Christmas cheer fills the homes and shopping malls of the Western world, and the words of the angelic chorus echo softly in the background – “Peace on earth to those with whom He is pleased” (Luke 2:14). The year 2011 is nearly upon us. As the world stumbles further into World War Three, here is a short Messianic meditation on Middle East peace, God’s pleasure and spiritual preparedness.
Peace and the Prince of Peace
Politically correct wisdom declares that establishing a peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinians is the key to overall Mid-East tranquility. This wisdom was trumpeted in recent weeks by Senator Hilary Clinton (her address to the Brookings Institute www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2010/12/152664.htm). It was proclaimed by the EU’s Foreign Ministers (www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/EN/foraff/118448.pdf for the full text of the “Conclusions on the Middle East Peace Process”). And it was expounded by former President George W. Bush in his recently release “Decision Points” pp. 403-410).
In order to ensure such a profound peace, it is argued, Israel must also be forced or cajoled into shrinking its borders and into empowering a Palestinian entity which either supports full-out jihad (Hamas in Gaza) or terrorism and the destruction of Israel through a wave of seven million Palestinians “refugees” (Palestinian Authority in the West Bank). For reasons that can be readily understood, Israel does not see either one of these options as a deal clincher.
Truth is, there is no peace process and no soon likelihood of friendship or cessation of hostilities between the Jewish state and the Arab/Islamist block of nations. The desperate and deceived attempts to define dead-end discussions as “the key to world peace” are basically a cover for international pressures to “reduce Israel’s size to the point where it will be struggling for existence and having no influence in the Arab world” to paraphrase Henry Kissinger’s words to the Iraqi Foreign Minister in 1975 (www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB107/iraq04.pdf).
According to the Hebrew prophets, Middle East peace and world peace are indeed connected. But the pieces cannot fall into place without the breaking of Islam’s anti-Christ claims, Israel’s salvation, and world repentance. Since most international peace initiatives do not focus on any of these areas, these political fig leaves have no chance of success.
Is God well pleased with our Mid-East attitudes?
In President Bush’ new book (see above), he explains that his attempts to divide the land of Israel by shrinking its borders came from a desire to see lasting peace in the Middle East. He honestly believed that shrinking Israel’s territory would result in Palestinians pacifism and acceptance of a Jewish state. His strategies were humanistically well meaning but biblically weak.
The Bible is not lacking in instruction about God’s strategies vis-à-vis Israel. Over 95% of the pages of Scripture talk about God’s heart, plans and future for the Jewish people and their state. Yet over 95% of all sermons in Christianity today try to keep such topics at arm’s length, and avoid any mention of the calling and restoration of Israel.
Some of the basic decision points that God has laid out in Holy Writ as pillars of a God-pleasing foreign policy include Genesis 12:3 (blessing Israel and not disparaging her); Romans 11:28-29 (cherishing God’s abiding love, calling and gifting of the Jewish people); Joel 3:1-2 and Zechariah 14:1-2 (not dividing the land of Israel or shrinking her borders); Ezekiel 36, Psalms 2 and 83 (a pro-active awareness of pan-Arab last days attempts to attack, destroy and replace the Jewish state).
Based on these decision points, God is not well pleased with most nations’ attitudes and actions regarding Israel. As a result, peace on earth is more a prayer than a present reality. And the clear and present danger is not Israel’s tenacious pluck in holding on to Jerusalem – rather, it is the nations’ desire to weaken and destroy the Jewish people’s sovereign existence in their own Promised Land.
A virgin’s perspective
Yeshua’s parables on the last days have much meat on their bones. One of them concerns the season and time of the coming of the Messiah, the Son of Man. In Matthew 24-25 various parables are given which describe differing aspects of the advent season. In the day immediately preceding the Lord’s return, Yeshua says that the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins, all officially awaiting their Lord’s return (Matthew 25:1-13).
Though all of them were aware that His return was imminent, only half of them actually had matched their actions to their beliefs. Only five had prepared their oil lamps, readying wicks and sufficient oil. When the midnight cry rang out, only the five who had prepared were able to enter into their full reward. Yeshua’s words hang heavily on our ears: “Therefore stay alert, for you do not know the day or the hour” (verse 13).
- Staying alert means discerning the season in which we live, and not being swept along by the currents of political correctness (1 Chronicles 12:32).
- Staying alert means groaning in intercession so that the purposes of God would be birthed first in Israel (God’s priority people according to Romans 1:16 and 11:28-29) and then in our nation as well.
- Staying alert means preparing to put your life and means on the line to protect the Jewish people, share the gospel with them, and speed them on their way to physical and spiritual restoration (Isaiah 62:1-7).
Thanks for standing with us. Your prayers and support hold up our arms and are the enablement of God to us in the work He has called us to do!
In Messiah Yeshua,
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