Europe VS The Mountains of Israel
An examination of the hostility that Europe has for Israel, the people, the land and their God.
Saturday, July 20, 2013
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Ultimately when we come to the end times the nations are opposing God and his son the Lord Jesus Christ, we can see this in Psalm 2:
“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying,
Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.
He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.
Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.
Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.”
When we look in the prophecy of Zechariah and the 14th chapter we see the picture filled out a little more:
“Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.
For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.”
When we look at scripture there are many reasons why God would bring judgement on the nations, at the time of the flood it was violence, at the time of Sodom and Gomorrah it was complete Godlessness and idleness along with a morally corrupt society. I think we would agree that our time is just like that and therefore ripe for God’s judgments. That said, when we look at the prophecies there is another trait that we would expect to see in the nations coming against Jerusalem, that is anti-Semitism. God brings his judgments on those nations for their treatment of the Jewish people, the people that he calls the “apple of his eye.”
Let’s look at the prophecy of Joel 3 to see this further:
“For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem,
I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.
And they have cast lots for my people; and have given a boy for an harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might drink.”
We can clearly see that this is a prophecy for our time as we are the people in history that have and are witnessing God’s hand “bringing again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem.” But notice the reason for God’s anger, for the treatment of his people and the dividing of HIS land.
Listen to the wording of the New King James version:
“For behold, in those days and at that time,
When I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem,
I will also gather all nations,
And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat;
And I will enter into judgment with them there
On account of My people, My heritage Israel,
Whom they have scattered among the nations;
They have also divided up My land.
They have cast lots for My people,
Have given a boy as payment for a harlot,
And sold a girl for wine, that they may drink.”
I find these words beautiful and so completely relevant for our time.
When we come to the prophecy of Ezekiel 38 it is the same story again only with even more detail. We have a large confederacy of nations described and said to be coming out of the north. But again when we read listen to who and where these nations are coming against:
“After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.
Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.
Thus saith the Lord God; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought:
And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,
To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.
Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?
Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord God; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it?
And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army:
And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.
Thus saith the Lord God; Art thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring thee against them?
And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord God, that my fury shall come up in my face.
For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel;
So it is no surprise that there has been long history of anti-Semitism in Europe and Russia and the halls of the Vatican. It is further of no surprise that we see the same anti-Semitic character reappearing today. We will come back to this!
Now, back to the Joel and Ezekiel prophecies there is one other thing to notice (Something that has been discussed much on this program and in the Bible Magazine, but is bringing us to where the Bible was in the news this week!), the focus on Judah and Jerusalem in Joel, known and maybe narrowed slightly somewhat in Ezekiel 38 as the “mountains of Israel”. These prophecies are not focusing on Tel Aviv, Haifa, Netanya or Eliat but in the mountains.
Put this all together and the prophecies written thousands of years ago paint a picture of the Northern nations coming together against God’s people Israel, and therefore ultimately himself and his son. The prophecies also focus particularly on the mountains of Israel, today the so called “West bank,” the land of the “settlements.” In previous Bible in the News’s and Bible Magazine’s it has been shown what a unique people it is that live in this area, looking for messiah.
So... the newspapers this week reported the following:
Times of Israel – “New EU directive bars all dealings with Israeli-held areas over the pre-1967 lines”
“Jerusalem source calls move ‘earthquake’; future deals with Europe will require Israel to acknowledge West Bank is outside the state
A dramatic new directive published by the European Union bars its 28 members from all cooperation with Israeli entities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The directive, sent out on June 30 and set to take effect on Friday, extends to “all funding, cooperation, and the granting of scholarships, research grants and prizes” to Israeli entities in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, Haaretz reported on Tuesday.
It also requires that any contracts between EU member countries and Israel henceforth include a clause stating that East Jerusalem and the West Bank are not part of the State of Israel."
Jerusalem Post – “EU officially publishes settlement guidelines despite Israeli objections”
Haaretz – “Israel warns EU ambassadors of serious crisis over new settlement guidelines”
The truth is that in Europe there is what Ezekiel 35 calls a “perpetual hatred” of the Jewish people
So any friend that Israel thought it may have had in Europe is being shown for what it is. The problem is that this week Israel’s other so called friend the United States has had John Kerry push both sides back to the table to talk peace. The problem is that it is assumed that Israel will have to give up territories. Well it is God the rules in the kingdoms of men the book of Daniel tells us and whatever happens God is in control. All we know is that the mountains of Israel will stay populated with those that have brought back from captivity. At the time of the end the only real friend that the Jewish people have is almighty God, but when that is the case not much else matters!
Although the judgment that is so very needed is coming on this world we must always remember the words in Peter, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God.” The nations will have to stand before Christ and so will the believers. May we all be motivated when we see the prophecies fulfilling to fill our lamps with oil, the word of God.
This has been John Billington with you this week. Please join us next week when, God willing we again look for the Bible in the news.