Israel's Election Looks to a Unilateral Move for Fixed Borders
But can it be implemented?
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
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Welcome once more to another edition of the Bible in the News, from the Land of the Bible--Israel. This is Paul Billington in Jerusalem where for the past few days--and amid an incredible security operation--Israelis have been choosing their next government.
We have been reminded of the words written over 150 years ago in the book 'Elpis Israel' when Christadelphian writer John Thomas saw the return of the Jews to their ancient Homeland predicted in the Bible. In 1849 he wrote:
"The pre-adventual colonization of Palestine will be on purely political principles, and the Jewish colonists will return in unbelief of the Messiahship of Jesus, and of the truth as it is in him."
Well, those "political principles" have been very much in evidence over the past week as candidates compete for power upon a democratic basis, and in what is seen as the most significant election in Israel's history.
But this election has been concerned with over-riding questions: security, and the future status of the West Bank. As the 'Jerusalem Post' put it on its election day front page: "Future borders at stake as Israel votes." The trouble is, and as assistant editor Caroline Glick pointed out in her column, the election campaign has lacked open debate, restricted by election laws and a controlled media. And it is still questionable whether the winning Kadima party will be able to carry out its intended policy of unilateral action.
Election results are not produced by the manipulators however, they are part of the outworking of the Divine scheme--they are part of a process brought about by the angels whose task it is to move the Divine agenda forward. The result of this Israeli election must be seen in that light, and according to the principle stated in Daniel 2:21 "...he removeth kings, and setteth up kings," and again in chapter 4:17, "...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."
What the Bible tells us, and tells us very clearly, is that at the time of the end there must be a Jewish presence upon the mountains of Israel. We made this point in an interview last week when speaking on Israel National Radio. We pointed out the prophecy of Ezekiel 34:13-14. Other passages tell us the same thing of course--for example Ezekiel 38:8. Also Joel 3:1 refers to Judah and Jerusalem--this is the mountainous part of the Land. Today there is a Jewish presence in this midst of the Land--and it is remarkable to go and see it. During the past week we travelled into the heart of this area, visiting Beit-el, Shilo, Mt. Gerazim overlooking Shechem (Nablus), Elon Moreh, Amona, Mt Gilboa, and we saw several Jewish settlements--and interestingly witnessed the detail of Ezekiel 38:12, with many cattle graze there today.
Now it is going to be interesting to see how events turn out--because politicians often say that they will do something--yet when they get into power they not infrequently end up doing something quite different. In fact, in speaking to many Israelis here, there is a widespread view that Israel does exactly as the United States demands. The winner of this election will have to do what George Bush and his administration commands--that is the general view here.
Israelis of course are desperate for peace, and now that Hamas is in control of the Palestinians and committed to a continuing hostility, refusing to recognize Israel's sovereignty -- the only way forward seems to be a unilateral move by Israel to set its permanent borders. But even with this election in the bag, many difficulties remain before the plan can be put into effect. A coalition must be formed, and as we have seen from the Gaza disengagement, and from some of the isolated dismantling of settlements in the West Bank, it causes very deep divisions within Israeli society leading to scenes of violence and a lasting bitterness. Withdrawal from the West Bank is by no means a done-deal. For the Bible believer this is a time of faith testing. The word of God through the prophets will prove to be true in the end.
In fact there is some speculation that the winning Kadima party itself may not hold together for very long--especially once the pressure comes upon them. Time will tell in all these things. If Gaza and parts of the West Bank become terror bases, robbing Israel of the much desired peace and quiet, it is highly probable that the future could see a sharp lurch to the right--and all the present plans could come to nought.
The news concerning this election in Israel is one thing, but viewing the news in the light of the Bible is another thing. Scripture requires a Jewish presence in the West Bank, and one way or another that must prevail in the end. This election and the "political principles" we now see at work, are the result of unbelief--that unbelief foreseen by John Thomas over 150 years ago. This was also the cry of the ancient false prophets who cried peace, when there was no peace (Jer. 8:11; Ezek. 13:10). This phase must eventually pass. The religious Zionism that is developing today--even though only a minority movement--is the growing force to be watched. As Natanyahu and his Likud sinks, Avigdor Lieberman and his right wing Israel Beiteinu should be watched closely.
This is the movement of the future--and although still reflecting many errors of Judaism at present, a form of religious Zionism will eventually develop into a nucleus or basis that the Lord will work through in order to establish the Kingdom.
No one who comes here to Israel and visits with these religious settlers can fail to be impressed with their dedication, with their high moral standards, the modesty of the young women, and their attachment to Scripture. They are, without doubt, a sign of the coming of the Son of Man, and the establishment of the Kingdom--not on political principles, but upon the basis of righteousness and Truth.
So do not simply watch the News, allow the Bible to give you a vision of things to come--and it is then that you will be able to see the Bible in the News.
As Jesus himself said in Matthew 17:11, "Elijah truly shall first come, and restore ALL things." The restoration of the Kingdom then, is Elijah's work, which he will accomplish when Christ returns as the Redeemer of Israel. May that day come speedily!
From Jerusalem, this is Paul Billington. Talk to you again next week, God willing.
Printed: Wednesday, March 29, 2006
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