Over 2,400 years ago the Spirit of prophecy fell on Zechariah as he declared “the burden of the word of YHVH concerning Israel – It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem an overly hard-to-lift stone for all the peoples. All who lift it will be severely injured” (Zechariah 12:3).
Since that day many nations have tried to grab ahold of Jerusalem’s rock. Some conquered it in the name of their gods or their imperial hubris (think Persia, Greece, Rome, Jihad). Other powers schemed to set Jerusalem as a prize jewel in their religio-political crown (think internationalized city or corpus separatum). Still others see Jerusalem as the key to an ultimate deal which will usher in Mid-East peace.
But Jerusalem’s stony mass remains the same, and the spiritual peril involved in lifting it is crushingly real. Zechariah foretells that any nation which weakens or divides Jerusalem will experience the equivalent of a hernia – it will bulge and then explode with painful consequences.
Don’t mess with My bride!
As Abraham wandered in the Negev, the King of Gerar seized Sarah (whom he thought was Abraham’s sister) and brought her into his harem. “But God came to Abimelech in a dream of the night, and said to him, ‘Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is married’” (Genesis 20:3). To abscond with a married woman, someone else’s wife, is a basic breach of Middle Eastern hospitality. Abimelech was in big trouble.
In a similar way, the God of Jacob sees the Land of Israel as the bride of the Jewish nation. It belongs to no other people. YHVH even gives a prophetic name to the Promised Land – ‘Be’ulah’ (married) – because the Land of Israel is like a virgin bride promised only to Jacob’s seed.
- “You will also be a crown of beauty in the hand of YHVH, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. It will no longer be said to you, ‘Azuvah’ (forsaken) nor to your land will it any longer be said, ‘Shmamah’ (desolate). But you will be called, ‘Heftzi bah’ (My delight is in her) and your land will be called ‘Be’ulah’ (married). For YHVH delights in you, and to Him your land will be married. For as a young man marries a virgin, so your sons will marry you. And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so your God will rejoice over you” (Isaiah 62:3-5).
Yesterday’s Abimelech – today’s Hamas
The Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated jihadi terror group Hamas believes that the Land of Israel is exclusively Islamic land, since it was conquered by the jihadi warriors of Mohammed in 637 AD. Hamas is not interested in dividing the land – a two-state solution. Its terror tactics aim to achieve a one-state solution – an Islamic shari’a state. Murder or exile would be the fate of Jewish Israelis. Hamas leader Khaled Mashal recently said:
- “A country cannot be liberated and rights cannot be restored without resistance. It is not possible. Without resistance, the occupation cannot be defeated or forced to retreat. Every means of power must be put to use…Today we are being called and preparing to force Israel to retreat from Jerusalem and from the West Bank. Allah willing, this is on the way to its retreat from all of Palestine” (www.memri.org/reports/former-hamas-leader-khaled-mashal-calls-west-bank-guerrilla-warfare-states-i-resist).
According to Isaiah’s words and YHVH’s perspective, Hamas’s goal is to capture the bride and to murder the rightful husband.
How about I’ll take half of the bride?
In May 2018 the United States moved its embassy to Jerusalem. It was soon joined by Guatemala’s embassy.
On Saturday December 15, 2018 Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison gave his first major foreign policy speech at the Sydney Institute (www.dailybulletin.com.au/news/42652-scott-morrison-speech-at-the-sydney-institute). The most noteworthy statement in that speech concerns Jerusalem: “The Government has resolved that Australia’s position is now as follows: Australia now recognizes West Jerusalem, being the seat of the Knesset and many of the institutions of government, is the capital of Israel…Furthermore, recognizing our commitment to a two state solution, the Australian Government has also resolved to acknowledge the aspirations of the Palestinian people for a future state with its capital in East Jerusalem.” Morrison admitted that his declaration “may cause controversy.”
The PM of OZ threw an interesting curve ball into the debate. What if a nation recognizes West Jerusalem as the Jewish capital, but East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital? Best of both worlds? A safe hedging of bets?
Three immediate problems
- Less than 40% of Jerusalem is Arab, while 60% is Jewish (www.haaretz.com/israel-news/palestinians-now-make-up-some-40-percent-of-jerusalem-s-population-1.6077642). Will East Jerusalem be a Palestinian capital city with a Jewish majority?
- Will Islamist terror groups be content with a so-called secular/democratic Palestinian state? Or will Hamas and Islamic Jihad win West Bank elections and murder all opposition, before turning jihadi eyes toward the destruction of Israel (www.timesofisrael.com/fatah-said-to-beg-abbas-cancel-local-elections-hamas-will-win-west-bank/)?
- In his remarks, Australia’s PM Morrison declared: “Jerusalem – the home of the Al Aqsa Mosque, the Wailing Wall and the Via Dolorosa – deserve better than the rancid stalemate and better than the polarization that marks its people.” All three sites mentioned by the PM are in East Jerusalem, as are King’s David’s palace, Isaiah’s wall and Yeshua’s tomb. If those areas are not part of the Jewish capital but instead under Palestinian control, what connection will Jerusalem have to the Jewish people?
The nations of the world are on record
There is no country in the world which cleaves to what God advocates in the Scriptures regarding the final status of the Land of Israel.
Most countries are on record supporting a two-state solution – one Jewish and one Arab. The Arab state would not have any Jews, but the Jewish state would be at least 25% Arab (that is the case in Israel today). www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/73/22
Hamas, Islamic Jihad, al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades – all are on record committed to the eradication of the Jewish state. If a less radical Palestinian state would be created, these groups would wrest control from it, as Hamas did in Gaza 2005 from the PLO.
Essentially, a two-state solution and a one-jihadi state solution are not good for Israel’s long-term health and survival.
YHVH is on record
God’s perspective on dividing up the Land of Israel into two states is encapsulated in Joel’s prophetic declaration:
- “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 (‘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)
According to this prophecy, Messiah Yeshua’s judgment of the nations at the Second Coming focuses on each nation’s stance and activities regarding the survival, safety and borders of the Jewish state.
Be careful what you ask for
The Prime Minister of Australia is a strong believer in Yeshua. He needs our prayers as he stands before God, his country and the leaders of the world on this and many other pressing issues (www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/the-pentecostal-prime-minister-inside-scott-morrison-s-religion-20180825-p4zzos.html; https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/cwn/2018/august/meet-the-new-prime-minister-of-australia-scott-morrison-is-an-evangelical-christian).
God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34), even important persons. When a country’s leader moves to divide the Land of Israel – even if he is a believer and means well, even if his country is a major world player – that leader is attempting to lift an immovable stone that he was never meant to budge.
How should we then pray?
- Pray for country’s leaders, that they would handle Jerusalem in the fear of the Lord
- Pray for revelation for pastors and congregational leaders about God’s burning zeal for Jerusalem
- Pray for divine encounters for Israel’s leadership about this issue
- Pray for an outpouring of revelation and salvation upon all the lost sheep of the House of Israel
- Pray for the raising up of Ezekiel’s army speedily and in our day
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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