Prophecy And Politics
Throughout the negotiations carried on by both the Rabin and Netanyahu governments in Israel with their Arab neighbors, a persistent question has been raised by many Christians. “Why,” they ask, “would the Israelis be willing to give up one inch of land that has been given to them by God?” The query places such Christians and their Orthodox Jewish counterparts in precise agreement. Why, indeed, should Jewish leaders be willing to negotiate with people who have labored to wipe them off the face of the earth for more than a half century? The answer is to be found in two realms: the prophetic and the political.
The Prophetic Foreview
Bible believers should have no questions about the legitimacy of Jewish claims to a national home in the Holy Land. With the accelerating condemnation of virtually everything Israel does, it is important to be reminded of the rights of Jewry in the Middle East. The claim is based not only on moral and historical integrity; it is grounded on the promise of God Himself.
“In the same day the Lᴏʀᴅ made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates…And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a sojourner, and all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession” (Gen. 15:18; 17:8).
Every promise related to the Messianic Kingdom and the ultimate return of the Jewish people to the Promised Land rests on this biblical affirmation: God will keep His word—the King and the Kingdom are coming. And when He returns, Israel will possess every square inch of territory promised in the Scripture to Abraham’s seed through Isaac.
Present Political Expediency
However, contrary to what some would propose, we are not living in the Kingdom age. Governments in Israel are secular governments led by men who are attempting to survive in a largely hostile international environment. Thus, we can expect negotiations and territorial fluctuations as Israel’s leaders seek accommodation with their neighbors and with the Gentile nations who are currently, from a human standpoint, calling the shots.
Where is it all leading? As surely as we have been informed about the course of the coming Kingdom, the Word of God has given us a decisive look into the last days. Basically, three great movements are evolving: frustration over the inability to achieve a secure peace; fear over the prospect of nuclear holocaust; and an increasingly desperate search for someone to take control.
Scripture tells us that, whatever interim agreements are reached, lasting peace will not be achieved by secular diplomacy. On the contrary, the nations will continue their slide into global degeneracy and produce more devastating power to kill than to heal. Ultimately, a world system devoid of moral moorings will welcome the most infamous of tyrants, the Antichrist. Israel and Jerusalem will be the focus of this last gasp of human history prior to the Messiah’s return.
“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the peoples round about…And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all peoples” (Zech. 12:2–3).
What does all of this say to us? First, don’t be surprised at whatever concessions are made in the quest for peace. Second, rest in the assurance that indestructible Israel does have a future that is rooted in the promise of the peace that will arrive with the Messiah.