Israel & America – Joined in Promise

Frequently weaving through my thoughts is how the creation, maintenance & continuation of the United States of America is interwoven with the workings of God. Or perhaps a better expression of my musings is, how do these processes reflect the mind & desires of the Lord?

Many years ago, a young woman I’d met at a friend’s home-church type gathering, stated that America was a type of the Manchild – or something like that. Although back then I knew ‘squat’ about America’s founding (nor cared), on some vague level, I sensed she was right. It was my first exposure to the spiritual expression of America.

Now, decades later, I am convinced that the United States of America is a powerful New Covenant representation. We were never just a country. Should we fall, still…we will never have been just a country.

Neither is Israel just a country.

America & Israel are living expressions of enduring New Covenant promises, concerning the blindness of the Jewish people ’til the fulness of the Gentiles be brought in. (Romans 11:25) We two countries are bound together in promise. Like it or not. At this time, the ‘grafting in’ of we Gentiles into that olive branch of spiritual Israel continues, as Gentiles come to Christ. (v.17-24) (I wonder if the awakening in some minds & hearts to a greater acceptance of and respect for the Jewish state, and its people & leaders – whether we are Christian believers or not – is somehow part of that process.) It can be no coincidence that Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, and the United States, the greatest democracy in the world, are both nations always involved with either Yahweh or Yeshua. (Yes, I said the United States. I promise you, there remains a remnant.)

Yahweh or Yeshua. The Old or the New Covenant. Hmmm…

 

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Israel is becoming more & more hemmed in, as her adversaries advance closer and closer to her borders. As they develop weapons’ capabilities to do the same. As world-wide anti-Semitism is reportedly rising. And I wonder if the spiritual ‘fulness if the Gentiles’ is represented by American prosperity & power, in a sense. Perhaps, should the United States reach her maximum potential for good – which is not a desired state! – she will wane in that power & sovereignty. ‘Fulness’ will have been reached. Her abilities to stand with & support Israel impaired, perhaps Israel may then experience a reversal of that ‘blindness’. Standing alone, looking for that final solution to war, Israel will be ready to receive Him when their Messiah arises throughout the land.

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I am just ‘thinking out loud’ here. May there be another way. Nonetheless, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” The earth is the LORD’s, and He doeth all things well.

 

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…and again…“Behold, He that keepeth Israel shall neither Slumber nor Sleep”

“Hamas claims victory after the end of Operation Protective Edge – even though it was soundly defeated by the IDF. Israel’s enemies and opponents – and much of the media – continue to fault the Jewish state for defending itself and its people. One would think Israel was on the ropes. Not so, writes Jonathan Tobin, who says that yesterday’s Israeli pact with Jordan is just one more piece of evidence that Israel is getting stronger” 

 (excerpt from Israel’s Getting Stronger, Not Weaker – Stand for Israel)

Israeli_Flag-1024x770

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Behold, He that keepeth Israel shall neither Slumber nor Sleep”

 

“What all of Israel is talking about but you won’t find it in the liberal media, is the fact that since the crisis began, our brave soldiers have found 31 terror tunnels with over 60 access points from Gaza that lead deep into Israel. What Israeli intelligence has not confirmed but what people in Israel are discussing is that our soldiers uncovered a decade-in-the-making plot to use a web of underground roads to launch a massive attack in 16 different cities in Israel — all to happen two months from now, during our High Holy Days — with the terror tunnels leading to community centers, kibbutzim, and kindergartens.” 

(The Heartbreaking Reality in Southern Israel – Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, Founder and President, IFCJ )

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Yahweh Reigns

Brooks & Dunn meet Isaiah & Co.

“When the day comes that I don’t love you
every star will fall out of the sky
every mountain will tumble down
and every river run dry.”
– Every River
(Kim Richey/Angelo/Tom Littlefield)
-BMI/ASCAP
Listening to Brooks & Dunn perform their heartfelt rendition of this song, earlier today,(Steers & Stripes, Arista-Nashville) (besides being deeply touched by the serious intensity of it), my brain patterns registered a similar expression of eternal commitment. Now where?…oh, right…
Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night…
If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever.”
(Jeremiah 31: 35, 36 ,KJV)
“My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.”
(Psalms 89: 34, KJV)
and, lastly, even though the following unthinakble and presumably impossible events actually should come to pass –
“For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be
removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD…”
(Isaiah 54: 10, KJV)
ooo

Israel’s Rights vs. "Cast Out the Bondwoman" ?

