A Burden for Damascus

I have spent most of my adult life studying the Middle East.  I have done this almost every day, since the first war in Iraq.   I have intentionally avoided using social media for my beliefs about the Middle East.  I am a college teacher and a mental health counselor.  I usually try to avoid putting out any messages that would detract from my ability to be understood as one in the helping profession.  My friends are very diverse and have broad views of the world, history and the future.  But my friends know that I believe in Jesus Christ.  So I wanted to share my thoughts about the current events in Syria on my blog.  I feel that we should be praying for the residents of Damascus.   God has a burden for Damascus.  His burden is bigger than ours.  America is making choices to pursue actions it has not fully considered.  This is due to blindness among our leaders.  They have successfully fought so many wars that the possible unplanned consequences of war are not a deterrent.  God has given the world a tragic view into the future of Syria, and especially Damascus.  It comes from Isaiah 17.  I don’t know when it will happen.  Damascus is the oldest, continuously inhabited city in the Middle East.  It has never been destroyed like Jerusalem, Jericho, Babylon and Istanbul have been.  But according to the Bible, (Isaiah 17) some time in the future, in the span of one evening, Damascus will cease to exist.  This should cause great conviction among our leaders and among Christians.  I don’t know why Damascus is destroyed.  Some have said for years that Syria will attack Israel with unconventional weapons, and Israel will respond with a nuclear counter-attack on Damascus.  This seems to be one of the scenarios that Bashar Al-Assad is threatening in response to US action.  America does not seem to be considering this as a possible outcome of an attack, even though Syria has threatened it for years.   If the Bible is true, (and I believe it is) then we may be running headlong into the specific warnings that God has provided to us about the Middle East.  Events on the ground are pointing to the truth of Biblical prophecy in many ways.  Syria is one of these ways.  This makes me want to pray for Damascus and for all of my neighbors and friends.  The collateral damage in the destruction of Damascus would not be contained to Damascus.  The defensive scenarios of the world powers will not allow it.  It would quickly lead to the events in Ezekiel 38-39.  The bad news is that very old sin has infected the Middle East.  The good news is that we, as individual sinners have had our sins paid for.  This happened once and for all, for any who would confess their sin to Jesus.  Because of my relationship with Him, I choose to pray for my friends, my neighbors and those who are affected by the terrible events in Syria.  Pray that many more innocent civilians are able to escape, before too many more days pass.  Pray that peace will come to Damascus and that it will have many more years ahead.  Pray for the safety of the United States and for Israel.  Find someone here in America, who needs something.  Meet their need.  Give freely.  Tell them about the hope you have in Jesus.  When men’s hearts begin to fail because of the things happening in the Earth, they will remember that you have hope in Christ.