What is the commotion going on in the Middle East? There is a group of people there that seem to be hated by all it's neighbors. They seem to have stirred up a lot of ire among the world leaders speaking this week at the United Nations. What is the problem and why is it such a big deal?
Some four thousand years ago, God found a man in Ur of the Chaldees. He was the son of an Idol maker and priest. God called him and told him to go to a land that you do not know and I will make from you a great people. The promise to everyone else is "I will bless those who bless thee and will curse those who curse thee." Genesis 12:3. God made numerous promises to Abraham then transferred these promises to Isaac and to Jacob. When Jacob was given the promises, God changed his name to Israel. Thus the name of the country.
The promises given to Abraham was also repeated many times and in many ways throughout the scriptures. Abraham's promises were unconditional. Moses received some conditional promises. The promises given to Moses had to do with following the Law that he had transcribed from God. The condition would be how long they lived in the land. Deuteronomy 28. He said that if you don't obey this law then I will scatter you amoung the Nations. That has happened twice.
David was given a covenant 2 Samual 23. God said that the throne of Israel would not leave the house of David. That he would not cease to have a king on the throne.
The prophets picked up on the theme. Isaiah, Ezekial, Jeremiah, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Zechariah, etc, all had promised that Israel would one day rule the world.
Then came Jesus. When Jesus appeared on the scene he showed up at the right time for Daniel's prophecy's to be fulfilled. It was so precise that Maggi from the East who had followed the writings and teachings of Daniel in the East for many years, saw the signs and showed up in Jerusalem at the right time to meet this new Messiah. Jesus entered the gates of Jerusalem on a Donkey at the exact right time that Daniel had predicted.
The problem was Jesus wasn't coming to fulfill the parts of the prophecy the Jewish leaders wanted fulfilled. The leaders wanted Jesus to overthrow the civilian government of Rome. Jesus overthrew the moneychangers in the temple. Jesus, instead of changing government, changed the way people thought about God.
Jesus fulfilled roughly 1/3rd of the prophecies coming the first time. He left a lot of them out. Then he said, "I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am there you will be also." John 14:2,3. The promise of a return. A promise to finish the job.
Jesus said that the temple would be destroyed and the Jews scattered. He wept over the city in Matthew 23:37 saying, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!" The whole of the scripture could be summarized in that one verse. The desire of Israel to unit under it's messiah.
Now we as Christians are looking at this verse and at the situation with the destruction of Jerusalem and wondering what is God's plan? Is God finished with the Jew or is there still a plan for it? The situation was debated for centuries. Orthodox Jews even believed that Israel could not be it's own people until the messiah came. In May of 1947, that issue was laid to rest. Israel would be a country again. Israel would claim it's rightful land. Israel had not been forgotten. As God had promised, he gathered them from around the earth.
And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.
Now the Idea of the Jewish state is under attack again. Iran has spilled out threats in the United Nations. Israel has been scolded by the Security Counsel for defending itself. The church has claimed that it has now inherited the promises given to the Jews and spritualized the kingdom of heaven. Romans 11 goes into great detail to say that Israel was only set aside until the fullness of the gentiles has come in. The Jewish messiah is coming. Jesus of the new testament is coming back. Zechariah 13:6 states that when the Jews see the piercings in Jesus' hands they will ask where did he get it and he will answer. "In the House of my Friends"
The Jew has not been forgotten. The Jew has not been replaced as the apple of God's eyes. Satan is well aware of this and he is on the warpath to destroy the Jew. He knows that if he can destroy the Jew then he will nullify the promises of God. He will make God to be a liar. God is not a liar and God has a plan for Satan.
America today is going down hill and quickly. The problem is the U.S. foreign policy towards Israel is to force them to give up land. Every time they have done so it has been at the peril of the Jewish state. It has given the enemy a closer point to attack from. When Jesus returns it will be with a blood stained garment from his war with the neighboring Muslim nations who have attacked Israel. If we don't stand on the side of Israel and side against them, then we are in danger of falling into the curse. We could easily be destroyed with the fall of Magog in Ezekiel 39.
This is not a Democrat and Republican issue. Truman, a Democrat recognized Israel. Nixon worked out a peace after the Yom Kipper war. Carter worked for the peace of Jerusalem with a treaty with Egypt. Reagan defended Israel by placing troops in Beirut. Even Clinton got the PLO to sign a peace treaty with Israel. Though not all these actions are perfect. These actions were taken on behalf of Israel, trying to secure the peace. Now we have a president who wants to tell Israel how to conduct internal affairs. He is in direct violation of common sense much less invoking the wrath of God.
Beyond the politics, we need to recognize that God said that all the nations of the world would rise against Israel in the final battle of Armageddon in Rev 19. For now it is the U.S. that is stopping the world from going to war with Israel. One day that won't be true. Let's pray that it is not today. Let's pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Let's pray for the people called of God to be his people.