Israel Israel is the most unique nation on earth. We know that.
The prophet Balaam was hired by the Moab king Balak to place a CURSE on Israel. But it wasn’t working. The only response Balaam was getting from God was a BLESSING.
A CURSE: Basically, that’s what the Muslim neighbor-nations are trying against the State of Israel today, but it’s not working.
A CURSE: Anti-Semites the world over would like to attempt the same.
Balaam, the ancient prophet, DID get an oracle from the Lord. It was clear. And It was surprising.
Balak has brought me from Aram,
The king of Moab from the eastern mountains:
‘Come, curse Jacob for me;
Come, denounce Israel!
But, he continues:
How can I curse whom God has not cursed?….
Here is a people living alone,
And not reckoning itself among the nations!
QUESTION: The king wanted a curse pronounced on Israel….for what reason?
ANSWER: A mixture of fear and loathing. Fear because the nations were hearing of Israel and Israel’s God who worked miracles, making Israel invincible. Loathing, because they were different.
In the October 31st issue of The Jerusalem Post, this observation is made about the United States under President Trump’s leadership withdrawing forces from Syria: Israel is concerned that as the U. S. leaves, it will create a vacuum; and that means that Israel will be “alone among the nations”--among nations that wish to destroy her and annihilate all Jews. That would be Iran, but Iran would be cheered on by many other Muslim nations.
Prime Minister Netanyahu on October 10th:
“We do not aspire to be ‘a nation that dwells alone’, but that is how we were forced to stand at the beginning of the Yom Kippur War [in 1973]….We always remember and apply the basic principle that guides us: Israel will defend itself, by itself, against any threat.” (Jerusalem Post, 10/31/2019)
“Alone among the nations.” This from a divine oracle and made clear in history.
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Did you ever hear of foreign armies or militias taking positions in Israel on behalf of the Jewish people?
Who came to the aid of the Jews when the Romans besieged Jerusalem. No one. But even though Rome was by far the greater power, the Jews fought viciously and came close to victory. THE JEWS WERE ALONE. Not Greece nor Egypt nor Persia came to her aid.
How about when the five nation neighbors of the State of Israel when they fought to destroy it in 1967? Would any great power go to Israel’s aid? How about…let’s say Russia….no way. Let’s say Japan….by international law they were de-militarized. Let’s say NATO….not. NATO was formed to protect Europe from the Soviet Union. Other countries that might have done it are Communist or Muslim, and those nations were scandalized by the idea of coming to the aid of those "Chosen People,” and were more likely to provide armaments for the Egyptians, Syrians, Jordanians, Iraqis
When in 1967 the American president, Lyndon Johnson was informed that preparations for war were in place for Israel’s neighbors to attack, he pointed out that America was involved in the Viet Nam War and was severely limited in its ability to assist Israel. He urged Israel’s Foreign Minister, Abba Eban, not to initiate hostilities.
But Egypt and Syria had been readying their forces for many months. President Johnson warned: “Israel will not be alone unless it decides to go alone.” (!) WRONG! The United Nations had already removed its protective forces from the Sinai. Who were the U. N. forces to protect? Israel, of course. But Egypt’s Nasser demanded that they leave! ‘Get out of our way, so we can destroy Israel,’ was, in effect what Nasser was saying. And the UN forces left… leaving Israel alone!
THE JEWS WERE ALONE. Neither the U. S. nor Britain nor Russia nor the United Nations came to their aid in the face of the threat to wipe Israel off the face of the earth.
Such a small nation. You’d think that some other nation in the world would provide some troops to assist them in their fight for their lives. But NO.
If a small NATO country would be attacked, the rest of all Western Europe and the United States would be required by treaty to come, militarily, to their aid. But not to tiny little Israel.
It is David against Goliath….as usual.
It’s the way it was in the Old Testament. Could Israel depend upon her cousins to assist them militarily? You’re joking. EXAMPLE: The Edomites (next door neighbors), descendants of Esau, rejoiced when Jerusalem was under siege by the Babylonians. The Jews were captured. The Edomites came and watched, laughed, danced and gloated and may have captured some of the Jews themselves to sell them into slavery. (SEE: The Prophecy of Obadiah)
No nation ever wanted to get involved in the Middle East just to help the Jewish State.
There are a good number of Jews who despise this characterization of the Israeli people as being alone. They don’t want to be “a people alone”—separate and distinct from others. Some want to be like the Europeans; and they mimic the European calls for universalism, diversity in the population, in philosophy, in the way of life. They rather like their ancient traditions but dislike any dependence upon the Lord.
In 20th century Europe, many were even more adamant: ‘We Jews are no longer a nation but a fossil and should cast off our identity of being chosen. We are just humanists.’
Some despise the Judaism of their grandparents and have retained nothing but an insipid and uninspiring “progressivism.” Let there be freethinking…O yes! But not this separateness from the nations, they say.
Still, they cannot wipe away their identity. For it is God the Lord who graciously has called them.
Here is a people living alone
And not reckoning itself among the nations!
-- (Numbers 23:9)
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P. S. And it is Jesus Christ, also called by the Father, to dwell as one man in the midst of mankind--separate from sinners, alone, yet blessing them in His life, death and resurrection.
When a whole People Group adopts a fantasy narrative as part of their religion, many Americans and others say: “That’s their business; let them believe what they want.”
