War-torn Syria is one of many Middle East countries that will be a key player in the coming “Great Tribulation” that was foretold by the prophet Daniel. In Daniel 12:1 we read, “At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be A TIME OF TROUBLE, SUCH AS NEVER WAS SINCE THERE WAS A NATION, even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone who is found written in the book” (NKJV). Daniel was burdened over his people Israel and in this prophecy he was told that there was a “time of trouble” coming for the nation of Israel like they have never experienced, yet he was assured that in the end “your people shall be delivered.” The Lord Jesus spoke of this same “time of trouble” in Matthew 24:21-22, “For then there will be GREAT TRIBULATION, SUCH AS HAS NOT BEEN SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD UNTIL THIS TIME, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.” Like Daniel, the Lord Jesus speaks of a time of trouble for Israel that would, if not for the elect’s sake, result in Israel’s extermination.

Dear ones, we are witnessing before our eyes the stage being set for this “time of trouble.” Anti-Semitism grows with each passing day, with many of Israel’s surrounding nations (including Syria) bent on their destruction. This became obvious when Israel became a nation once again in 1948, for since then there have been at least 5 wars against them by their Arab and Islamic neighbors. We have an interesting prophecy by the Lord Jesus that speaks of this as a sign that the GREAT TRIBULATION is near. In Luke 21:29-30 we read, “Then He spoke to them a parable: ‘Look at the FIG TREE, and ALL THE TREES. When THEY ARE BUDDING, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near. So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near.” The FIG TREE represents Israel and ALL THE TREES speak of the nations that surround her (and possibly other nations around the world that will play an integral part in end-time events). I believe we can safely say, “they are budding,” which means they are all very prominent today.

As I write out this answer, Syria has just been accused of killing its own people with chemical weapons and Israel has been accused of bombing one of Syria’s airbases. This region has rightly been called a “powder keg that is ready to explode.” It’s only a matter of time and it will explode, with wars breaking out that will eventually lead to the infamous “battle of Armageddon” (see Revelation 16:12-16). The Bible predicts that a great alliance will be formed by many nations that hate Israel and they will be led to attack her in “the time of the end.” You can read of this in Daniel 8:23; 10:14; 11:35, 36, 40-45. The prophets Isaiah, Joel and Zechariah also wrote of the invasion of these armies (see Isaiah 28:2, 14-21; Joel 2:1-11 and Zechariah 12:2 & 14:2.

In closing, we had seen that the elect in Israel will eventually be delivered from their enemies. This will occur at the very end of the Great Tribulation with the return of Israel’s Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. This is seen clearly in Isaiah 59:20, “The Redeemer will come to Zion, and to those who turn from transgression in Jacob.” The apostle Paul refers to this in Romans 11:26, “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob.” At some point all of Israel’s enemies will be destroyed, including Syria. Syria’s destruction was foretold in Isaiah 17:1, “The burden against Damascus. ‘Behold, Damascus will cease from being a city, and it will be a ruinous heap.’” Syria may be “beating its chest today” in its wrath against Israel (and others), but the day is coming when it will experience God’s wrath. At that time Damascus, its chief city, will literally be razed to the ground. (309.1) (DO)