By Hal Lindsey
The trigger on a gun need not be large for the gun to be deadly. The Gaza Strip is 25 miles long and only 7.5 miles wide at its widest point. The Gaza trigger has been pulled. We do not yet know the damage it will cause. So far, escalation seems to be the word of the hour. Gaza’s war has already escalated beyond the Middle East — drawing in Russia, China, Europe, and the United States. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6), and you will be praying for peace on earth.
On Thursday, October 26th, three men met in Moscow. The least credentialed of the three was by far the most important, at least for now. He is Musa Abu Marzouk, an engineer educated in the United States, who became a key leader of Hamas. If the terror group had a Secretary of State, it would be Marzouk. He met with the deputy foreign ministers of Russia and Iran. Their stated purpose was to discuss Hamas’s continuing war with Israel.
According to Ezekiel 38, Russia and Iran will one day lead a coalition of nations in a massive assault against Israel. God will intervene on Israel’s behalf — not with iron dome missile interceptors, but with His own mighty hand.
Until the Islamic revolution of 1978-79, Russia (then the Soviet Union) and Iran had been highly antagonistic. That began to change with the revolution. The relationship grew much stronger during this century with Vladimir Putin in charge of Russia. As the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, Iran has been the target of many sanctions from the United Nations, the United States, and others. But Putin’s Russia continued to trade with Iran, severely limiting the sanctions’ impact. Russia and Iran now maintain close military and economic ties.
At the end of the meeting, Marzouk said of Hamas, “We look at Russia as our closest friend.”
That same day in the Middle East, US F-16s struck two facilities in eastern Syria, a weapons depot and an ammunition storage site. The Americans went to great pains to make sure there would be no human casualties. The facilities are used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and affiliated groups. The affiliated groups had made 19 attacks against US military installations in the 10 days leading up to the US response.
Administration officials made it clear that they see those who are attacking American forces as proxies of Iran. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said, “Iran wants to hide its hand and deny its role in these attacks against our forces. We will not let them.”
The 19 attacks against US installations caused injuries and contributed to the “cardiac episode” of a US contractor that resulted in his death. The United States had to respond, but did so in the mildest way possible. The Biden Administration seemed determined not to escalate the situation. Even so, the US attack in Syria did cause an escalation.
Israel’s necessary ground incursion into Gaza will also provoke some level of escalation. Will Hezbollah — with its 100,000 troops and as many as 200,000 missiles — fully enter the fray from the north? Might Iran move directly against Israel, the United States, or both? For years, the Iranians have been practicing and planning assaults against US aircraft carriers. With the Eisenhower carrier group headed for the Persian Gulf just off Iran’s coast, is it possible they might finally dust off those plans and give it a try?
Planet Earth is armed to the teeth. Its leaders seethe with pride and anger. Pray. Do as the Bible says. “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.”