The flood of evil will be more than matched by a heavenly outpouring.

by Charles Gardner.

When I wrote last week how the Lord was trying to encourage Israel through a particular verse of Scripture, I wasn’t to know that he was about to add emphasis to the word by repeating himself.

Saying again, that “when the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him and put him to flight.” (Isaiah 59:19)

I subsequently learnt (from Sgt-Major Chaim Malespin on his daily YouTube reports from the frontline) that Islamic Jihad had called for a ‘Ramadan flood’ of violence against the Jews.

I then heard from film-maker friend Hugh Kitson that the October 7th massacre had originally been designated the ‘Al Aqsa Flood’ with reference to the mosque on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount which Muslims constantly accuse Israel of undermining.

Yes, a flood of evil is being unleashed, but the Lord will make his presence felt in no uncertain terms.

The Al Aqsa Mosque

Photograph Charles Gardner

The mosque is said to be Islam’s third holiest site, even though there is apparently no reference to it in the Qur’an. But it does chime with a widely held interpretation of what Jesus meant when he referred to Daniel’s prophecy of “the abomination that causes desolation standing where it does not belong” in the last days prior to his return. (See Mark 13:14)

The mosque stands on the site of the destroyed Temple, where God chose to dwell.

From the context, this structure would at some stage trigger the greatest ever trouble the world has seen, ultimately leading to the Messiah’s return to conquer his enemies and rule the world in peace and security.

We have to ask why Ramadan, a holy month of fasting, manages to stoke up so much violence each year? In Hebron, for example, an imam (a ‘holy’ man), opened fire on two Jewish children before being ‘neutralised’ by the IDF. A bullet penetrated the soccer ball they were playing with instead.

Ramadan has become open season for Jew-baiting, which brings to mind this coming weekend’s feast of Purim, celebrating the time when Jews were saved from a planned holocaust in ancient Persia through the intervention of Queen Esther, who had fortunately come to her royal position “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14).

Today, with Israel rapidly losing her friends among the nations, it is surely left to the people who inherited the faith of the Jewish Messiah – i.e. Christians – to come to her aid. Will we now have the courage to stand up and be counted?

Purim this year coincides with Palm Sunday. Esther, with her cousin Mordecai’s encouragement, saved her people of old. And I believe the lot has fallen to Christians to take up the mantle today.

We surely owe it to those through whom salvation came to the Gentiles to give something back at this time of great need, as Gentiles from Antioch did for Jewish believers in Jerusalem when famine struck in the first century AD.

I am freshly stirred by their plight after watching the 53-year-old movie Fiddler on the Roof last weekend. Not much has changed since the Russian pogroms that inspired this joyful, yet tragic, musical depiction of Jewish suffering.

I’m sure many could identify with lead character Tevye’s heartfelt prayer that, “just once in a while”, God would choose some other people for his special possession.

But instead of helping the Jewish communities in their midst, the Russians (led by their Orthodox priests) wrote them off as ‘Christ killers’ and drove them out of house and home.

Palm Sunday was the time when Jesus was welcomed to Jerusalem as King. And, of course, he truly does fulfil that role, then and now. Yet he wept over Jerusalem because he knew that, as a nation, they had rejected him. They had not known what would bring them peace and had failed to recognise the time of God’s coming among them.

“The days will come upon you,” he prophesied, “when your enemies…will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls.” (See Luke 19:28-44) All of which sounds alarmingly up to date.

But he hasn’t forgotten his chosen ones. Their hearts have been hardened for a time, but when the full harvest of Gentiles has come in, they will welcome him once more (as they did on Palm Sunday).

As Jesus said: “For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord’.” (Matthew 23:39)

We are witnessing a huge shaking in the heavenly realms as a furious spiritual battle rages on. But there is also a real sense that the presence of the Lord is gaining ground on the world stage.

The verse quoted at the beginning of this article is also translated (in the New International Version) as “For he will come like a pent-up flood that the breath of the Lord drives along.”

The flood of evil will be no match for the heavenly outpouring to come. And the following verse explains why: “The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,” declares the Lord.

The Lion of the tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5) – also the spotless Lamb slain for the sins of the world – is on his way!