas-run Gaza, the locals are hard at work playing the victim for the world’s press. Footage from the BBC captured by watchdog group Honest Reporting shows a heavy man lying on the ground and being carried away by residents, apparently after being injured by an Israeli attack. Moments later, that same man again fills the frame, except he is walking about and obviously unhurt. The widespread staging of such victim situations is a favored tactic of Arabs fighting Israel and has come to be known as “Pallywood.” Because Israel is stronger militarily, the Arabs cling to the underdog image of poor refugees under occupation and siege by evil Israelis, thus eliciting sympathy.”
The foray is named Pillar of Cloud, in Hebrew. The news magazine Israel Today wrote,
“Israel on Wednesday evening launched a major aerial campaign against terrorist targets across the Gaza Strip under the banner of “Operation Pillar of Cloud.” The action comes after days of incessant terrorist rocket fire against the residents of southern Israel.”
That Israel chose to use that name for this military engagement is so interesting. 38 percent of names given to Israeli military operations and weaponry between 1948 and 2007 alluded to the Bible. This present one, of course, evokes the verses in Deuteronomy 31:15:
“And the LORD appeared in the tent in a pillar of cloud. And the pillar of cloud stood over the entrance of the tent.’
and in Exodus 13:21-22,
“And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people.”
It is so amazing that this foray which involves Egypt is named that, but even more so what struck me was the mention of the cloud in Isaiah 19:1
“An oracle concerning Egypt. Behold, the Lord is riding on a swift cloud and comes to Egypt; and the idols of Egypt will tremble at his presence, and the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them.”
The near future of Egypt is extremely dim. If you read Isaiah 19 it foretells of some dire things for the Egyptian people. The prophetic chapter is easy to read and understand. Toward the end of the chapter, the future becomes gloriously brighter as we read verse 20 to verse 25:
“When they cry to the Lord because of oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and deliver them. And the Lord will make himself known to the Egyptians, and the Egyptians will know the Lord in that day and worship with sacrifice and offering, and they will make vows to the Lord and perform them. And the Lord will strike Egypt, striking and healing, and they will return to the Lord, and he will listen to their pleas for mercy and heal them. In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and Assyria will come into Egypt, and Egypt into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians. In that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance.”
Those are the only three nations to be specifically mentioned as existing in the Millennium and even more incredible is that each receives a specific compliment from the Lord unique to them. He considers Egypt His people…and why not, Hosea 11:1 reminds us, “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.” He allowed Egypt to shelter His own son when Herod was chasing Him.
The fact that He calls Egypt back to Himself in the above verses is so wonderful to read. Tears come to my eyes when I read of how specific His plans are and how perfectly they all come together.
But back tot he here and now. An Israeli in the southern part of Israel such as the city of Sderot only has 15 seconds to get to a shelter when the air raid sirens go off.
This is a 40 second video put out by Israeli public information filmmakers. It is called “15 seconds to save your mama”. It is not gross nor graphic, being for general distribution in Israel for public information. However, it is powerful, and gives a street level, real feel view of exactly what the Israeli people are enduring.
Is this the end of the beginning? We’ll see if the tensions de-escalate. Please pray. I pray He strengthens the church, I pray He shakes the nations so they repent, I pray He delivers wisdom to the Israeli, Egyptian, and other Middle Eastern leaders. There are so many things to pray for, aren’t there?