Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on David’s Tent, a ministry of Israeli believers Avner and Rachel Boskey. The Boskey’s have ministered at Tabernacle of David, and we consider them trustworthy and Biblically sound.
At 18:08 local time on August 4, an apocalyptic explosion mushroomed over the Port of Beirut, Lebanon’s capital. The official explanation for the cause of the blast is that the port’s Warehouse #9 (chock full of Chinese fireworks) somehow had caught fire and that within minutes the blaze jumped across to Warehouse #12, where 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate fertilizer was sitting in storage. This highly explosive fertilizer (confiscated from a derelict Russian freighter six years before) was held ‘in limbo,’ stored at the port due to bureaucratic inaction on the part of Beirut’s municipal judges.
Another distinct possibility is that the explosions were actually a terrible accident in Hezbollah-run underground weapons bunkers and munitions warehouses. The Iran-backed jihadi terror group stockpiles GPS guided rockets and missiles, rocket engines and fuel, high explosives and assorted weaponry in many places Lebanon, usually in the heart of major cities including Beirut and in civilian homes:
- www.inss.org.il/publication/hezbollah-on-the-borders/ https://mfa.gov.il/MFA/ForeignPolicy/Terrorism/Hizbullah/Pages/Hizbullah_munitions_depot_explosion_southern_Lebanon_Dec_2012.aspx).
If evidence points to Hezbollah responsibility for this massive destruction of Beirut, it’s a distinct possibility that a life and death struggle for control of Lebanon may explode, between Sunni Muslims (28.7%), Christians (36%) and Druze (5%) on one side facing off against Hezbollah and the Shi’ite community (28.4%) on the other.
The blast of a storm against the wall (Isaiah 25:4)
The supersonic blast wave was felt as far away as northern Israel and Cyprus (240 kilometers away), leaving a crater between 140 and 200 meters wide. Jordan’s Seismological Observatory measured a seismological force equivalent to a 4.5 magnitude earthquake. Specialists from the University of Sheffield UK estimated that the blast had one-tenth the force of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, making it one of the biggest non-nuclear explosions in history.
So far there are 157 fatalities, 80 people missing, and more than 5,000 injured. Beirut Governor Marwan Aboud estimates that up to 300,000 people are left homeless by the explosions, which wrecked homes up to ten kilometers away. Three hospitals and 90% of Beirut’s hotels have been destroyed. Approximately 85% of the city’s grain reserves have been incinerated, and Beirut has declared a two-week state of emergency.
Lebanese leaders are likening this disaster to Hiroshima, and local media have coined a new word ‘Beirutshima’ to describe the severity of the damage.
Beirut has been ravaged. From its white snow-capped mountains (‘Lebanon’ is the ancient Hebrew word for ‘white country’) to its beautiful beaches, from its burgeoning Arabic music and media center to its Syrian and Hezbollah operated drug routes (heroin and hashish) and smuggling – this city used to be known as the Paris and Switzerland of the Middle East. The shock waves of this explosion are rippling across the Middle East. It is a sober time.
Howl, for the cedar is fallen (Zechariah 11:2)!
Beirut is the Arab world’s fifteenth largest city and the third largest in the Eastern Mediterranean. This disaster is a mighty blow, one that feels more suited to biblical prophecies over Lebanese cities like Tyre (Isaiah 23; Ezekiel 26-27) or Sidon (Matthew 11).
Lebanon has known terrible strife and civil war over the past 150 years. Recently Iran has seeded the country with a particularly venomous jihadi fifth column known as Hezbollah (‘the army of Allah’). Lebanese Islamist Shi’ite leaders who had studied in Najaf, Iran adopted Ayatollah Khomeini’s post-1979 Iranian Revolution strategies. Funded by Iran and trained by a core group of Pasdaran instructors, Hezbollah was established in 1985 to attack Israel, to bring religious and political victory to Lebanon’s marginalized Shi’ite community, and to help spread Iranian jihadi control over the wider Middle East.
Since 2008 Hezbollah has for all intents and purposes annexed Lebanon, controlling its political, economic and military will. The jihadi group has initiated terror attacks against the Israeli army, rocket and missile attacks against Israeli civilians, and has built up a deadly arsenal of over 150,000 precision-guided rockets and missiles able to reach all of Israel’s population centers.
Israeli media regularly brings up the likelihood of a soon-coming all-out war between Hezbollah and the Jewish state. With 150,000 rockets and missiles aimed at every city in the Promised Land, Israeli citizens need to be constantly reminded to wrap our minds around the possibility of grave civilian casualties and destruction of essential infrastructure in this next round.
The destroyed buildings of Beirut are a sobering picture of what much of Lebanon will look like if Hezbollah begins to fire its rockets and missiles at Israel’s civilian population. Israel has clearly warned that in such an eventuality the IDF and IAF will need to take out all hidden rocket launchers and degrade or destroy Lebanon’s major infrastructure installations.
