Just like you, I am watching this war too. And you are correct, this war is hard to watch. But though it’s hard to watch, we need to watch and pray, especially since Israel is God’s time clock. What will happen to the natural Israel has implications for us, the Spiritual Israel.
Regarding your second question about whether this war fulfills Bible prophecy, it depends on the outcome. My primary interest lies in understanding where this war will lead Israel. In this context, let’s examine the Bible prophecy in Zephaniah 2:1-4:
“1 Gather yourselves together, yes, gather, O nation without shame,
2 Before the decree takes effect– The day passes like the chaff– Before the burning anger of the LORD comes upon you, Before the day of the LORD’S anger comes upon you.
3 Seek the LORD, All you humble of the earth Who have carried out His ordinances; Seek righteousness, seek humility. Perhaps you will be hidden In the day of the LORD’S anger.
4 For Gaza will be abandoned And Ashkelon a desolation; Ashdod will be driven out at noon And Ekron will be uprooted.”
This prophecy consists of three main events:
- Verses 1 and 2 convey God’s message to the nation of Israel, urging them to gather before the Lord’s anger (Great Tribulation) descends upon them.
- Verse 3 addresses the Lord’s command to all people on Earth (Gentile nations) to seek Him before the Great Tribulation.
- Verse 4 mentions that Gaza and Ashkelon will be abandoned.
Now, let’s delve deeper into these three events:
1. ISRAEL SHOULD GATHER BEFORE THE GREAT TRIBULATION
Zep. 2:1-2 “Gather yourselves together, yes, gather, O nation without shame. Before the decree takes effect– The day passes like the chaff– Before the burning anger of the LORD comes upon you, Before the day of the LORD’S anger comes upon you.”
According to Isaiah 11:11-12, there will be two gatherings (Aliyah) of the Jews back to Israel: one as unbelievers (before the Great Tribulation) and the other as believers (after the Great Tribulation). The command in Zephaniah 2:1-2 is for Israel to gather before the Lord’s anger comes upon them (Great Tribulation, also known as Jacob’s Trouble; see Jer. 30:7). We will focus on the first gathering of the Jews in Israel, which occurs before the Great Tribulation.
You may ask: Why is it necessary for the Jews to gather themselves in Israel before the Great Tribulation?
The answer is so that they will hear the message of the Lord through His Two Witnesses (Rev. 11:7-8). When the Church Age will end, the Gospel will go back to the Jews through the Two Witnesses. It will be through the ministry of these Two Witnesses that the 144,000 Jews will be sealed (Rev. 7:3-8, Rev. 14:1). These unbeliever Jews will become believers of the Lord Jesus. That’s why they need to gather in Israel before the start of the seven-year Great Tribulation because the ministry of the Two Witnesses will start at the first three and a half years of the Great Tribulation.
So this command of the Lord in Zephaniah 2:1-2 for them to gather in Israel before the Great Tribulation is very necessary for them to follow. But how will the Jews return to Israel amid its internal conflicts today? To answer this, we will need to look at another Bible prophecy that will also happen before the Great Tribulation – the War of Gog and Magog (Eze. 38, 39).
This war of Gog and Magog will also happen before the ministry of the Two Witnesses, before the Great Tribulation. Ezekiel 38 says that it will be a time when the Jews are living peacefully and securely (without walls) in Israel.
Eze. 38:8 “After many days you will be summoned; in the latter years you will come into the land that is restored from the sword, whose inhabitants have been gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel which had been a continual waste; but its people were brought out from the nations, and they are living securely, all of them.
Eze. 38:11 and you will say, ‘I will go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will go against those who are at rest, that live securely, all of them living without walls and having no bars or gates.
The reason why the unbelieving Jews will gather to Israel from different nations before the War of Gog and Magog and before the Great Tribulation is that Israel will be a place of peace and security. They will return because, at that time, Israel will achieve peace and security, making it inviting for its people worldwide to come back.
Is this condition of peace and security achieved in Israel today? Certainly not. It is not yet peaceful. It has its left and right wars. It is still not secure. Its cities are walled and have a defense system called “The Iron Dome.” But a time will come when Israel will achieve peace and security that will be the reason that its people all over the world will be encouraged to return.
Surely, a time will come when Israel will truly win in all the wars it encounters. He will surely win against the Hamas and the Hezbollah. As to when we don’t know. But it will achieve its peace and security. If the war in Gaza today will lead to this, then surely, the last Church Age is about to end and the time for the Gospel to go back to Israel is much nearer than we thought. With this, we will now tackle the second event in the prophecy of Zephaniah.
2. SEEK THE LORD ALL NATIONS OF THE EARTH
Zep. 2:3 “Seek the LORD, All you humble of the earth Who have carried out His ordinances; Seek righteousness, seek humility. Perhaps you will be hidden In the day of the LORD’S anger.”
As for us, the Gentiles, we need to start seeking the Lord before this day will come. Before the Great Tribulation will come. There are two instructions for us:
a. To seek righteousness
b. To seek humility
To Seek Righteousness
There is only one righteous in this world, that is our Lord Jesus Christ alone (2 Cor. 5:21). One cannot be righteous without Him. He is our righteousness (1 Cor. 1:30, Rom. 5:19, 10:4). Zephaniah 2:3 is actually telling us, the Gentiles, that while God is gathering the Jews back to Israel, we ourselves should seek more of Christ. Why? Because our time is coming to an end and the Gospel will return to the Jews. Actually, it will be wiser for us to start seeking the Lord today and not to wait for that day that Israel will achieve its peace and security. We need to possess more of Him today if we want to be more righteous in the coming days. Now, possessing the Lord in only through His Word. To possess Him (our righteousness), is to possess His Word.
To Seek Humility
We are still in the Grace Age (Dispensation of Grace) where the spirit of the Lord is the One leading us. To be humble before the Lord means letting His spirit guide us and do His work through us. True humility is becoming a living sacrifice to our Lord to be used by Him in this closing of age. This is where we abandon our worldly desire to get rich in this world, to gain many material things, etc. and start seeking and doing His will. This is where we start aiming for spiritual things. This is how to seek humility.
These two things are what our Lord wanted us to do in this closing of our age so that we will be hidden (Raptured) when His anger will come on this Earth during the Great Tribulation.
3. GAZA AND ASHKELON WILL BE ABANDONED
Zep. 2:4 “For Gaza will be abandoned And Ashkelon a desolation; Ashdod will be driven out at noon And Ekron will be uprooted.”
It is during this time also of peace and security that Gaza and Ashkelon will be abandoned. Today’s war in Gaza is not yet the fulfillment of this as it is not yet abandoned. But a time will come when it will be abandoned.
This is why what I wanted to see is not the war itself but where the outcome of this war will lead Israel. If it will lead to peace and security in Israel and the abandonment of Gaza, then surely, we are at the end.
So that’s it, Israel will still experience more wars in order to achieve its peace and security. I can see that next year, 2024, will be more wars for her as next year will also be the year of the next US presidential Election. But I am glad that there is someone like you who is also watching.
Just a side note, before I posted my answer to your question here on our website, I have preached this first at our fellowship last December 3, 2023. One sister spoke a message from the Lord through speaking in tongues. An interpretation was then given in Tagalog language and here is the message:
“Mag-ingat kayo mga anak ko. Linisin ninyo ang inyong mga puso. Patuloy lang. Patuloy akong nasa inyo lagi. Patuloy lang. Patuloy lang mga anak ko.”
“Be careful my children. Clean your hearts. Just continue. Just continue because I am with you always. Just continue. Just continue my children.”
Here is the link for the Preaching video. The speaking in tongues starts at 2:16:50.
God bless you.