The Nations of the World are Called to Account
The nations of the world are charged with hypocrisy which God will hold them accountable for.
Friday, October 02, 2009
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Welcome to the Bible in the News. This is Jonathan Bowen joining you. This week we go to the United Nations where Ahmadinejad, president of Iran, followed by Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel addressed the assembly. Netanyahu appealed to the United Nations to remember its beginnings, to recognize the evil of the Iranian regime, and to awaken to what is going on in the Middle East. He stated:
“Nearly 62 years ago, the United Nations recognized the rights of the Jews, an ancient people 3,500 years-old, to a state of their own in their ancestral homeland.
I stand here today as the Prime Minister of Israel, the Jewish state, and I speak to you on behalf of my country and my people.
The United Nations was founded after the carnage of World War II after the horrors of the Holocaust. It was charged with preventing the reoccurrence of such horrendous events.
Nothing has undermined that mission, nothing has impeded it more, than the systematic assault on the truth. Yesterday the President of Iran stood at this very podium, spewing his latest anti-Semitic rants. Just a few days earlier, he again claimed that the Holocaust is a lie.”
Netanyahu appealed to the United Nations, reminding the assembly that the Iranian president was a denier of the Holocaust, the very thing the UN had been created to prevent from happening again:
Yesterday, the man who calls the Holocaust a lie spoke from this podium. To those who refused to come and to those who left in protest, I commend you. You stood up for moral clarity and you brought honor to your countries.
But to those who gave this Holocaust-denier a hearing, I say on behalf of my people, the Jewish people, and decent people everywhere: Have you no shame? Have you no decency?
A mere six decades after the Holocaust, you give legitimacy to a man who denies the murder of six million Jews while promising to wipe out the State of Israel, the State of the Jews. What a disgrace! What a mockery of the charter of the United Nations!
Warning of Coming Danger
Netanyahu placed before the body of the UN the challenge of a clear and present danger facing the world today:
This is why the greatest threat facing the world today is the marriage between religious fundamentalism and the weapons of mass destruction. The most urgent challenge facing this body today is to prevent the tyrants of Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
Are the members of the United Nations up to that challenge? Will the international community confront a despotism that terrorizes its own people as they bravely stand up for freedom?
Will it take action against the dictators who stole an election in broad daylight and then gunned down Iranian protesters who died on the sidewalks and on the streets choking in their own blood? Will the international community thwart the world's most pernicious sponsor and practitioner of terrorism?
Above all, will the international community stop the terrorist regime of Iran from developing atomic weapons, thereby endangering the peace of the entire world?
The Failure of the United Nations
Netanyahu also pointed out the twisted and faulty logic of the United Nations regarding the situation in the Middle East:
The jury is still out on the United Nations, and recent signs are not encouraging.
Rather than condemning the terrorists and their Iranian patrons, some here in the United Nations have condemned their victims. This is exactly what a recent UN report on Gaza did, falsely equating terrorists with those they targeted.
For eight long years, Hamas fired rockets, from Gaza on nearby Israeli cities and citizens - thousands of missiles, mortars – hurtling down from the sky on schools, homes, shopping centers, bus stops. Year after year, as these missiles were deliberately fired on our civilians, not a single, not one UN resolution was passed condemning those criminal attacks. We heard nothing – absolutely nothing – from the UN Human Rights Council, a misnamed institution if there ever was one.
In 2005, hoping to advance peace, Israel unilaterally withdrew from every inch of Gaza. It was very painful. We dismantled 21 settlements – really bedroom communities and farms. We uprooted over 8,000 Israelis. We just yanked them out from their homes. We did this because many in Israel believed that this would get peace.
Well, we didn't get peace. Instead we got an Iranian backed terror base fifty miles from Tel Aviv. Life in the Israeli towns and cities immediately next to Gaza became nothing less than a nightmare. You see the Hamas rocket launchers and the rocket attacks not only continued after we left, they actually increased dramatically. They increased tenfold. And again, the UN was silent – absolutely silent. Well finally, after eight years of this unremitting assault, Israel was forced to respond…”
Israel’s prime minister portrayed his disbelief of the United Nations response once Israel attacked Gaza to defend itself.
Yet faced with a clear-cut case of aggressor and victim, whom do you think the United Nations Human Rights Council decided to condemn? Israel. A democracy legitimately defending itself against terror is morally hanged, drawn and quartered, and given an unfair trial to boot.
By these twisted standards, the UN Human Rights Council would have dragged Roosevelt and Churchill to the dock as war criminals. What a perversion of truth! What a perversion of justice!
Perverting the Truth
The perversion of truth is a common theme today a world infected by humanism. It is the fulfillment of the words of Isaiah:
Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! (Isaiah 5:20-21)
In the twisted logic of the world today, right becomes wrong and evil becomes good! We live in a world of madness and confusion. Netanyahu clearly pointed out the biased anti-Semitic view of the world against the Israeli people. This is nothing new. Throughout Israel’s long history there has been a constant hostility against the Jewish people, the descendants of Abraham – the people God chose above all nations.
