A New Government for Israel...
“O Israel, Trust Thou in the Lord...”
Friday, February 13, 2009
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Welcome to the Bible in the News. This is Paul Billington speaking with you from the Kotel, otherwise known as the Wailing Wall, in Jerusalem Israel. We are going to talk this week about the political results-- the election results that have come in, and which will shape the future in the next few years for Israel. Now we’ve spoken to various people about this.
“I’m happy with the results, to the extent that prior, we had 50 mandates on the right and on the religious parties that were tougher with regard to protecting the integrity of the Land of Israel. That’s gone from 50 up to 65. I’m disappointed, I should say not disappointed-- I’ve confirmed my concerns about Netanyahu who is the head of the Likud, who’d rather try to make a deal with Kadima and go leftward, than to go and take the natural way and the mandate of the platform of his party, and tie up with Lieberman and the other right wing and religious Jewish parties that are there.”
In spite of the noisy background, it is clear that Avi Dobuler, who we talked to in a Jerusalem cafe, is disappointed--and has his concerns about the possible leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel. He wants a religious Jewish Government.
Although the people of Israel have voted, they still do not know who will form the next government: they are victim to the process of politics that is now going on here.
Moshe Kempinski who keeps a shop in the Jewish Quarter of the old City--and who is himself involved in a political party here, summed it up like this:
“The people of Israel very clearly made a decision. Their decision was that the bending over backwards, the compromises, have led us nowhere except for warfare and more missiles; and the people of Israel want a stronger face towards the world and towards the Arabs. Now that’s what the people wanted. That’s not necessarily what the leadership is going to end up with.”
He went on to discuss the efforts of Netanyahu to become the next Prime minister:
“The people of Israel made it very clear--God using the people of Israel made it clear--It’s time for a more humble Netanyahu, and a humble Netanyahu could be a very good leader. An arrogant leader in this country never fails to disappoint. It won’t work. So what we have is, we have Netanyahu, in order to be the Prime Minister, he needs to depend on all those parties that he really doesn’t want to make a coalition with, because it looks bad for the world--that he’s got a right wing coalition, but he ain’t the Prime minister until he gets their support.”
It would appear that the electorate has swung to the right. The people have decimated the left-wing parties like Labour and Meretz. But if Netanyahu follows that lead and chooses a right-wing coalition, he faces problems on the international stage. Moshe Kempinski put it like this:
“If he makes the decision to stand with the choice of the people of Israel, the world will go crazy--a racist government, a fascist government, right wing, crazy-- all the rest of it, which is very far from the truth but he will then come out in a position of strength.”
The question is, does he have the strength of character to take that road? The coming days will tell us which way things will go. He must either capitulate to Livni’s Kadima, or he will be forced to make a right turn, if the right wing will have him that is. That is how it looks right now--though the picture is still quite confused.
To the people of Israel, who are “beloved for the fathers’ sakes,” we would repeat the words of Isaiah 2:22,
“Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?”
The words of Psalm 118:8,9 also come to mind:
“It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.”
And again, Psalm 146:3
“Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.”
So it is no wonder that the people here are getting very frustrated with their would-be leaders, and indeed, with the electoral process that is still under way. If some are depressed by it all--and some here have been--we must not be surprised. Moshe Kempinski gave us this insight to the atmosphere at one of the religious parties’ headquarters on election night:
“Two nights ago when the election results were (coming in)--I was at the head quarters of one of the parties with my young son, and it was depressing. We had hoped for something miraculous, something gigantic, dramatic-- right? We didn’t get that. Everybody spoke and everything was fine--The worry of a long voyage--but everybody looked still a little bit stunned. Especially because of what the TV was trying to present, which was almost obscene, which was the victory party of the Kadima, with dancing and singing when there was nothing to dance or sing about. But it didn’t matter. The media wanted to present that as a victory.
At the end of everybody and all the leaders getting up, everyone sat down and were quiet, drinking their coffee. A young girl grabbed the microphone and she said, “I don’t understand all you people. The motto of our party was not to be afraid at all. The people who walk--the eternal people--don’t have any fear of the long voyage. That’s our motto. Now’s the time to live it out. We’re just beginning the voyage. Why are you people sounding depressed? We’ve succeeded in coming from nothing to 4 maybe 5 seats. The beginning of the voyage is always the hardest part of the voyage. There’s no reason to be afraid.”
(So you're reasonably content with the way things are going?)
--I’m reasonably content allowing God to do what God does. And I’m reasonably content with the people being able to trust themselves. I know the leadership will end up doing things that are totally opposite to what the people want, but that’s the affliction. We’re used to that.”
It was Isaiah the prophet who wrote: “the leaders of this people cause them to err.” So it always was and so it is today.
What is needed is a revolution--a spiritual revolution; a reformation. The people must turn more wholeheartedly to the God of Israel and to his word. The Psalmist wrote: “I trust in thy word;” and that is where Israel’s focus needs to be. Almost every week archaeological discoveries are being made here in Israel that confirm the Truth of Scripture: the people are being brought face to face with the reality and truth of the Bible.
As well as recording the past, the Scriptures foretold the future. They foretold the Return of the people to their ancient homeland, as we see it now. There is every reason to trust the word of God--and it is that word which talks about the future leadership of Israel. Isaiah records that, following a yet future ‘Day of Midian’ a new Government will emerge in Israel--Isaiah says:
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:6-7).
The people cannot rule themselves, or develop the nation by their own strength. Their efforts must inevitably fail, because the glory must go to God, not to any man or coalition of men. For this Day of glory we pray--and we pray in the words of Psalm 72 which was written within walking distance from where I am now speaking:
“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. He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth” (Psalm 72:1-8).
Even so, come Lord Jesus.
Join us again next week God willing on BibleintheNews.com
Printed: Friday, February 13, 2009
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