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What’s the Big Deal About Israel?

There is no doubt about the fact that Biblical prophecy clearly teaches Israel will be the straw that stirs the drink in the Last Days.

The big question is – why?

There was a time when Israel’s location on the main land route between Africa, Asia and Europe made it quite a prize.

But modern transportation advances have made Israel’s position on the globe less and less strategically important.

The main reason Israel has remained the focal point of world events is her passionate place in the hearts of the followers of the world’s three major monotheistic religions – Christianity, Islam and Judaism.

As far as the greatest prize available in the Middle East – energy reserves – Israel has seemed to be the odd man out.

It would seem that energy producing nations like Saudi Arabia, Iraq or Kuwait would be far more enticing targets for a military power grab.

Practically speaking we could excuse people for asking, “What’s the big deal about Israel, anyway?”

That is, until this week.

The Jerusalem Post Internet Edition

Huge gas reserves discovered off Haifa

Jan. 18, 2009

A historic natural gas reservoir found offshore from Haifa is poised to meet Israel’s natural gas demand for about 15 years and reduce the country’s dependence on gas imports from Egypt and offshore from Gaza.

The discovery of the natural gas field 90 km. offshore from Haifa, known as Tamar, was made by a US-Israel consortium including the Delek Group, through its subsidiaries Delek Drilling and Avner Oil Exploration, Isramco Negev 2, Dor Gas Exploration and US oil operator Noble Energy Inc.

Preliminary estimates indicate that the Tamar field might contain over 88 billion cubic meters of gas.

“If the Tamar site opposite the Haifa coast succeeds in producing the significant quantities of natural gas predicted, we are talking about a revolution which will have an impact on the Israeli economy for the coming generations,” said Dan Halman, CEO of Halman-Aldubi Group. “The vast reservoir is poised to bring down electricity prices, reduce the country’s dependence on gas from foreign countries, in particular from Egypt, and thereby turn Israel from a gas importer into a gas exporter.”

Yoav Burgan, analyst at Leader Capital Markets, believes in the possibility of long-term deals resulting from the Tamar well which could generate a potential value of $15.5 billion.

This discovery brings into sharper focus a previously puzzling piece of the prophetic portrait of the Last Days invasion of Israel known as the War of Gog and Magog.

Ezekiel 38-39 predicts that a Russian lead coalition of nations that includes modern Iran will attempt to overwhelm Israel in a single lightning fast attack.

When the world gets wind of this massive invasion, a few nation states will raise an objection, couched in diplomatic terminology.

Thus says the Lord GOD: “On that day it shall come to pass that thoughts will arise in your mind, and you will make an evil plan:

11 You will say, ‘I will go up against a land of unwalled villages; I will go to a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates’—

12 to take plunder and to take booty, to stretch out your hand against the waste places that are again inhabited, and against a people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell in the midst of the land.

13 Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions will say to you, ‘Have you come to take plunder? Have you gathered your army to take booty, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to take great plunder?’”’ (Ezekiel 38:10-13)

This passage used to puzzle students of prophecy.

Sure,  Israel has great cultural and spiritual significance.

But these national powers from both the Saudi peninsula and Europe strongly suggest the kicker for this invasion was a source of wealth that made Israel too inviting a target to resist.

Could the successful development of the Tamar site, as well as similar future discoveries set the stage for this predicted military show down?

This much is clear -Israel will become a prize worth such a military gamble- a gamble this predicted invasion force will be willing to take.

The Bible also makes clear that this coming conflict will be won not through the resources and skill of the Israeli Defense Forces, but the direct supernatural intervention of the true and living God.

The stage for these prophetic events continues to be set.

Stay tuned.

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