More than 2,600 years ago, the prophet Ezekiel prophesized that the nation of Israel would be scattered and regathered – and in chapter 38, that war would come to her. Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California told American Family Radio on Monday that the modern-day country of Israel is that regathering – and war is being waged there. Elsewhere in the Old Testament, the Hebrew prophet Zechariah wrote about the nations of the world gathering against Jerusalem.
"And you think of all the cities in the world today – Moscow, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, Paris, you name it – [the focus is on] none of these cities. It's this tiny little city in this tiny sliver of land that God said everything would revolve around," Laurie observed.
And he noted that the prophecies in Ezekiel 37 get even more specific. "It also says in the last days a large force from the north of Israel would attack her – and that force is identified as 'Magog,'" Laurie said.
Bible scholars have speculated that "Magog" is Russia. "And here's what's really interesting," the pastor continued. "One of the allies of Magog mentioned in Ezekiel is Persia, which is the ancient name for Iran – and we know of the hostility of Iran toward Israel."
Pastor Laurie says while it's impossible to know if recent events in Israel are the beginning of those prophecies coming to life, "we do see some rapid and amazing developments happening in that part of the world right now."
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem
As Israel begins the long process of rooting out Hamas terrorists from Gaza City, Islamic terrorists on other fronts are already in action. The Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah in neighboring Lebanon has launched sporadic attacks since the Hamas assault and is threatening to escalate. And there is growing fear that it could even draw in an even more powerful enemy: Iran.
AFN spoke with a former Navy chaplain who is confident Israel has the right leadership in place to lead the Jewish state in these historic days.
"Who knows how long before Iran itself, as a state sponsor of terror, invokes their holy war, their jihad against Israel, and they get involved with rockets that are ten times the capabilities of what we've seen so far," says Gordon Klingenschmitt. "This can escalate very quickly. But I think the right people are in charge in Israel: Netanyahu is strong, the Knesset is behind him, the people are behind him."
Reports say it has been 50 years since the conflict in Gaza reached this level during the Yom Kippur war.
"God is not done [with Israel]," says Klingenschmitt. "The good news is Israel is favored of God. They are his chosen, they are the apple of his eye. We need to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and we need to stand with them, because whoever touches Israel will touch the apple of God's eye – and God will not hold back. I think he is about to bear his right arm and to stand with Israel."
Klingenschmitt is founder of the Pray In Jesus' Name Project.