As we sit in front of our televisions and observe the present conflict going on between Israel and
Hamas in Gaza, one cannot help but recall that Gaza is sometimes mentioned in God’s Word, the Holy Bible. Following are a few important scriptures concerning Gaza and we cautiously ask whether any of these scriptures have any relevance to this present conflict?
Firstly, we wish to point out that some of these scriptures prophesied events that were to take place shortly after those prophecies were given; when God was angry at the way the Philistines had treated His Covenant People. However, it is also worth pointing out that the Bible is often written with “multiple fulfillment” in mind; that is there may be numerous fulfillments of a particular prophecy until the final prophetic fulfillment occurs. The classic example is the appearance of the antichrist. A number of antichrists have already appeared, such as Antiochus Epiphanes, until the “final” antichrist appears. This is confirmed in 1 John 2:18 where we are told that many antichrists have already come. So is it possible that those prophecies of old have any relevance to the situation in Gaza today?
Whether they point to the present conflict or not, they are nevertheless important to consider in the light of this present conflict.
Verse 1 of chapter 47 of Jeremiah tells us that the prophecy was written before Pharaoh attacked Gaza and in verse 5 it was fulfilled when Pharaoh attacked. Yet we have to ask the question whether it is not being fulfilled yet again at this point in time? It reads:
“ Gaza will shave her head in mourning; . . . “
Gaza is presently in a terrible state; much of it because its own foolish behaviour towards Israel.
6 “This is what the Lord says: “For three sins of Gaza, even for four, I will not turn back my wrath. Because she took captive whole communities and sold them to Edom, 7I will send fire upon the walls of Gaza that will consume her fortresses. . . . . “”
It is thought that the “whole communities” referred to in that scripture were in south Judah. Yet, in many ways does this not describe what has been going on there now? Certainly through use of their tunnels, Hamas operatives planned to abduct Israelis and take them back to Gaza where they were to be held hostage and possibly even killed. Certainly Gaza has had reprisal heaped upon her.
Zephaniah 1:14 reads:
“The great day of the Lord is near- near and coming quickly.”
Verses 4 to 7 of chapter 2 are about judgment on Philistia, of which Gaza was a part. Here we specifically look at verse 4 of chapter 2 which reads:
“Gaza will be abandoned . . . “
In these passages Zephaniah is exhorting all to repent, not only Gaza, before the destruction comes that will sweep over the earth in the day of God’s wrath.
Zechariah chapter 9 is a Judgment on Israel’s enemies. In verse 9 we read:
“. . . . ; Gaza will writhe in agony, . . . “
Surely we can say that at this time Gaza is in agony; presently as the Israelis try to destroy the bases from which rockets and other acts of war have been aimed at her. But there will come a time when God Himself does it – for His own name’s sake.
Chris, from our fellowship, has an interest in Bible prophecy and from time to time will share his views with us on current events and how they relate to prophecy in this new series “Bible Prophecy”.