With all the events taking place in Syria right now, many people are asking, “What does the Bible have to say about Syria and the end times? Is this the beginning of World War III and Armageddon?” Those are legitimate questions, but let me assure you, this is not the end. How can I be so sure? Because the Bible says Armageddon takes place at the end of the seven year Tribulation (Revelation 16:16), and the Tribulation has yet to begin.
That said, I believe recent events in Syria have great significance when it comes to the study of bible prophecy. This doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to see the immediate fulfillment of any specific bible prophecy. However, it does mean you should pay close attention.
Why? Because, at the very least, these events are setting the table for the fulfillment of multiple bible prophecies. Just look around you. The signs of the Second Coming are everywhere. The restoration of Israel (Isaiah 11:12)… The Jews back in Jerusalem (Luke 21:24-28)… The Gospel preached to the world (Matthew 24:14)… An increase in travel and knowledge (Daniel 12:4)… The rise of the European Union (Daniel 2:43)… And many more.
Jesus says once you see all these signs come together, His return is near (Luke 21:28). This means the Tribulation is close, and you should expect to see the fulfillment of many end times prophecies in the near future. In this two part series we will look at prophetic events especially relevant to the ongoing events in Syria. The first could take place at any moment. While both could still be several years away, breaking events could lead to their fulfillment in this very hour.
The destruction of Damascus in Chapter 17 in the Book of Isaiah paints a sobering picture. In it, the city of Damascus is a pile of rubble. The Bible says it will disappear from the face of the earth and become a heap of ruins (Isaiah 17:1). At the same time, large parts of northern Israel will also lie in ruin (Isaiah 17:3). Now, before you say this prophecy was fulfilled during Old Testament times, keep this in mind… This passage says Damascus will cease to be a city (Isaiah 17:1).
It will be utterly and completely destroyed. Yet, Damascus is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities on record. Its history goes back more than 5,000 years. At 2,600 years old, the Book of Isaiah itself is new compared to Damascus! This prophecy is yet to be fulfilled. So how do current events in Syria relate to Isaiah 17?
Following the recent U.S. strike on the Syrian Syrian chemical weapons facilities, a statement was issued by the Russian ambassador to the US saying: ‘Again, we are being threatened. We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences.”
This includes Israel and makes a much more likely target than Syria or Russia retaliating direclty against the US. Hezbollah is part of the Iran/Syria/Russian alliance and would be more than glad to launch targeted attacks into Israel with backing from these nations.
While it hasn’t been a major news story, Israel has also been bombing Syria. They’ve attacked Hezbollah targets in Syria several times over the last year and recently bombed an airbase that resulted in several Iranian Republican Guard deaths, including a Colonel.
Hassan Nasrallah, The leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah terror group said the Israeli air strike on an air base in central Syria that killed seven Iranians was a “historic mistake” that has brought Israel into direct conflict with Tehran. “This is unprecedented in seven years of war in Syria that Israel directly targets Iran’s Revolutionary Guard,” Nasrallah said.
Israel issued it’s own threats in response, with senior Israeli security officials saying that if Iran strikes at Israel from Syrian territory, “Assad’s regime and Assad himself will disappear from the map.” They continued, “Our recommendation to Iran is that it does not try to act because Israel is determined to continue on this issue to the very end.”
If Syria and its allies view their situation as desperate, they may decide to use these bombing raids as an excuse to launch a chemical attack on Israel.
If Syria, Hezbollah, or any of their allies managed to strike Israel with a weapon of mass destruction, the response would be swift. Israel would most likely respond in kind. If their intelligence revealed the Assad regime was behind such an attack, nuclear retaliation on Damascus would not be out of the question.
While this is all speculation, and not necessary how Isaiah 17 will be fulfilled, it shows how realistic a near-term fulfillment of this prophecy could be. With current instability in the region, and so many warring factions in Syria, events could spiral out of control very quickly. At this point in time, it’s not difficult to imagine a scenario in which Damascus is completely destroyed.
Next Issue: Syria and The End Times: The Gog of Magog War