Amidst the terrible shaking in the Middle East right now, let’s not lose sight that there is still good news.
That said, mass protests and ongoing terrorism do not bode well, with internal strife deepening worries of civil war.
I’m sure many of us want to scream: “Pull yourselves together; your enemies are rubbing their hands with glee!” Israel’s archenemy, Iran, is happily gloating over their seeming descent into self-destruction, especially in view of the Shi’ite nation’s reported rapprochement with their Sunni enemies in Saudi Arabia.
Issuing ongoing threats of wiping Israel off the map, Iran has been prophesying the Jewish state’s demise for years, with the IDF on increasing alert to the possible need for launching an attack on the rogue regime thought to be just weeks away from ‘going nuclear.’ God forbid that internal strife among Jews should do their dirty work for them.
The mass protests are supposedly centred on the judicial reform proposed by the new right-wing government, but I suspect they are mostly stirred up by a woke, left-wing agenda opposed to any return to biblical values.
The Apostle Paul would have seen it for what it clearly is – spiritual warfare.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12)
In the same letter, however, he also spoke of reconciliation that can only be found in Christ.
“For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups (Jew and Gentile) one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility…His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace…” (Ephesians 2:14f)
Too many people – and politicians – are looking for peace in all the wrong places. The nations keep singing the tired old chorus of a ‘two-state solution,’ but that is so obviously a hopeless cause. Though there are many individual Palestinians who genuinely want peace, their leaders seem content only to stoke up the fires of conflict.
Isaiah prophesied of a coming ‘Prince of Peace’ (Isaiah 9:6) who did, indeed, bring real lasting peace to those who followed him.
“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give you.” (John 14:27)
But he mourned over the Jerusalem of his day:
“If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace!”
Destruction duly followed, just as he predicted, because they did not recognise the time of God’s visitation (Luke 19:41-44) – that their Messiah, Yeshua, had come down to tabernacle with his people.
Prophetic commentator Tony Pearce put it well: “As we see the strife within Israel, neither the left wing nor the right wing, neither the secular nor the religious, but only Yeshua, Jesus the Messiah, can resolve it. As we approach the days of trouble that will precede his return, the only answer for Israel is to repent and turn to the Messiah.”
And the frightening scenes we are witnessing in the promised land are birth-pains ushering in a golden age of Messianic peace and reconciliation. There are even reports of the Temple Mount shaking.
Archaeologist Eilat Mazar suggested that a major disaster at the site is imminent. “It is falling apart. It is just a matter of time until some big section of the inside of the compound will fall in,” she is reported as having said.
Indeed, a major earthquake will announce the return of Messiah. Ezekiel puts it this way:
“Surely in that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel… and every wall shall fall to the ground.” (Ezekiel 38:19f)
The encouraging aspect of this for Israel is that it will take place in the context of Christ’s victory over the nations who attack her. See also Zechariah 14:5 and Revelation 16:18.
Hold on steady, chosen ones. Your King is coming, not this time riding on a donkey in humility and peace on the way to be crucified for our sins. He is coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory (Matthew 24:30) and will stand on the Mount of Olives, coming back to earth just as he left it 40 days after his resurrection.
I love the story told recently by David Lazarus of Moldovan merchant Joseph Rabinowitz who began helping fellow Jews emigrate to Israel to escape persecution when his country was part of Russia in the late 19th century. During one of his regular trips to Jerusalem, while walking on the Mount of Olives one day, he saw Yeshua coming towards him, saying: “I am the one whom you seek; I am the solution to your problem.”
He became convinced that Yeshua was the Messiah and decided to stop working so hard to bring Jews to Israel and instead to invest all his energy and resources on Jewish evangelism in Moldova, pioneering Messianic Judaism in the modern era. (See Four Rabbis Find Yeshua, September 28, 2022)
Israelis, don’t miss the day of God’s visitation, as you did 2,000 years ago. Your Messiah is at the door. Embrace him!
Charles Gardner is author of Israel the Chosen, available from Amazon; Peace in Jerusalem, available from olivepresspublisher.com; To the Jew First, A Nation Reborn, and King of the Jews, all available from Christian Publications International.
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