Hello folks! Thanks so much for hearing me out regarding Isaiah 17, and for your many thoughtful comments!
I have heard some good arguments both “for” and “against” a future fulfillment of the destruction of Damascus. When I read the modern English translations that are based on the Masoretic Text (MT) I see how it can be argued that Isaiah 17 was completely fulfilled in 732 BC. However, when I read the Septuagint (LXX) translation, which early church fathers viewed as THE inspired Word of God for the New Covenant, I read this:
“THE WORD AGAINST DAMASCUS. Behold, Damascus shall be taken away from among cities, and shall become a ruin; ABANDONED FOR EVER, to be a fold and resting-place for flocks, and there shall be none to go after them.” (Isaiah 17:1-2 LXX)
This total and complete abandonment of Damascus has not happened, so if the LXX is to be considered we should expect a future fulfillment of this prophecy.
The next question is “WHEN?” When will Damascus be destroyed FOREVER? In my “Red Moon Rising” book I argued, as so many prophecy teachers do today, that this will happen before the Day of the Lord as a precursor to Ezekiel 38-39 and the judgments of Revelation. However, I now feel that the best, most reasonable, and most faithful commentary on this text that I have found comes from Bible scholar Thomas Ice. I don’t agree with everything this man says or stands for, but I agree with his conclusion that Isaiah 17 remains to be fulfilled in its totality. However, Ice concludes that this fulfillment will happen only AT THE END of the Tribulation period.
Here is a link to his short and simple paper: http://www.redmoonrising.com/Ice-Isaiah17andTheDestru1.pdf
If these conclusions are correct, as I believe they are, then none of the geo-political intrigues swirling around Barack-Bandar-Bibi today have anything to do with Isaiah 17. And those influential Christians who are agitating for US Tomahawk strikes against Damascus, (or those trying to manipulate events so that Israel resorts to its “Sampson Option”), as a means towards “helping” God in fulfilling His Word, are terribly misguided. Indeed, they do not know what spirit they are of! (Luke 9:51-56 KJV)
God’s Word will be fulfilled in His time, but as Christians we should never support violence, war, and destruction, hoping for these things to happen so that our beliefs become validated to the unbelieving world. Instead, we must remember that the evidence that the world is looking for is the evidence of our love for one another as brothers and sisters in Christ (John 13:34-35). They will know us first and foremost by our love for one another, NOT for our (often superficial) devotion to a book, and NOT because world events prove the Truth found in our book. Things will happen that confirm our expectations, but these things must not distract us from our primary commandment to LOVE. That is how we prove to the world that we belong to the Creator of the Universe and that His WORD is True.
Shalom in Jesus’ Name!