World-class politicians dress in fine clothes and attend gala banquets. Often they are accomplished public speakers who can bring a smile to the lips of their listeners or a tear to their eye.
Yeshua the Messiah once contrasted politicians with prophets: “Those who are splendidly clothed and live in luxury are found in royal palaces!” (Luke 7:25). Prophets, however, were public figures of a totally different breed – like John the baptizer (Yohanan ha-Matbil – the Immerser). He lived in the Judean wilderness, sported a garment of rough camel skin, ate ‘locusts’ or carob pods (see Matthew 3:4) – and spoke God’s truth to those in authority, even at great personal cost.
Speaking the truth to politicians is often a daunting and thankless task. Kings and prime ministers have been known for trying “to make lies sound truthful… and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind” (as George Orwell once said) – while they ignore the wise counsel of YHVH and bet on the wrong horse.
At such times God’s spokesmen and spokeswomen are called upon to declare the uncomfortable truth – that all bets are off. In the words of Isaiah, “Devise a plan, but it will be thwarted. State a proposal, but it will not stand” (Isaiah 8:10). As Daniel declared (in a paraphrased version of Daniel 5:25-28), “You have bet on the wrong horse. Your choices have been weighed by God and have been found wanting. Your kingdom will now be divided.”
Betting on the wrong river
King Ahaz heart was trembling like a leaf in the wind (Isaiah 7:2) and his Jewish nation was shaking with fear due to the military threats of the Arameans of Syria. Powerful political manipulation was being brought to bear on the king, forcing him into an ungodly alliance with the Assyrian superpower (modern Iraq). Isaiah the prophet had warned Ahaz that he should lean instead on the faithful and powerful God of Jacob – the God of his forefather David.
Ahaz rejected the prophetic word and “rejected the gently flowing waters of Shiloah” (Isaiah 8:6). The Shiloah or Siloam spring (lying in the center of David’s city) was a poetic symbol for Jerusalem and for Jerusalem’s God. Ahaz was about to bet on the wrong horse. His supposed ‘ally’ Assyria would soon invade the land of Judah, wasting towns and villages and even laying siege to Jerusalem (Isaiah 36:1-2). The Bible lets us know that there is a price for betting on the wrong horse.
Betting against YHVH
The Psalmist prophesies of a Day when the nations of this planet will bet against the God of Israel and against His Messiah. “Why are the nations in an uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together against YHVH and against His Messiah, saying, ‘Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us!’” (Psalm 2:1-3).
The nations are rebelling against YHVH’s choosing of Jerusalem, His focus on physical Zion and on the Temple Mount (2:6). The world balks at the divine connection between the Jewish God, the Jewish people and the Jewish land. Their international councils aim to counter God’s strategies and to stymie God’s heart for Israel. They will bet on the wrong horse.
This is why the Bible connects these three issues – the Return of Messiah, the judgments of the nations and the borders of the Land of Israel – in a comprehensive Last Days scenario: “For behold, in those days and at that time when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat [ed. YHVH judges]. Then I will enter into judgment with them there on behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and they have divided up My land” (Joel 3:1-2).
Betting on Middle Eastern petro-politics
The nations of the world vote regularly and overwhelmingly at the U.N. in favor of Islamist and Arab petro-political positions. Four-star U.S. General and former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO Wesley Clark once spoke bluntly, “The truth … about the Middle East is, had there been no oil there, it would be like Africa. Nobody is threatening to intervene in Africa” (General Wesley Clark, 92nd Street Y Cultural Center, New York City. 27 Feb 2007). NY Times journalist Thomas Friedman once commented in a similar vein, “We are the addicts. The oil producers are the pushers” (attributed in Commodities: 50 Things You Really Need To Know).
The nations of the world vote regularly and overwhelmingly against the Jewish state of Israel at the U.N. Recently they have even voted to deny the 4,000 year historical connection between the Jewish people, their homeland and the Bible. As U.S. Senator Moynihan once commented, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”
When the stains of petroleum smudge the spectacles of world leaders, they become disoriented and end up betting on the wrong horse, choosing an oil-drenched jihadi-based worldview over a Bible-based worldview.
Betting on a Palestinian state
The jihadi conquest and colonialist occupation of the Land of Israel by the armies of Islam (636-38 AD) created ‘facts on the ground’ which are still influencing modern politics. According to classic Islamic law, once a territory is conquered by Islam it becomes waqf – it must remain in Islamic hands forever. The Islamic world chokes on recognizing Jewish sovereignty over Jewish land because of this waqf principle.
During the 20th century the myth of an ethnic Palestinian people was created out of thin air. Propaganda machines also drummed up the myth of a Palestinian state. Truth is, neither a Palestinian state nor an ethnically distinct Palestinian people have ever existed. Nevertheless, these ‘fake news’ items have been received with overwhelming applause by the nations of the world. The U.N. General Assembly votes consistently in favor of resolutions to further the establishment of an Palestinian Islamist state on the soil promised exclusively by YHVH to Jacob’s children.
The nations of the world are once again betting on the wrong horse. Their pressures to divide the Land of Israel will assuredly bring divine judgment down on their heads.
‘The Palestinian emperor has no clothes’
Mahmoud Abbas (aka Abu Mazen), the President of the Palestinian National Authority, is now in the 13th year of a four-year term. Abbas is considered by Western powers to be a ‘moderate’ Palestinian leader – in contradistinction to Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic jihad (terrorist groups who all refuse to recognize the Jewish state and have declared everlasting jihad against it). Abbas and his PA are considered in the West as ‘someone with whom one can do business’ (to quote Neville Chamberlain’s description of Adolf Hitler). Uri Savir, an Israeli ‘Oslo’ negotiator with Abbas back in the early 1990s, declared just a few days ago that, “I know him [Abbas] as a moderate.”
