God spoke through the prophet Amos concerning Gaza. “I will send fire upon the walls of Gaza that will consume her fortresses.” (Amos 1:7) As the tension escalates on the Israel Gaza border it seems the only solution left for Israel is to invade Gaza and destroy Hamas.
Not only are the Israelis suffering the effects of incoming rockets from Gaza with more to come but many Arabs in Gaza are also feeling the malevolency and oppression of Hamas who, like the cowards they are, have to fight behind women and children, oppress the Gaza civilians and stir up young impressionable Arabs to attack the Gaza border fences.
Historically the Philistines were Israel’s enemies who constantly harassed them. The original Philistines were known as a seafaring nation, the Philistines were a non-Semitic people who left Crete and arrived in Canaan at the beginning of the 12th century BC. The Philistines inhabited the Mediterranean coast of Canaan during the period of the Book of Judges.
They founded five principalities – Gaza, Asheklon, Ashdod, Ekron, and Gath. Their highly-developed weapons brought a great threat to the Israelites. During the Exodus from Egypt, the Israelites purposely took a southern route to circumvent them. The Philistines often battled against the Israelites.
The first King of Israel, Saul, temporarily weakened them. Later, King David defeated them after his battle with the giant Philistine by the name of Goliath. Historically the Philistines were reduced to mainly commercial ventures rather than military ventures.
Throughout the Books of Kings, different Jewish leaders fought the nation until the Assyrians completely defeated them. The Philistines then assimilated into the surrounding cultures and ceased to exist as a separate nation.
The name “Palestine” originates from the word “Philistine.” After the Romans conquered the region in the second century AD., the Romans used the term “Palestinia” to refer to Israel in an attempt to minimize Jewish attachment to the land of Israel. The whole ‘Palestinian’ issue today in irrelevant according the God’s Word. Besides the Arabs already had a homeland in the Transjordan established as a British protectorate in April 1921.
The whole matter of a “two-state” solution is irrelevant. God Himself, the prophets, the apostles and the Lord Jesus all refer to the Holy land as Israel and not Palestine. Added to this God is going to judge the nations that seek to carve up His Real Estate. (Joel 3:1-2)
The Bible itself clearly teaches that the Land of Israel has been given by God to the Jewish people through the descendants of Isaac and Jacob, not through Ishmael and Esau, the fathers of the Arab nations and that the land is to be for Israel as “an everlasting possession.” (Genesis 17:8, 15-22)
Now according to the Bible Israel’s enemies were controlled by principalities or powerful demonic forces that are still around today in the Middle-East and especially present in that region because Satan has always been trying to destroy Israel because of the Messiah our Lord Jesus who was Jewish and the one who defeated Satan at the cross for time and eternity. Satan bruised the heel of the Messiah but the Messiah crushed his head. (Genesis 3:15)
Satan knew that God would send the Messiah and that He would be Jewish and so Satan has tried to destroy Israel down through the centuries and even after the Messiah has come Satan has kept on trying to destroy the Jewish people to this very day.
Added to this Satan knows that the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus to inaugurate the Messianic Kingdom on earth depends on God’ prophetic promises and plan to restore Israel. This is another reason Satan hates the Jewish people and is making an all-out effort to annihilate them. Satan hates God and the people of God.
This is what is going on today in the middle-east ‘behind the scenes’ as it were in the unseen spiritual realm. Turkey, Iran and the whole Islamic world for that matter is under the power of the evil one also called the god of this world. (1 John 5:19) (2 Corinthians 4:4)
The Book of Daniel is a book of prophecy and we are told that in the last days that a principality would be controlling Iran and another one controlling Turkey and that their dark malevolent desire would be set on the destruction of Israel and by extension and inclusion the faithful Body of the Messiah (The faithful Church.)
