Israelis Prepare for the Worst

On April 1, sirens across the entire State of Israel sounded for a full 90 seconds, warning all citizens to head immediately for the shelters. This exercise was no April Fools’ Day trick. It was a massive civil defense drill, the first such all-inclusive test in the history of the country.

All that week, everyone from kindergarteners to seniors was on high alert, while civil service agencies practiced emergency measures in the event of an attack from abroad or a major earthquake. The primary concern was the possibility of missile attacks from at least three directions.

Officials are concerned that Israel could be hit by conventional, non conventional, biological, or even nuclear warheads. Uppermost in the minds of some Israeli leaders is that, although many foreign heads of state fail to take such threats seriously, the potential peril to Israel is very real. Iran’s infamous leader, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has promised his own style of holocaust if and when he acquires sufficient nuclear capability. Furthermore, Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and forces in Syria are all arming to the teeth and promising all-out war when they feel the time is right.

Apologists for the terror axis in the Middle East are fond of suggesting that the “resistance” forces allied against Israel are, in fact, too humanitarian to launch such an attack. However, 60 years of modern Israeli history put such nonsense to rest. In its short life, the State of Israel has suffered through five wars, two intifadas, and innumerable strikes by terrorists and suicide bombers determined to annihilate it. It is not about to turn a blind eye on reality and court catastrophe.

Mindful that serious conditions could erupt, rescue services have geared up to extract casualties from collapsed structures and other heavily populated areas receiving major damage.

The recent drill was held to ascertain whether medical personnel and facilities could handle an unparalleled number of casualties if worse came to worst. And though this was only a drill, it came at a time when tensions are high, and Israel cannot afford to be caught napping as in 1973 when Syria and Egypt attacked on Yom Kippur.

In fact, Arab belligerents boast that they can very nearly surround Israel completely and will make their move when the time is right.

Of course, such news is nothing new to Israel. Its annihilation was attempted during the heyday of the former Soviet Union, which supplied a ring of hostile Arab states bordering Israel with enough weapons and equipment to destroy the Jewish state.

These attempts remind us of the notorious, ancient Assyrian ruler Sennacherib who laid siege to Jerusalem with high hopes of capturing the city. For his trouble, he ended up with 185,000 dead Assyrian soldiers—smitten in a single night, we are told, by the angel of the Lord (2 Ki. 19:35–36).

Lord Byron’s The Destruction of Sennacherib paints a vivid poetic portrait of the aftermath of that devastating night:

And there lay the rider distorted and pale,
With dew on his brow, and rust on his mail:
And the tents were all silent, the banners alone,
The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown….
And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,
Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord!

Scripture prophesies another end-times event yet to take place. However, the last chapter will be the same. For when all of the nations place a ring around Jerusalem and everything looks lost, “Then the Lᴏʀᴅ will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle” (Zech. 14:3).

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