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This week on 'The Hal Lindsey Report'.  Dec 2nd, 2011

The situation in Syria continues to deteriorate. Last week, the Arab League voted to suspend Syria's membership until Bashar al-Assad either steps down or stops his government's crackdown on protesters. The United Nations estimates that more than 3,500 have died in the continuing violence.

The economic sanctions imposed by the League will be a blow to Syria's economy, which is already weakened. But the suspension is an even bigger blow to Syria's pride. It has long considered itself a bulwark of Arab nationalism.

Syria's belligerent response -- not to mention Iran's and Hezbollah's moves to strengthen their ally's position -- has caused seven of Syria's neighbours to place their armed forces on high alert.

To further heighten the tension in the region, Russia has dispatched three warships to its naval maintenance base at Tartus, Syria. Its only aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, is headed for Syrian waters, too. Although Russia denies it, its naval presence in the region is widely considered a response to the fact that the United States has moved its carrier USS George H.W. Bush and part of the Sixth Fleet to lie off the Syrian coast.

Russia has already let it be known that it will not allow to happen to Bashar al-Assad what happened to Muammar Gadaffi in Libya. This, however, is not necessarily a stand Russia is taking on principle. Libya was one of Russia's prime customers for a variety of goods and services, arms included. Syria is also a major client state of the Russians. They've lost one good customer, they don't intend to lose another.

This will be the first military standoff between the two superpowers since the end of the Cold War two decades ago.

Some have asked if this might be the lead-up to the Bible's Psalm 83 war or the Gog-Magog war of Ezekiel 38 and 39. At this point, it doesn't appear to be developing as such. However, Isaiah's unfulfilled chapter 17 prophecy of the total and almost instantaneous destruction of Damascus makes any movement toward armed conflict with Syria worth watching. Especially since Syria has threatened Israel with attacks utilizing weapons of mass destruction. Israel has already made clear that if that happens, it will respond quickly and with overwhelming force. And Israel has the capability to make good on its threats. The only weapon that could cause the sudden and total destruction of Damascus -- as Isaiah predicted -- would be nuclear.

“The oracle concerning Damascus. Look! Damascus is about to be removed from being a city, and it will become a heap of ruins.” (Isaiah 17:1)

Folks, it's time to get ready for Christ's return. The utter destruction of Damascus is an important benchmark in God's "last days" scenario.



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