In one day
People today struggle with an overabundance of cynicism. The concept of God being sovereign even in times of disaster is summarily dismissed by most in the modern world. Politically correct wisdom says that when disaster hits a country, the entire society of that land instantly becomes an outstanding example of godly righteousness. God alone, they say, is the bad guy responsible for disasters. The concept of judgment or divine law enforcement is totally bankrupt, from this perspective.
- Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men (2 Peter 3:3-7)
The Scriptures speak of the speed of YHVH’s works coming in one day. These works can be positive:
- “I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day” (Zechariah 3:9)
- “Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Can a land be born in one day? Can a nation be brought forth all at once? As soon as Zion travailed, she also brought forth her sons” (Isaiah 66:8)
- “In that day man will have regard for his Maker And his eyes will look to the Holy One of Israel” (Isaiah 17:7)
The speedy works which come in one day can also be highly destructive:
- “And there was no one who escaped or survived in the day of YHVH’s anger” (Lamentations 2:22)
- “Those slain by YHVH on that day will be from one end of the earth to the other” (Jeremiah 25:33)
- “But these two things will come on you suddenly in one day – loss of children and widowhood. They will come on you in full measure in spite of your many sorceries, in spite of the great power of your spells” (Isaiah 47:9)
- “And the Light of Israel will become a fire and His Holy One a flame, and it will burn and devour his thorns and his briars in a single day” (Isaiah 10:17)
We need to call out to YHVH, the God of the armies of Israel (see 1 Samuel 17:45), to have compassion on Beirut like He had mercy on Nineveh – that “great city in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know the difference between their right and left hand, as well as many animals” (Jonah 4:11). Let us pray for Beirut’s overwhelming physical and spiritual needs.
If you would like to donate financially to help those in need in Beirut, here is a reliable ministry on the ground in Beirut:
go to https://tm-lebanon.com – (no tax-deductible receipt)
CMJ USA – https://secure.accessacs.com/access/oglogin.aspx?sn=156636. Choose ‘Select Fund: C.C. Crossroads’ and then in the memo write: Beirut Relief Fund – (for a tax-deductible receipt)
A future prophecy about another major Arab city
The prophet Isaiah speaks about the future of Damascus, the ancient capital of Israel’s venomous enemy. Today it is the capital of Syria and the country’s largest city. In Arabic it is fondly called ‘the City of Jasmine’ (Madīnat al-Yāsmīn). Damascus has been a major cultural center of the Levant and the Arab world. It has also been the center (as has Beirut) of satanic strategic planning aimed at destroying the nation of Israel (see Genesis 12:3; Isaiah 42:11-16).
- “The oracle concerning Damascus: Behold, Damascus is about to be removed from being a city and will become a fallen ruin. The cities of Aroer are forsaken. They will be for flocks to lie down in, and there will be no one to frighten [the sheep] . . . In that day their strong cities will be like forsaken places in the forest . . . and the land will be a desolation . . . At evening time, behold, there is terror! Before morning they are no more. Such will be the portion of those who plunder us and the lot of those who pillage us” (Isaiah 17:1-2, 9, 14)
In 1991 Rachel and I met a dear brother (now passed on) to whom God would give stunningly accurate prophetic dreams. The first time we met him, he told me that he had a dream of a death wind sweeping over Damascus. In that dream, chemical warfare stockpiles on the outskirts of Damascus exploded through some kind of accident. In that dream the death wind swept the clouds of nerve gas across the city. Then the Lord spoke to our friend that this was the fulfillment of Isaiah 17.
Syria has huge stockpiles of Sarin and VX nerve gas, and has repeatedly used these banned weapons against its own civilians:
Consider the speedy destruction that Beirut has just experienced. Then consider Isaiah’s prophetic word that even greater destruction will fall on Damascus, and that this “will be the portion of those who plunder and pillage” the Jewish people.
There are those who see peace breaking out across the Middle East (based on their unusual interpretation of Isaiah 19), along a highway between Egypt and Assyria. But both Isaiah 19:16-22 and Isaiah 17 actually describe intense warfare as the precursor to unshakeable peace. We are not yet in times of peace, but of tremendous shakings. Let us carefully discern the times and be on the watch.
How should we then pray?
- Pray for a wave of repentance to sweep across Lebanon and Syria, turning many hearts to the God of Israel and away from the cursing of the people of Israel
- Pray for the wounded, crushed and broken in spirit in Beirut – for God to be their very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1-3)
- Pray for Israel’s leaders to be given revelation (2 Kings 6:12) about the enemy’s strategies as well as God’s wisdom
- Pray for the raising up of the Ezekiel 37 prophetic army among the Jewish people
Your prayers and support hold up our arms and are the very practical enablement of God to us in the work He has called us to do.
In Messiah Yeshua,
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