Some thoughts on Damascus

Damascus is possibly the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. It is mentioned in the book of Genesis. Abraham spent time there, and so did Paul, and The Street called Straight (Acts 9:11) is still there today and people have been walking up and down that same street every day for thousands of years.

We read in Isaiah 17:1 that this ancient city is going to be totally wiped out in the last days and be in ruins. Damascus has never suffered wide-scale destruction in all its long history. So when we take the whole of chapter 17 into account then it is clear that Isaiah is speaking about end-time events, about a great shaking of the whole world, and he describes the fast-paced days we are living in:

Woe to the multitude of many people, who make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters! The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind. Isaiah 17:12-13

And during the tribulation time God will do this for many:

At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect for the Holy One of Israel. Isaiah 17:7

What is the significance of the oldest city in the world being wiped out right at the time of the end? For one, it signifies the sovereignty of God: He calls the shots, not man. He determined the birth of Damascus and He determined her fall.

It can also be a metaphor or symbol representing mankind. When the oldest city falls it is God saying that time is up for the human race, and now it is time to give an account. The fall of the oldest outpost of civilization signals the end of civilization.

The intractable Syrian conflict also symbolizes the paradoxical position in which fallen man finds himself, in that he has to execute justice (law and order) but who will execute justice on him? It’s like a court where the judge is corrupt; he may execute justice justly, but who will execute justice on him? I’m speaking in regard to nations. Who is the policeman of the world? Who is the judge of the nations? Who has the last say? Does America keep Russia in line, or will it be the other way around?

When wicked people execute justice then the righteous cringe.

Ultimately, they will choose a man to do this, the beast, the antichrist, who is a counterfeit of the King of Kings coming to judge the nations.

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