The Spectator: Israel Under Siege, Zechariah 12 coming to life
Saturday, November 24, 2012
This is an excellent summation of the new geo-political situation in the Middle East regarding Israel and its neighbors. It is easy to read and detailed. Read it with Zechariah in your mind as a backdrop to provide prophetic context.
“When Israel last entered Gaza, in Operation Cast Lead three years ago, the Arab World was stuck in the stasis it had been in for a century. Since their last defeat against Israel in 1973, the dictators had stuck to their old borders. Unpleasant, certainly, but not eager for conflict or any other variety of change. Their stance may have included populist denunciations of Israel, but they rarely took any genuine interest in the subject, any more than they took any interest in the welfare of their own people. But Israel’s new neighbours are more than racketeers: they are ideologues…”
Please continue to pray to the Holy Spirit for wisdom and understanding of the times. Pray that those with an unregenerate heart would respond to the touch of the Lord and that He would give them salvation. Pray for Christians and missionaries in this region. Whatever you feel led to pray for, please continue praying. Prayer is powerful. See John Piper’s exposition of the Revelation verse about prayer in his sermon “The Prayers of the Saints and the End of the World“!
“And when he broke the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God; and seven trumpets were given to them. And another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel’s hand. And the angel took the censer; and he filled it with the fire of the altar and threw it to the earth; and there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and an earthquake.”
John Piper– Prayer and the Consummation of History
The utterly astonishing thing about this text is that it portrays the prayers of the saints as the instrument God uses to usher in the end of the world with great divine judgments. It pictures the prayers of the saints accumulating on the altar before the throne of God until the appointed time when they are taken up like fire from the altar and thrown upon the earth to bring about the consummation of God’s kingdom.
In other words, what we have in this text is an explanation of what has happened to the millions upon millions of prayers over the last 2,000 years as the saints have cried out again and again, “Thy kingdom come . . . Thy kingdom come.” Not one of these prayers, prayed in faith, has been ignored. Not one is lost or forgotten. Not one has been ineffectual or pointless. They have all been gathering on the altar before the throne of God.
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” (Philippians 4:6)