Palestinian leaders contend that Israel’s stories are all wrong! During the Oslo Peace meetings in 1998, Yasser Arafat, in his conversations with President Clinton, insisted that the biblical stories of Solomon’s Temple and the Second Temple are fiction. Therefore, he insisted that access to the Temple Mount should be controlled by the Palestinians.
Clinton was aghast and infuriated; but his surprise revealed a lack of preparedness. Much of Muslim theology is built upon a fabrication of ancient history.
Middle East Muslims say that Jerusalem is one of their holy places from ancient times. Yet it is never mentioned in the Koran which was written in the 7th century A. D. while Jerusalem is mentioned 660 times in the Tenakh (Old Testament) which was written about one millennium before the birth of Islam.
Islam contends that Jewish stories of ancient Israel are fiction-- changed to suit their people, whereas Muhammed, the Koran and its narratives convey the truth of those ancient stories.
Is "untruth" an accepted term? I want to use it here.
The Muslims claim that what the Jews have taught is fabricated.
But the following are examples of Muslim untruth:
--They claim that their ancestors—Muslims!—Adam and Eve!--invited their children to follow the Islamic way of life! (Thanks to Melanie Phillips for this in her book, The World Turned Upside Down.”) Untruth is one of the practices that turns the world upside down.
--“Adam and Eve, their children and their later generations followed the teachings of Islam as propounded by Prophet Adam (peace be upon him)” for quite a long period. Phillips says that this “absurdity is embedded in the foundational religious texts of Islam.”
--The Qur’an says that Islam came before Judaism and Christianity, and that it was the faith practiced by Abraham.
--This Islamic counter-history says it was Ishmael, not Isaac, who was the son of promise to Abraham whom God instructed to sacrifice on Mount Moriah.
Now To Modern Events
Modern events are changed by Muslim historians to center on Islam, thus replacing Hebrew-Jewish history with their own:
For one thing, they deny the Holocaust.
Two, they charge Israel with carrying out a Holocaust in Gaza.
Three, to cancel out the news of the growing anti-Semitic activity in Europe, they put the Muslims in the place of the persecuted Jews by claiming that European Islamophobia is the real problem, not anti-Semitism.
They then insist on their “right of return”-- not to Palestine but to Israel.
Phillips quotes Osama bin Laden in his Letter to the American people:
Bin Laden: “It is the Muslims who are the inheritors of Moses (peace be upon him) and the inheritors of the real Torah that has not been changed. Muslims believe in all of the Prophets, including Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammed, peace and blessings of Allah be upon them all. (Melanie Phillips: The World Turned Upside Down. New York: Encounter Books, P. 168)
This is what Israel has to deal with—the peoples of the Middle East who believe in this corruption of the Biblical narratives.
Samuel M. Zwemer, noted early 20th century missionary to the Muslim peoples said that the Muslims believe that Allah sent down one hundred and four sacred books. Adam received ten, Seth fifty, Enoch thirty and on and on.
They say that the Qu'ran is uncreated and eternal, and to deny this is rank heresy.
Zwemer continues with more Islamic legends: “Jesus…spoke while still a babe in the cradle….he foretold another prophet, whose name should be Ahmed (Mohammed)….They believe that Jesus was, by deception and substitution, saved from crucifixion and taken to heaven, and that now he is in one of the inferior stages of eternal bliss.” (Samuel Zwemer: The Moslim World, 1907.
QUESTION: When the very foundations of a religion are built upon such obvious mendacity—untruth—fiction—legends, how does one deal with its adherents when one is attempting to forge lasting agreements and contracts and make peace, especially but not only, when one is dealing with land apportionments and security measures?
This is what Israel has to deal with—peoples and their representatives who believe in this corruption of the Biblical narratives—people who have had legends presented to them as truth.
The Muslim Arabs who suffered defeat at the hands of little Israel in three major wars have their explanations which are supposed to save face….and other explanations of how the Israelis advance so quickly in the field of technology.
- Israel’s military successes are due to American assistance, according to the Arabs.
- Their industrial enterprises cannot be regarded as Israeli, for they are really American industries.
- Everything in Tel Aviv is a primitive imitation of everything in America.
The fabrications are mind-boggling.
But remember this: belief in Muslim tenets is enforced. A declaration of non-belief can, in the case of the Middle East Muslims, and probably will mean, your execution. When a fictitious religion such as this is taught to the masses, it has to be enforced with punishment. That is how Islam is perpetuated.
This is religious tyranny.
Lord, where is your steadfast love from of old,
Which by your faithfulness You swore to David?
Remember, O Lord, how your servant is taunted--
How I bear in my bosom the insults of the peoples,
With which your enemies taunt, O Lord…
Blessed be the Lord forever.
Amen and Amen.
-- Psalms 89:49-52 (NRSV)
Leading up to the
Zionist movement, there was almost constant warfare between tribes and villages which exceeded anything that was known in the most turbulent centuries of early feudal Europe. (1)
QUESTION: Why didn’t the Ottoman administration--the Turks and their lackeys, take action? Their empire ruled Palestine. They could have stopped the violence.
ANSWER: The Turkish governors were agreeable to this state of affairs (constant warfare). Why? Because they didn’t want any landowning families to consolidate their power on a permanent basis by which security would be ensured.
In other words, a peaceful Palestine would have been a threat to the Turks. Strife in Palestine was just fine for them.