Abbas received a Candidate of Sciences degree (Soviet Ph.D. equivalent) at the Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow in 1982. His doctoral dissertation (published in 1984) was “The Other Side: The Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism,” a conspiracy theory about the Holocaust. In that dissertation he declared that the number of ‘six million’ murdered Jews was a ‘fantastic lie,’ and that Jews killed by the Nazis were actually the victims of a Zionist-Nazi plot aimed at encouraging mass extermination of the Jewish people (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Other_Side:_The_Secret_Relationship_Between_Nazism_and_Zionism).
Some of Abbas’ comments over the past few days reveal that Palestinian ‘moderates’ are not actually moderate at all. They are the wrong horse to bet on.
A gathering of the Palestinian Central Council (the PLO’s second-highest decision-making body) was convened on Sunday January 14, 2018 in Ramallah in the wake of Trump’s December 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Abbas made the following blatantly delusional and verifiably false claims in a rambling two-hour speech:
- Israel is a colonialist project that has nothing to do with Jews. The Dutch who have the world’s largest navy exported Jews to the Middle East on behalf of Europe after World War II to maintain European interests in the region
- The millions of Jewish victims of Hitler chose to remain in Europe and be murdered rather than emigrate to Israel
- Theodor Herzl (the father of modern Zionism) once said, “We must wipe out the Palestinians from Palestine”
- Prime Minister David Ben Gurion forced Jews from Yemen and Iraq to come to Israel against their will
- Israel is importing frightening amounts of drugs in order to destroy the Palestinian younger generation
- Israel has killed the peace process
Throwing stones at the White House
Abbas also turned up the heat with ‘fighting words,’ insisting on financial support for terrorists and rejecting U.S. mediation while cursing President Trump and his close aides.
- Abbas “completely rejects” any attempt to stop the PLO from paying salaries to Palestinian terrorists in Israeli jails as well as to the families of terrorists who died killing Israelis
- The Palestinians demand an apology from the British for the Balfour Declaration (which supported a Jewish state in principle), and demand that the British recognize a Palestinian state.
- Abbas will not accept the US as a mediator, nor accept American leadership of a political negotiation process
- S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman is an offensive human being, and Abbas will not agree to meet with him anywhere. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley will be treated harshly by the Palestinians
- Abbas cursed President Trump in Arabic, saying “Yehreb beitak” (May your house be demolished) to laughter from the Council
- Abbas stated that “the deal of the century is the slap of the century and we will not accept it… But we will slap back”
The Western world and the United Nations are betting on a dark horse, as Palestinian leaders attempt to divide the Land of Israel and to turn back the clock on the divine restoration of the Jewish people to their Promised Land. As the nations of the world wait patiently in line to place their bets on the wrong pony, it is worth remembering two wry and weathered proverbs:
- A racetrack always attracts people who have a special talent for backing the wrong horse
- A racehorse is an animal that can take several thousand people for a ride at the same time
‘I second that emotion’
The terror group Hamas (part of the present Palestinian unity government) added their zealous voice of support to Abbas’ scorched-earth declaration on Monday January 15: “The Central Council must end Oslo and stop security coordination and withdraw the recognition (of Israel).”
One month before Abbas’ speech, on December 6, 2017 the Muslim Brotherhood (the spiritual father of Hamas, al Qa’eda, Islamic Jihad, etc.) issued a declaration in Cairo stating that the “US President’s statements about his intention to transfer the US Embassy to Jerusalem, in recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the State of the Zionist entity … are a formal attack by the United States of America on the lands and Islamic sanctities . . . The Muslim Brotherhood is launching today a solidarity call with all Palestinian factions and Islamic movements to ignite an uprising throughout the Islamic world against the Zionist occupation and the American administration.”
The Palestinian consensus – whether it be Salafi, jihadi, Hamas, PA, PLO or any number of such groups – denies and opposes the existence of the Jewish state on the entire land of Israel. Whether by terror attacks, by political salami tactics (slicing off pieces of the land bit by bit), or whether by lawfare, boycott and sanctions at the U.N. and at other international forums – the goal of weakening and eventually destroying the Jewish state is clear. It is the common glue that binds these groups together.
Any nation, movement, party, denomination or individual who places their bets on the Palestinian side is betting on the wrong horse. To paraphrase the American Ambassador to the U.N. Nicki Haley, “For those who don’t have Israel’s back, the God of Jacob is taking names, and He will respond to those nations accordingly.”
Oasis in the desert
There is cause for rejoicing about President Trump and Ambassador Haley’s principled stand regarding Jerusalem and insisting on fair treatment for Israel in international forums. At the same time it bears remembering that certain core principles are not far from the surface for many countries, and these may break through the thin layer of topsoil in the not too distant future.
Certain assumptions still hold sway in large swaths of the U.S. State Department, the Intelligence community and the military, These include perspectives which advocate:
- the eventual need to divide the Land of Israel
- the tendency to consider Jewish settlement of the Promised Land as illegal and as an ‘obstacle to peace’
- the manipulative use of threats and punitive action against the Jewish state
As long as these undercurrents exist, believers need to be praying.
How should we then pray?
- Pray for clear divine revelation for the leadership of your country on these issues
- Pray for spiritual clarity and courage for the current point-man of the nations, U.S. President Trump
- Pray for prophetic intercessors worldwide to tap into God’s perspective on these issues
- Pray for a revelation of Messiah Yeshua to come to the beloved Jewish people
Your prayers and support hold up our arms and are the very practical enablement of God to us in the work He has called us to do.
In Messiah Yeshua,
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