Hamas Attacks Israel: Is the World on the Brink?

By Richard Young | Posted October 09, 2023

“Citizen of Israel, we are at war.”

With those words, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the shocked and grieving people of Israel about the horrific terror attack that began at 6:30 AM this past Sabbath, when a barrage of rockets from Gaza rained down across Israel, including on the major cities of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

About an hour later, news outlets began reporting that Hamas, the radical Islamic group that dominates Gaza, had sent fighters across the border, killing and kidnapping hundreds in their path. Though Hamas infiltrators are nothing new, the sheer number of killers sent and the stunning brazenness of the assault weren’t well understood until later in the day. Hamas had smashed the barrier and poured through on foot and in vehicles; some even used motorized paragliders to fly over the barrier.

The assault has been described as the worst carnage that the tiny nation has seen since the Yom Kippur War, occurring almost to the day 50 years ago, which was likely not a coincidence. In various locales in Southern Israel, Hamas massacred men, women, and children with an intensity not seen, perhaps, since the Holocaust. Even more shocking, the world saw footage of Hamas grabbing people, including the elderly, women, and children, and throwing them into trucks to take them back to Gaza as hostages.

The death count continues to grow. CBS News reported on October 9, “Israeli officials confirmed early Monday that over 700 Israeli civilians and members of the military had died since Hamas launched an unprecedented attack on Israel from Gaza early Saturday morning. Another 2,150 were wounded.”

As of this writing, Israeli troops were still battling remnants of the infiltrators on the ground. Meanwhile, as it has done after rocket attacks from Gaza in the past, Israel’s military began bombing Hamas targets in Gaza. Reports from the region claim more than 400 have already been killed in the retaliatory strikes.

Israel has called its response “Swords of Iron,” indicative of what is to come as it has sworn vengeance.

Is Bible Prophecy Being Fulfilled?

Many Christians believe that hostilities in the Middle East centered upon Israel are always a direct fulfillment of end-time prophecy. Many even say that Old Testament prophets have predicted almost every war that Israel has faced since its founding in 1948. Undoubtedly, sermons will soon be preached, articles written, and blogs posted by those who believe that the Bible predicted this latest attack.

In fact, one Christian website already features this headline: “War in Israel: A Fulfillment of Bible Prophecy?” The article says, “Interesting how it always comes back to Jerusalem. The Bible predicted, thousands of years ago, that the end time events would revolve around Jerusalem. Not San Francisco. Not Los Angeles. Not Moscow. Not Paris. … But Jerusalem, this tiny little city, in this tiny sliver of land, will play a key role in the events of the last days. It’s the focal point of end times events. It’s amazing when you think about it, because in Zechariah 12:3, 4 God says, ‘I will make Jerusalem like an intoxicating drink that makes the nearby nations stagger when they send their armies to besiege Jerusalem and Judah. On that day I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock. All the nations will gather against it to try to move it, but they will only hurt themselves’ (NLT).”

Not all Christians see Jerusalem as an end-time fulcrum. They believe that Bible prophecy—specifically the prophecies concerning Armageddon, events that lead to the end of the world—does not necessarily center around wars in the Middle East. Instead, they understand that last-day events are composed of a worldwide battle between the forces of evil against God’s church, made up of Jews and Gentiles who seek to be faithful to Jesus Christ and His law. In Revelation 12:17, these people are depicted like this: “And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”

The End of a Manmade Utopia

On the other hand, the tragedy unfolding in the Middle East could, indeed, be seen as a fulfillment of prophecy—but not the prophecies of Zechariah or Ezekiel, as is commonly promoted, but the prophecies of Jesus, who warned that before He returned, the world would face tumultuous times as not seen before in Earth’s history.

It’s fascinating that in the late 19th century, people were predicting that science, education, technology, reason, and human perfectibility would usher in a utopia that the world had never seen. Many expected the 20th century to be a time when war, disease, and poverty would be totally eradicated as humanity itself would save itself from itself.

Not even close! From World War I, World War II, the Holocaust, and 9/11, as well as from famine, disease, and poverty—according to the World Bank, “about 9.2% of the world, or 719 million people, live on less than $2.15 a day”—have shown humanity is a long way from saving itself, much less ushering in a utopia.

Meanwhile, two thousand years ago, Jesus uttered this prophecy: “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:6–8).

Wars. Famines. Pestilence. Earthquakes. Are we seeing the beginning of sorrows?

In that sense, yes, this recent tragedy in Israel can be seen as a fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy. But how this Gaza tragedy might play out long term in bringing about even greater instability and more wars, we will have to wait and see. As of this writing, the United States is moving warships into the area.

Meanwhile, the good news amid all this is that we can find hope in knowing Jesus and that all these things are signs that our Savior will return soon. “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:28).

If you would like to know more about what the Bible really says about Israel in the last days, listen to our five-part Bible Talk series “Israel in Prophecy.” 

Listen to Hamas Attacks Israel: Is the World on the Brink? below
Richard Young
Richard Young is a writer for Amazing Facts International and other online and print publications.

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