Daniel writes that in the last days He and Michael, the Archangel who protects Israel will be engaged in a war with Iran (Persia) and with Turkey (KJV-“Grecia”/Greece-Hebrew-“Ionia”) Ionia was part of Alexander the Great’s Middle-Eastern Empire and today it would be located in Turkey. (See: Daniel 10:12-14, 20; 12:1a)
All of those pagan clans that were within the land of Canaan and in the surrounding nations were all idol worshippers that the Israelites had to destroy when they marched into the land under Joshua. We are told in the Word of God that the worship of idols is the worship of demons. (Deuteronomy 32:16-17) (1 Corinthians 10:20-21)
When the Israelites under Joshua entered Canaan they were not only fighting humans but demonic forces as well. The Philistines were also under the spell of a demonic principality because they were idol worshippers. Today that same principality is behind Hamas in Gaza. When the Assyrians finally conquered the Philistines they no longer existed as a nation but the demonic principality remained in Gaza.
So now the principality that controlled the Philistines in the Old Testament times controls Hamas today. Once again fire is involved as we see rockets being launched into Israel and Israel’s retaliating with air strikes and possibly even a ground invasion may also be “in the pipeline.”
God will use Israeli fire-power to destroy the fortresses of Hamas as He used firepower in past history to destroy the Philistines because He is the God of history who remains the same forever! What He starts He finishes! (Isaiah 46:10)
Many are watching to see what Prime Minister Netanyahu will do in this current Gaza crisis with elections looming next month in Israel. It is also clear that Hamas and Hezbollah, Turkey and Iran and Syria are also taking advantage of the political instability in Israel right now as the Israeli politicians have at each other at a time when the Government of Israel should be standing untied against a common enemy and not engaged in political ‘infighting.’
We are told in the Book of Amos that God would “send fire upon the walls of Gaza that would consume her fortresses.” Historically this happened when the Assyrians conquered the Philistines in Gaza.
However, today we see Hamas in the character of the Philistines attacking Israel once again and under the power of the same principality that controlled the ancient Philistines. Israel’s war is not only a physical war but a spiritual one and the physical conflict we see today in the middle-East is not only a war in the natural world but also in the unseen spiritual world. It is an age long conflict going all the way back to the Garden of Eden. (Genesis 3:15)
This is why we must pray for Israel because as believers in the Lord Jesus the Messiah we are also engaged in a spiritual war in the unseen realm with the same demonic principalities and powers that are at work in the Middle East and arrayed against Israel.
Satan’s attacks are solely against Jews and Christians, “the people of the Book.” (Ephesians 6:10-18) (2 Corinthians 10:3-5) He is also called “the accuser of the brethren.” (Revelation 12:10)
According to the prophet Amos the Philistines made regular raids into Israel capturing local villages and selling those captured to Edom which today includes Saudi Arabia the heart of the Muslim world. God judged the Philistines because of the way they treated His people who were vulnerable and susceptible to attacks from the Philistines and He is going to judge Hamas for the same thing.
Just as God destroyed the King of Ashdod, who held the sceptre in Ashkelon, and just as He turned His hand against Ekron until the last of ‘the Philistines’ was dead, God is going to burn and then bury Hamas! (Amos 1:6-8)
Once again God “is going to send fire upon the walls of Gaza that will consume her fortresses.” Even if Israel does not completely destroy Hamas at this time, when the Lord Jesus the Messiah of Israel comes back and all Israel has been saved, the Israelites will “swoop down upon the shoulders of the Philistines to the west” (Isaiah 11:14)
Remember that God cut a blood covenant with his servant Abraham which included giving to Abraham and his descendants the whole land of Israel from the wadi of Egypt to the River Euphrates to be for him and for his descendants through Isaac and Jacob “an everlasting possession!” (Genesis 15:8-19; 17:8) Of course this included the Gaza Strip. It was an everlasting covenant concerning the Land of Israel. (Genesis 17:19)
After God has sanctified, purified and saved Israel they will “possess the gates of their enemies!” (Genesis 22:17) God is the God of History who says of himself; “Remember what happened long ago, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me. I distinguish the end from the beginning, and ancient times from what is still to come, saying: ‘My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure.” (Isaiah 40:9-10)