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The Bible in the News
Israel's Trade with India. What does the Bible say?
Israel re-engaged in Gaza.
Wednesday, July 05, 2006  Audio & Print versions

This is the Bible in the News with Paul Billington once again--and it has been a week with many events in the news relating in one way and another to the Bible. It is incredible that less than one year since Israel itself expelled its citizens from Gush Katif in the Gaza strip, Hamas has come to power there and Kassam rockets are falling upon Ashkelon in Israel. What kind of "Disengagement" is that? Well it isn't is it? Israeli tanks are now engaged in racing around Gaza in the hope of persuading these Palestinians to let a kidnapped soldier return home. It doesn't take much wisdom to see that the policies of the former Sharon government, as well as that of the present Government under Ehud Olmert, is totally bankrupt. All the warnings that were given by Israel's right wing, as to what would follow Disengagement, have proved to be correct, and some!
But this isn't a political discussion--our view on this programme is one that is formed from a study of the Bible. And from what we can learn from Scripture, and from the way in which God works, it would seem certain that He is working to re-direct Israel's plans so that in spite of their lack of faith and their blindness, they will have to re-think their strategy. This whole thing shows us that it isn't political leaders who direct events--whether in Israel or elsewhere--it is God. As we read three times in Daniel chapter 4, "the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men."

That is a fundamental principle that is always in the background of the News. And we can certainly see it working out in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

After these events, will the Olmert Government still be obstinate enough and foolish enough to try and pull the settlers out of the West Bank?

Well, governing politicians are not well known for their humility, and we very rarely hear them admit to being wrong. So they could try it on, and bring more disaster crashing down on their heads in the attempt. What we know from Scripture is that in the end a pull-out from the West Bank will prove to be impractical. It has not worked for Gaza, and it will not work for the West Bank either.

As to the present operation in Gaza--and, incidentally, the growing row with Syria--we are too much on top of events to be able to see a clear outcome. The picture is complicated, and is changing rapidly as the days go by. So we have to be patient, waiting to see just what the Almighty brings out of it all. It could be some time before we see a clear result come out of it.

Meanwhile other things are happening and we must keep our eye on the big picture.

One interesting feature that caught my eye this past week was the front cover of TIME magazine (at least, the North American edition). It featured India as "the world's biggest democracy" and, says TIME, it "is the next great economic superpower."

Well, the Bible is always ahead of the news, and over 150 years ago the author of the book ELPIS ISRAEL, John Thomas, identified an eastern "Tarshish" power as being India. This identification takes us back to the time of King Solomon, and to a passage in 2 Chronicles 9:21. This passage says:

"For the king's ships went to Tarshish with the servants of Huram: every three years once came the ships of Tarshish bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks."

This eastern Tarshish is interesting to us because Tarshish powers (which are trading nations according to "Ezekiel 38:13) are to be involved with Israel in the latter days. In fact, in his book ELPIS ISRAEL John Thomas wrote of the Jewish return to their land, and wrote:

"They will emigrate thither as agriculturists and traders, in the hope of ultimately establishing their commonwealth, but more immediately of getting rich in silver and gold by commerce with India, and in cattle and goods by their industry at home..."

Britain--which is a WESTERN Tarshish power will also become involved in this. We have spoken of this British Tarshish and her young lions on previous occasions, and it is not without significance that Britain and India (as well as the United States) all have strong trading links. These trading links will become much stronger in the coming years, and they will involve Israel herself, who is destined to experience a time of great prosperity just before being invaded by the northern Gog. This is the picture of Ezekiel 38 to which we frequently refer.

Israel's trade with India is a growing phenomena today. It is estimated that it will be worth over $5 billion by 2008. John Thomas may not have been able to give us that figure when he wrote his book in 1849, but he has certainly demonstrated the accuracy of the prophetic word when he highlights the trading relations that would come into existence between Israel and India in the latter days.

Oh--and by the way, there was no such country as "Israel" in 1849. It didn't even exist.

When it comes to international affairs, the Bible is certainly ahead of the game!

These things demonstrate to us the reliability and the trustworthiness of the Bible. You can TRUST the word of God. When it offers us hope as individuals--it isn't just pie in the sky. The Bible hope is REAL, it is dependable--and it is worth committing your life to it.

Look at the great and precious promises that are made in the Bible--how different they are to those made by politicians! The God who controls the events that you read in the news, can also control the events in YOUR life. He can work in us, through the power of His word, so that we can be ready to meet His son, the Lord Jesus Christ, when he returns to this earth in order to rule Israel and the world.

Keep watching the Bible in the News with us--we will be here with another edition of it next week, God willing.

Printed:  Wednesday, July 05, 2006


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