On Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), October 6, 1973, the holiest day for the Jewish people, an Arab coalition led by two major armies from Egypt and Syria attacked Israel from the south (Sinai Peninsula) and the North (Golan Heights). Israel was once again at war; this war became known as the Yom Kippur or the 1973 war. It was a difficult war, where many young Israeli men and women lost their lives, and countless were wounded.
That war caught Israel by surprise; after the 1967 war and the great victory that Israel had in those six short days, the Israeli intelligence community underestimated the signs and warnings. The people of Israel were fasting and praying during the Holy Day and did not expect to be attacked.
Another very interesting thing about the Yom Kippur War is that the two major world powers at the time – the USA and the Soviet Union – took opposing sides. The USA was on Israel’s side and the Soviet Union allied with the Arab Coalition.
I find it very interesting that here we are, forty years later, in the season of the High Holy Days, facing another similar conflict. Once again, after years of cease fire, Syria is sending warning signs toward Israel, and vice-versa. The USA claims to take the side of Israel while Russia is on the Syrian side. The only significant difference this time around is that Egypt may seem to be out of the game due to the turmoil happening within their country, and now China is also a major player.
The situation in Syria is very difficult and complicated. Many in the world are being misled to believe that if the rebels succeed in overthrowing the Assad regime, the war in Syria will be over. It’s not so simple, though. The Syrian regime is backed by Russia, China, and the Lebanese terror group, Hizbullah, while the rebels, the Free Syrian Army, is mainly backed by Al Qaida. It is also important to note that today there are a handful of other terror groups which are working within Syria and are fighting each other.
As you can see, there is no simple solution and no easy answer. The world has chosen to ignore the signs and warnings from when the Syrian war began two years ago, and today we are stuck in a tough reality. Perhaps one of the most significant developments is that the USA and Russia are once again at an impasse, and quite possibly on the way to yet another conflict. The stakes are much higher this time…
Throughout the Bible, the number 40 is a very significant number always marking a change, or a transition: Noah experienced forty days of the flood; Israel wandered for forty years in the desert; our Messiah experienced great testing after forty days of fasting in the desert, and so on. For us today, forty years after the Yom Kippur War, there is little doubt that a significant change is taking place in the Middle East and indeed, throughout the world. Regardless of what is happening in Syria, and whether or not the US will attack, and what will possibly happen after, the fact of the matter is that we are witnessing immense changes unfolding before our very eyes!
Are we going to ignore the signs and warnings? For us followers of the Messiah and Scripture-believing people, these events should not be a surprise, but a wake up call:
“And as He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age? And Yeshua answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you.” Matt 24:3-4
I love our Messiah’s answer! He did not give the answer that they wanted – the one that would excite them or satisfy them. Rather, He warned them against being misled; He reminded them that the most important thing is to make sure that you know Him and that you are in relationship with Him. The signs are there to warn us and to wake us up from our spiritual sleep!
For the Jewish people around that world, this season of the High Holy Days is a season of soul-searching and repentance. For Israel, the current times carry great uncertainty about the future, filled with the possibility of wars and rumors of wars…
Let’s take this season of soul-searching, this season of change and transition, and return to God with humbled and sincere hearts. If we fail to do this, we entirely miss the point!
In closing, I invite you to join me in praying for the peace of Jerusalem, fully understanding that true peace will not come until the Prince of Peace will come. In essence, when we pray for the peace of Jerusalem, we are really praying for His return and the great salvation of Israel.
Please pray for:
- The Salvation of Israel, during this time of soul-searching.
- The Salvation of the Arab world and specifically those who are living in Syria and Egypt.
- Wisdom for the leaders throughout the world, including Israel’s.
- Boldness for the Body of Messiah in Israel, the Middle East, and around the world.
- Revival within the Body of Messiah.
In His Peace,
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