An Amalekite Spirit
Joshua was reminded by Moses of the nations surrounding the embryonic nation of Israel as it went into the land:
Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt; How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God. Therefore it shall be, when the LORD thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget it. (Deuteronomy 25:17-19)
It is this same spirit of Amalek that troubles Israel today. A cowardly people who fire rockets indiscriminately into day cares, schools, homes of the elderly. A people who murder Jews both young and old who are travelling alone – “the hindermost of thee.” For this God commanded Israel to “blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.”
The spirit of Amalek was seen in Sanballat and Tobiah, enemies of Nehemiah and Ezra who tried to stop them from rebuilding the Jewish state after the return from the captivity of Babylon. Today we see many who try to stop the rebuilding of the Jewish state – including President Obama.
In the days of Nehemiah, Israel was commanded to separate from the Ammonites and Moabites because of their treatment of God’s people when the came into the land:
On that day they read in the book of Moses in the audience of the people; and therein was found written, that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God for ever; Because they met not the children of Israel with bread and with water, but hired Balaam against them, that he should curse them: howbeit our God turned the curse into a blessing. Now it came to pass, when they had heard the law, that they separated from Israel all the mixed multitude. (Nehemiah 13:1-3)
The hostility of the people of the world to God’s people is age old. There cannot be true peace until the messiah comes. Netanyahu is looking for true peace from the nations who have adopted the spirit of Amalek:
In 1947, this body voted to establish two states for two peoples – a Jewish state and an Arab state. The Jews accepted this resolution. The Arabs rejected it and invaded the embryonic Jewish state with hopes to annihilate it. We ask the Palestinians to finally do what they refused to do for 62 years: Say yes to a Jewish state! As simple, as clear, as elementary as that. Just as we are asked to recognize a nation-state for the Palestinian people, the Palestinians must be asked to recognize the nation-state of the Jewish people.
The Jewish people are not foreign conquerors in the Land of Israel. It is the land of our forefathers. Inscribed on the walls outside this building is the great Biblical vision of peace: "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation. They shall learn war no more." These words were spoken by the great Jewish prophet Isaiah 2,800 years ago as he walked in my country, in my city - in the hills of Judea and in the streets of Jerusalem. We are not strangers to this land. This is our homeland.
But as deeply connected as we are to our homeland, we also recognize that the Palestinians also live there and they want a home of their own. We want to live side by side with them, two free peoples living in peace, living in prosperity, living in dignity.
Peace, prosperity and dignity require one other element. We must have security.
True Peace Impossible with the Haters of Israel
The desire of Israel for peace with its neighbours is understandable, but in reality unachievable by mankind. There may be small gains such as with Egypt in 1973 and Jordan in 1994, but real peace cannot be achieved with a people bent on Israel’s destruction. In fact, God forbade Israel from seeking peace with the Ammonite or the Moabite:
An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the LORD for ever: [Why?] Because they met you not with bread and with water in the way, when ye came forth out of Egypt; and because they hired against thee Balaam the son of Beor of Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse thee. Nevertheless the LORD thy God would not hearken unto Balaam; but the LORD thy God turned the curse into a blessing unto thee, because the LORD thy God loved thee. Thou shalt not seek their peace nor their prosperity all thy days for ever” (Deuteronomy 23:3-6).
Those nations who have adopted the Ammonite and Amalekite mentality cannot be at peace with Israel and Israel was forbidden to “seek their peace… for ever”.
How the Nations Treat Israel is How They will be Judged
The promise of God to Abraham is without repentance:
And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed (Genesis 12:3)
We read in Joel that when all nations are gathered together to the great conflagration of the latter day, that God will judge them:
Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. (Joel 3:12)
The way the nations treat Israel will determine how God will judge them:
For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head. (Obadiah v15)
Obama and the world community – the United Nations may want to consider this when putting together their “policy” toward the Middle East. They will be held accountable for their actions.
Righteousness Required for Peace
The other “element” required to have peace is righteousness. The Bible points forward to the day when Israel will become a righteous nation once again – by the work of the word of God upon them:
“Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest. Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field. And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places”
Netanyahu ended his speech with an appeal to humanity:
Over seventy years ago, Winston Churchill lamented what he called the "confirmed unteachability of mankind." By that he meant the unfortunate habit of civilized societies to sleep and to slumber until danger nearly overtakes them.
Churchill bemoaned what he called the "want of foresight, the unwillingness to act when action will be simple and effective, the lack of clear thinking, the confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong.”
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I speak here today in the hope that Churchill's assessment of the "unteachability of mankind" is for once proven wrong. I speak here today in the hope that we can learn from history -- that we can prevent danger in time.
In the spirit of the timeless words spoken to Joshua over 3,000 years ago, let us be strong and of good courage. Let us confront this peril, secure our future and, God willing, forge an enduring peace for generations to come.
Well, the Bible’s assessment of human nature agrees wholeheartedly with Churchill in this regard, and Mr. Netanyahu is in for a rude awakening. Mankind hasn’t changed since the days of Amalek, Sanballat, Tobiah, Haman or Hitler. Man left to himself would destroy this planet and everything on it. We read in Jeremiah:
O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. (Jeremiah 10:23)
Mankind has not evolved to a more loving and gentle people since the days of the Bible. We are exhorted in the Psalms:
Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. (Psalm 146:3-4)
We can be thankful that man will not be left to himself, but that God will intervene and send his son, the King of Israel, to save his people – and mankind. Until then, we continue to watch the Bible in the news.