In recent days, we’ve learned that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has agreed to a limited Palestinian state. (I myself was taken aback somewhat when I read this, as Mr. Netanyahu has been repeatedly described as ‘hawkish’. I’m assuming that his reversal of position here was a result of United States influence/pressure (?) experienced in his latest meeting with President Obama.) One of the conditions is that the Palestinians agree to remain un-armed. Not surprisingly, this is not going over too well on the Palestinian front, last I heard.

Having recently posted on viewing a situation from the opposing side (see article), thus getting a differing perspective from my earlier one, I’m more prone to attempt that same approach in other matters now. I can’t say I enjoy doing this, and I believe real caution is in order when so attempting, but in search of truth and justice, such investigations become mandatory. Issues can weigh heavy with me, even if I myself am not immediately involved. Or ever involved ! But sometimes I am compelled, as the apostle Paul wrote in Acts, to “search these things out for yourselves”.

President Obama’s Cairo address included the topic of Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I believe. In posting about that speech, therefore, my thoughts turned in this direction. As a Bible-believing Christian, I pretty much had the basics down pat, I thought, regarding Israel’s right to its land. Numbers 34 opens with a clear and definite description of the boundaries of the land (Canaan) promised to the Israelites by God. It’s right there, in black and white. In fact, if you back up to Genesis 12, we see that Abraham (called Abram at the time) and his posse “went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.” And at that point the LORD informed him that “…Unto thy seed will I give this land…” All you Bible students out there know the simple math of Abraham, Isaac, then Jacob – whose name was changed to Israel. Biblically, it was in the Divine cards, so to speak, for specific lands to belong to the Israeli people. And if you check out a basic map of this clearly-outlined-by-God territory and overlay it on a map of the Middle East today…do I really need to tell you where we find ourselves? (map)

About two years ago, I was thrown a curve.

Reading an article entitled “American Apocalypse” , I was presented with a perspective on ‘Biblical prophesy’ and ‘end-time events’ that seriously contradicted anything I’d ever heard, or been taught. The thing of it was, the article made sense to me. Still, I would’ve balked, kicked and screamed my way out of it, if relevant Scripture hadn’t been included. But it was. Now, I can’t quite accept the cut-and-dry version of evangelical, mainstream Bible teaching concerning certain events anymore. And one of those events is the outcome of the Israeli-Palestinian crisis.

It took a little doing to backtrack and locate this article, but I’ve done so, and am re-reading it. I’d forgotten the whole thrust of dispensationalism factoring into my newly-considered end-times position. I used to work in a Bible bookstore, and I remember seeing that volume (by Clarence Larkin, was it?) about dispensationalism. Never got into it, though. All things are summed up in Christ, and I’ve always felt that it’s all about Him. Other areas of Scriptural study just have never really appealed to me all that much. Too many charts or something, in this one. Plus, don’t call me a dispensationalist, or a Methodist, or a Baptist, or any other ‘ist’, thank you, I believe in Jesus, and Him alone. When it comes to Christ, why do we need to subscribe to the tenets of various movements, organizations, and denominations? Some form of identity security or what?
As I see I’m heading off on a tangent, let me rope myself back in. Because I really, really get aggravated when it comes to ‘religious organizations’, and rules, thou shalt’s and shalt not’s, and any other form of structure that can turn a living organism into an organization. Yeah, it’s the rebel in me, the wild child, but I want to be free! And when the Son sets you free…you don’t need an ‘ism’ or an ‘ist’. His grace is sufficient. (Too scary for some, I know, but He can help you get over that.)

So…back to dispensationalism.

