This past month the Republican candidacy contender for US Presidential election, Mike Huckabee, has made several bold statements about Israel.
Iran arming itself following Arms Embargo:
On a radio program last month he declared,
“This president’s foreign policy is the most feckless in American history. He is so naive he would trust the Iranians, and he would take the Israelis and basically and march them to the door of the oven. This is the most hideous thing, this Iran deal. It should be rejected by both Democrats and Republicans in Congress and by the American people. I think we forget that the Iranians have never kept a deal in 36 years under the Ayatollah. There is no reason to think they will suddenly start doing it. I read the whole thing. We gave away the whole farm. It’s got to be stopped.”
The bold statement is very politically incorrect – yet represent an inconvenient truth that world politicians don’t want to discuss. Is Mike Huckabee a maverick that is out touch, or does he have his fin ger on the pulse of what is actually going on “on the street.” The Bible clearly outlines the truth of the matter, identifying Iran as an enemy of Israel that will join the Russian coalition for the battle of Armageddon and the invasion of Israel, as Ezekiel 38 states:
“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. Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.” (Ezekiel 38:8–9)
Who joins this party?
“Persia (Iran), Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:” (Ezekiel 38:5)
Is Huckabee out of line with assessment of the situation? Is the Bible misleading as to where things will end up? This week in a follow up interview with YNet Daily, Huckabee reiterated his claim:
The United States has vowed repeatedly, as has Israel, that the Iranians are not going to acquire a nuclear device. We’ve just now entered into an agreement in which they inevitably will. We’ve given them 150 billion dollars of unfrozen assets so that they can buy conventional weapons. They’ve already announced they are going to buy four major anti-aircraft devices from the Russians. This is a terrorist state, and we empowering, enabling and enriching them.
The story of Iran’s pending purchase of the S-300 air defense missiles hit the news this week. CNN reported,
The advanced S-300 air defense system would mean that U.S. or Israeli warplanes likely couldn'tsneak into Iranian airspace if they wanted to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities. Bombing the S-300 radar and missiles first would give the Iranians a warning that an attack would be on the way.
The signs that Moscow could soon be completing the sale comes as the United States, Russia, Iran and four other world powers recently completed a deal curbing Tehran's nuclear program.
The Biblical Heartland Belongs to Israel
The scriptures identify the target area of the Russian coalition as being the “mountains of Israel”. The prophet Joel identifies the area of interest as being “Judah and Jerusalem”:
“For, behold, in those days, and in that time, When I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, And will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, And will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.” (Joel 3:1–2)
Zechariah reiterates this understanding, identifying the gathering of nations against Jerusalem:
“For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; And the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; And half of the city shall go forth into captivity, And the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.” (Zechariah 14:2)
The scriptures clearly identify the “heartland” of Israel throughout the Bible as being Judea and Samaria. This is where most of the narrative of Bible history takes place, both in the Old and New Testament. The prophets identify it as the area of controversy in at the time of the end. This geographical area was also spotlighted this week due to Mike Huckabee’s trip to the Israel, when he visited Shiloh, and made the following statement, reported by the Jerusalem Post:
“I wish that every candidate, Republican or Democrat would come to Israel to show solidarity with the country that most reflects the mirror image of the American spirit, and also to show solidarity with the Israeli people and to show their extreme disgust with any deal with Iran…
As far as specifically visiting Shiloh he stated,
I have recognized Judea and Samaria as part of Israel, and I believe that it is most important that we realize that there are more Jews living in Judea and Samaria than most people ever realize, and that those numbers of significant. It is an important part of the security of Israel, so I am not in the least part concerned about coming to any part of Judea and Samaria.”
These comments were followed up by an interview in Israel’s YNet Daily, where Huckabee, responding to questions from Israeli journalist Attila Somfalvi. He stated:
"I was in Shiloh last night, that was the capitol of Israel 3,500 years ago. To somehow say there is no connection that Jews have to Shiloh is bizarre. There is more connection that Jews have to Shiloh than Americans do to Manhattan which has only been a 400 year relationship. Shiloh goes back 3,500 years."
Land for Peace?
On the issue of a Palestinian state, Huckabee came out with statement at odds with current American and European policy, stating:
“Of course I would love to see peace, nobody wants war, nobody wants conflict. I was here a year ago when three young teenagers were murdered. Nobody wants to see that. I visited the home of one of those murdered teenagers, one of the Israeli’s who was killed. Nobody wants to see that kind of violence anywhere in the world. But if we are going to have peace in the Middle East, or peace anywhere, you cannot have it if one of the sides has not yet acknowledged the right of Israel to exist and have a save and secure homeland.
On the settlements in Judea and Samaria he stated,
"I think the question is, does Israel have a right to build neighborhoods – let’s be specific: do they have the right to build bedrooms for the expanding number of people who are coming here, to make aliyah? Do they have a right to make sure there people have a secure land they can defend? I don’t know why anyone on this earth would think that they should surrender that. Every time historically they give land for peace, they lose the land and they lose the peace. They don’t get either one. This is Israel’s decision to make, I am not going to counsel or advise them. Neither will I condemn Israel for taking every measure possible to make a good home for its people, even in the land of Judah or Samaria.
Jerusalem the Capital of Israel?
The scriptures have designated Jerusalem as the capital of the nation of Israel since David moved it there from Hebron. God chose Jerusalem as the place his name would be put. It is described by God, in the book of Kings, as:
“…Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen me to put my name there.” (1 Kings 11:36)
No Western country has its embassy in Jerusalem because they don’t recognize it is the capital of Israel. The Vatican has declared it to be an international city. Huckabee would change that if he became president. In the same interview he stated:
"I think it’s the capitol of Jerusalem designated by the Israeli government and the United States should respect that. We don’t insinuate that the Israelis have their embassy in New York, or that they have it in St Louis, or Los Angeles; they put their embassy where the US capital is. Last time I checked, and I have been here many times iover the past 42 years, the Israeli seat of government is Jerusalem so it would make perfect sense that the embassy be located in Jerusalem."
Huckabee’s statements over the past week have stirred up quite a controversy. His opinions are not popular with Western politicians, but they are in keeping with the purpose God has outlined, and the path the nations will take.
Whether there is any hope of him becoming president is not ours to prognosticate. We do not read tealeaves, entrails or opinion polls. We firmly believe:
“the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.” (Daniel 4:17)
Who the Almighty will set up in America, and why is yet to be seen. What we do know is that the issues of the Bible have been brought into the news once again, issues that the world may shy away from but ultimately will have to face.
We know there is a time of trouble coming upon the earth, as we are told in Zechariah:
“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, When they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: All that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, Though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.” (Zechariah 12:2–3)
The rest of the story is also given to us:
“…Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem. The LORD also shall save the tents of Judah first… In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem…. And it shall come to pass in that day, That I will seek to destroy all the nations That come against Jerusalem.” (Zechariah 12:6–9)
So we look forward to the Kingdom of God being established, with Jerusalem as its capital, from where the Lord will roar forth, and he will send out his law from Jerusalem.
For the Bible in the News, this has been Jonathan Bowen joining you.