Iran’s President Ahmadinejad held a rally just days ago that taunted the Israelis with warlike proclamations that “the Zionists will perish,” and “occupied Palestine will be liberated” (see first link). His “fiery” speech was delivered in a Lebanese town just two miles from the Israeli border, so his speech’s location was orchestrated to be as threatening as his rhetoric. Ahmadinejad received a “rapturous” welcome in Beirut as well. The article reports that such displays “suggest” that Lebanon is tilting away from the West toward the Iranian-Syrian alliance.” Suggest? I think it graphically makes the point that Lebanon, now dominated by Hezbollah, has slipped into the Iranian orbit; it does not merely “suggest” it.

The first link also reports that Hezbollah’s arsenal has “quadrupled” since the 2006 Hezbollah-Israeli war, thanks to Iran. Hezbollah reportedly now has “more than 45,000 rockets and missiles” pointed at Israeli targets. I’ve been at the Lebanese-Israeli border (in August, 2000), and I know how vulnerable many Israeli cities are to rocket attacks from that border. Many Israeli cities are within the range of the upgraded missiles which Hezbollah now has in its arsenal.

A more lengthy report on the visit of Iran’s president Ahmadinejad can be found in the second link below, from The Washington Times. Readers might find the third link of particular interest as it contains coverage of the Iranian president’s visit from the Lebanese media. It’s headline states Iran’s president declared the Israeli nation is “doomed.” The Israeli response was muted, limited to restrained statements by Israeli officials and a couple Israeli attack helicopters hovering on the Israeli side of the border in a show of force.

That Iran’s president traveled to the Lebanese-Israeli border to make his latest bellicose statements about Israel surely indicates that this man wants war with the Israelis. It seems to me that Hezbollah is ready to start launching its missiles at Israel if Ahmadinejad gives them the word. Syria’s willingness to fight in such a war is less certain, but Iran likely has the influence to compel Syria’s participation in a war against Israel.

Matthew 24:6 cited Jesus’ prophecy that “wars and rumors of wars” will characterize the latter days before his Second Coming. There are now “rumors of war” in the Mideast that are coming with increased intensity. The provocative visit of the Iranian president to make a warlike speech about Israel as he stood within sight of Israeli territory raises the momentum of events which are pushing the region into an eventual war. No one can predict a war’s outcome, but Genesis 49:8-9 prophesy that “Judah” (the Israelis/Jews) will be like a lion in the latter days. After several wars in which Judah fought like a lion against its foes in 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973, and when it took over much of Southern Lebanon in 1982, recent conflicts have seen the Israelis fight with much restraint. If a new war breaks out, I think the Israeli goal will be to utterly destroy Hezbollah as a fighting force, and punish Syria so severely that it will never want to fight the Israelis again. Given that the Iranians have armed and prodded Hezbollah and Syria toward war, I expect the Iranian homeland will also feel the blows of the Israeli military. If war does come, I think we will again see the Israelis fight like lions. Zechariah 12:1-6 confirm that God is not going to allow Judah (the Israelis) to fall as a nation. God has guaranteed that the Israeli nation will survive during the latter days, and God’s Word will prevail over Ahmadinejad’s threats and any attack he instigates.