Last week, a handful of nations took a lonely stand for Israel.
Why are so many so intent on opposing Israel?
As the end-times lineup continues to form, will you side with the nations on the Psalm 1 “Firmly Planted” team? Or with the Psalm 2 “Raging Nations”?
No one gets to sit this one out!
I don’t have a lot of my own words this week. But I have a lot of scripture! I guess you won’t hold that against me. 🙂
After Donald Trump announced that the U.S. will move its embassy to Israel to Jerusalem, the U.N. took two lopsided votes condemning the move (Security Council—14:1; General Assembly—128:9). This may look like a defeat for Donald Trump and for Israel. But in reality, the nations which have aligned in favor of a divided Jerusalem—and against Israel—will find they face a much greater Opponent.
And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.
–God (Gen 12:3)
Blessed is everyone who blesses you [Israel], and cursed is everyone who curses you.
–Balaam, “the Prophet for Profit” (Num 24:9; even he couldn’t help himself!)
Conventional wisdom says it’s lonely at the top. I wouldn’t know :). But I have it on Jesus’ own authority that it’s lonely on the path of righteousness.
“…for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Matt 7:13-14
I posted three weeks ago about how the Ezekiel 38 lineup appears to be forming as we watch (When We Run the Prophet’s Playbook). Since I put that one up, the U.N. action has made another alignment sadly apparent: the “raging nations” lineup. “Let all who have ears to hear” absorb all these references—and note especially that all of them are connected with Messiah’s second coming.
It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it. (Zech 12:3. “They will look on Me whom they have pierced,” a Messianic end-times prophecy, comes later in the same chapter—Zech 12:10)
Why do the nations rage
And the peoples devise a vain thing?
The kings of the earth take their stand
And the rulers take counsel together
Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying,
“Let us tear their fetters apart
And cast away their cords from us!”
He who sits in the heavens laughs,
The Lord scoffs at them,
Then He will speak to them in His anger
And terrify them in His fury, saying,
“But as for Me, I have installed My King
Upon Zion, My holy mountain.” (Ps 2:1-6)
For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city. Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives… (Zech 14:2-4)
Note: “All nations” in the Bible doesn’t necessarily literally mean every nation in the world. The meaning of “all” is determined by context. (I would argue that’s true in any language. If I say “all the girls went to the lunch,” you understand by context I mean all the women who were around the office that day–not literally all the girls in the world.)
If those prophecies aren’t disturbing enough, there’s more…
For behold, in those days and at that time,
When I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem,
I will gather all the nations
And bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat.
Then I will enter into judgment with them there
On behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel,
Whom they have scattered among the nations;
And they have divided up My land….
Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision!
For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. (Joel 3:1-2,14)
Note: “Jehoshaphat” in the Joel passage may not represent an actual physical place. Jehoshaphat means “Yahweh judges,” so the Valley of Jehoshaphat is the same as the “valley of decision.”
I didn’t catch until recently that when Jesus speaks in Matt 25 of how the Son of Man will judge between the sheep and the goats (Matt 25:31-46), the question is phrased as one of national destiny (“All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another…” Matt 25:32) And the basis of the judgment is how the nations treated “these my brethren” (Matt 25:40). When Yeshua the Messiah speaks as King of “these my brethren,” does He mean Christians? Or Jews, His national brethren (Rom 9:3-4)?? It’s subject to interpretation. Could be either or both!
Are we watching the nations separate into sheep and goats at the U.N. right now? Or perhaps they already did that during World War II…. :-/
Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision!
Bottom line…. I don’t care whether the vote tally is 128:9 or 14:1 or 99999:1! My nation has lined up on the right side on this one. I’ll line up with the Psalm 1 “firmly planted” team rather than the Psalm 2 “raging nations” any day. No matter how unpopular my team may be with the world!
Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar (Rom 3:3-4. Note that the context of this verse is God’s faithfulness to Israel!)
