Sunday, December 16, 2012

Why Israel?

 If I was not a Christian, Israel would bother me. Well, of course, Israel bothers most people who are not Christians. Ishmael derided Isaac, and to this day despises Jacob. Shoehorned into a sliver of Palestine by the United Nations, the Arabs have never forgiven Israel for her intrusion.

But that’s not exactly what would bother me. What would make me uneasy is that Israel still exists. After all, hundreds of tin pot nations Israel’s size and larger, with their plasticine gods, have flowered briefly like a desert rose, and vanished.

As Sennacherib’s commander said to Hezekiah, “Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim?” (Is. 36:19). Where indeed! Where are those nations that worshiped them? Gone forever, like a myriad of insignificant nations and major empires of the last four thousand years.

Israel has existed for all that time; despite its genesis in slavery, occupied by foreign forces most of her time in the land, and scattered throughout the world for half of her existence. How could a nation under such privation survive?

So, if I was not a Christian, two questions would bother me. First, how did the Bible foresee Israel—a small insignificant people—as a nation that would exist until today? Second, How did the Bible predict Israel would eventually become the focus of world affairs?

To answer the first: There seems to be no option to a Bible inspired by One who knew the end from the beginning. Second, the attempted destruction of Israel, that has continued throughout her history to the present time—remember the holocaust?—is necessary to prove God a liar and the Bible untrustworthy.

The battle against Israel may be fought by human combatants, but it is spiritually orchestrated by the desperate one who was defeated at the cross. Now, as earth’s history builds to a climax, Israel is surrounded by aggressive nations and an increasingly hostile world.

We may be witnessing the preparation for that final battle for supremacy of the earth. Israel may yet have worse calamities to undergo, but Jerusalem will survive to become the world’s capital, for “He has desired it for his dwelling” (Ps. 132:13).

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