Where, oh where, have I heard this tired old trope before?
Oh right, pretty much every time something happens in the Middle East. Gird your loins, because we’re at it again.
With President Barack Obama working tirelessly to garner congressional approval for attacking Syria for its use of chemical weapons, some Christians are debating if it could lead toward the fulfillment of end-time prophecies in the Bible.
“Behold, Damascus will cease to be a city and will become a heap of ruins,” says Isaiah 17:1, which some Christians believe is now coming to pass. The last verses of Isaiah 17 are interpreted by some as envisioning Armageddon.
Let’s keep in mind that although Damascus proper was first inhabited around the second millennium BC, people have been living in settlements close by for at least another four thousand years, and in the Barada Basin for another three before that. It’s been attacked and beaten down pretty severely a number of times, the last being during the Second World War … and those are the ones we know about. There may have been others that occurred long enough ago that the records – if there were any – have been lost.
The point is, it’s hardly miraculous to suggest that a city which is a major player in the Middle East during ancient times will be destroyed, especially when wars that did just that were much more of a way of life back then. Hell, it already happened, and according to biblical scholars, it happened pretty consistently with Isaiah’s predictions:
However, Dr. Charlie Dyer, professor at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, told Chicago Sun-Times that Damascus was destroyed in the 7th and 8th centuries. “Isaiah 17 predicted the destruction of the city, along with the destruction of the northern kingdom of Israel…Damascus was captured by Assyrians in 732 BC and the northern kingdom of Israel fell when the capital city of Samarai was captured by the Assyrians in 722 BC.”
Of course that hasn’t stopped people from reading into Isaiah whatever they thought was convenient at the time, even if his track record as a prognosticator isn’t all that good. So for all of the true believers who didn’t dump all of their worldly possessions after Harold Camping’s colossal failure and think that this is really indicative of the end of days, please send me all of your cash monies.
Hell, I’ll set up a PayPal account … for deposit only, of course. No refunds.