The Nations Lining Up... As God Said
With settlement building not to be frozen and Wiki Leaks leaking, the nations line up!
Saturday, December 11, 2010
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Welcome to another edition of the Bible in the News, this is John Billington joining you this week.
Well it's another week with Israel at the center of the news headlines with the breakdown of the peace talks. It never ceases to be amazing how a nation of only about 7 million people, which is probably not a whole lot more than the greater Toronto area (For those outside of Canada, Toronto is Canada's largest city!) can continually draw news headlines across the world on a daily basis. Having said that when you come to scripture it is to be expected, the Lord through the prophet Zachariah tells us that "Jerusalem will be a burdensome stone for all people." I think Obama probably curses the land every day as he continually makes a fool of himself trying to be the one who brings peace to the region, although so has every other US president in my lifetime. According to the State Department they said "We have determined that a moratorium extension will not at this time provide the best basis for resuming direct negotiations," which unless you have been hiding in a cave for the last few years will realize what a admonition of complete policy failure that is.
This really has turned out to be quite a week. The US have decided that Settlement activity can't be stopped and some are saying that the entire peace process is dead. Abbas has said that as a last resort he would hand the West Bank back to full Israeli control, but then Brazil and Argentina (which by the way are very Catholic countries) have unexpectedly announced that they recognize an independent Palestinian state with its capital city in Israel’s capital city. It certainly is quite a time of confusion and you can be sure that a flurry of diplomatic activity is going on around the world and of course the angels are busy doing their part.
Although the US is grasping and the nations are writhing to gain control we know from the prophet Ezekiel in chapter 38 that man will seemingly bring peace to Israel. The rest of the story shows however that this is far from true peace as the main of the chapter is about the northern confederacy coming themselves against Israel. We have brought Ezekiel 38 into this as we often do but it really was great this week as we saw the line up of the nations in the headlines almost fitting perfectly into the lines of nations in that chapter. We are not going to go into the events of that chapter in any depth here but if you wish to understand the chapter in depth there are a number of articles in the back issues of the Bible Magazine that you can read available on www.biblemagazine.com under back issues.
The Jerusalem Post ran an article with the headline "UN and EU blame Israel for breakdown of peace talks," well isn't that convenient! Let's not worry about that fact that the PA refuses to even recognize Israel. I suppose that is only detail. The article continued "Ban Ki-moon and Catherine Ashton criticize Netanyahu gov't for not "heeding the call of the int'l community" to extend settlement freeze..." So Israel is disobeying the international community. Really the truth is that the international community fails to see God's hand working, it fails to see the fullfillment of Gods prophecies and promises. Well, Catherine continued "The EU position on settlements is clear: They are illegal under international law and an obstacle to peace. Recent settlement-related developments, including in east Jerusalem, contradict efforts by the international community for successful negotiations." Well long before Catherine Ashton made Europe's position clear Ezekiel told us exactly what that position would be! The truth is that anti semitic feelings in Europe and Russia are going to grow back to World War 2 levels to the point that they invade Israel. In verse 16 God tells us that the northern confederacy will be coming against my people and against my land. Not only does this show us the character of Europe but it shows us how God views the people of Israel at this time, they are HIS people and they are dwelling in HIS land. And in case there was any dispute over the matter, in verse 21 God says they are HIS mountains and if you look on a map that is primarily the west bank, I guess the future of a Palestinian state on those mountains looks pretty bleak!
Well not only does Ezekiel 38 give us the northern confederacy of nations with Russia, the EU, Iran, Ethiopia etc but it also gives us a southern confederacy of nations with the Tarshish nations being loosely the English speaking world but with them we also have some of the Arab nations such as Saudi Arabia, and the southern Gulf states. Having said that, when we look at the news this week those lines are also very apparent in the nations. Thanks to Wiki Leaks, a leak that does not seem to easy to plug we get a bit of an inside scoop to the feelings of the so called more moderate Arab nations in relation to Iran. As far as Saudi Arabia was connected they wanted the US to cut the head off the snake being Iran, and many of the others such as Jordan and Egypt feel similar in fact apparently almost begging the US to take action against Iran. They are said to be concerned over Iran's "aggressive behavior", well as they are building nukes I would say that is an understatement! This development could be significant as we do not expect that all the Arab nations to be hostile to Israel and due to pressures from their own people are very hesitant to show any siding with Israel
It is funny when you browse the week's news and see the nations lining up just as God had said they would but it reminds us how near we are to open divine intervention in mans affairs. God says in the last verse of the chapter that "thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself: and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD." We do not know how all the events of this week will yet play out but we know the end of the story and it is that that we need to be ready for.
Please join us again next week for another edition of the Bible in the News.
Printed: Saturday, December 11, 2010
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