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The Trumpet Herald

Giving the trumpet a certain sound

August 2006

War in Lebanon

The Islamic militant organization Hizbullah on July 12 attacked an Israeli military contingent killing 8 soldiers and taking two hostage. That act triggered a large military response from Israel, that at the time of this writing, is continuing. Hisbullah has responded by launching hundreds of rockets against northern Israel. Why did the militants do that? A recent article in Time comments on that:

But Hizbullah and Hamas in this case have a more practical payoff in mind. Israeli governments have proved willing to make big concessions to get back one or two or three of their own captives, even dead ones. (In 2004, Israel swapped 429 prisoners in exchange for an Israeli businessman and the remains of three Israeli soldiers.) The Palestinians now have a tremendous interest in prisoner swaps since the Israelis have achieved the relative quiet of the past few years in part by arresting huge numbers of suspected terrorists and packing jails with more than 9,000 detainees. Securing the release of many of them, by negotiating the return of the Israeli corporal, would make heroes of Hamas. And it would do so at a time when ordinary Palestinians have been grumbling that they may have erred in electing the radical group since the government--bankrupt because of international boycotts--has gone five months without paying salaries to its 160,000 employees.

Hizbullah too hopes to profit from aggression. Israel holds only three Lebanese prisoners, but the group's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, grandly noted that he also was making the release of Palestinian detainees a condition for freeing his Israeli captives, which would bring him and his group glory, both in the Arab world and Lebanon's Palestinian refugee camps. (“Hate Thy Neighbor,” Time.com, July 16, 2006)

The article also pointed out that other factors included a belief that Israel would go away if pressure were kept up over long periods of time, and Islamic fighters will receive their real rewards in heaven.

“It will never completely cool down,” says Edward Luttwak, senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “When the Israelis have hit enough targets, they’ll be inclined to slow down. [But] these things don't get resolved.” (ibid.)

Inspired Commentary

There have been wars before between Israel and her neighbors. Jesus warned that wars would continue to happen prior to His second coming:

And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Matt. 24:6-8

Indonesian Earthquake and Tsunami

A 7.7 magnitude earthquake occurred on July 17 in the Indian Ocean, 220 miles south of Jakarta, Indonesia.

JAKARTA, Indonesia -- The death toll from an earthquake and resulting tsunami that smashed into fishing villages and resorts on Indonesia's Java island has reached 525 with 273 people missing, officials have said.

Another 383 people were injured after waves as high as three meters (10 feet) lashed out at almost 200 kilometers (124 miles) of Java's southern coast on Monday.

More than 35,000 people have been displaced, Indonesia's department of social affairs said on Wednesday, adding that hundreds of buildings were destroyed. ...

Indonesia received the bulletins 45 minutes before the tsunami hit, Science and Technology Minister Kusmayanto Kadiman said in an AP report. But the government did not announce them because they did not want to cause unnecessary alarm, Kadiman said in the AP report.

“If it (the tsunami) did not occur, what would have happened?” he told reporters in Jakarta, noting that there was no effective way to spread a warning without a system of sirens or alarms in place. (“Java death toll tops 500,” cnn.com, July 19, 2006)

A tsunami warning system being worked on by German and United Nations scientists is not yet completed.

Inspired Commentary

God also gives warnings ... about the return of Jesus.

For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. 1 Thes. 5:2-6

Gay Pride in Jerusalem

Homosexual activists are organizing a rally to be held August 6-12 in Jerusalem. Their web site states the purpose of the rally:

Jerusalem WorldPride 2006 will bring a new focus to an ancient city through a massive demonstration of LGBT dignity, pride, and boundary-crossing celebration. In these times of intolerance and suspicion, from the home of three of the world´s great religions, we will proclaim that love knows no borders. (www.worldpride.net, as of 7/21/06)

Opposition is growing in Israel to the event.

Israel's chief rabbi, Shlomo Amar, sent a letter to the pope on Tuesday asking him to help “thwart” the pride event while some 50 Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious leaders met with Israeli politicians in the Knesset this week to call on them to stop WorldPride. ...

“The city which the entire world looks up to due to its holiness and glory is now being attacked by evil people who wish to violate its honor and humiliate its greatness with deeds that the Torah [Jewish scriptures] despises, as well as all other religions,” the rabbi said. (“Rabbi Asks Pope to Help Thwart Jerusalem WorldPride Event,” cnsnews.com, July 7, 2006)

The activists are reported “mobilizing with increased resolve.”

Update July 21, 2006: The organizers have called off the Aug. 10 parade because of the war situation, but plan to continue with related events. (“Jerusalem ‘gay’ parade called off due to war,” worldnetdaily.com, July 21, 2006”)

Inspired Commentary

The militancy of the “mockers in the last time” seems to be increasing.

But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. Jude 17-19

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