The United States & Israel
Well, I'm usually not one to be at a loss for words, but when it comes to this subject at this point in history I seem to find myself in just such a place. For quite some time now I have been anticipating some sort of "event" happening to the United States. Why? Because of our intrusion in Israel's business with the Palestinians and our "persuading" them to move forward with a so-called roadmap to peace. This whole situation disturbs me on a number of levels.
First of all, why should Israel be expected to deal with known, self-professed terrorists? I know, I'm not saying anything that hasn't been said before by others, but it really burns me up. The United States invaded Afghanistan and Iraq to fight the war on terror, yet we turn around and tell Israel to make nice with those who have sworn to obliterate her from the face of the earth. Something is just a little mishugennah about that. What's mishugennah? Yiddish for insane.
We continue to hear the rhetoric about how the Palestinians want to have their own land so they can have their own society, etc., etc. But the first thing that we see after the Israelis were forced out of their homes in Gaza are the Palestinians going into the area, setting fires and destroying anything they could get their hands on. Even their leaders have stated publicly that Gaza is only a first step on their way to Jerusalem. When will the West open their ears and hear what these people are saying? When will we open our eyes and see what they are doing?
In the Bible God makes it very clear that He has a special spot in His heart for Israel. Is it because the Jewish people are perfect? Oh no! I've tried to figure this out for quite a while and I can't. The only thing I can think is that it's because God is God and He chose the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob for His own purposes. One day we will all know exactly why He did that. But for now we can see in His Word the promises He has made concerning Israel and how people (or nations) treat her. God said that He will bless those who bless her and curse those who curse her.
When I watched the Israeli army forcing Israeli citizens to leave their homes and synagogues in Gaza a few weeks ago tears streamed down my face. It wasn't only because I saw something that I never in my life thought I'd see - Jews coming against Jews - but because I knew that the United States had played a part in the drama I was watching. And I knew that we would have to pay for that part. One week later Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf states and left New Orleans under water for weeks.
I'm not one to jump to conclusions where God is concerned and I don't feel that I'm doing so now. For the past 13 years or so I have watched with wonder as both natural and human disasters have befallen our nation - here on our own soil and in our interests abroad. In God's economy there is no such thing has a coincidence - it simply isn't a kosher word! No, I don't go hunting for things in the news, nor do I cheer when a disaster strikes. Far from it. But when something like Katrina takes place it makes me wonder.
In God's Word - Matthew 24 - Jesus answers his disciples questions about the signs of the end of the age. He tells them, and us, that there will be wars and rumors of wars, nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. He also says that there will be famines and earthquakes in diverse places and that all of these things are the beginnings of the "birth pangs."
I believe that part of what we're seeing in the world today - the violence and war from terrorism as well as the natural disasters that seem to be coming stronger and faster - are all part of these birth pangs. I think that these things are also in part God's judgment on those who either turn against Israel or force her to act in opposition to the promises and provisions of God. Since anti-Semitism is on the rise, and will continue to increase as the end rushes near, we will see an increase in all of these signs of the approach of the Messiah's return.
Just as a woman in labor experiences stronger and more frequent contractions before the birth of her child, so too will we experience stronger and more frequent devastating events leading to the return of our beloved Messiah. While this might sound like a frightening thing to face, please know this - God will not turn His back on His own.
Psalm 91 has been a favorite of mine for quite some time. "He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall rest in the shadow of the almighty... You will not fear the terror by night nor the arrow that flies at noon day... a thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not come near you." This is just one of many, many passages that I believe give us hope and peace, knowing that God is our fortress and our protector. If you don't have that certainty of God's peace and protection yet, please click here to find out how you can get it.
God never promises that this life will be a cake walk, but He does promise that He will never leave or forsake us and that He will provide for all our needs - whether that is a physical need, an emotional need, or the need to be able to stand up in the face of severe persecution and say, "You may be able to take my life, but you can never take my Jesus." The days are coming, but even greater - our Messiah is coming back for those who belong to Him. Get ready, for your redemption is near!