My wife incited a thread on facebook by mentioning Israel. It was 'great' in that it revealed depth of feeling rarely displayed about anything in this modern culture. It got me to thinking, so I include one comment from the thread and then I will start my comments on the whole matter. (you would have to go to Laura Bean's page on facebook and then scroll down to November 24th to get the whole thread.)
“No matter what they do? If they hypothetically decide, tomorrow, to murder every young baby and child in Palestine, would that be okay? Because the Bible says support them. That is the problem with following a rulebook interpreted by humans, because I suspect no good God would support such a thing. Hence, either the bible is wrong, or the human interpretation given me is, because I will not support an evil act no matter who or what entity says to support an evil act. Not to mention, is not the whole idea that if supporting them so that they can bring about the apocalypse? Well I don't want the apocalypse if our actions can bring peace and prevent it. If you are looking forward to the apocalypse you really shouldn't be making decisions about our future because the future doesn't really concern you.”
This thread has been beautiful in its diversity. I want to add to it because I respect what has gone before me. A “world view” is evident in every response. Israel and Jerusalem, are guaranteed to bring out strong feelings. When you begin to go deep into these issues, one thing that becomes very clear is that there is a deeper connection between the Jew and Israel, than there is between any other nationality and their home-land. They are deeply inter-twined, it is difficult if not impossible to tell where the state ends and the individual begins. No one can imagine the joy of having a land of their own, after many centuries of exile. The brand new UN voted to give the Jew this land. The holocaust was fresh in every ones minds and this new body whose main charter was to prevent future wars, saw only 'good' in giving this people a land of their own, so that they would never again be the whipping boy of a deranged dictator. Did they handle the Palestinian problem correctly? No. Has any Arab body before or since, helped? No. Did Muhammad teach his followers that it is OK to lie, to make false treaties, to buy time and eventually destroy your enemy...Oh yes he did. (Treaty of Hudaibiya)
At its deepest level this becomes about God's right to choose. He does not choose based on performance, it is all grace. This truth, is a great comfort to the sinner, and a great affront to those who 'think they are well.' The apocalypse happens because God said it would, the Jew does not bring it about, God does. The end result is Peace, true peace, between nations and peoples. There is a cross before the crown...always. Humanity strives for 'peace' but it is the expedient peace that leaves God and His choice out of the equation. We will just educate our selves and eventually, everyone will see that the wise choice is peace and so they will lay down their weapons and stop this silly arguing and killing. That has never happened in history and it will not happen for anything longer than a 3 ½ year period now. The amazing thing is that people who believe in a God who has on His agenda, the apocalypse, are actually the most charitable group in the world. More colleges, hospitals, orphanages and rescue missions are formed and operating under the name of Jesus than all other religions or non-religions combined. There must be more to this picture than we typically see.
Sin, injustice, bribery, money talks, however you want to put it one of the horrors in this world is the lack of true justice. The apocalypse is all about clearing the slate, so that God can keep His promise to rule the nations in truth and justice from His chosen center of the world, Jerusalem. True and good government flowing from a true and good God. The financial “rulers of the world” are shown as being destroyed in the apocalypse even before the armies that array themselves against the purposes of God. So the puppeteers and the puppets will all be brought under the rule of God and the world will witness and live under the one who is called Faithful and True.
The path there is not so pretty. But as for calling it “good or evil” that is up to God, not to us, with our very limited, very finite perspective. I think the path will look something like this. (I don't think for one second I have the whole truth on this and would be interested in any other perspectives that are supported by the amazing word of God.) Zechariah 12:3 is the starting point, because here in this 2,500 year old prophecy is an amazing up-to-the-minute headline from the evening news.
“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.”
Words of prophecy this accurate, should cause us to study the Bible.
Currently, the individual who truly deeply converts and grows solidly in their love for God, is a person who has seen the deep depravity of their heart; addicts, and those who have had a true 'dark night of the soul', a time of utter hopelessness in themselves. The Bible is very aware of this principle and speaks of it in numerous places. “When they come to the end of their strength...” then God moves. This principle of God applies to individuals and to His chosen people as a whole.
Israel being chosen comes with a 'down-side.' Because they have been given so much, they are given double for their sins. God's judgment, has been severe throughout their history. Man has over-stepped and gone beyond the intent of God, because Satan is very aware that the way you stop the Kingdom from coming is you stop the people who are to be a light to the other nations. Israel had to be restored to their land, in order for the events of the end times to begin.
The desire for peace is strong and leads to many compromises. A peace covenant that is actually a lie, for no other purpose than to 'buy time' to get strong enough to kill your enemies, is an accepted way of doing business in Islam. A covenant of peace, most likely made from a point where Israel has proven stronger than her enemies, is made. Work on the temple is started. A small time player in that covenant, begins to rise in influence and power. He is assassinated. Satan copies the resurrection of Jesus, by “indwelling” this man's body. The anti-Christ is now on the earth, and he sets out very quickly to accomplish as much death and destruction as he possibly can, because he knows his time is short.
There is no nation that will be the solution to this problem. The anti-christ will actually set up his throne in Jerusalem and when the nations gather to fight him at the end of time, because they are tired of his rule, tired of his control. Jesus will return and end it all before man destroys everything.
The throne of David, is where Jesus will rule from. A promise is a promise, and God is glorified when He keeps these promises, to this people. The proper response of every other nation is, “Your God is the true God show us your God.”