The Ongoing Struggle for the Holy Land:
How Saints & some Archaeologists Join the Cause!
Thursday, September 03, 2009
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Welcome to another edition of the Bible in the News. This is Paul Billington bringing you this week's programme--and the focus this week is the on-going struggle for the Holy Land between Israel, the Palestinians, and the Catholic Christians. This controversy is now involving archaeology, art, and the media, who are supposed to be telling the rest of the world what is going on, but rarely give us the straight goods.
First, consider an art exhibition in Tel Aviv which depicted female suicide bombers as saints. Not everyone understood the message that was being delivered through seven canvases which had the faces of Palestinian suicide bombers superimposed on to copies of famous paintings of the "mother and child" theme so familiar to Roman Catholics. One of the artists claimed that "the message is that the baby in the arms of a woman is in danger." That explanation might work for those who overlook the fact that not all Palestinians are Moslems, but several are Catholics. As Dr. Aryeh Bachrach, head of an association for bereaved victims put it:
"These pictures will become a hit in the Arab world... Depicting Palestinian women murderers as saints is an important propaganda achievement for terror organizations."
This is a subtle way of promoting Palestinian bombers as Catholic saints--and the message will not be lost on those who are seeking to force Israel out of the Promised Land. Their objective is to fan the flames of terror, and promote what Ezekiel 35:5 calls the "perpetual hatred," or as some margin notes indicate: "the ancient hatred," something that we see in the anti-Semitism of the past, and in the rising hostility towards Israel today.
This ancient enmity is also manifesting itself in the field of archaeology as Israel uncovers its ancient connections to the Promised Land, and as Arabs and Palestinians claim descent as well as connections to the Canaanites. The reported discovery of a 3,700 year old Canaanite wall this week is being seized upon as proof that Canaanites (please read 'Palestinians') inhabited the land before the arrival of King David. So, as the Associated Press reported it:
"Archaeological research at the site known as the City of David, just outside the walls of Jerusalem's Old City, is caught up in the struggle for control over the city."
Isn't it amazing how Jerusalem has become "a burdensome stone for all people," just as the prophet Zechariah predicted (chapter 12:3).
But of course, the Bible does tell us that Canaanites dwelt in the Land--long before King David was born, and long before the ancient kingdom of Israel existed. But it also tells us why they were expelled from that Land. In Deuteronomy 12:29-31 Israel was warned:
"When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land; Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods."
In Exodus 23:23 we learn that the angel of God brought the Israelites into the lands formerly occupied by other nations. So the discovery of the 3,700 year-old Canaanite wall only serves to show that the Bible is an accurate record of the past history. Not only that, it tells us why the ancient Canaanites were removed, and that their lands were given to the Hebrew nation. And that is confirmed by the fact that archaeologists have discovered remains from the later period of the kingdom of Israel--including King David's palace, though of course the anti-Bible brigade cannot bring themselves to recognize that.
But even the very conquest of the city of Jerusalem by David is being brought to light. Israel National News reported this, just days ago. The report stated:
"A tunnel built thousands of years ago--and which may even have been used during King David's conquest of Jerusalem--has been uncovered in the ancient City of David, just outside the Old City and across the street from the Dung Gate. Renowned Israeli archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazer, who is leading the dig, revealed the findings from the discovery Thursday morning at an archaeological symposium at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The archaeologist said there is a high probability that the tunnel is the one referred to as the "tsinor" in the Biblical story of King David's conquest of Jerusalem (2 Samuel 5:6-8; 1 Chronicles 11:4-6)."
The truth is that while nations dispute the ownership of the Holy Land, the God of the Bible has called it "MY LAND" (for example, Ezekiel 36:5 and 38:16). Not only that, but Scripture teaches that the nations will be brought to judgement because of their treatment of "my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations and parted MY LAND" (Joel 3:2).
The Truth is before us then in the Bible. The suicide bombers, the religious controversy, the political intrigue, and the disputes over archaeological discoveries--all of it are the schemes of men who set themselves in opposition to the word of God.
This Land is a Land of destiny. It is destined to become the centre of God's future kingdom upon earth under the Lord Jesus Christ. For he will "restore again the kingdom to Israel" as we read in Acts 1:6.
We look forward to being with you again next week, God willing. BibleintheNews.com
Printed: Thursday, September 03, 2009
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