Israel Heads For Disaster...
& For Redemption!
September 7, 2006 - Audio, 10.00 MIN
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Welcome once again to another edition of our weekly 'Bible in the News' programme. As reports of growing anti-Semitism are heard from Britain, from Australia, Canada and other countries it becomes obvious that one reason for it all is the pressure of Islamic groups, and the willingness of media-men to submit to it. But hiding behind the cloak of Islamic fanaticism, there are other parties who are quite happy with the trend, and who are even willing to encourage it--and among these are the Christian left-wing groups who have a disproportionate influence over both the print and electronic media. There is no doubt that the world today is faced with an unreasonable prejudice against not only the Jewish people, but also against the Israeli State and its Zionism.
The proof of this is in the media constantly.
And when we look at the situation in Israel itself today, it is a depressing scene, comparable to the corrupt and evil circumstances that existed in the distant past, prior to times of judgement coming upon the nation--whether by Babylonians or Romans.
One Israeli writing this week described the current regime running his country as "Totally irresponsible, inexperienced, political crooks." There are many Israelis who would agree with that assessment. The Government of Israel today is a humanistic and corrupt set of individuals who are motivated by self-interest, and who not only disregard the principles of God as laid out in their own Scriptures, but they have shown themselves to be utterly hostile towards religious settlers who look to those biblical promises and make some attempt to seek the redemption of Zion while receiving little or no legal protection from the State.
There are many Scriptures that describe the situation in ancient times, but which could be equally applied to that which exists there now. Let me read some of them to you. Jeremiah 5:1-3 is a section to start with.
"Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth; and I will pardon it. And though they say, The LORD liveth; surely they swear falsely. O LORD, are not thine eyes upon the truth? thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved; thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return."
And again, Jeremiah 9:1-6:
"Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people! Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men; that I might leave my people, and go from them! for they be all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men. And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, saith the LORD. Take ye heed every one of his neighbour, and trust ye not in any brother: for every brother will utterly supplant, and every neighbour will walk with slanders. And they will deceive every one his neighbour, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity. Thine habitation is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know me, saith the LORD."
It is instructive sometimes to take in and digest these words of Scripture--to get the full impact of them as they continue to state the case verse, after verse, after verse. Take for example the 59th chapter of Isaiah. Listen as I read from verses 4 to 15:
"None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity. They hatch cockatrice' eggs, and weave the spider's web: he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper. Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works: their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands. Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths. The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace. Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness. We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noonday as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men. We roar all like bears, and mourn sore like doves: we look for judgment, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far off from us. For our transgressions are multiplied before thee, and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions are with us; and as for our iniquities, we know them; In transgressing and lying against the LORD, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood. And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment."
It is a depressing picture. But then, in verse 16 there is a change of tone as God Himself intervenes.
"And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him."
Then there follows vengeance upon His enemies, and they fear Him--verse 19.
"So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him."
Then verse 20 says this:
"And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD."
So in spite of the fact that there is widespread corruption and wickedness in the Land, there are those who "turn from transgression in Jacob." And it is to this small remnant that the Redeemer comes.
That is what we wait for.
Now it had been the intention of the Government of Israel to withdraw from the West Bank, from the Mountains of Israel, and evict the religious settlers who now live there. But circumstances beyond the control of the Olmert Government have prevented that from happening. The policy of "convergence" is now "on hold." There is an interruption of policy that has been forced upon Israel as a result of the recent war.
This is a most interesting development. On one hand we see the "conditions for disaster" which a Jerusalem Post column drew attention to last week. On the other hand we see the stay of execution so-to-speak, upon those who turn from transgression in Jacob. Surely the Redeemer WILL come to Zion in the very near future, and the covenant spoken of in Isaiah 59:21 will be established.
Join us again next week, God willing, for more Bible in the News.
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