The prodigy of John Nelson Darby’s theology, dispensationalism became more widely known through the publication of Charles Ingersoll Scofield’s Scofield Reference Bible in 1909. A key element of this teaching is that all Scripture, especially prophecy, is to be interpreted literally, and Scofield taught that a prophecy may never be ‘spiritualized’. With this in mind, then, the land promised by God to Abraham and Israel must ultimately come into their (Israel’s) physical possession, exactly as detailed by the LORD. Additionally, it is a Scriptural statement that God’s Word will not pass away, and that He never changes, nor lies. So, Scofield and Darby notwithstanding, most Christians would see things this way anyhow. As did I.

“Christian leaders are zealous to ensure that U.S. foreign policy continues to be dictated by the interests of Israel without regard for the consequences in terms of Islamic reaction,” writes Stephen Sizer, the above-mentioned article’s author. He adds that dispensational belief in the futility of peace treaties between Israel and its Middle Eastern neighbors, and God’s blessings on America while she supports Israel in all endeavors, is “deeply destructive” to American interests worldwide.
I remember being floored when I read these statements a couple of years ago. They fly in the face of everything I’ve ever believed. Yes, they sound logical but are they spiritually accurate? How could I even dare to consider…but as I’ve moved on in my life, I try to squelch knee-jerk reactions. Give things time, let them marinate a bit…so, bug-eyed and in mild shock, I filed this in the back of my mind, to be re-examined at a later date.
Which seems to have arrived…
No doubt, the world appears to be heading towards an eventual Armageddon. John Hagee made a comment during one of his televised sermons that a weapon has never been developed that wasn’t eventually used. (I haven’t researched that, but he’s an intelligent man, and seems to know what he’s talking about. So I’m goin’ with, he’s right…) And Israel is the hot spot of the world. It’s not lookin’ good. When all nations converge on Jerusalem, right?
But I’ve often been unwilling, even unable to concede to what seems obvious to many, if not most. Those twelve spies sent out by Moses judged according to the obvious, and their demise was swift (Numbers 14:37) – but Caleb had a different spirit (v.24), speaking and believing in faith, and lived, entering the Promised Land with Joshua (v.30). (Now, these Scriptures do refer to obtaining the land promised, against all odds – they could be used to in fact disprove the point I’m trying to make. The angle from which I’m approaching this scenario is, not judging according to obvious circumstances. Daring to see a different way.) So I wonder, with the Lord a day is as a thousand years…there may be more time than we think, and it may be that events transpire in a manner other than what we have heretofore believed, or thought. I know this sounds blasphemous, and I am not saying anything other than, I wonder…either way, God’s plan and purposes will come to pass, of a surety, know this.
ooo
Now, one thing we all do know is that there exists an old and a new Covenant, Biblically speaking. We are told, in Galatians 4, that Abraham’s two sons, one by a bond woman and one by a free woman, represent these two Covenants. The son of the bond woman Hagar was in the same rank with the Jerusalem that then existed, the physical, earthly city, and a type of the old Covenant “…which gendereth to bondage” (v.24). Now that old Covenant was struck on Mt. Sinai, and gave us law. Not grace, people, law…! Be clear on that! “…which gendereth to bondage.” Scripture records here, “…Cast out the bondwoman and her son…” (v.30) (as was done to Hagar and her child {Genesis 21:10} ), because the slave child shall not inherit along with the child of freedom, the child of grace and promise, which is the new Covenant, the “Jerusalem which is above” (Gal.4:26).

There are two Jerusalems.

What I wonder is, when the bondwoman and her son were cast out, what they stood for was cast out as well – and since what they stood for was old Covenant, and the physical Promised Land description resides in old Covenant ‘territory’ language – is it possible that the temporal fulfilment of such language has also been invalidated? If this is so, then perhaps there really is a New Day for the Middle Eastern countries. Perhaps there will be another answer, a different and unexpected door that will open up.

