It has been a tumultuous week. The war continues in Ukraine. Israel has been fighting for 3 days against the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization, which has been launching hundreds of rockets against Israeli civilians. Meanwhile at the other side of the world, China was on the brink of war against Taiwan and possibly the United States.
What a contrast all this is, in comparison to the coming king of Israel, who will bring justice and peace to the world! Psalm 72, which is prophetical of the Messiah begins:
" Give the king thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the king’s son. He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment. The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness. He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor. They shall fear thee as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations. He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth. In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth.”
How this earth longs for righteousness, justice and peace!
Before we can arrive at this time of peace, sin must be vanquished and righteousness established in the earth. Joel prophecies of a time of war, before the time of peace spoken of in Psalm 72 arrives.
The Financial Times reports on alarm in western capitals over Turkey's deepening ties
"Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: 10 Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong. Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O LORD. Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about.” (Joel 3:9-12)
The prophet Malachi says, "But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.” (Malachi 4:2)
We are waiting and watching for the “Sun of righteousness” to arise on this earth.
The Israeli military operation against the Islamic Jihad was called Operation “Breaking Dawn”. The Hebrew phrase used was taken exactly from Genesis 32:24, where it is translated "the breaking of the day”. Genesis 32:24-28 reads:
"And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.”
During the darkness of night Jacob wrestled in order to obtain the blessing. A new dawn arose, Jacob was blessed, his name changed to Israel and his thigh was out of joint. The only way he could continue was by being totally reliant on his God. The nation that came from Jacob wrestles through the night of Gentile times. They too will be blessed. They too will emerge on a new day totally reliant on their God.
The current Operation “Breaking Dawn” will not bring that new day. That new day will dawn when the Son of Righteousness arises - the Messiah, King of Israel, to deliver his nation.
Moving our attention north, a significant meeting took place between President Putin of Russia and President Erdogan of Turkey, this last week on Friday. The Financial Times had the headline: "Alarm mounts in western capitals over Turkey’s deepening ties with Russia” The article summary reads, "Officials warn of retaliation if Ankara helps Moscow evade sanctions after Erdoğan and Putin agree to increase co-operation”. Erdogan’s flirting with Russia, is straining his relations with the west. The article goes on to say,
"Six western officials told the Financial Times they were concerned about the pledge made by Turkish and Russian leaders to expand co-operation on trade and energy after the two had four-hour meeting in Sochi on Friday."
The close of the article also highlights the strategic importance of Turkey.
“The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has underlined Turkey’s strategically important location, controlling access to the straits that link the Black Sea to the Mediterranean. Erdoğan also played a role in securing the grain deal signed by Russia and Ukraine last month aimed at averting a global food crisis.”
Russia is courting Turkey and driving a wedge between Turkey and the West. If Russia were to move militarily against Turkey, Turkey will be in a much weaker position if she is alienated from the United States and Europe.
The prophet Daniel foretells how the King of the North will overflow and pass over in the time of the end, and says that many countries will be overthrown. Turkey and particularly its capital Istanbul, formerly Constantinople, is the ancient seat of the Eastern Roman Empire. There is no doubt that at some time in the near future, Russia will move to secure this strategic asset, before this King of the North enters into the glorious land and there comes to his end.
At that time the true “Operation Breaking Dawn” will be in full effect and a new dawn of righteousness and peace will break forth upon the earth.
Even so come Lord Jesus.
This has been David Billington with you for this week’s Bible in the News. Come back next week, if the Lord remains away, to www.bibleinthenews.com