Jun 26, 2017

(I’d like to ask readers to consider helping our good friend, Brian Schrauger—www.jerusalemjournal.net—promote his incredible reporting from Israel. If you’d like to help him promote on social media, contact Brian at Brian@JerusalemJournal.net, or on his Facebook page. It’s really important and would really help. Thanks!)

 The Bible Sets Parameters

Our world today is dominated by secularists, and chaos. Because man attempts to solve his own problems (not so different from the loony “change the world” mantra of so many evangelical leaders), common sense is suppressed. What seems obvious to some is not seen the same way by conventional wisdom.

A prime example is the Arab-Israeli conflict. In the real world, if one party repeatedly chooses the wrong path, that party would be fired, let loose from a relationship, or found guilty in a court of law.

Not so with the Palestinians.

In a world that made sense, Israel would be supported internationally and the Palestinian leadership would have been charged with war crimes. Yasser Arafat would have finished his time on earth in some Tunisian cave as a missile pierced the entrance.

But instead, the delusion of the Oslo Accords continues to serve as a stupefying example of wrong thinking.

As a believer, I actually take comfort in this, because it confirms the authenticity of the Bible. What do I mean?

The Bible does not describe anywhere a man-centered program for peace. It does not look ahead to Dennis Ross and Jimmy Carter and Mahmoud Abbas and Ariel Sharon hammering-out a peace deal.

It does describe a period of increasing chaos in which Israel becomes more of an international pariah. As I’ve stated many times, the book of Zechariah offers a remarkably detailed narrative in which the nations will finally attempt to eliminate the Jewish people, and God intervenes.

God intervenes.

End of story.

The difficulties we see each day are hard to watch. Obviously. But they are necessary and signal that the endgame approaches.

Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt have been dispatched to help set up a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians. Yet all indications are (from polls, on-sight interviews, etc.) that the Palestinians will continue to refuse recognizing the legitimacy of the Jewish state.

As Gaza sits in spiritual and literal darkness, the world frets and blames Israel for not providing electricity.

When an Israeli soldier is stabbed to death by a terrorist, mainstream media reports that a Palestinian was killed today in Jerusalem.

President Trump breaks a campaign promise by refusing to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.

This is madness.

But it’s necessary.

This week, former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon gave some advice to Trump’s team: manage Middle East conflicts and stop trying to find a solution to the Palestinian issue.

“’If the Americans would ask me, I would say they still have to be a global policeman,’ Ya’alon said. ‘There are signs they are more proactive in the region, which is positive. But we should tell them that on the Palestinian front, there is no chance for a permanent agreement or even a temporary agreement.’ The American administration should manage conflicts in the Middle East rather than look for a clear solution, he said.”

This is sensible.

Yet to the international community, it is not only insane thinking, but evil. At all costs, the “rights” of the Palestinians are all-important.

When I recently walked through Lion’s Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City, and celebrated Israel’s Six Day War victory, I was reminded again that God has allowed geopolitical realities to serve as the vessel for His plan.

The Bible describes a time when the nations will become enraged by Israel’s sovereignty in Jerusalem. In fact, they despise the fact that Israel exists at all.

And God will take care of it, when the great Day of the Lord arrives.

For this and many other reasons, we can be confident that it is God and His Word that are in charge. He alone decides things.

What a comfort that is!





Jun 19, 2017

“The Temple Mount is in Our Hands!”

Last week was sublime. A Jubilee moment for me (and that’s from a good Southern Baptist boy).

I was in Israel, my seventh trip to the Jewish state, and as I made travel plans prior, it occurred to me I would be there the very week of the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War. Also, as it happened, I was scheduled to be in Jerusalem on Wednesday, June 7.

The day the IDF captured Jerusalem’s Old City in 1967.

Most of my time was spent in Tel Aviv, but on Wednesday, I went “up to Jerusalem,” passing various places of biblical interest along the way. By the time we entered the rocky hills around the ancient capital, I was pressing my face to the car window again.

I engaged a cab driver in conversation as we drove close to the Old City; he was dropping me at Jaffa Gate.

(2017 is a year of wonderful anniversaries for Israel. In addition to the Six Day War, it is the centennial of the British takeover of Palestine from the Ottoman Turks. That battlefield victory paved the way for the establishment of Israel a generation later.)

“What were you doing 50 years ago today?” I asked. The driver was an older gentleman.

“I was here, a paratrooper.” I was now listening intently.

“We were fighting in the Sinai, and they pulled us out to come back here in order to take the Old City. Afterward, I was sent back. By Friday morning, I was swimming in the Suez Canal!”

Wow. Israel’s citizen soldiers, from the prime minister to the cab driver, were filled with pride this month. In a war forced on them by hate-filled regional dictators, Israel captured all the biblical heartland, from Jordan, Syria, and Egypt. From the Sinai, where Moses once walked, to the Golan Heights and the region of several tribes of Israel, the Jewish state greatly increased its land area.

Another bonus from my trip was visiting with my good friend, Brian Schrauger (www.jerusalemjournal.net), the only independent, on-the-ground reporter who would identify as a Christian Zionist. His reporting and research skills are without peer. He also proved to be a great guide, even though I’d been to Jerusalem many times.

After stopping at Golden Gate (where Ezekiel tells us the Messiah will enter in the last days), we made our way to Lion’s Gate. This was the entry point for Israeli paratroopers on June 7, 1967, as they raced to secure the Old City.

At Ben Gurion Airport, I picked up a copy of the Jerusalem Report, which featured the Six Day War. Inside were several inspiring stories, including one in which an officer listened as Gen. Uzi Narkiss and Defense Minister Moshe Dayan discussed the best entry point the day before the assault against Jordanian League positions.

“Why don’t you go in Lion’s Gate?” Dayan asked off-handedly. Narkiss and other planners had not considered it (Lion’s Gate is on the east side, opposite the Mount of Olives); four other gates were possibilities.

Narkiss was impressed.

“Moshe, since the time of King David until now, no one has conquered Jerusalem from the east.”

Dayan stared intently.

“Then this will be the second time and the last time.”

The next morning, approval was given for the IDF to attack Jordanian positions. By mid-morning, paratroopers had raced onto the Temple Mount. Not since the time of the Maccabees in the second century B.C. had the Jews been in control of the area. It had been the dream of every generation since to liberate Jerusalem.

Brian and I walked through Lion’s Gate and not far down the narrow alley, looked to the left toward another alley that ends with a large doorway, straight onto the Temple Mount.

We were not allowed onto the Temple Mount, because we have to defer to Arab sensibilities due to Ramadan.

It infuriates me. A Christian pilgrim (and Jewish worshippers) cannot enter a holy site because the world is afraid of making Muslims mad.

That is grotesque.

I digress.

Being in Jerusalem on the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War was one of the great moments of my life.

The city is Israel’s eternal capital. Praise be to God.