And Remember: It was early in the following century (20th) that the Turkish administration and army exterminated one and one-half million Armenians—the first such act in the world to be called a genocide.
In the wars between villages it was common practice to cut down fruit trees and olives and to destroy crops.
Also, Bedouins freely destroyed the crops of villages which they raided, and killed or carried off their livestock. They filled wells with stones and broke down reservoirs and cisterns.
- streams and rivers became dammed
- malaria became endemic and
- the unlucky peasants fled elsewhere or starved
In first half of the nineteenth century the population sank to the lowest level it had ever known in historic times. (1)
So it was with The Land before the Jews returned.
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A Witness to late 19th century Palestine—Mark Twain, Author
Twain visited Palestine in 1867 and reported on its bleakness and desolation. He wrote:
"Of all the lands there are for dismal scenery, I think Palestine must be the prince. The hills are barren, they are dull of color, they are unpicturesque in shape. The valleys are unsightly deserts fringed with a feeble vegetation that has an expression about it of being sorrowful and despondent…It is a hopeless, dreary, heart-broken land…Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes." (From his book, The Innocents Abroad)
A Rabbi Speaks
The few Jewish communities there were in 19th century Palestine never knew when trouble was coming. Rabbi Mosha Reisher, writing in Jerusalem in the middle of that century wrote: “What shall I tell of the heavy burden of exile that fell upon the Jews dwelling in the Land of Life [i.e. the Holy Land] from the day they settled there….Jerusalem was full of ruins, and the surrounding countryside was desolate and neglected. Jews dared not venture outside the City wall for fear of being waylaid by robbers…The Jew would be sent off naked and barefoot…. The men who set upon them were not professional robbers or Bedouin, but their neighbors among whom they dwelt.” (Avraham Yaari: The Goodly Heritage, Jewish Agency, 1958)
Thus we see the pitiful condition of Jerusalem and its environs prior to the dawn of Zionism and the great return.
QUESTION: That turbulence and that bleakness—would it still be present in the land if the Jews had not come? ANSWER: Just take a look at the land of Israel’s neighbors now….and see what the Holy Land would be without the Jewish presence--tumult, low standard of living, mostly desolation and ignorance.
FAST FORWARD: Just thirty-some years into the 20th century.
In the 1930’s with Jewish communities now in the land, the Arabs in Palestine rioted repeatedly. They contended that there was not enough room in Palestine for the Jews.
The British Administration sent a commission to investigate. At this point the British really do not favor the Jews. Yet, after much research and a massive report, the commission’s conclusions contradicted the Arab arguments.
The Peel Commission (1937). They found that Arab complaints were baseless. To the complaint that there was not enough room for the Jews, the Commission found that if there were a shortage of land, it was due to a flood of illegal Arab immigration entering Palestine. The reason for this? Jobs, of course, due to Jewish industry, higher wages and an improved standard of living.
Of course, everyone knew that.
The contradiction has always been there: hate for the Jews and yet…a grudging acknowledgement for what the Jews produce
The Lie: Everything was O. K. before the Jews came.
“But you, O mountains of Israel, shall shoot out your branches
and yield your fruit to my people Israel; for they shall soon come home.
See now, I am for you; I will turn to you and you shall be tilled and sown;
and I will multiply your population, the whole house of Israel, all of it;
the towns shall be inhabited and the waste places rebuilt…”
-- Ezekiel 36:8-10 (NRSV)
(1) Information from James Parkes, historian, Anglican clergyman and author of books on Palestine including Whose Land? A History of the Peoples of Palestine, Taplinger, 1949, 1970.
Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel informs the press that he cannot at this time form a government. That makes me think….
Modern Israel has nothing like the holy men of ancient Israel. There is no modern prophet--no Elijah, or Isaiah, or Jeremiah…and no king like David, Solomon or Josiah. These men of God were especially called by God and are acclaimed as ideal.
Today, Israel has no one leader of preeminence, religious or political, whom the whole of Jewry acknowledges.
Isn’t there anyone…any leader who unites them in any way? “
Yes, there is one.
Michael Medved, the Jewish film critic and political commentator (not a Messianic Jew), has plainly said:
"The chief distinguishing characteristic of most American Jews is not what they do believe, but what they do not believe. They do not believe in Jesus as the Messiah. Period. End of sentence, end of story. Tragically, for all too many members of today’s Jewish community, this rejection marks the sum total of their theological commitment, the beginning and end of their ideological identity as adherents to what is still misleadingly described as ‘the Jewish faith.’…Acceptance of Jesus is the one theological permutation [alteration] that Jews of all persuasions find unacceptable." (Everest: Israel the Chosen, p. 319, from Commentary Magazine, Milton Himmelfarb, Aug., 1996)
What the Jews of today don’t believe is their one tenet of belief! The entire sum of Jewry (and not just in the U. S.), except for those few who are Messianic, is united by this One Man—Yeshua—united in their rejection of Him as Lord.
For sure, He does get their attention. How? When any of their fellow Jews acknowledge and accept Him, they are dismayed…and the fellow Jewish person who accepts Yeshua is rejected. A Jew who becomes Hindu or who is an atheist or agnostic or Communist is still considered a Jew. But not one who has accepted and is following Yeshua. No, no.
So the Jewish world is united by this one factor.
