1 This is the word of the LORD concerning Israel. The LORD, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the spirit of man within him, declares: 2 "I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. 3 On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves. 4 On that day I will strike every horse with panic and its rider with madness," declares the LORD. "I will keep a watchful eye over the house of Judah, but I will blind all the horses of the nations. 5 Then the leaders of Judah will say in their hearts, 'The people of Jerusalem are strong, because the LORD Almighty is their God.'
6 "On that day I will make the leaders of Judah like a firepot in a woodpile, like a flaming torch among sheaves. They will consume right and left all the surrounding peoples, but Jerusalem will remain intact in her place. [Zechariah 12:1-6]
According to the article, there is a naval build-up off the coast of Lebanon that is “…the greatest sea and air armada Europe has ever assembled at any point on earth since WWII”. Hmm, funny that no other news source is reporting anything about this military build-up. All I hear in the mainstream news, and I monitor A LOT of it, is about Israeli troop withdrawals out of Lebanon, and how a couple thousand UNIFIL troops are slowly making their way down to southern Lebanon – all else is quiet and the press has moved on to reporting other issues of our day. Lebanon is almost completely off the public radar.
Continuing with the details in the Debka article, it states that the primary objective of the armada is to monitor the ceasefire between Israel and Lebanon after their 34-day battle this past summer. But common’ that can’t possibly be the objective because, as per the article, this naval armada includes:
“…France’s nuclear-powered 38,000-ton Charles De Gaulle carrier, 40 Rafale M fighter craft whose range is 3,340 km can take off at intervals of 30 seconds. The ship also carries three E-2C Hawkeye surveillance craft. The combat control center of the French carrier can handle 2,000 simultaneous targets. The carrier leads a task fore of 7 warships carrying 2,800 French Marines.
Charles De Gaulle is also a floating logistics center operating water desalination plants for 15,000 men and enough food to feed an army for 90 days. The USS Mount Whitney has the most sophisticated command and control suite in the world. Like the French Charles De Gaulle , it exercises command over a task force of 1,800 sailors, Marines, Air force medical and other personnel serving aboard the USS Barry, the USS Trenton , HSV Swift and USNS Kanawha .
Available to the fleet commander, US Vice Admiral J. “Boomer” Stufflebeem, formally titled commander of Joint Task Force Lebanon, is the uniquely advanced C41 command and intelligence system through which he can flash intelligence data to every American commander at any point between the eastern Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf and Iran. USS Mount Whitney communications are described as unsurpassed for the secure transmission of data from any point to any other point in the world through HF, UHF,VHF, SHF and EHF.
The third carrier joining the other two is the Italian aircraft-helicopter carrier Garibaldi , which has launch pads for vertical takeoff by 16 AV-8B Harrier fighter-bombers or 18 Sikorsky SH-3D Sea King sea-choppers (or Italian Augusta Bell AB212 helicopters), designed to attack submarines and missile ships. Military experts estimate that the Garibaldi currently carries 10 fighter planes and 6 helicopters.”
A military expert referenced by Debka estimates that this naval armada off the Lebanon shores is roughly 10 times the amount of support the UN troops (UNIFIL) monitoring the “ceasefire” need. This is especially true because the UN troops have an extremely limited mandate in monitoring the ceasefire – they are basically monitoring the rearming of Hezbollah and there’s nothing the UN troops are willing to do under the UN Security Resolution 1701 without the permission of the Lebanese government. The Lebanese government includes two Hezbollah MP’s and the government as a whole is much less popular than the Hezbollah terrorist regime, who are literally handing out fistfuls of rebuilding cash to the Lebanese citizens who had their homes destroyed by Israeli bombs. Hezbollah ( and its backers/suppliers in Syria and Iran) can do what it wants in southern Lebanon under the sleepy eye of the UNIFIL. The current number of UNIFIL troops actually on the ground in southern Lebanon is less than 3,800. The UN wasn’t quite able to pull together the 15,000 ground troops they promised under UN Security Resolution 1701, but then again I wouldn’t want to be one of those ground troops who are “sitting ducks” when the conflict resumes, plus there is an Al Qaeda chapter establishing itself in Lebanon, under Al Qaeda’s second-in-command Ayman Zawahiri, that has threatened that UNIFIL troops are legitimate targets of attack.
With this temporary ceasefire (read: re-loading) the major countries of the world have been encouraged to restart the peace process and discuss Bush’s favourite “two state solution”. Too bad Hamas in the Gaza Stip can’t be convinced to recognize the nation of Israel – they can’t seem to get past the dream of obliterating Israel with a nuke. I’m always wary about ceasefires and peace agreements that involve Israel and its Arab and Persian neighbours. Peace agreements involving Israel remind me of 1 Thessalonians 5:2-4:
2for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
4But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.
[1 Thessalonians 5:2-4].
37As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark [Matthew 24:37-38]
Are we soon headed into the Day of the Lord? Is God starting to bring the nations of the world together against Jerusalem, and the more encompassing Judah, at this time as stated in Zechariah 12? Well one thing is for sure: most people are completely asleep, unconcerned, and mesmerized by money, job, and family issues (and probably in that order). I think our society is perfectly described by Matthew 24:37-38. How I wish that 1 Thessalonians 5:4 described the readiness of the church today – but I’m afraid that day will come as a complete surprise to many brothers and sisters.
Call me completely nuts (if you haven’t written me off already), but I think the Day of the Lord is potentially shaping up in Lebanon today. There are already plenty of nations represented on the UNIFIL deployment and off the coast of Lebanon in a naval armada. Satan is the current ruler of this world, and it wouldn’t take much for all these nations to suddenly turn against (see Ezekiel 38:10) Jerusalem and Judah (i.e. Israel). Now would be an excellent time to read the chapters of Zechariah 12 and 14; Ezekiel 38 and 39; and Joel 1,2 and 3 (among others) to find out what the Day of the Lord will be.
Check out especially Joel 3,verse 4 : "Now what have you against me, O Tyre and Sidon and all you regions of Philistia? Are you repaying me for something I have done? If you are paying me back, I will swiftly and speedily return on your own heads what you have done."