Mike Curtiss (22 Nov 2012)
"Gaza Shall Be Forsaken"

Zephaniah 2: 1 Gather yourselves together… O nation not desired ; 2 Before the decree bring forth , before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD come upon you, before the day of the LORD'S anger come upon you... 4 For Gaza shall be forsaken... 5 Woe unto the inhabitants of the sea coast, the nation of the Cherethites! The word of the LORD is against you; O Canaan, the land of the Philistines, I will even destroy thee, that there shall be no inhabitant.

God’s word is clear. There will not be a Palestinian State side by side with Israel. Before a final decree is issued (presumably by the United Nations), the judgment of God will come upon Gaza and they will be destroyed.

Historically, Gaza was the homeland of the Philistines (also known as the Cherethites). The Philistines were a sea faring people who left the Island of Crete (presumably driven out by natural disaster, Mycenaean Greeks, or other) and settled in Lower Egypt. The Philistines were promptly defeated out of Lower Egypt and driven into Canaan (Gaza). By the time they reached Gaza, they were ready to stand and fight. So fearsome were the polytheistic Philistines, God would not allow the Israelites departing Egypt to take the shortest path to the Promised Land by crossing through Gaza. The Philistines would go on to become the mortal enemies of Israel and would persist until they lost their independence and were absorbed into the Babylonian and succeeding Persian, Roman, Byzantine, and Islamic empires.

A few recent events have occurred making Gaza, and its inhabitants, relevant again on the world stage.

1. In 1948 Israel became a nation again. After the immediate 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the Gaza Strip was carved out and acquired its current boundaries (under Egyptian administration) at the cessation of fighting.

2. In 1993, the Oslo Accords signed between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, gave the Palestinian Authority administrative governance over the area with Israel maintaining control of the airspace, territorial waters and border crossings apart from the land border with Egypt.

3. Lastly, and perhaps most significant, was the Israeli unilateral disengagement from Gaza in 2005 giving the native population control of Gaza, which promptly elected (democratically) the Radical Islamic terrorist organization, Hamas, to its leadership.

Hamas's Charter calls for the destruction of Israel. It is to be replaced by a single Islamic Palestinian State. Since 2005, Hamas has launched thousands of rockets and missiles at settlements, towns, and cities in southern Israel. Hamas backed terrorists in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip have fired approximately 900 rockets and missile shells into Israel this year alone (as of November 2012). Additionally, the range and accuracy of the rockets has increased with support from Iran and others, putting large numbers of Israelis in danger.

The respected Israeli diplomat, politician, and author Abba Eban said in previous negotiations with the Palestinians, “They never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity”. Hamas, like its Palestinian Authority predecessor, views Israel’s desire for peace negotiations as weakness; a sign that Allah is blessing their cause, bringing them closer to victory in their armed conflict over the Jews. Hamas is not interested in peace, unless it is a Mohammedan peace (Hudna).

The God of Israel will not sit back idley and allow Islamic Terrorists, or any other nation to destroy His heritage. He brought them back to Israel after two thousand years. He has established Jerusalem. Perhaps it will be the IDF, a natural disaster, or something else, but Gods word is clear; Gaza will be forsaken, destroyed, and without inhabitant.