This makes the Jewish world vulnerable--vulnerable to a leader who might arise in today’s world--to one who shows insight, charisma, who is a unifier, with the ability to unite Jews of varying life styles and persuasions. He would possess a seemingly miraculous ability to accomplish great feats--achieving what no other modern leader has been able to accomplish. The Jewish world could be fooled into giving him their full allegiance.
I speak of the coming anti-Christ.
In rejecting Yeshua as they have, they stand in an exceedingly dangerous position. For this man—the anti-Christ--would not be a holy man, though he might at first seem like one. He would be bold, presumptuous and profane. Besides that, he would amaze the world with his accomplishments. And eventually, he would turn with fury against the Jewish people.
* * * * * * * * * * *
But turning back to the yearning for “the Great One”-- the Messiah whose coming is prophesied in the Tanakh (Old Testament)-- notice this prayer in a popular modern Jewish prayer book expressing the longing for the great Messiah to come.
May it be your will, Lord our God and God of our fathers,
That as we have merited to witness the beginning of redemption,
So may we merit to hear the sound of the shofar
Of our righteous holy one swiftly in our days.
(The Koren Siddur)
This is a prayer of petition for the appearance of the Messiah. This prayer and its longing are derived from the promise of the prophets.
(Special Note: the second line of this prayer shows that the modern return of the Jews to their land is seen as “the beginning of redemption.”)
Some Jews in Europe and Russia at the turn of the 20th century and Russia believed that the Austrian journalist, Theodore Herzl, was just this man--the very looked-for Messiah. Crowds of Jews in Eastern Europe hailed his arrival on his visits, many suggesting that he was the Messiah for whom they waited. Why? Because he was charismatic, intelligent and made it his career to travel throughout Europe attempting to persuade Europe’s leaders to make happen the Jewish return to the Holy Land.
But he died in 1904. Perhaps that was Providential. God did not want His Chosen People to confer too much honor upon Herzl. At age 44, he passed away.
And so, the observant Jews of the world, and especially those in Israel, are waiting.
When I was in Jerusalem, I spoke to merchants, waitresses and taxi drivers about the Messiah. “Do you believe in the coming of your Messiah?” The majority—nine of twelve—answered “yes,” some enthusiastically.
Netanyahu would not completely satisfy. Nor would any other candidate in Israel. Of course not. I suppose it gives one pause to be a leader when, in the back of their minds, the people are looking and longing for someone glorious.
The leader of glory and power is described in Isaiah 9:6:
“And his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor,” – one who gives wise counsel..."
And you know the rest.
“I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and
make your name great…and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”
-- Genesis 12:2-3 (ESV)
“Awake, awake, put on your strength, O Zion,
Put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem.”
-- Isaiah 52:1 (ESV)
You’ve heard it often: the State of Israel is a miracle. And it’s true.
After its independence, the tiny nation had to absorb 2 million refugees from Europe, North Africa and the Middle East who were fleeing persecution and losing all or most of their possessions in the process.
The new nation was struggling economically, and all goods were rationed.
But now that Israel has grown and developed and become like a teen-ager who has become an adult, look what this nation is doing, not just for itself, but for the world.
What a blessing they’ve become!
An Ideal Mix: Intelligence and Benevolence…..Smarts & Kindness--that is Modern Israel. Here are just a few examples….
Israel Is Advanced in Military Technology
She HAS to be. She is criticized from without and within for having a strong military. (Some Zionist thinkers are highly critical. They contend that if Israel has to defend herself with firepower, she should not be a nation with land.) But my point is this: Israel has been instrumental in the updating of America’s defense technology. Seth Cropsey, senior fellow at Hudson Institute and Harry Halem, research assistant, say that “Israel is a test-bed for front-line military technology and tactics,” and thus has improved U. S. technology in this field.
Israel is Smart…
Israel is Generous.
Am I glorifying Israel too much?
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Those who have read much of my writings know that my assessment of things Jewish is NOT always good. Their observances are in the forefront of their religion. Not God Himself. A “personal relationship” with the Lord, such as David had, are strange to them.
And is Israel the “light to the nations” as many Jewish leaders claim? I don’t believe so. Why? Because their unbelief is a barrier to the light. They close their eyes to the Messiah Who is the light of the world. Christ (the Messiah) is the light. (“He who follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.")
Yet, they ARE the Chosen; and some of them do have regard for the ancient covenant with the God of Abraham and Moses. That is worthy of notice, and their obvious concern for their neighbors throughout the world is an indication of better things to come in their connection to the Lord their God. In this, I believe I am right.
What do you think?
Modern Israel began with a very small area of land allotted by the U.N. in 1947. Then the surrounding nations went after Israel, declaring war—5 nations against 1—with populations and military machines much larger than Israel’s. But Israel’s forces decisively defeated the Arab Muslim armies, and in the process Israel actually gained land.
A similar scenario happened 19 years later. In another attempt to “wipe Israel off the map, the armies of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq were defeated. Israel again gains land. The land is the familiar biblical areas of Galilee, Judea and eastern Jerusalem. This time Israel was stunned and didn’t know what to do with it. Israel’s generals and politicians were immediately ready to return much of it. However, the Arab nations refuse to even talk to Israel….at all. They refuse to sit in the same room with Jews. Self-defeating enmity.
And…. Israel still argues about what to do with it! Most world leaders insist that Israel must return it all—“go back to the boundaries of 1967,” they insist. “It belongs to the Palestinians and must be returned,” is their solution to the tension in Palestine. Some Israelis used to agree, but of late, not so. Why? Because the Palestinians have shown themselves to be fiercely intransigent.
