The World’s Burden Over Jerusalem
It can be a very difficult task to be a member of the anti-Israel alliance. When Donald Trump announced that he would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move our embassy, the news media were stumbling over themselves trying to explain why this was such a terrible idea.
Jerusalem has Jews’ roots that go back 3,000 years. It has been their capital since the nation was founded. The Palestinians have no historic limit to the city, and their name is just as bogus. The name Palestine was created by the Romans to mock the removal of the Jews from their land.
The news media’s first response was that this was Trump being Trump. Because he is constantly portrayed as an ignorant man, this decision, they say, has been just another one of his many blunders. Never mind the fact that every President since Ronald Reagan has stated that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. Both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush made campaign pledges to move the embassy during their administration. Obama was the most anti-Israel US President in living memory and yet he stated in a 2008 campaign speech, “Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.”
It’s interesting that previous Presidents are never called out for their failed promises on Jerusalem. The press always defaults to the need to recognize the complexities of the Arab/Israeli conflict. There is a point where the denial of reality reaches into the absurd. The Obama administration took a case all the way to the Supreme Court to block American citizens born in Jerusalem from listing Israel as their place of birth.
Another objection to Trump’s action is it will violate his campaign promise not to get the U.S. into “stupid wars.” By simply naming Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Trump has somehow destabilized the entire Middle East? Critics said the decision was like tossing a hand grenade into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and warned it would light the Palestinian streets on fire. I see the reason why we should worry about upsetting the most unproductive people on the planet. If rioting in the streets of Gaza, that gives them less time to dig tunnels and built rockets.
The press also attacked the recognition of Jerusalem by saying it was just Trump fulfilling a promise he made to his voter base. Several news outlets have blamed evangelical Christians for advancing a pre-tribulationalism agenda. The news organizations have widely quoted Diana Butler Bass, an ultra-liberal, religious-studies Ph.D. at Duke University. She said that we’re only interested in Bible prophecy – the bad kind – and that we want to bring about the Battle of Armageddon, the return of Jesus Christ, and vanquish all God’s enemies.
The invasion of Israel is not going to be led by Christian armies. The Gog War is going to be manned by Arab nations. If Diana Bass believes in the Word of God, she should call out Turkey and Iran as the source of future conflicts. She doesn’t believe the prophecies of the Bible, because they are at odds with her one-world view.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has a strange fixation with Israel. Erdogan, who regards himself a champion of the Palestinian cause, labeled Israel as a “terrorist state” and called for a strong reaction to the move by Trump. Erdogan, whose country holds the rotating chairmanship of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), will likely try to muster a tough statement. Because Muslim nations are heavily divided right now and unwilling to jeopardize the relationship with Washington, Erdogan can at best expect the issuance of a “boilerplate condemnation.”
Iran is very vocal about its desire to destroy Israel. In its response to Trump’s move, Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander, Qassem Soleimani, said his nation is ready to support Palestinian forces in the Gaza Strip. He also said other forces in the region are ready to defend the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. The mosque is Islam’s third-holiest shrine and a frequent flashpoint for tensions between Israel and the Palestinians.
Donald Trump and Bible prophecy believers are not the problem here. The end-time wars are going to be caused by people who side with the Arabs in saying they have ownership of Jerusalem. A conflict most frequently erupts when people fail to realize the dangers they are creating. We are at the most dangerous point, because no reporter or politician is mindful of what God promised what would happen to those who challenge His people’s ownership of His Holy City.
“The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him. Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it” (Zech 12: 1-3).
Trump Prophetically Enlightened?
Presidents of the recent past have made statements that I recall as having Bible prophecy in view. I haven’t researched to find these statements in their exact verbiage, but they were made and could be rather easily found with today’s search engines.
I remember that Jimmy Carter referred to the Holy Land as having biblical and historical importance according to Israel’s prophets. Ronald Reagan sometimes would refer to the Second Coming of Christ and the reality of Armageddon. Bill Clinton once said that his pastor, Dr. W. O. Vaught, told him when Clinton was governor of Arkansas that if Bill ever became president, he had better treat Israel according to Genesis 12. –This, regarding the blessings or cursing to be given by the Lord, Himself, depending upon whether one blessed or cursed Israel.
President Donald Trump, in talking about his decision declaring Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital, and announcing he will move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, said something of profound significance, in my view. He announced a number of important reasons for his decision. Then he said: “…It is reality, And, its the right thing to do.”
One must wonder how much of this president’s declaring Israel’s eternal capital and moving the embassy there is based upon true understanding of why it’s “the right thing to do.”
A considerable amount of the criticism I’ve heard about Trump’s decision comes from a specific, leftist diatribe. These say it’s the crazy evangelical Zionists who base Israel’s right to the land they “occupy” upon the Bible. The word “Bible” is dripping with vitriol, even when read rather than heard. It’s like they are saying”…the Bible!…Ugh!”
Trump is listening to the Bible thumpers and doing it for their votes. That is the rant. Yet, the following Bible truth is exactly what makes Mr. Trump’s decision to declare Israel’s capital Jerusalem and move the American Embassy there the “right thing to do.”
Jerusalem, is, in fact, chosen by the Lord of Heaven to be at the center of His chosen land for His chosen people:
But I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there; and have chosen David to be over my people Israel. Now it was in the heart of David my father to build an house for the name of the LORD God of Israel. But the LORD said to David my father, Forasmuch as it was in thine heart to build an house for my name, thou didst well in that it was in thine heart: Notwithstanding thou shalt not build the house; but thy son which shall come forth out of thy loins, he shall build the house for my name. The LORD therefore hath performed his word that he hath spoken: for I am risen up in the room of David my father, and am set on the throne of Israel, as the LORD promised, and have built the house for the name of the LORD God of Israel. And in it have I put the ark, wherein is the covenant of the LORD, that he made with the children of Israel. (2 Chronicles 6:6-11)
Almost every leader on the world stage at present is against the decision. Even our closest allies, like British Prime Minister Theresa May, are adamantly against the declaration and the move. Yet this president is unmoved. He seems determined to carry out the promise that presidents preceding him didn’t have the political will or courage to honor. –That of proving America’s commitment to declaring Jerusalem Israel’s capital by moving the embassy there from Tel Aviv.
Trump is one who has proven that he keeps promises, even bucking the heavy resistance of opposition from outside his own political party and from within. He forges ahead, despite the world’s opposition to this decision. He doesn’t wither under the fire of the fanaticism of the Islamic world that rages with hatred for Israel.
It is not possible for me to know for certain, but I strongly suspect that Christian counsel from people such as Dr. Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas, have made it known to the president the truth about Israel from God’s perspective. Thankfully, Mr. Trump has wisely listened to such counsel, it appears. America stands in much better stead with the Almighty with this fulfilled, presidential promise.