Lebanon was called the Switzerland of the Middle East

Arno Froese

Open thy doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour thy cedars” (Zechariah 11:1).

Not so long ago, Lebanon was called the Switzerland of the Middle East. Why? Because it was peaceful, very rich, and very secure. 

It was in 1985 when Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah, a Shia Muslim, founded Hezbollah (“Party of God”). One of its ideologies was anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. The party grew so strong it virtually became an independent state within the country of Lebanon. Presently, the Hezbollah organization is recognized as a terrorist group by 18 different nations, as well as the Arab League and the European Union. 

Lebanon is a country with a population of 5.5 million, of which 61.1% are Muslim, and about 33.7% followers of the Christian religion. Life expectancy is listed at 78.3 years. Per capita GDP stands at $19,600. The economy looks bleak; as all countries not functioning at 100%, exports stand at $3.5 billion, with imports $18.3 billion (2017). 

There is an abundance of information available online about the country of Lebanon. But, in none of the reports is the real reason for the chaos Lebanon is experiencing today; namely, Lebanon’s occupation of Israeli territory.

The same can be said about Syria. Much of the country is also Syrian-occupied Israeli territory. Thus, conflicts rage. The nation has been suffering immensely under a civil war since 2011. Millions have fled the country; some 3.6 million refugees were registered in Turkey, with almost another million in Lebanon, 656,000 in Jordan, plus 770,000 in Germany, according to Wikipedia. 

While Lebanon and Syria are virtually powerless against the Israeli air force, Hezbollah and other terrorist groups connected to Iran, continue to plot as much harm as possible against Israel.

The prophet Habakkuk in chapter 2, verse 17 states: “For the violence of Lebanon shall cover thee, and the spoil of beasts, which made them afraid, because of men’s blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein.”

At the beginning of August, the world press reported of an unprecedented explosion in the city of Beirut. More than 200 were killed and thousands injured, as well as great damage being reported even several miles away from the site of the disaster.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had this to say:

UN Secretary-General António Guterres called on the Lebanese government to disarm the militant group Hezbollah in a report he intends to present to the United Nations Security Council.

“The maintenance of unauthorized weapons outside State control by Hezbollah and other non-State armed groups represents a persistent violation of resolution 1701 (2006) and is of serious concern,” wrote Guterres in a report that was posted on the UN website, prior to the Beirut explosion.

“I call upon the Government of Lebanon to take all actions necessary to ensure the full implementation of the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords and of resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1680 (2006), which require the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon so that there will be no weapons or authority in Lebanon other than those of the Lebanese State,” Guterres said.

The document is one of three reports that Guterres sends annually to the UNSC on UNIFIL. This one comes in advance of the anticipate annual vote to renew the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon. 

“I urge the Government of Lebanon to expeditiously undertake and conclude all necessary investigations regarding the tunnels on the Lebanese side and to take preventive measures against similar occurrences in the future,” he added.

-www.jpost.com, 5 August 2020

While apnews.com reports that 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate—a component of fertilizer that is potentially explosive—had been stored at the port since it was confiscated from a ship in 2013, what becomes increasingly clear is that unauthorized weapons storage facilities existed in the vicinity of the explosion.  

An Associated Press article states: “Estimates suggest that 85% of the country’s grain was stored at the now wrecked silos.”

Yes, Lebanon is suffering, and so is Syria. We feel for the loss of life, whether they are Lebanese, Syrian, or any other nationality. But our prayer is specifically directed to the Christians who live in the midst of these countries, dominated by turmoil. For those who believe in Christ, there is hope. “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39). And for Israel, God proclaims by His prophet Haggai: “The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts.”

Midnight Call - 10/2020

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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