Over 3,000 missiles have been shot by Hizballah into Israel this month – all of them with the express purpose of hitting population centers. (This is the exact opposite of Israeli policy, whose express purpose is to avoid civilian sites as much as possible.)
On the one hand, the number of casualties in Israel has been miraculously low. On the other hand, close to a million people have had to leave their homes, or live in shelters, or have their businesses destroyed. Families are in distress; children wetting their beds; teens turning to drugs; parents weeping; elderly in shock and trauma.
On Saturday night, two major missile strikes did land successfully, one in Gilady Village and one in central Haifa, causing 12 deaths in one day. It seemed like a numbers game; sooner or later something had to hit.
Yesterday at a meeting with ambassadors from Arab nations, Lebanese President Siniora broke out into tears twice, grieved by the destruction to his nation. We agree. We weep with him and with all those who truly weep in Lebanon. (Notice this definition excludes Nasrallah who has never shown any compassion toward the people of Lebanon, but continues to push them toward destruction.)
The question needs to be asked, “Why is this war happening? Why did it start?” The answer is clear and consistent: the world of Islamic Jihad believes in the total destruction of the State of Israel. What possible other reason could there be for Hizballah to attack Israel from Lebanon?
Why would they do something that would obviously bring such devastation to Lebanon? One reason is that they are deluded by religious Jihad brainwashing about killing Jews, conquering the world for Islam, and dying as martyrs. Another reason is that they are backed by weapons, finances, and supplies from Iran and Syria. They are in fact the front line of the Iranian army. Without Achmadinejad’s encouragement, this war would not have started and would not continue one day longer.
So Israel finds itself forced to respond to a deliberate international attack aimed at destroying her. Considering that, Israel’s response has not been disproportionately high, but exasperatingly low. However, that may be changing.
Increased Ground Forces
Due to the increased Katyusha attacks this week, Israel’s cabinet has approved a wider advancement northward by Israel ground troops. While this will mean more casualties to Israel, it should cause fewer injuries to civilian Lebanese than air or artillery strikes. It is also the only way to push the Hizballah forces further away from the border. When Hizballah is pushed back far enough and their entire infrastructure destroyed, then perhaps there will be a reasonable cease fire and a hope for Lebanon’s government to gain control over the country.
A mazlat is a small, unmanned robot plane that can be used for surveillance or for explosives. It is navigated by a sophisticated GPS. Yesterday Hizballah sent one toward Israel. It went out over the ocean about 10 kilometers from the shore, traveling low over the water so as not to be picked up by radar. It was moving at a speed of 150 kilometers per hour toward Haifa. Thank God it was picked up by Israeli intelligence and shot down over the water.
Three Ranges of Artillery
Hizballah uses many short range launchers that are hand held. They are almost impossible to locate. They must be fired from close to the Israeli border, and the extent of their damage is limited.
The second level is launched from trucks. Hizballah tactics are to shoot from a truck and then move the truck inside a civilian building immediately. These do more damage, and are more easily located than the hand held.
The third level is larger missiles that must be launched from ground installations. These do more damage but are more easily located. The big damage that was done to Haifa this week came from such missiles.
Almost every time Hizballah has fired from one of these, Israel has been able to destroy the launcher within hours. In short, the launching ability of Hizballah has been slowly but steadily decreasing as the war has continued. (And Nasrallah, despite his bombastic rhetoric, knows that.)
Reuters’ international press service issued an apology that two of the photos of damage to Beirut was altered using a “photo shop” type computer program to make the damage look worse. The problem here is that the Muslim photographer was reportedly also one of those who worked on the Kana story, which more than any other incident in the current war was used as propaganda to incite world opinion against Israel. At Kana it was originally reported that 56 had been killed, when afterwards it was verified that the true number was 28 (a disaster in any case).
The point here is that the concept of “Thou shalt not lie” is part of a Judeo-Christian world view (along with “Thou shalt not murder”). Terrorism and Propaganda are both essentially abhorrent to our consciences, but not necessarily to one who does not believe in biblical moral standards.
Jeremiah, Daniel and John
Jeremiah lived in Israel before the destruction of the First Temple. He prophesied concerning Israel and Babylon (ancient Iraq). He was given spiritual authority by God to prophesy over historical events concerning the nations of the world. “Behold I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms to root up and pull down, to destroy and to throw down; to build and to plant – Jeremiah 1:10.
Daniel lived in the following generation. He read Jeremiah’s writings, and also prophesied over nations and history, primarily over Persia (ancient Iran). “I understood by the books, the number of years specified by the word of the Lord through Jeremiah the prophet, that God would accomplish 70 years in the desolation of Jerusalem. Then I set my face toward the Lord to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes”- Daniel 9:2-3.
After 21 days of intercession, the Angel of the Lord appears to him. “The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood Me 21 days; and Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia” – Daniel 10:13.
Yochanan (John the Beloved of the New Testament) read both Jeremiah and Daniel and continued in the same spiritual authority. “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues and kings” – Revelation 10:13.
However, Jeremiah, Daniel and John are not here today. We who have been born again and received the Spirit of God have the opportunity to continue their role of prophetic intercession, prayer, and fasting. Through Yeshua we have available to us the same authority over principalities and powers (Ephesians 1:20, 2:5, 6:12; Luke 10:19; II Corinthians 10:4). We must receive this by revelation, take up the mantle and get to work.
The U. N. and the Spirit of Grecia
A major discussion in the U. N. Security Council over a possible cease fire is tentatively scheduled for tomorrow (Wednesday). The discussion involves not only the military and political aspects of a settlement, but also the clash of world views and philosophies behind the conflict. Until now, only President Bush and Prime Minister Blair have tried to insist that any settlement take into consideration restrictions on rearmament of Hizballah. It is important for us to pray that God’s will be done at this Council.
It would seem that the principalities of Babylon and Persia are being continued today in the terrorism and anti-Semitism of Suni and Shiite Islam.
However there was another spirit at work, called the prince of Grecia (see Daniel 8:21; 10:20; 11:2; Zechariah 9:13). This seems to be found today in the leftist media and atheistic humanism coming out of Europe and the West.
In other words, the same spiritual battles that Jeremiah, Daniel, and John faced are still raging around us today, only on a larger scale. Whatever the outcome of the Security Council, we must pray to bind those evil spirits of Bavel (Babylon), Paras (Persia) and Yavan (Grecia) that are at work behind the scenes. (This would be a good day for fasting as well).
Pray now, pray hard, keep going. Don’t miss this historic turning point.
Asher serves as president of Tikkun Global family of ministries and congregations, dedicated to the dual restoration of Israel and the Church. He is founder of the Revive Israel five-fold ministry team, and oversees both Ahavat Yeshua and Tiferet Yeshua congregations in Israel.
He and his wife Betty share a passion for personal prayer and devotion, local evangelism and discipleship in Hebrew, and unity of the Body of believers worldwide.
Asher was raised in a conservative Jewish home and holds degrees from Harvard University, Baltimore Hebrew College and Messiah Biblical Institute. He has authored numerous books, tracts and articles.