How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water… (Ps 1:1-3)
In Luke’s gospel, Yeshua’s warning about the narrow path comes shortly after a bit of prophecy that’s easy to overlook. Our Lord is on His final journey to Jerusalem—He will arrive there in Luke 19. In a famous passage, He’ll lament from the Mount of Olives over the judgment that will come to the city (Luke 19:41-44).
Luke 13 opens with a preview of this.
Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. And Jesus said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:1-5)
The slaughtered Galileans mentioned here were apparently members of a Hebrew rebel assassin band called the Sicarii (“dagger-men”), led by Judas of Galilee. Their brutal deaths at the hands of the Romans did in fact presage a broader rebellion, which ultimately led to the siege of Jerusalem and destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D. A million Jewish men, women and children died in that siege.
After this “repent or perish” warning, our Lord moves on to a parable of a patient vineyard owner with a fruitless fig tree (Luke 13:6-8). This, of course, was a picture of the state of the nation of Israel. The parable repeats the warning–the timeline for judgment is set.
“‘If it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.’” Luke 13:9
“If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.” Luke 19:42-44
We now know that the Temple’s abject destruction in 70 A.D. was a powerful validation that the age of the Mosaic covenant had ended. Messiah’s atoning death ushered in a new covenant (Luke 22:20, Jer 31:31), and this Age of Grace in which we stand (Rom 5:2). The Temple with its sacrificial system was superfluous.
Roman soldiers remove spoils from
the Temple in 70 A.D.
But forty years before all that destruction, Yeshua of Nazareth put that generation on notice. The end of that system was at hand. Destruction loomed. The path was narrow. “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” Tragically, His prophecies were absolutely and horrifically fulfilled.
I believe our generation has also been put on notice (Top Four Signs We’re in the Last of the Last Days, When We Run the Prophet’s Playbook ). So many signs that the end of our Age of Grace is at hand!
A fig tree puts forth leaves. Luke 21:30
Of course, the thing that’s missing today as you skim through the prophecies is an actual battle. A U.N. resolution does not equal a battle plan. Will the “raging nations” really attack Israel over Jerusalem?
Well, they did in 1948, 1967 and 1973. So it would not be the most surprising thing in the world, would it?
Time will tell what will unfold, but prior to last week’s vote in the U.N. General Assembly, Turkey’s Erdogan called an emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which he chairs. 57 nations attended, including Iran’s Rouhani and Sudan’s Al-Bashir. Erdogan called on Muslim leaders to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine and said Turkey will open an embassy to the Palestinians in East Jerusalem. As Reuters observes, “It was not clear how he would carry out the move, as Israel controls all of Jerusalem and calls the city its indivisible capital.”
Earlier this week, Hamas’s leader in the Gaza Strip, Yahya Sinwar, said that a senior Iranian military commander pledged all of the Islamic Republic’s military resources to help the Gaza-based terror group fight Israel over Jerusalem.
“All our of capabilities and potential are at your disposal in the battle for the defense of Jerusalem,” Sinwar said that Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ elite Quds Force, told him over the phone.
Please forgive me for repeating myself, but it continues to astound–and excite–me how we live in a day when prophecies are leaping off the Bible’s pages and into the headlines.
With Israel back in the land…
with the final battle lines starting to form…
The day when our Savior returns to separate
the sheep from the goats may be very near!
Brothers and sisters, please pray for the “shalom” of the “City of Shalom,” Jerusalem! Sadly, I think there’s some rough play ahead.
If you’ve never opened God’s free gift of salvation through Jesus (Rom 3:23, 6:23), please please please be persuaded to do it now! It’s simple. Just tell God from your heart that you admit you’re a sinner that needs a Savior (“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Rom 3:23) that you’re done running your own life, and that you’re ready to make Jesus Lord of your life.
If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” (Rom 10:9-11)
The decision that saves you is that simple!
Simple… But no one said living it out will be easy. Especially now, in these last days.
A sincere thank you for the time and attention you’ve devoted to this post! Here are links to a few more articles on Israel that might interest you.