The section of the land which Israel did give back to the Palestinians—Gaza—was turned into an armed camp from which tens of thousands of rockets have been launched against southern Israel.
Now, the land taken in two defensive wars is increasingly being settled by Israeli citizens, although certain well-defined sections include large Palestinian populations. It all is divided between Areas A, B, and C. with some ruled by the Palestinian Authority and some by Israel. Israeli “settlers” began the build-up there, and it has become a beautiful and well-developed area.
All right: so two wars have resulted in two major areas of land added to the portion being a part of modern Israel. The ancient homeland is now becoming the modern homeland, growing in both population and in land ownership.
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Just this week, even as I write, the news agencies are reporting that a major foreign policy move has been made by President Trump. No more is America leaving even a small residue of soldiers in the Middle East. Out come our troops from northern Syria. Rushing In are the troops from Turkey. Other countries will make their moves—Iran to increase its power base. And Russia the bear is likewise looking on with an appetite for power.
America is losing her power there.
The influence of a Christian Britain didn’t last long after Britain sponsored the Zionist enterprise. But then America took up the cause and became influential in Israel’s statehood. Now, after one hundred years of Anglo-Saxon-American influence in that area, one hundred years of close alignment with the chosen people and their land, the area is losing American military aid, and the ominous picture is one of ambitious tyrants ready to pounce on The Chosen.
The probability is that Israel will have to go to war again. In fact, a recent article in The Wall Street Journal states that Iran and Israel are already in what has to be called a war; and Iran’s continual threats repeat what all the nations around Israel said in 1947-48. They repeat what Egypt’s Nasser and his cohorts threatened in 1967--Israel’s annihilation. The cultures of Israel’s surrounding neighbors, even though they may have some agreements with Israel, remain inflated with anti-Semitic bombast. It is taught to the children and reinforced continually in broadcasts and telecasts and in celebrations of the murders of Israeli citizens. Don’t be fooled: these nations are not friends of Israel.
As I’ve written before, the whole area is being militarized by Iran and its allies and its proxies: Hizbollah, Hamas, the Houthis and others.
Now….here is my point: if Israel is forced to resort to warfare once again, it just may be that they will once again emerge from that future war with more territory. Syria is fragmented and Lebanon is controlled by Hizbollah. A future war could result in extending modern Israel’s borders into these two countries.
If the past gives us any indication of what the future holds, it may just be that God is not through enlarging the tents of Abraham’s descendants. Do you think this is far-fetched?
When Israel long ago became out of favor with the Lord, He empowered the enemies of Israel to chip off sections of the sacred land. But since, in our time, He has been drawing in His people from the ends of the earth, He has not only given them the victory over their enemies but has given them additional land through their victories.
If this happens again, would it be unfair? If we are entering God in to this equation, who are we to question His acts? But consider: Israel has done nothing but favors in the past few decades to other nations who have needed their assistance. Israel is a positive influence.
In my next blog, I intend to follow through and give examples of how Israel is being a helper to other nations. And the type of aid they are giving is welcomed by those needy nations.
1. Axiom: God is lord of the land of Israel.
2. Corollary: God uses the enemies of Israel. He hardens their hearts just as He hardened the heart of ancient Pharoah. Is that unbelievable to you, dear reader?
3. Corollary: God uses the evil purposes of sinful men and women to bring glory to His name and cause and blessings to His people.
Obviously, Israel is not having an easy time of it. She is hurrying to develop new military technology to fend off—protect herself—from the encircling powers.
Watch and pray.
An admonition to Israel:
“Look to the rock from which you are hewn,
And to the quarry from which you were dug.
Look to Abraham your father
And to Sarah who bore you….
Listen to me, you who know righteousness,
The people whose heart is my law:
Fear not the reproach of man,
Nor be dismayed at their revilings….
I am the Lord your God
Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar--
The Lord of hosts is his name.”
-- Isaiah 51:1-2, 7, 15 (ESV)
DEFINITION OF DEMOGRAPHY: Population numbers and the vital statistics within that population (like within certain age ranges).
CAUTION: Don’t confuse “Demography” with “Democracy”
1948: THE BEGINNING OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL: Israel’s founders wanted a Jewish state. O. K. And….they also wanted a democracy.
That was a problem. Guess why? They knew they would be inclusive…they would include the Palestinians who were also living there. But what if the Palestinians had more people than the Israelis did? Then, it wouldn’t be a Jewish state, because the Jews could easily be outvoted by the Palestinians.
Therefore, they needed to have more voters than the Palestinians—more people eligible to vote in order to have Jewish laws, Jewish holidays and unlimited Jewish immigration.
Solution #1: Give up the sections of the land that had a lot more Palestinians than Jews. Give up part of the land that the United Nations Plan was allotting them. The response to that solution: “NO! Not on your life.”
Solution #2: Expel some of the Palestinians presently living there. The response to that solution: “Very definitely NO! Prime Minister Ben-Gurion, in writing to his son, dated October, 1937, said: “We do not wish and do not need to expel Arabs and take their place….there is enough room for ourselves and the Arabs in Palestine.”
Solution #3: THE BEST solution: get more Jews into that new Israeli State so that it would have a Jewish majority. If it were going to be a Zionist, Jewish state, there would have to be more Jews than all other nationalities combined. Right? Right.
