Time to Impose Peace?
Ehud Olmert's Meetings with Bush, Blair and Chirac.
June 14, 2006 - Audio, 10.00 MIN
(Links at bottom of page to download free viewers.)
Bringing you the Bible’s view of the news, after many weeks absence, this is Paul Billington back with you again to look at what is going on--and how it fits in with what the prophets have told us to expect.
Our starting point in this exercise is--and MUST BE--what the prophets of God have left on record. So as we see Israel's Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, trotting around the globe and holding meetings with President Bush, Tony Blair, Jacque Chirac and others, we have to make a distinction between the expressed hopes and the plans on the one hand, and accomplished realities on the other. There is often a great difference between what politicians SAY they will do--and what ACTUALLY happens.
That is what we must bear in mind now when all kinds of INTENTIONS are being voiced by world leaders--because the backdrop to all of it is the voice of the prophets.
One passage of Scripture that we have frequently referred to during our recent tour of Australia and New Zealand, is EZEKIEL 34:13-16. Perhaps you would like to look it up with me now. God says through the prophet:
"And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel. I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord GOD. I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.”
This is easy enough to understand.
- God will bring them (His scattered sheep of Israel) out from the people, and gather them from the countries.
- He will bring them to their own Land.
- And He will feed them upon the mountains of Israel.
Now what do we see today as an accomplished fact?
We see Israel gathered out of the countries and back in their own Land.
Not only that, since 1967 we see them in settlements upon THE MOUNTAINS OF ISRAEL--and as has been pointed out many times before, this is Judea and Samaria--the so-called West Bank. This is where God says He will FEED His sheep. Look at the repeated emphasis to this in verses 13 and 14.
Now last March when Israel went to the polls, Ehud Olmert said that if he was elected he would unilaterally withdraw from these mountains of Israel--the West Bank--and hand it all over to the Palestinians. He was elected, but by a narrow margin. I was in Jerusalem at the time and discussed the issue with an Israeli journalist and business man, Moshe Kempinski. He is an Orthodox Jew.
QUESTION (Paul Billington): “We"ve just had an election in Israel and quite what the coalition will turn out to be yet we don’t know. They’re saying that the Kadima party under Olmert is the winner. That’s what the media are reporting. The question that’s in everybody’s mind is, do you think that Kadima will be able to carry out that unilateral plan to withdraw from the West Bank? From our understanding the Scriptures are teaching that there must be a Jewish presence on the mountains of Israel. The mountains of Israel are Judea and Samaria. So it would seem to us as you look at it that the Scripture is saying one thing and Kadima and Olmert and his people are saying that they’re going to do something else. How do you take that?”
ANSWER (Moshe Kempinski): “First of all I think you are right. I think the fact that they call themselves Kadima which means 'Forward’ means they’re running ahead so much forward they forgot to look behind them and see where they came from. And people who don’t have that past don’t really have a future.
“The news media would like to think of this as a great victory for Kadima but in fact it really wasn’t. The expectations of 45 seats that dwindled down by hundreds of thousands of voters to 28 is actually a political disaster for Olmert. He does not have the power to do any of his plans unilaterally anymore. And as a result even though he may want to and he may try to meet the needs of the European and American sort of thinkers of realpolitik, that think they know exactly what the best situation is, without taking God’s idea into plan. I don’t think he’ll be very successful at it. He will try. We will need to struggle. Just like we struggled until now and retained our allegiance to the ultimate vision of God. Without, by the way repeating the sin of Jeroboam and Rehoboam, where they split the people. We need to remain connected as one people. And those that believe that in the end we will continue to be one people but also connected to God’s will are those that are going to win.
“The voyage is long. But there was a song that all the children, the young people in orange--the orange tee shirts--used to sing throughout all their time and the song was, that the eternal people do not have a fear of the long voyage.
“We’re here for the long voyage. There is no fear. Not Kadima, and not the European Union and not Bush can change that. That there is a plan and that plan will be played will be played itself out. So I think Kadima is in a much more difficult situation. I would have hoped for a lot stronger side of our side winning but obviously God has a different plan but at this point we have a long struggle ahead of us but we are in a better position than we were only a day ago.”
Since then, Olmert has been facing a lot of opposition to his unilateral withdrawal plan. Strange as it may seem--the Palestinians are against it. King Abdullah of Jordan doesn’t want to see it happen. Mr Bush has been less than enthusiastic.
This week, Tony Blair has said ‘No’ to it. He said “The only way is a negotiated settlement. There is no other way to move forward.”
Jacque Chirac of France is singing the same hymn tune, but with the interesting refrain added--and reported yesterday:
“IT IS TIME TO IMPOSE PEACE ON THE REGION.”
So Ehud Olmert’s election promises are not looking too healthy right now. Carolyn Glick of THE JERUSALEM POST has labeled Olmert’s plan “an Israeli surrender.” And that is just about what it amounts to. Olmert told Tony Blair: (Quote) “We are prepared to pull out from most of the occupied territories for the formation of a Palestinian state.”
But you know what? We have heard it all before. That is exactly what another Ehud wanted to do--Ehud Barak, working with President Clinton wanted to do the same thing, but Yasser Arafat wouldn’t accept it!
THEY CAN’T GIVE IT AWAY!
Why is that? Let us ask Ezekiel the prophet, who tells us God’s Word on the matter:
“I will feed them in a good pasture, and UPON THE HIGH MOUNTAINS OF ISRAEL...” (Ezek. 34:14).
With not much support at home, and with world opinion running against his unilateral withdrawal plan--it looks as though Ehud will have to think again. And according to the Israeli newspaper Ha’eretz, this is what is happening. The Israeli government is already looking for another approach to the problem. It is doubtful that they will succeed in finding one.
Perhaps the words of France’s Jacque Chirac should be noted, when he said: “It is time to IMPOSE peace on the region.”
Ezekiel 38 tells us that that is what Gog and his mighty army will come to do!
“After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them” (Ezekiel 38:8).
So you see how it is that the Bible is ahead of the News! Isn’t that reason for us to believe it?
I think it is.
Talk with you again next week, God willing.
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