ooo

I had never understood exactly what ‘Zionism’, or ‘Christian Zionism’, was. Now, Zion itself, I understand, with rejoicing! But this other…wasn’t sure, but figured it must be good…right? Now, I question that cautious conclusion.. Mr. Sizer has this to say: “Increasingly, Dispensational Christian Zionism is being perceived as a deviant heresy which is subservient to the political agenda of the State of Israel.” The Jerusalem Declaration on Christian Zionism denounces the movement as ‘extreme’, ‘detrimental to…peace’ between Palestine and Israel, and as reducing the Gospel of the grace of God in Christ to an ideology of empire and militarism. It rejects the teachings of Christian Zionism where they facilitate such action and attitude.
The good part is, and my heart thrills to this next – the Declaration doesn’t stop at just refuting Christian Zionism, but presents to us the better way. We are urged to pursue the ‘healing of the nations’ through the ‘gospel of universal love, redemption and reconciliation taught by Jesus Christ.’
ooo

I suspect that I sound naive and uninitiated. This may be. But truth bears looking into, and one has to start somewhere. In the course of my doing so, I happened upon a site on which a statement was made about the disregard for the plight of the uprooted and homeless Palestinians. Considering this crisis from that perspective, I’ve began searching out information and articles relevant to this subject. Next on my agenda, approaching from the Palestinian perspective…

Having said all the above, I ask my readers to bear in mind that I’m only putting it out there – thoughts, ideas and questions. And if backed up against a wall, my only response, if one was required, is that I believe that Jesus Christ is the great I Am. He holds the future in His hands.

Nixon, Pastor John Hagee & Golda Meir

While switching channels the other day, on my way to The Jamie Foxx Show, I happened across John Hagee, pastor and internationally-known preacher/ teacher introducing one of his guests and explaining the upcoming segment of the show. Now, I’m never really sure how I feel about John Hagee. I often keep on flipping the channel. Something about what he was saying, though…and I must admit, Pastor Hagee is very intelligent, very aware, and seems to have connections with high-level personages in government and politics, both here and abroad. So I settled in, released Jamie Foxx ’til next time, and focused.

Hagee’s guest was author and filmmaker Bill McKay, creator and producer of the docudrama TV series “Against All Odds: In Search of a Miracle”. The film is described on Sid Roth’s Messianic Vision website this way: “Those who think they know the story of Israel will be surprised by this collection of unknown soul-stirring stories of miraculous events that turned the course of the nation’s history.” Up for discussion this day was the Yom Kippur War, which occurred in 1973, and of which I knew nothing. By show’s end, I knew little more than nothing about the war itself, but what I had learned far surpassed military facts.

Included in this docudrama are two accounts of events that took place during this intense twenty-day battle between Israel and the armies of Egypt and Syria primarily, in their attempt to recover lands lost to Israel in the Six Day War (in 1967). The Yom Kippur War was fought in the Golan Heights, the Syrian peninsula and its surrounding regions. The first account has to do with an actual happening on the battlefield. I was so engaged by the footage and the narration that it never even entered my mind to take notes. So, among other details, I don’t have the then-soldier’s name whose story this is, or how many were with him, or exactly where they were. But I will never forget what happened to him and his fellow soldiers on that desert battleground.

It was dark. The Israelis were rolling across the sands in tanks, perhaps other vehicles as well. According to McKay’s narration, these troops were surrounded by the Syrian army. I don’t remember how it became known that the men had entered a mine field, but one way or another, too late, they found out. All vehicles pulled to a halt. Each man was instructed to get out. Crawling, inch by inch, along the ground, each soldier used the bayonet part of his weapon to scrape away the sands in the desperate hope of uncovering mines. If the mines were revealed, then a clear path could be determined. Perhaps. The problem was, progess was minute, and the Syrians were getting closer.

The number 600 is in my mind, and I don’t know if McKay mentioned 600 Syrian tanks, 600 mines eventually uncovered, or if I’m thinking about Pharoah of old and his 600 chariots bearing down upon the Hebrew children, led by Moses, making their escape through the desert. When God moved mightily upon the waters of the Red Sea, parted them and provided a way of escape for His people. In this scenario, it looks like He moved just as mightily.

