Last weekend, I had the very great pleasure of speaking at the Great Lakes Prophecy Conference in Appleton, Wisconsin. Titled, “The Perfect Storm,” the event at Calvary Chapel of Appleton was wonderful. I was excited to hear speakers like Andy Woods, Tom McMahon, and Tommy Ice. I appreciate Pastor Dwight Douville for many things, including his willingness to hold conferences like this. At a time when more and more churches cower to the culture and shun prophecy teaching, CC Appleton is leading from the front.
(Dwight’s assistant, Mary Danielsen, and her husband, Tim—assistant pastor—are dear friends. They took me to dinner the last night of the conference, then for a stroll along the Fox River. Good friends are just the best. By the way, check out Mary’s own terrific research and writings by typing her name in the search bar under “Media”.)
I decided to try a new topic, “Israel Alone,” which at first glance is a downer. It’s hard to think of Israel being friendless in the world. In fact, don’t many of us subtly work to slow down such a scenario? Don’t we all long for better days, when the country hadn’t lost its collective mind, and we openly supported the Jewish state?
Of course we do. It’s comforting to think of better days.
But what does the term “better days” really mean? Is it a perception in our minds that is actually at cross-purposes with the unfolding plan of God?
If think so. As a person that spent too long pining for the past, I realized a few years ago that we actually live in the best of times. As believers, we live in the time longed-for by so many that have gone on before us.
In my talk, I made the point that it’s tempting to wish this was 1890, or 1940, or any other time when things were simpler.
But if we lived in 1890, we would not expect to see the great end-times prophecies unfold perhaps in our lifetimes. For one thing, there was no Jewish state.
And make no mistake: Israel is the key. What a privilege to live in this time! If we wish we could run from the present troubles, we are not appreciating God’s great gift to us: a front-row seat at the End of Days.
Israel has benefitted from a warm relationship with the United States for decades; even past presidents like John Adams, because of their biblical worldview, expected a reborn Jewish state. We get to see it.
We also get to see the poignant era in which Israel is losing what few friends she has. The Abraham Accords have afforded the Middle East a very new and tenuous opportunity for short-term peace. No one knows if the budding relationships are genuine or not, but what we do know is that the criminal gang in Washington is working overtime to destroy even man-made attempts at peace.
Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for me? (Jeremiah 32:27)
A recent Washington Post column was titled thusly: “Israel Feels Alone Without the U.S. in Afghanistan”. Of course, the premise is that the tenuous relationship with the regime in Washington has Israel feeling concerned, at the very least.
Painful as it is to watch unfold, it must be this way. Israel is exactly where she is supposed to be on the timeline of history. God predicted thousands of years ago that in the end, Israel would find herself friendless.
See what read in Jeremiah 30:13-14—
There is none to plead thy cause, that thou mayest be bound up: thou hast no healing medicines.
All thy lovers have forgotten thee; they seek thee not; for I have wounded thee with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one, for the multitude of thine iniquity; because thy sins were increased.
We want Israel to have friends, strong friends. We want the U.S. to be the leader in this coalition of friends.
But that isn’t what God promised would unfold in the very last days. He intends to make his own majesty and power seen by the nations. In the Lord of History fights for His people as He did in the days of old.
Through Israel, He is revealing Himself to an unbelieving and evil world.
Though it isn’t fun to watch such a world, it is the way the world is supposed to be.
I believe sincerely that this should be a comfort to us, not a moment for fear. We should embrace what God is doing, and rest in the fact that He alone knows the end from the beginning, as He tells us in Isaiah 46.
The final chapters of Deuteronomy are wonderful. They encompass the entire sweep of Jewish history. God tells the Jewish people exactly what will happen to them in the future. He also promises them they will wind up quite alone:
There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth upon the heaven in thy help, and in his excellency on the sky.
The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.
Israel then shall dwell in safety alone: the fountain of Jacob shall be upon a land of corn and wine; also his heavens shall drop down dew. (Deuteronomy 33:26-28)
Is this not astonishing? We equate aloneness as being a negative. We hope and pray and work for Israel to be united with a superpower ally, headed by a president like Donald Trump.
But such a scenario cannot exist if the great last days prophecies of Zechariah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel can be fulfilled. We should not wring our hands over this. We should be thrilled that we are alive in this moment!
Finally, and this isn’t the least important thing, if you find yourself alone—maybe a relationship or relationships is in tatters; maybe you are now divorced, or widowed; maybe your children are distant—wherever you find yourself, God is your support. He can and will solve all your problems. Just call on Him.
Remember when you do that President Harry Truman, going against the advice of every single advisor he had in 1948, recognized the new Jewish state precisely when she needed him to. Remember that when the Arab Nation was going to push Israel into the sea, more than once, that God handed miraculous victories to the state of Israel.
Remember all this.
If He did these things on such a large and dramatic stage, will He not solve your problems?
Yes, He will. He loves you. He loves His people with an everlasting love.
If you are anxious about this troubled world, this disorienting place we find ourselves in, call on the same Lord that has watched over his people for 4,000 years.
He promised them a glorious future. He offers you the same.
Thank Him that you live in this time! It is a unique privilege.
As Tommy Ice says, Maranatha!