Sep 12, 2011

Stand against Israel at your own peril: Psalm 2

The case against replacement theology – the belief that the Church has replaced Israel regarding God’s promises to Abraham – can easily be made by Romans 11 as clear evidence that God has a future plan for Israel. I’m so thankful the Holy Spirit inspired Paul with those words because they are so clear to point out that God does have a beautiful future for the Jews in the Kingdom to come.

Then, this past Sunday, my pastor was teaching on Psalm 2 and I was struck with how powerfully this Davidic psalm also shows God’s plan for Israel.

God’s word in Psalm 2 clearly points out that any Gentile nation who stands against God’s plans will be broken and shattered. The passage tells of nations that rage against God, His Messiah and Israel. The psalm, through literary form, claims God laughs at the nations that take a stand against Israel and Jesus Christ.

What is God’s response to nations who take counsel and actions against Israel and the Messiah? God will terrify these nations and tell them that He “has installed My King upon Zion.”

Notwithstanding preterist viewpoints, does anyone living today believe this won’t take place? Look at what God the Father tells God the Son. “’Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Your possession.’”

And for the nations’ disobedience, the Messiah is told “’You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.’”

Though the picture is violent, the point is that all nations will be subdued under the rule of God’s anointed king, Jesus Christ.

But, the picture isn’t bleak for all Gentiles. There is hope for the nations. The psalm ends with a stanza of assurance. God invites the leaders of nations and their peoples to worship Yahweh and honor Jesus Christ as the Messiah so that they may be saved and even be blessed.

What’s the takeaway? Nothing is going to stop God’s plan for Israel and Jesus Christ as the one who will sit on the Davidic throne without end. No nation, no religion, or no alliance can put a halt to what God is doing today and what He will do in Zion.

Sep 9, 2011

God has not abandoned Israel, though others have

Recep Tayyip Erodogan, the Turkish prime minister, was in talks with Egypt in Cairo this week which could foretell further political isolation for Israel, according to a report from the U.K.’s The Guardian. The Guardian’s Harriet Sherwood writes that this is an attempt to seek an alliance between the two countries “with the aim of increasing the Jewish state’s isolation in the region.”

It’s believed that Turkey’s money will give voice to its influence in Egypt and the growing influence of Islam there. This follows Turkey’s expulsion of the Israeli ambassador to Turkey and dissolution of all military agreements between the two nations.

When you add this to the concerted and massive public relations effort the Palestinian National Authority is expending against Israel and in favor of its own statehood, Israel could use more praying and supportive friends from its Christian younger “brethren.”

All this leading up to the expected vote in favor of recognizing a Palestinian state by the United Nation’s general assembly later this month. “Turkey and Egypt are backing the Palestinian bid,” Harriet wrote.

I want to impress on all believers the need to pray for Israel and God’s protection. But, God has not abandoned Israel, and according to the original promises to Abraham and the Spirit-inspired words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 11, we can be fully assured there is a future for Israel in the kingdom to come.

Sep 2, 2011

Another deterrent to violence is removed in the Middle East

In this humble observer’s opinion, another cog slipped into place that is creating a context for escalated violence in Israel following the United Nations’ vote that is anticipated to recognize Palestinian statehood.

Today, Turkey expelled Israel’s ambassador to Ankara and suspended all military agreements following the U.N. report of investigations regarding Israel’s Gaza Strip blockade. At the heart of the issue is the “excessive and unreasonable” force Israeli commandos used to stop a Turkish ship attempting to break the blockade.

The U.N. reported in their findings that the boarding raid was a legitimate security measure and in accordance with international law. The report also explains that the Israeli commandos who boarded the Turkish vessel used force to protect themselves in response to what it called “significant, organized and violent resistance” from some of its passengers.

So, how is this a cog slipping into place? There is a sort of deterrence to Middle East conflict if Turkey and Israel aren’t battling. This damage to the Turkey-Israel relationship will embolden anti-Zionists.

But, I think a bigger question is how will the White House dance its delicate waltz with Turkey expelling the Israeli ambassador and severing military agreements? Will the Obama administration feel tugged in different directions here, or will this be another excuse for this administration to continue its slow divorce from Israel?