Time for Israel to Wake Up!
Tune in to the Bible and tell the world.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
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This is the Bible in the News with Paul Billington. The prophets foretold it. Bible expositors over many centuries expected it. Today we see it as a reality in the modern world. The restoration of the Jewish nation is a fact that no one can deny; Israel is in the news and consequently the Bible is in the news, even if Israel itself doesn't seem to know it!
It is difficult to ignore the Scriptures of the prophets in this situation--and why should we? In November 1947 Chaim Weizmann read out the words of the prophecy of Isaiah before the United Nations--words written some 2,600 years before. Here is his voice, recorded on that historic occasion:
"...the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people... And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah..." (Isaiah 11:11-12).
Now if it really is so, that an Almighty Hand has brought this nation into political existence once again, why is there not a wider recognition of it? There is a challenge here--a challenge that Israel's government and its media appear unwilling to meet in open public discussion. The challenge comes through the prophet Isaiah himself:
"Produce your cause, saith the LORD; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob. Let them bring them forth, and show us what shall happen: let them show the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come. Show the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together. Behold, ye are of nothing, and your work of nought: an abomination is he that chooseth you" (Isaiah 41:21-24).
Let Olmert, Condoleezza Rice, Tony Blair and all those who prophesy of a two-state solution grasp that! Are these rulers of the people so dim of vision that they cannot perceive a drift of events which was not only foretold over 2,000 years ago, but which many Rabbis as well as other expositors have recognized over the course of many centuries?
And why does the world's main-stream media so scrupulously avoid making the obvious connections? Well, I suppose everyone knows that there are plenty of religious cranks around--and yes, history is littered with false prophets who got it wrong, that persuaded multitudes to sit on a hill awaiting a divine visitation, or who scream before congregations like the priests of Baal did in Elijah's day. The world has always witnessed that kind of thing--but why throw out the baby with the bathwater? Responsible editors do not have to become atheists just because of misguided fanatics. To subject themselves to a political correctness in these things is to place an unhealthy restriction upon open and stimulating public discussion. Can we not open our minds to the Truth?
In a recently published book, Sir Martin Gilbert the well-known historian quoted the great war-time leader of Britain, Sir Winston Churchill, who said:
"'We reject, however, with scorn all those learned and laboured myths that Moses was but a legendary figure upon whom the priesthood and the people hung their essential social, moral and religious ordinances. We believe that the most scientific view, the most up-to-date and rationalistic conception, will find its fullest satisfaction in taking the Bible story literally, and in identifying one of the greatest of human beings with the most decisive leap-forward ever discernible in the human story.'"
Churchill, who was no religious crank, wrote that Moses: "was the greatest of the prophets, who spoke in person to the God of Israel; he was the national hero who led the Chosen people out of the land of bondage, through the perils of the wilderness, and brought them to the very threshold of the Promised Land; he was the supreme law-giver, who received from God that remarkable code upon which the religious, moral, and social life of the nation was so securely fastened."
Why do we not see these things openly discussed in newspaper columns, or hear panel discussions about it on radio and television? We surely need to listen to the words of Elijah the prophet recorded in 1 Kings 18:21; if the God of Israel is the true God--then get with the program and worship Him!
Human expositors are not inspired prophets of course, and consequently they sometimes get details wrong--but a belief in the Scriptures themselves is wholly justified when we see the remarkable vindication of their main expectations. For example, in a book published over 100 years ago by H. Grattan Guiness, (The Approaching End of the Age, 1880), we read the following:
"However improbable it may appear that Palestine should ever again be the home of a mighty Jewish nation, Scripture leaves no room to doubt that such will be the case,--that the same Almighty arm which to place Israel there of old, plagued Egypt, destroyed the host of Pharaoh, and extirpated almost entirely the seven nations of Canaan; which subsequently overthrew the mighty Babylonian monarchy in order to restore Israel to it for a comparatively brief period by means of Cyrus and Artaxerxes, will in due time overthrow the Turkish power which has so long trodden down Jerusalem, defiled the sanctuary, and desolated the land of Israel, and will THE SECOND TIME restore his ancient people to their inalienable inheritance. Every barrier must fall, every obstacle be overthrown, that the purpose of God may be accomplished, and the promises to Abraham and to his seed be fulfilled" (Page 343).
We not only see what has been fulfilled here, but we are directed to what must yet happen. It is a great pity that those who govern Israel today cannot perceive the true reality behind the events that they themselves are involved in. It is also to be regretted that Israel's main-stream media cannot remove the blindfold and initiate some meaningful discussion on these matters with a view to educating the Israeli public about them.
Let Israel believe in the God who gave them the Torah, who gave them the inspiring songs of Zion, and who gave His word through the prophets. Believe in Him; and tell the world. Become a light unto the nations! If there are things that we do not understand--confess it as did Daniel the prophet (Daniel 9:13); seek for understanding.
"Let Israel hope in the LORD; for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption" (Psalm 130:7).
O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! WAKE UP! awake; put on thy strength O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city... Shake thyself from the dust; ARISE, and sit down, O Jerusalem..."
"O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth" (Psalm 67:4).
You know--there are watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem; and they never hold their peace day or night; they keep not silent and will give him no rest until He establish and make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.
So watch with us every week, here on Bible in the News. God willing we shall talk with you again next Thursday at www.bibleinthenews.com or www.biblemagazine.com
Printed: Wednesday, August 01, 2007
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