So…get more Jews in there! Promote immigration to Israel!
O. K….there was the challenge! The first challenge had been to acquire the land. Both the League of Nations in 1922 and later, the United Nations in 1947 voted to allot part of Palestine to the Jews. So, the Jews had their place; but they needed more people.
Many had warned that a Jewish nation was nothing more than a fanciful dream, because when the Zionist Congress convened at the turn of the 20th century, there were only one hundred thousand Jews in the land.
Plus, about fifty years later, at the beginning of the new state, the warnings by demographers continued predicting doom. Why? Because Arab birthrates were far higher among the Arabs than the Israelis. Arab families were much larger.
But two waves of Jewish immigration occurred in the years after Israel became a state in 1948.
1. First, as soon as the Israelis declared their independence in 1948, the North African nations (Egypt, Libya, Moracco, etc.) expelled all their Jews, confiscating all their possessions. That increased Israel’s population by around 500,000--with a branch of Jews and Judaism (the Mizrahi) that boasted a high birthrate. What a blessing!
But decade after decade the skeptics proclaimed a demographic disaster on the horizon: not enough Israelis to hold onto the land! We’d better….the Israelis had better… give up a large section of their land, because the number of Arab/Palestinians are overtaking us!
“Demographic disaster is at hand!”
A pessimistic study by an Israeli Haifa University professor was cited by journalists and liberal politicians as they urged Israel to give up land. “Give it up!” they cried. “The Arabs will soon be in the majority!”
Many Israeli Jews as well as Jews abroad were adamant--Israel—so small—would have to give back all of Judea and Samaria which was dumped in their laps at the end of the Six-Day War of 1967.
2. But, the second major immigration of Jewish people came from Russia following the disintegration of the Soviet Union in the early 1990’s. That added more than a million Jews to the Israeli fold. Wow!
Still, the skeptics were not through. Neither was Yassir Arafat, the head of the Palestine Liberation Organization who declared: We will make life unbearable for Jews by psychological warfare and population explosion.
Arafat considered the wombs of Arab women as his secret “demographic bomb.”
But, a dramatic sea change has startled those who are informed:
The Turn of the Millenium
Something has happened to the Israeli populace as well as to the Palestinians—in their birth rates--an utterly dramatic change in a relatively short period of time!
In 2,000, for each Arab child born in Israel there were two Jewish children: a ratio of 2/1.
In 2010, for each Arab child born in Israel there were three Jewish children: a ratio of 3/1.
In 2020, two years from now, if current trends hold, for every Arab child born in Israel there will be four Jewish children: a ratio of 4/1.
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“The word of the Lord of hosts came to me saying: Thus says the Lord of hosts: I am jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I am jealous for her with great wrath. Thus says the Lord: I will return to Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem….Old men and old women shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with staff in hand because of their great age. And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets. Thus says the Lord of hosts: even though it seems impossible to the remnant of this people in these days, should it also seem impossible to me, says the Lord of hosts?....I will save my people from the east country and from the west country, and I will bring them to live in Jerusalem. They shall be my people, and I shall be their God, in faithfulness and in righteousness.” Zechariah 8:1-3a,4b-8 (NRSV)
I was checking the reports I get from the Middle East, and I hit on this one about the European Union’s support of the Islamic Republic—IRAN.
It’s shocking. European leaders are making love to Iran.
EXAMPLE: Federica Mogherini who is, or was, (this report is dated 2/1/2019) busily traveling around the European continent acting as a lobbyist for the Islamic Republic—a lobbyist for the nation which is causing all the commotion right now-- that threatens the world economy.
But we all know the damage that Iran has incited across the Middle East and Europe ever since its revolution began in 1975.
We know about the Iranian proxies in the Middle East--Hizbollah, Hamas and the Houthis—all made up of Islamic terrorists.
We know that the Islamic Republic currently is holding a good number of EU citizens as hostage.
And….we know who the two arch-enemies of Iran are.
America is one of those arch-enemies. Why? Because America is free, because America has been strongly Christian, because America protects and assimilates the Jewish people, because America’s culture is becoming decadent (ouch!) and because America is the chief roadblock in their path of bringing on the caliphate and the Islamic messiah (the Mahdi).
Israel is the other arch-enemy of Iran. The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, has called Israel a “cancerous tumor of a state that should be removed” and has stated that there was no cure for Israel but its annihilation.”
The cause of their hatred is complex. Israel’s ancient narrative clashes with that of the Muslims. Israel does not tolerate tyrannical government while Middle East Muslim nations are just that. The religion of Islam shows itself to be tyrannical in that the crime of converting to another religion is death.
In last week’s blog I pointed out how, in spite of American sanctions, Iran is working successfully in a long-term project of arming and sponsoring paramilitary formations to open up the long northern route from Iran through Iraq, Syria and Lebanon to the Mediterranean and Israel. Yes, the sanctions are hurting, but Iranian control is still expanding.
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European Leaders Cozying Up
It is this nation, Iran, for which European leaders spend their energies to promote. In their way of thinking, Iran is poor and needs European assistance and understanding. And furthermore, their citizens are not Arabs but attractive Persians.
The Report from “Israel News Digest” by Amir Taheri says that “The EU’s spokesperson for foreign policy, Federica Mogherini, has devoted most of her immense energies operating as a lobbyist for the Islamic Republic of Iran. She has visited more than 30 countries to present the Islamic Republic as the poor little lamb facing the American big bad wolf.”
