“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you.”                      Psalm 122:6

The story of Israel is a story that has inflamed passions for centuries. How amazing that a land of 10,000 square miles and 1/16th the size of California with a population of six-million should capture the World news almost on a daily basis. What is it about Israel that attracts us all to her like air to a vacuum?

If you do not know Bible history you do not know where World history is going. That is why I decided to write this article about Israel. I want you to try to wrap your mind around it.  It’s not complex, but it is l-o-n-g story;  but also  an exceedingly interesting story that every Bible lover should endeavor to understand.

 In God’s Eyes Israel Is the Center of the World

It is not Washington or London or Paris or Mecca; it is Israel and Jerusalem in particular.

Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘This is Jerusalem; I have set her in the midst of the nations and the countries all around her.” Ezekiel 5:5

North in the Bible is always north of Jerusalem, east is always east of Jerusalem, west is always west of Jerusalem, south is always south of Jerusalem. Look at a world map and you will see that Israel is a land bridge that touches Asia, Africa, and Europe.

Jerusalem is also the Salvation center of the earth. Jesus said that, Salvation is of the Jews.”  Man is spiritually lost and needs to be saved, and God is the only one who can save us. It is not within man himself to do so; thus the absolute necessity for Mount Calvary.  (Isaiah 45: 21-22; Jeremiah 10:23)

Jerusalem is also the Storm Center of the World. Jerusalem is a powder keg and the Middle East is on fire. The other hot-spots in the world are insignificant compared to Israel.  She is like a volcano rumbling under the sea. This is exactly as God described Israel on the world stage.

 Zechariah 12: 2-3, Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem.  And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.”

Jerusalem shall one day be the Glory Center of the worldAll spiritual, economic, political, educational policies of the world shall flow out from her as the world Capiatal

Isaiah 2:1-4, “The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say,  “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.”  For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, And rebuke many people; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore.”

Israel is the Land Where the Pivotal Struggle For Control of the Universe will take Place. Here is a land that has soaked up more blood than any other; the most precious blood of all being the Blood of Christ. But yet even more is yet to be shed. Most of us have heard of the future battle of Armageddon that will be waged in Israel’s Valley of Megiddo. “The blood turned into a river that was about two hundred miles long and almost deep enough to cover a horse.” (Revelation 14:20 Contemporary English Version)

 How Did We Get Here? Why is the Middle Easy a Perpetual Firestorm?

If you go to the average library you will get the accepted wisdom of pundits who know the Arab/Israeli conflict totally from a secular perspective. While these wizards of smart are certainly on-point in many ways they know precious little from what the Bible teaches about the Arab-Israeli conflict.   Like doctors who know how to treat the symptoms of the disease they do not know how to diagnose it.

In part two of this article I want to show you from the Bible WHY the Middle East is on fire and WHY this little strip of land called Israel is a  “A trembling cup,”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     “a burdensome stone” to all nations.   

So That you might check it out for yourself before you read part two. I would encourage you to open your Bible and read these very important references; Genesis Chapter 16-17.

I especially want you to mull over what Genesis 16: 11-12 which says,                                                     

And the Angel of the LORD said to her: “Behold, you are with child
And you shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, Because the LORD has heard your affliction. He shall be a wild man His hand shall be against every man, And every man’s hand against him.  And he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.”

And then I want you to ponder deeply over Genesis 17: 18-21 which says:

And Abraham said to ,Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!”
 Then God said: “No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him.  And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time next year.”

 These are the core historical facts that are central to understanding the WHY in the Middle East today and in the days to come.

This is a dark side of history that has rumbled down to us in smoke and flame and is roaring like thunder in the Middle East right now.

In the next article I will paint you a miniature portrait of Israel’s history and HOW it will end. The good news is that the ‘best is yet to be’ for God always keeps his promises.

Don’t let the bold headlines upset you; Rest in Him!

He is Only a Prayer Away.

Pastor Bob.