The men knew they were running out of time. Then, something unusual happened. Not just a wind but a very strong wind came out of nowhere. At this point McKay informed us that in that part of the world, such a thing doesn’t happen. This powerful movement of air continued for, he said, 37 seconds and blew away the top thirty inches of sand, ACROSS THAT WHOLE AREA, so that EVERY SINGLE MINE WAS MADE VISIBLE…

No mines exploded that night, in that ‘field’.

ooo

When Hillary Clinton was campaigning for the Democratic presidential candidate nomination, attention was drawn to her receiving that 3 AM phone call, and her ability to handle it calmly, decisively, and effectively. I did not know then that Golda Meir, conversely, had needed to make such a call during her five-year term as Prime Minister of Israel. And that historic call was made to then President of the United States Richard M. Nixon. In “Against All Odds: In search of a Miracle”, Bill McKay tells us about this 3 AM call and its impact on the outcome of the Yom Kippur War.

This war began with the launching of “an overwhelming surprise attack” on Yom Kippur, Israel’s holiest of holy days, when the entire nation comes to a virtual standstill. Even non-observants Jews honor this holyday by fasting, staying home or going to synagogue, and refraining from the use of fire, electricity, and communications systems. Israel could not have been more vulnerable. Until shortly before it began, “Israeli intelligence was not able to determine conclusively that an attack was imminent.” (Wikipedia, Golda Meir – Yom Kippur War). Though Meir had been informed that enemy forces were gathering on the Golan Heights, she was counseled by advisors not to be overly concerned, that there was sufficient time to prepare for any military encounter. A mere six hours before hostilities actually began, it was decided not to precipitate events by launching a pre-emptive strike. This decision (later proved to have been a wise one) however, along with the erroneous interpretations of enemy movements by Israeli intelligence and leaders, left Israel basically a ‘sitting duck’. The country was “brought almost to its knees, and feared another holocaust” (link).

By the second day of fighting, the slaughtering of Israeli troops and destruction of their equipment was so crushing that Israel’s minister of Defense and legendary Six Day War hero Moshe Dayan began talking pullback and possible surrender. Meir resisted his mood, but nonetheless had an aide secure lethal pills from her doctor; should her Arab enemies prevail, she would take her own life. (link)

Golda Meir was known for her stalwartness, her iron will and inflexible nature, and these were in fact what pevailed. Israel did not surrender. As the reserve troops approached the front lines and the tide slowly began to turn in Israel’s favor, however, arms and ammunition supplies were dangerously low. The Arab threat of an oil embargo and trade boycott had effectively halted European munitions re-supply, so Meir now turned her attention to the Nixon administration. At this point, the United States was Israel’s only hope.

Meir’s relationship with U.S. Secreatry of State Henry Kissinger seems to have been a bit rocky, and when assistance was requested from him, according to McKay’s docudrama, Kissinger’s response was to let Israel ‘bleed’ a little. (Yes, you’re reading it right. That’s what McKay reported Kissinger to have said. I heard it myself.) So Golda Meir picked up the phone and called Richard M. Nixon, President of the United States of America, at 3:00 AM and asked for help. And here is where it gets interesting.

I’ve done some background research for this post, and in fairness I must admit the evidence supports both sides of the coin, but it has been known that Nixon was considered strongly anti-Semitic. Yet by the time she hung up the phone, Golda Meir had all the weapons help her country needed to ramp up the swinging of the pendulum in its favor, and end the Yom Kippur War. “…the American resupply included 815 total sorties, bringing Israel 56 combat aircraft and 27,900 tons of munitions and supplies.” (Col. Trevor N. Dupuy, US Army (ret.), Elusive Victory: the Arab Israeli Wars, 1947-1974). And what makes this even more interesting is that, according to McKay’s “Against All Odds”, as Nixon sat on the side of his bed, listening to Golda Meir’s request over the phone, instead of hearing the Prime Minister’s voice, he heard the voice of his mother….as a young boy growing up, his mother had told him that one day he would be in a powerful position, and a situation would arise where Israel and the Jews needed his help. When it did, he was to help them.

“Against All Odds: In Search of a Miracle”, a TV series docudrama, in available on DVD and in book form through John Hagee Ministries




"A Step between Me and Death"


“And David… said,…but truly as the Lord liveth, there is but a step between me and death.” (1 Samuel 20: 3)


David, son of Jesse, former shepherd boy anointed by the prophet Samuel to become the next king of Israel had no illusions about his predicament in life. Saul, the present king of Israel, was out to get him. Fatally. Terminally. Permanently.