And another European leader, former German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel “praises the Islamic Republic as a rock of stability in the Mideast.” Unbelievable.
Emmanuel Macron, President of France, who wants to restore the former glory of the European community, has proposed offering a line of credit to Iran of 15 billion dollars (big deal) and the removal of sanctions. He is troubled by the fact that the export of French products to Iran has fallen by 42 per cent and…. French company factories are sitting idle there in Iran.
And this concerning Britain: Iran “controls at least a dozen tax-exempt ‘charities,’ often used for financing violent groups across the globe or simply for money laundering.” There you are--an English charity aiding in the effort to transform Britain and all of the EU into part of a great Muslim Caliphate.
Now, the bombing of Saudi Arabian oil facilities is giving the Europeans pause, and the European leaders are forced to call a “time out” on their Iran-coddling. But that is a temporary measure.
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QUESTION: What is the mindset of the Europeans?
The European Union refused to place in their constitution anything referring to God.
The European Union thus is godless. The nearly empty churches and cathedrals still standing are a testimony to their empty souls of the European population.
Europe--predominately secular, largely dependent upon America for its defense, with low birthrates (to maintain their selfish pleasures), borrowing against tomorrow’s generations, its morality replaced with nothingness…and yet, opening its arms to Islam and the attendant Sharia law. How can this be?
MY CONCLUSION: The spirit of anti-Christ is active in Europe. Sound like an overstatement? More on this later, Lord willing.
MY PERSONAL FEELINGS: My heart goes out to the Europeans whose lives are lived according to the Pleasure Principle and whose souls, it seems, are pretty nearly empty.
I recently read the book The Strange Death of Europe by Douglas Murray. For many people in Western Europe, the glories of reason and science were enough, they thought, to fill the vacuum left by their rejection of religion (Christianity). In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, “the nearest thing they had to a creed was a belief in ‘human progress.’” Another point: “Death and the fear of it fills the space that was once absorbed by the business of God.” There is the feeling that the world is complex, and we shouldn't waste our time and energy searching for answers.
Spiritual emptiness, moral weakness and political cynicism in Europe—this is the breeding ground for the toleration of the criminal activities of Iran.
Rise up, O Lord! Do not let mortals prevail
Let the nations be judged before you.
Put them in fear, O Lord,
Let the nations know that they are only human.
-- Psalms 9:20 (NRSV)
Under the U. S. sanctions against Iran, that nation is getting poorer by the day. Inflation is running at 40 percent per year.
And yet, Iran’s area of influence is continuing to grow in the Middle East. Militarily it continues to gain ground.
QUESTION: How can this be?
ANSWER: Iraq, Syria and Lebanon are now weakened by devastation. This increases Iran’s regional strategic position.
So now, Iran has much more military power than just its own. It has its “proxies.” These are Hamas, Hizbollah and the Ansar Allah (Houthi) movement in Yemen. The long northern route from Iran through Iraq, Syria and Lebanon to the Mediterranean has gradually opened up for the Iranian Shiites and Iran’s “Revolutionary Guard.”
And…the news now coming out of Yemen tells us that Saudi Arabia is losing Yeman to Iran. The Houthis are now consolidating their control, setting up a government and working with the Revolutionary Guard of Iran to carry out attacks on targets deep inside Saudi-Arabia.
And…. Iran’s Revolutionary Guard “has no peer in the Middle East.” So reports the Wall Street Journal with this ominous op-ed title: “THE IRAN-ISRAEL WAR IS HERE.” (p. A15, Wed., Aug. 28, 2019)
Think about that.
Iran, the regime most fiercely opposed to the very existence of the State of Israel has, for the last couple of years, taken control of this direct route to Israel and the Mediterranean coast.
Now, as per the title of this blog and quoting from the article:
Iran treats this entire area as "a single operational space," moving its assets around at will without excessive concern for the national sovereignty of the governments in Baghdad, Beirut and Damascus.
The article also makes this statement:
“Israel is largely alone in this fight.”
QUESTION: Why is Iran expanding its “Operational Space” in the Middle East?
ANSWER: To gain power, yes, but much more: to attempt to bring in the Messiah and the End Of Days.
Ryan Mauro, political analyst for the Clarion Project, says that some of the newer Iranian troops are called Ansar al-Mahdi (“Supporters of the Messiah”).
The Mahdi, according to Shiite tradition, is the redeemer of Islam who will appear with Jesus who will, at that time, declare himself a Muslim! Shiite forces will then, with their armies, move down to Israel and conquer Jerusalem. In the end, Shariah law will be established throughout the earth.
But consider this:
1. Israel’s military seems to become more technologically advanced by the day.
2. The following consideration from the Prophecy of Isaiah presents both a beautiful and powerful divine assurance. The Lord speaks to His Chosen:
You whom I took from the ends of the earth
And called from its farthest corners,
Saying to you, ‘You are my servant,
I have chosen you and not cast you off’;
Do not fear, for I am with you,
Do not be afraid, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.
Yes, all who are against you
Shall be ashamed and disgraced;
Those who strive against you shall be as nothing
And shall perish.
-- Isaiah 41: 8-11, 13-14 (ESV)
QUESTION: Does this scripture pertain to the present-day? someone may ask.
