- Jim Fletcher
The More Things Stay the Same, the More They Change
Before a stroke incapacitated him, former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
indicated that the long-standing threat to Israel,
was essentially over due to the American invasion and toppling of Saddam
Hussein’s brutal regime.
This assessment should serve as a warning to observers of international
events. It illustrates again so clearly why we must base our worldviews on the
Bible, and look to it as a final authority.
There are plenty of biblical references to a future invasion of Israel. The
Gog/Magog scenario, given in such fascinating detail in Ezekiel, is one of the
most famous. We know that some type of coalition will form with the intention of
wiping out the Jewish state. The revelation that God will put a “hook” in the
jaws of the leader, Gog, and turn him around to focus on Israel is quite
interesting. It seems to mitigate against the idea that a Russian leader will
have an invasion plan in place for a long time. It seems at least that this will
come into his mind relatively late.
In any event, we should guard against relaxing whenever it appears Israel and the U.S. have “allies” in the region.
Regional geopolitics can change literally overnight.
I hope no one believes that Iraq
is an ally of Israel.
Once the Americans leave — whether the Iraqis have a stable government or
something less concrete — the Muslim Iraqis are a long way from relations with
the Jewish state. Perhaps not as belligerent as the clownish (but barbaric)
Saddam, but always a potential enemy. No doubt Sharon’s public statements were more
diplomatic in nature and not an indication of what that wily general/statesman
knew from personal experience with the Arabs.
becomes relatively stable, that can change in the blink of an eye. Military
coups are the norm in Iraq’s
My dear, late friend David Lewis was prophetic in his view that the
Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty had a chance to hold for a long time. It has, in
the sense that there have been no wars between
That relationship is the exception, however.
Jordan’s King Abdullah could go the way of his grandfather,
who was assassinated on the Temple
Mount, after emerging from the Al-Aksa Mosque. We’ve
Western-friendly Lebanese leaders have been assassinated for decades, keeping Lebanon as a threat to Israel from the
Now we come to the grotesque assassination of former Pakistan Prime Minister
Benazir Bhutto. Murdered by a terrorist during a political rally near Islamabad, Bhutto passes
from the scene and leaves chaos.
As the only Muslim nation with nukes, Pakistan
is every bit the nightmare for the West that Iran is. Mussharaf, the strongman
who was threatened by American diplomats in the wake of 9/11, is an ally in the
sense Joseph Stalin was an ally. He does produce “stability” in that Pakistan’s
military and its nuclear weapons have not fallen into the hands of outright
But Bhutto’s assassination shows just how clearly perceived allies can become
enemies. Just how quickly things can change.
It doesn’t take a prophet to see that Pakistan,
Turkey, Jordan, and others could become overtly hostile
Yet all this is another confirmation that God is in control, if we keep our
eyes on the Bible.
Once the Ezekiel invasion of
occurs, it is said that God destroys almost the entire invading force. This
happens as soon as the army reaches the mountains of Israel.
The eastern face of the mountains of Israel
(what the world knows as the West Bank) is a
steep, 3,000-foot ascent. The western slope is a more gentle, 2,000-foot
descent. In other words, an army invading from the east, if it can navigate the
eastern slopes, has a cakewalk to the population bread-basket of Israel, sweeping
through the coastal plain where most Israelis live. A successful invasion would
spell the end of Israel.
The Bible, however, tells us something that David Lewis loved to repeat
will survive while her enemies will die.
Praise the Lord that we live in such momentous times, and that because of our
faith, we do not have to fear the future. We know what will happen, even as
events change daily.
Keep your eyes on God’s Word.
Jim Fletcher is a member of the National Christian Leadership Conference for
Israel (NCLCI). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org