Britain's Muddled Election Result:
The Effect upon Foreign Policy in The Middle East.
Friday, May 07, 2010
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Many readers and listeners will be aware that Britain features in Bible prophecy, that she was the 'midwife' so to speak, of the nation of Israel (through the 'Balfour Declaration') and of those Arab nations which came into being following the collapse of the Ottoman (Turkish) empire. Consequently her foreign policy in respect to the Middle East has been somewhat ambiguous ever since: often supportive of Israel (as in the 1956 Suez Crisis) but also often pro-Arab in many ways. Some of her political leaders have been sympathetic towards Israel and the Jews - whereas others have been downright hostile. So where do the results of the recent British election place Britain now? How do we understand the situation in the light of Bible prophecy?
Long before the Balfour Declaration of 1917 in which "His Majesty's government viewed with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people..." Bible expositors were anticipating the Jewish Return in fulfillment of prophecies - such as that found in Jeremiah 31:10, and similar passages.
Some pointed to Isaiah chapter 60:9, pointing out that a maritime power would be involved in restoring the Jews. The verse reads:
"Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far..."
In a book published in 1806 George Stanley Faber concluded from this Scripture that a "great maritime power is destined to begin the work of restoring the Jews..." He wrote that at the time of the famous battle of Trafalgar in which Britain saw off Napoleon's French fleet.
Many of our readers and listeners will be familiar with the words of John Thomas written in 1849 in his book "Elpis Israel." Some seventy years before the Balfour Declaration he wrote:
"I know not whether the men, who at present contrive the foreign policy of Britain, entertain the idea of assuming the sovereignty of the Holy Land, and of promoting its colonization by the Jews; their present intentions, however, are of no importance one way or the other, because they will be compelled, by events soon to happen, to do what under existing circumstances, heaven and earth combined could not move them to attempt. The present decisions of 'statesmen' are destitute of stability. A shooting star in the political firmament is sufficient to disturb all the forces of their system; and to stultify all the theories of their political astronomy. The finger of God has indicated a course to be pursued by Britain which cannot be evaded, and which her counsellors will not only be willing, but eager, to adopt when the crisis comes upon them.
"The decree has long since gone forth which calls upon the Lion of Tarshish to protect the Jews. Upwards of a thousand years before the British were a nation, the prophet addresses them as the power which at "EVENING TIDE" should interest themselves in behalf of Israel."
And so it came to pass - the great maritime power of that day - Britain - did begin the work of restoring the Jews to the Holy Land, and however imperfectly, she did protect the Jews in the colony of Palestine. The Arabs could not and did not invade the colony until the British pulled out in 1948. There had been many Arab terrorist attacks, but not a full-scale invasion. It was Winston Churchill who declared that Britain had "protected" (he used that word) Palestine. Had either Hitler's Germany or the Arabs (or both) gained the upper hand in Palestine, the Jewish home would not have survived.
But another passage from the Bible - and one that is not often taken into account - places this "Tarshish" maritime power in association with certain Arab powers. In Ezekiel 38:13 we read of a group comprising "Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof..." Sheba and Dedan are countries belonging to the Arabian peninsular - modern Saudi Arabia, the Yemen and the Gulf States. This must surely mean that we can expect to see an alliance between the British power and these Arabians - one that is likely to be based upon commercial interests rather than military considerations. From other Scriptures we may conclude that Moab (modern Jordan) would be in partnership with this Anglo-Arabian economic coalition. The growth of Islamic influence in Britain today would help to facilitate such a development. So the emergence of a pro-Arab foreign policy in Britain should not be a surprise to those who study the prophets. That does not mean a complete rejection of Israel however - a British Government would doubtless maintain a position of compromise seeking to please and appease all sides.
The current haggling between political parties seeking to form a Government in Britain is unlikely to have any great effect on the ground, as far as relations with Israel are concerned. What the prophets have written will find its fulfillment whatever policies men might scheme and plot. The arrangements that they may make between themselves is one thing - what they actually do, is another thing. We do not know what men will do next - but we do know that when the time comes, Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish with all the young lions thereof, will loudly protest a Russo-European attempt to demolish the Jewish homeland (as described in Ezekiel's 38th chapter).
Will the recent British election help forward the position outlined in the Bible? As an isolated event, we cannot at this stage say what may come out of it - but we watch. We watch to see if those alliances between nations that Scripture has foretold are gradually forming. When we see Russia and Germany building up their Gogian empire, and when we see a world becoming more and more hostile to Israel - and when we see the formation of an Anglo-Arabian partnership; then we know that the thief-like advent of the king of Israel is on the very eve of becoming a fact. So we look to ourselves, to the state of our garments - our character - knowing that the time is near for inspection.
In this knowledge, we show understanding, patience and mercy upon others, even as we hope to receive it from the King of the Jews for ourselves.
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Printed: Friday, May 07, 2010
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