ANSWER: Yes. There have been many signs that the Lord has created favorable times and events for the recent return to the Holy Land. (A later blog for this. See also my book: Israel The Chosen). God is now doing a NEW thing. Israel has been the recipient of divine discipline and judgment, but is now being blessed with divine Providence operating on her behalf.
The first two lines of the above prophecy describes Israel’s return from the ends of the earth. The following lines constitute God’s assurances--more significant by far than America's assurances!
The Israeli public likes assurances from the United States since we are their staunch and able ally. Oh, yes. but, comparatively few of them at this point embrace the thought that now, in this 21st century, GOD is assuring them of His favor.
“I have chosen you and not cast you off.”
Yet, some do believe. From talking with them, I know that some Israeli Jews are confident that the prophetic word is believable and that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is still their God and that His arm is strong to save.
So…the Wall Street Journal article was informative; but it was wrong when it declared that “Israel is alone in this fight.”
She is not.
Psalms 105: 24-25 and the State of Israel
“The Lord made his people very fruitful
and made them stronger than their foes,
whose hearts he then turned to hate his people,
to deal craftily with his servants.”
What parallels there are between Israel of old and present-day Israel!
As I point out in my book, Israel the Chosen, when the Jews in modern times began to settle in Palestine it was then ruled by Ottoman Turkey—a progressively corrupt and cruel administration. The land itself was riddled with wars between villages and raids by Bedouins in which it was a common practice to:
cut down trees,
fill wells with stones and
break down reservoirs and cisterns.
The Ottoman Turks were O. K. with that as long as they got their taxes.
When the Jewish immigration movement expanded following World War I, the land had a transformation. Industries and a labor movement were established, and through the hard work of swamp-drainage and cultivation, the land became productive. As the above Psalm says above:
“The Lord made his people very fruitful.”
At the same time, the enemies of the Jews began to spew forth their venom. The Arabs hated the Jews even before the return of the Jews. Then, it was because they despised them. But upon the beginning of the rebirth of Israel, it was because they now feared them, for, as the Psalmist says, the Lord “made them stronger than their foes.”
Rising up amidst the “House of Islam” is this tiny powerful nation--to the Arabs “a cancer in the body of the Arab nation,” a “dagger in the heart of the Arab” as other Arabs call it. A tweet from Iran’s Supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says that “[Israel] has no cure but to be annihilated.”
Should we be surprised? Not at all. Not those who read the scriptures—the Tenakh (Old Testament). “…whose hearts he turned to hate his people.” Same situation as in ancient times.
QUESTION: Why would the Lord turn the hearts of Israel’s neighbors to a hatred of His people? That is a strange work of God! So let’s consider that. Let’s ask, “what if...?”
-----What if the neighbors of Israel accepted the Jews?
-----What if there was acceptance and interaction between these two peoples—the Jews would fraternize with idolaters? A multitude of friendships would form—sexual encounters would happen--intermarriages galore between Jews and those of other religions.
That did happen in Israel’s history—intermarriage between Jewish and Moabite, Jewish and Samaritans, Jewish and other foreign women who practiced abominations.
QUESTION: But what ULTIMATELY would happen??
THE ANSWER--SIMPLE: then the Israelites would lose their distinct identity. Then the religious practices would become blurred, mixed up. Then the commandments of the Lord would be modified or worse yet, forgotten.
That is happening today in America. Many recent reports of American synagogue leaders are being published revealing the alarm in the Reform and Conservative branches of Judaism.
The covenant between the Lord God and the Hebrew people had to be strong, for the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is a jealous God. There is none like Him, He is the God of creation and redemption, and His people are a Chosen People—chosen to be a witness and a blessing to the whole world.
So if the Muslims/Arabs became friends with and friendly to the Israelis, it could mean trouble—big trouble for the covenant. Therefore…it is better that they NOT get along.
IT IS BETTER SO THAT the Jews in the new State of Israel will again learn to trust in their God.
IT IS BETTER THAT there NOT be children of mixed marriages, so that the Jews remain Jews and bear witness to the One and Only True God.
IT IS BETTER THAT the Israelis be threatened by their neighbors, so that they will trust in the God who brought them into being and still loves them.
QUESTION: Why don’t any of the peace efforts work? Could it be that the Psalmist is right yet again? Note the last two lines:
…whose hearts he then turned to hate his people,
to deal craftily with his servants.
The chapter in my book on “The Peace Offers” tells of how Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and President Bill Clinton struggled to induce Yassir Arafat to accept the Declaration of Principles in the year 2000. Did it work? NO! Barak conceded much; but Arafat went into the talks with no strategy, no flexibility and unprepared to give. Yet the signing took place.
Arafat’s approach to negotiations was just like Mohammed’s: make a treaty with the enemy; make it so that it anesthetizes the opposition. Then later, surprise the enemy with attacks.
So, shortly after the handshakes between Arafat and Rabin on the White House lawn, Arafat proclaimed to his Palestinian audience on Jordanian television that his agreement should be understood in terms of Mohammed’s “Plan of Phases”—the PLO would get what territory it could from further negotiations and then….use that land as a base for pursuing its ultimate goal of Israel’s annihilation. (SEE: p. 150 of Israel the Chosen)
Arafat was doing just what was described in the Psalm--dealing craftily with God’s people.
How much insight into the modern situation we can acquire by checking out these powerful statements of the Tenakh (Old Testament).
The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the Lord of nations. Watch….and be wise.
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