Summary: Part 4 in a prophecy series. Deals with the prophecy concerning the destruction of Damascus.
Before we get in to the scripture this morning I want to put a kind of disclaimer here before you. Prophecy is a fascinating subject. I think most people want to know what the future holds, and I am no exception.
What is so wonderful about Biblical prophecy however, is the fact that it is inspired by God and 100% accurate. Once an event prophesied in Scripture occurs we can look back at the passages that speak of that event and marvel at the perfection and fulfillment of the prophecy.
But things are a bit different when we are studying prophecies that have yet to be fulfilled, as we will be this morning. In this case, the Bible’s accuracy is still infallible, but often the human interpretation can be in error – especially when it comes to details and timing in prophecy.
For the next two weeks we are going to be looking at just such a prophecy – one that I have been studying intensively and felt was pertinent for the time we are living in. I am not a prophet. I am a human being and as such am extremely fallible. I want to teach you my best understanding of this future prophecy. However, should I get some of the minute details or timing of these events wrong – don’t be surprised. There’s nothing wrong with God’s Word, as events will prove. There’s just error in my understanding of the prophecy. So, having said that, let’s begin our teaching.
The situation between Hezbollah and Israel is continuing to heat up, and nobody seems able, or even willing, to stop it. Not surprisingly, the most extreme and threatening voice in the region comes from the radical Iranian president Ahmadinejad. He has claimed that a Middle East storm is brewing and will strike violently. “The use of force in Lebanon could trigger a hurricane,” he is quoted as saying.
Likewise, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia asserted, “If the peace option fails because of Israeli ignorance, there will be no option but a war in the region.”
Syria has placed its army, Scud missiles and air force on the highest level of preparedness in recent years. And it is gaining the most contemporary weapons systems from one of its main allies, Russia.
Perhaps even more alarming is the report that the Iranian Revolutionary commander has “assumed command of the Lebanon war” from the leader of Hezbollah.
Unless somebody blinks soon, this conflict has the potential to escalate into the fulfillment of the Biblical oracle or prophecy concerning Damascus.
Damascus is the capital city of Syria. The ancient city is now a thriving metropolis and the home of the University of Damascus, the Central Bank of Syria, the Olympic Stadium, and numerous theaters and museums.
The heart of Damascus is the Old City. Even under Islamic rule, the ancient heart of the city remains divided into four Quarters: The Old City, Muslim, Jewish and Christian Quarters. The latter two are bisected by the east-west “street which is called straight” (Acts 9:11), where the Apostle Paul stayed after his meeting with the risen Christ. The famous thoroughfare is still in constant use.
Since before the time of Abraham, Damascus has been an important city. It lies on the ancient trade route of the Fertile Crescent that leads from the Persian Gulf to the Holy Land.
Today Damascus has around 5 million citizen and serves as headquarters to a number of terrorist groups. With the destruction of Baghdad, it is now the leading center of the Ba’ath Party, the political group with numerous ties to Socialist parties of Europe and Russia. During its entire history, it has never been destroyed. That is why the Biblical prophecies concerning Damascus are so important.
I. Where Can The Prophecies Concerning Damascus, Syria Be Found in the Bible?
These prophecies can be found in three main passages in the Bible, all of them in the Old Testament and none written later than approximately 2,600 years ago. Isaiah 17, Jeremiah 49:23-27; and Amos 1:3-5 are the scriptures we will be taking a look at. We are not going to read them in their entirety right now but I do encourage you to do so when you get home.
To begin any study on prophecy three important questions arise: What is the prophecy about, or what is going to occur? How and/or when will the prophecy be fulfilled? Why was the prophecy given, or why will it be carried out?
We’re going to try to answer these questions in our study. So let’s get to the first question. What is the prophecy about and what is going to occur?
II. What Will Happen to Damascus?
If you look at your handouts, I’ve separated the scriptures so that they match the question we are attempting to answer. So let’s read the first scripture passage under question number one.