A graduate of Master in Education, an academician and a published writer.
An exposition on Isaiah 17
A prophecy against Damascus.
"See, Damascus will no longer be a city but will become a heap of ruins.
The cities of Aroer will be deserted and left to flocks, which will lie down, with no one to make them afraid.
The fortified city will disappear from Ephraim, and royal power from Damascus; the remnant of Aram will be like the glory of the Israelites."
declares the Lord Almighty.
In that day the glory of Jacob will fade; the fat of his body will fade away.
It will be as when reapers harvest the standing grain, gathering the grain in their arms -
as when someone gleans heads of grain in the valley of Rephaim.
Yet some gleanings will remain, as when an olive tree is beaten, leaving two or three olives on the topmost branches, four or five on the fruitful boughs, " declares the Lord, God of Israel.
Isaiah chapter 17:1-6 , New International Version
Many watchmen believe that the 17th chapter of Isaiah is significant in end time prophecy. They believe that the "Harpazo" or Rapture of the church of Christ will take place simultaneously or after the fulfillment of Isaiah 17. One watchman by the name of Brother Keegan believe intensely that the city of Damascus is highly relevant to the end times.
He contends that the evangelization of the Gentiles marked its beginning in the city of Damascus when Apostle Paul was on its way to destroy the christians living there. It was in Damascus when Apostle received his calling from the Lord to reach out for the Gentiles. Thus the end of the dispensation of grace or the church age could occur simultaneously with the destruction of Damascus.
Some watchmen claimed that the city of Damascus has not yet been destroyed totally. The complete destruction of Damascus will take place in the end times as written in Isaiah 17, fulfilling a prophecy of about 2500 years.
Who are the nations involved in Isaiah 17 war?
First Syria since Damascus is in Syria. Then in verse 2 it mentioned the cities of Aroer. I google searched Aroer and found out that it is located in the eastern part of the Dead Sea or it is located in Jordan. In verse 3, it also made mention of Ephraim which is located in the Northeastern region of Jerusalem also located in Jordan. Then Aram is also mentioned. Aram is located in the regions of Syria, Southeastern Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq. These regions are mostly inhabited by Arabs and Palestinians. The passage above is somewhat foretelling the destruction of these regions. In verse 4 of the passage, it is implied that Israel will be severely damaged by this war.
What could trigger the destruction of Damascus?
The standing conflict between Iran and Israel could be one cause of its destruction. As of the present, Israel is constantly launching airstrikes around Damascus region. These airstrikes target the Iran-backed forces and Hezbollah forces to prevent Iran from establishing its footprint in Syria.
The long standing hostility between Israel and its neighbors, the Arabs and Palestinians will trigger occurrence of Isaiah 17/Psalm 83 that will bring about destruction of Damascus and surrounding regions. According to Hal Linsey, a respected Prophecy expositor, claiming for the possession of Jerusalem is a major cause of the conflict between Jews and Arabs.
Why Isaiah 17 has Rapture/Tribulation Connection?
Isaiah 17 war could also be the same war mentioned in Psalm 83. Psalm 83 war could be the catastrophic war the nation Israel must undergo before the seven-year Tribulation. Isaiah 17/Psalm 83 war will lead Israel to sign a seven-year treaty with the false advocate of peace, the Antichrist.
Verse 5 of Isaiah 17 which says,
"It will be as when reapers harvest the standing grain" reveals that the timing of this war will be harvest season. This harvest season could refer to the pentecost harvest, the wheat harvest, the Rapture of the Bride of Christ.
Verse 6 of Isaiah 17 which says,
"Yet some gleanings will remain" implies that some will be left behind and experience Tribulation.
Verses 7 - 14 could refer to the things that will come to pass during the Tribulation Period.
How to escape the Tribulation?
The seven-year Tribulation is a period designated for the reign of the Antichrist. This one world ruler will be the most cruel and most evil dictator that will walk the earth. This period is also a period of judgement for all those who lived in disobedience and rejected the Gospel of Christ. But God provided a way of escape from the judgement as He provided the ark to Noah and his family to escape the flood. Christ is our ark through which we enter to escape the seven-year Tribulation.
Christ is the only way to the Father as it is written John 14:6, Jesus anserwed, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.' We must receive Christ as our Savior and Lord to escape the judgement. Receiving Christ as our Savior means putting our faith completely upon Christ's finished work on the cross. Christ sacrifice is perfect, complete and sufficient. Christ died on the cross in order that we sinners receive forgiveness and escape judgement of God. We deserve judgement of God as it is written in Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Death here does not simply mean cessation of breath or life but it refers to the second death written in Revelation 21:8;
"But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars - they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death."
As part of receiving Christ, we must forsake our sinful life and abide in His light. The Lord Himself pronounced in the Gospel of John that He is the Light of the world and all those who profess to accept Him should not remain in darkness.
This is the promise to all who will receive Him;
"Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God."
John 1:12 NIV