The burden of Damascus.
Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city,
And it shall be a ruinous heap. Isaiah 17:1 KJV
The prophetic utterance of Isaiah has yet to come to pass. It is a Word of destruction. However God has begun to open something up about this Word because hidden in this process is a promise of a great move of Yeshua, the Spirit and Elohim in the Middle East which will far surpass the current cauldron of hatred, of injustice and apocalyptic movements through terrorism, concerning the times we live. I was surprised by God through this because the statement in verse 1 is of complete destruction, but then in Isaiah 19, we see God establish a altar and a road between Egypt and Assyria, Syria. There would be a flow of people to the Lord in Chapter 19, that somehow the destruction of Damascus either would precede the move of God, or either would be the catalyst for it.
Historically Syria was always an enemy of covenanted Israel. Aramea as it was known was an enemy in the times of Elisha the prophet, and even in those times, Assyria, another enemy would come to be an even greater enemy than them all.
I saw that maybe chapters 17 and 19 had some correlation in a chronological sense. Yet it makes sense when you conjugate this prophetic information with research into history and comparing it to today. You ask the question; are the enemies of Israel the same as those in those centuries gone by? Yes. The Assyrians were weakened by Babylon, and Egypt was weakened also by Babylon, and Greece. However modern day attitudes go, the enemies of Israel are the same. Iran being the old Persia continued the Captivity until Cyrus, and if God had not stirred this king, Israel would have continued to live in Persian and old Assyrian cities.
I believe the lessons of Damascus is the consistency of her opposition to the People of God, and we have lived since the Arab Spring the rising up of the Assad regime against his own people, and the tormenting of terrorism in the Golan Heights. However we can also see the stumbling block that Israel is to modern thought, particularly in the Christian world. The secular state that was refounded by the UN, has been warred against by most of her neighbours, and the conflicts continue. The fact that Israel is a major secular run state, despite the Jews acknowledging their roots and faith, the country is run as a secular state, without pending toward a predominant faith. It is a contradiction which God is using to confound both those without discernment and the enemies of Israel.
Divisions and injustices run deep, and not so easily healed, as well as in our own Christian world, divisions since the Reformation have kept us from seeing the eternal programme of God.
I see Isaiah 17 as a warning and an opportunity because there is only so long that God will allow a nation to oppose His Covenant people. And if He will, He will use Damascus as a sign, either for awakening or for judgment. God will construct His Highway of Holiness in the Middle East.
This Highway of Holiness of Isaiah 35 will be a testimony to the Covenant of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Whether we like it or not the Covenant stems from those, and runs down through to David and Jesus. And in these times God is going to deal with those who continue to oppose the end time programme that God has in bringing the Son of David to Jerusalem. When you consider the resistance politically to embassies being relocated to the city, fulfilling the angelic proclamation in Revelation, that the kingdoms of this world would be the Kingdom of God and His Christ. This has millennial and eternal implications of all those agendas which do not fit in God’s ways.
I believe this post is to alert prayer warriors to watch the Middle East, as all those who threaten to tip the cauldron of war and hate will find that God will turn His cup also. The manoeuvrings of the nations will determine where they will fall. Isaiah is emphatic that Damascus will fall on the side that opposes Yahweh.
This is a lesson for us today. God is calling us to the same Highway of Holiness. What side will we walk on? On the side of obedience or embrace those political persuasions that lead us on the wrong side of God’s word? Will we understand the power of generational division and seek to flow in that Spirit of unity of Ephesians 4? is it not by chance that Christians all over the world are seeking in prayer that unity? Those prayers must survey the “ruins” of our defeats in this area, as Nehemiah surveyed and used opportunity.
So what was the lesson of Damascus? Generational opposition to God will one day bring ruin. We either give up and resign to fate or we walk in the light of Isaiah 19, where the ruins can be the foundation of His Highway.
In 1997 the parties of Northern Ireland after years of conflict between Protestants and Catholic communities, terrorism, bombs decided to end this conflict and walk together beneath the Good Friday Agreement. It was truly symbolic, in that on the day all Christians celebrated the death of Christ, so on the “death of deep division and grievances” they decided to walk in peace. This has remained for the last 23 years.
It is this kind of example we need, and Damascus must see prophetically from the Word, and most of the world calls for an end to terrorism and a regime which torments violence on many levels, and is used by Iran to reach Israel.
For me this message may have other implications, but I believe it is prophetic, Jesus is exhorting us to learn from history, and to make a new beginning.