The Damascus Four

Y’know what?  I’ve come to the conclusion that Christians are scared of prophecy.  Seriously.  Don’t EVER start conversation regarding prophecy.  “No man knows” what prophecy means.  There’s something very taboo about discussing prophecy – we don’t go there as Christians.  We talk about love, about the stories from the OT, about the will of God, but never what is to come.
WHY?!?  There is much to be learned from prophecy.  There is more of the Bible given to prophecy than to the instruction of the saints!!  Prophecy is supposed to be reassuring – not knowing is what’s scary.  Never in history have we been left not knowing.  We’ve never been kept in the dark.  Ah, but let’s skip the prophecy because we know there’s a happy ending, and that’s all that matters.  ARGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!   Why do people think God gave us the information He did?  So we could ignore it and be oblivious to His plan?  Good grief!!!
 I’ve felt led to look at a prophecy about Syria… and show you something you might not have known.  And I hope that because you’re INUNDATED with prophecy on this site, it’s NOT scary or unapproachable anymore.  That you see it has its place, and that it’s vital to our past, present, and future.  That we CAN know.  And this look at Damascus (hopefully) will show you what I mean.
“Thus says the Lord; For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron: But I will send a fire unto the house of Hazael, which shall devour the palaces of Benhadad. I will break also the bar of Damascus.” (Amos 1:3-5)
Damascus is over 5,000 years old and the world’s oldest perpetually inhabited city. But according to Isaiah 17:1, Damascus will be “taken away from being a city” and be turned into a “runious heap.” This has never happened before in all of history, so it is a pending prophecy, awaiting fulfillment. And considering the world situation, it’s fascinating to look at.  Follow with me:  Amos said that there would be three wars between Israel and Syria, but the fourth would be when Damascus bites the dust.
The facts are that there have been three wars between Syria and Israel:  in 1942, 1967, and 1973.  Just three.  We’re currently poised for number 4.  But let’s back up and see what’s happened:
Israel, Iraq, Iran, Syria… none of them exsisted for many years there.  I do know the Ottomans ruled that whole region from the 1500’s to 1917.  That would be until WWI… and in 1917, a Jew named Chaim Weizmann developed a formula that made weapon manufacturing cutting edge… much needed in the Great War.  The price for his formula?  He asked for a homeland for the Jews.  What’s interesting is Ezekiel 37:7:  So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling and the bones came together, bone to bone.  Israel, scattered ‘bones’ was prophecied to come together with a great noise and rattling… and Israel became a nation under the Balfour treaty of 1917 with England – during the first world war!
Trouble came between the Arabs (who were also forming new nations) and the newly started nation of Israel, and by 1939, the British pulled out of the area.  Israel had a war of Independance (the 1948 war) against Syria and her allies, and the result was the declaration of Israel as a state.  This happened in May of 1948… fulfilling TO THE YEAR even more prophecy (see this link!) from ancient prophecy.  No joke!  WAR ONE WITH SYRIA.
Between 1948 and 1967,  Syria controlled the Golan Heights and used it as to randomly snipe at Israeli civilians in the valley below.  In addition, many roads in northern Israel could be crossed only after being cleared by mine-detection vehicles.  In some cases, attacks were carried out by Yasser Arafat’s Fatah which Syria allowed to operate from its territory.  Israel protested the Syrian actions, but the response from Damascus was defiant.  Nothing was done to stop Syria’s aggression. Meanwhile, Israel was condemned by the UN when it retaliated.  ((Sounds exactly like today, doesn’t it?!))
The ‘Six Day’ war grew out of the general Arab-Israeli struggle. Egypt subsequently blockaded the Gulf of Aqaba, a vital transportation route, to Israeli shipping.  Israel took that move as an act of aggression.  Hostilities began on June 5th when Israel struck with a massive preemptive strike that crippled the Arabs’ air capacity.   While Israel was fighting Egypt, Syria launched ground and air attacks against targets in northern Israel.  By late afternoon, June 10, Israel controlled the entire Sinai Peninsula and all Jordanian territory west of the Jordan River, as well as the strategic Golan Heights of Syria.
Israel’s seizure of the strategic heights occurred only after 19 years of provocation from Syria, and after unsuccessful efforts to get the international community to act against the aggressors.  When Israel eventually took these risks and stormed the Syrian positions in 1967, it suffered 115 dead — roughly the number of Americans killed during Operation Desert Storm.   WAR TWO WITH SYRIA.
The nations were very unhappy with the losses they incurred in that war.  On October 6, 1973, Egypt and Syria, frustrated by Israel’s refusal to give up Arab territory take during the Six-Day War, joined to launch a surprise attack on Israel’s forces.  The Syrians attacked in the Golan heights and the Egyptians in the Sinai.  On October 16 the Israelis counterattacked and invaded Egypt itself.  A cease-fire arranged by the United Nations took effect on Syrian front on October 22 and in Egypt two days later.  WAR THREE WITH SYRIA. 
In the 1973 war (Called the “Yom Kippur War” by the Jews and the “Ramadan War” by the Arabs), Israel captured additional Syrian territory. Territory captured by Israel in 1973 were returned to Syria; with this, Syria accepted the principle of territory for peace, as outlined in UN Security Council Resolutions.

As peace faltered in the late 1990’s, Syria began to renew threats of war with Israel and to make threatening troop movements.  The Israeli Defense Forces have countered the Syrian moves, however, and — to this point — preserved the peace.  But even as I put this blog together, Israel has blamed Syria for funding and supporting the terrorists who have resumed bombing them.  They have already twice bombed inside of Syria’s borders in the past 12 months.  Things are escalating… and when the fourth war comes, Damascus will be a ruinous heap.  And it will be a very grave situation, considering the tensions in the Middle East, the ties Arafat has to Damascus, as well as Russia and Iran.

A few of my historical sources, for informative purposes:

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