Some background: The near cataclysmic event that brought young David into the limelight was his unprecedented slaughter of the the giant Goliath. But a much less obvious occurrence had previously brought the shepherd boy to the attention of King Saul. Unbeknownst to the king, David had just been anointed by Samuel as the one chosen by God to become the next king, and with that anointing, Scripture tells us that “the Spirit of the Lord came upon David.” Awesome. Unfortunately for Saul, at that time, God’s spirit departed from him. Even worse, we read in 1 Samuel 16:14 that an evil spirit came along to trouble King Saul. Seeking relief from his suffering, Saul requested music. David was known for his skill as a harpist, and was summoned to play for the king. Voila! We read in verse 23 that the evil spirit departed.

So David begins his relationship with Saul on a high note, right? He brings deliverance from torment, yet, as we shall see, again and again Saul tried to kill him. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you!

Before King Saul went ballistic! against David, this future king of Israel braved other life-threatening circumstances as well. While tending a flock of sheep, “there came a lion and a bear”, one of which had the audacity and ignorance to snatch a lamb from the flock. (Now, I’m thinkin’, get outta Dodge!) Not David. Scripture tells us he went out after them and “slew both the lion and the bear,” recovering the terrified lamb. David credits his God for this amazing feat.

“David said…The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear…” (1 Samuel 17: 37)

Then, of course, there is the Goliath incident. Now Goliath was a pretty big dude. I read, about 9 3/4 feet tall. His armor alone weighed about 180 lbs., and that was only the coat of mail! I get that alot of people may dismiss this account as myth, but if you believe it as fact, how could you NOT see how easily David could have been literally crushed. But a) David knew that the same God who accomplished the above victory for him would also “deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine” and b) he had a mission and calling from God. His destiny was to reign over Israel, the people of God.

Following his slaughter of Goliath, David’s popularity exploded throughout all Israel, to the point that Saul definitely began to feel like a second-class citizen. Yep, that ol’ green-eyed monster, folks…Saul became “very wroth”, and he “eyed David from that day and forward.” (We are talking evil eye here, by the way.) If I have my timeline straight, as soon as the day after the defeat of Goliath, Saul’s jealousy of the young hero prompted him to cast a javelin at David in an attempt to murder him….TWICE.

When that failed, Saul plotted. Once again, his plans were foiled. He offered his daughter in marriage to David, but first David had to acquire one hundred Philistine foreskins as a sort of dowry. You see where I’m goin’ with this, right? Death by Philistines? Well, it should come as no surprise that David shows up with the foreskins. And not only does he show up with them, he shows up with not the required one but rather two hundred foreskins, and bingo! he’s now the king’s son-in-law.

By now Saul “saw and knew that the Lord was with David.” On top of that, Saul’s daughter Michal really loved David. Saul must have been pulling his hair out at this point. So he tells his servants and his son Jonathan to kill David. However, Jonathan and David had already become fast friends. Jonathan, shall we say, ‘put in a good word’ for David, and Saul changed his mind.

Temporarily.

Eventually Saul pulled the javelin routine again. David escaped.
So Saul staked out David’s house, planning to have David slain next morning, but David’s wife assisted in his escape that night through a window.
David left the immediate area and stayed with the prophet Samuel. Three times Saul sent men to apprehend David, but it just wasn’t happenin’…I could go on, but I’m hoping the point has been made that David could not have been killed. His destiny had not yet come to pass in its fullness.

“Saul sought him every day, but God delivered him not into his hand.” (1 Samuel 23: 14)

While it is true that David was on the run for awhile, lived in wilderness caves and strongholds, had to feign insanity at one point to escape yet another life-threatening situation, and at times was “sore afraid”, still, we see that he lived to rule and reign as king of Israel for forty years. (1 Kings 2: 11)


Thank you for stopping by and reading my post, and for giving me a reason and opportunity to share this, my greatest joy.

Christina