A senior Iranian commander this week is calling for the destruction not just of Israel but of the United States of America, as well. “As long as America exists, we will not rest,” said Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naqdi, head of the Basij paramilitary force. “In revealing the truth about America and the Zionists, we must raise public hate against the despotic powers and create the environment for the destruction of America.” Such language is consistent with the Twelver eschatology held by the senior Iranian leadership that says Iran must seek to annihilate Israel (the “Little Satan” in their view) and the U.S. (which they call the “Great Satan”) in order to hasten the coming of the Twelfth Imam and the establishment of a global Islamic kingdom or Caliphate.
Meanwhile, growing evidence suggests an Israeli first strike on Iran is drawing closer. While disagreements clearly exist between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu about precisely when a war with Iran may be warranted, one thing is clear: the leaders of the U.S. and Israel are preparing Iran, the world, and their own people that war is coming soon if Iran doesn’t stop pursuing nuclear weapons. During a White House press conference on Wednesday with British Prime Minister David Cameron in the Rose Garden, for example, Mr. Obama said “the window for diplomacy is shrinking.” He added ominously, “We are determined to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon….Tehran must understand that it cannot escape or evade the choice before it. Meet your international obligations or face the consequences.” I read that as Mr. Obama’s most blunt warning yet that war is coming, and he might not be able to stop it.
At the same time, Aluf Benn, one of Israel’s most respected national security columnists published a story in Haaretz today with this lead: “Since his return from Washington, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has mainly been preoccupied with one thing: Preparing public opinion for war against Iran. Netanyahu is attempting to convince the Israeli public that the Iranian threat is a tangible and existential one, and that there is only one effective way to stop it and prevent a ‘second Holocaust’: An Israeli military attack on Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, which is buried deep underground. In his speech before the Knesset on Wednesday, Netanyahu urged his colleagues to reject claims that Israel is too weak to go it alone in a war against a regional power such as Iran and therefore needs to rely on the United States, which has much greater military capabilities, to do the job and remove the threat. According to polls published last week, this is the position of most of the Israeli public, which supports a U.S. strike on Iran, but is wary of sending the IDF to the task without the backing of the friendly superpower.”
In this context, The Joshua Fund board and staff are gathering for the next few days to review our war preparations and pray for the peace of Jerusalem and for wisdom for all the leaders in the region. We would be grateful for your prayers as we seek the Lord’s guidance to how we can be better prepared when this larger regional war comes, as well as how to be a blessing to those caught in the crossfire from more than 225 rockets fired from Gaza over the past week. Next week, Lord willing, I’m heading to southern California to speak at a conference on “Israel, The Church and the Mideast Crisis.” We will look at the latest developments through geopolitical and economic lenses, as well as through the “third lens” of Bible prophecy. We’ll also discuss how the Church can do a better job blessing Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus in real and practical ways, and how best to strengthen the believers in the region. I hope you will register and join us. The event will not be webcast so you’ll need to be there in person. Please also keep us in your prayers. Thanks and God bless you.
- Please consider making a financial contribution to The Joshua Fund as we continue to provide food, clothing, medical supplies and other humanitarian relief to the poor and needy in Israel, including to those under rocket attack from Gaza.
- Register now for our upcoming “Israel, The Church, and the Middle East Crisis Conference” in southern California on March 23-24
- Register for the worldwide IMPLOSION SIMULCAST set for Saturday, June 16th