16 Sep 2019

Do-Over

Well, we have an election coming up this week.

Not in the U.S., of course, but in our beloved Israel. Courtesy that country’s parliament system, Benjamin Netanyahu’s election win a few months ago didn’t help his Likud Party, since a governing coalition couldn’t be cobbled together. Governing requires at least a narrow, 61-seat majority.

The fly in the ointment is the stubbornness of the Ultra Orthodox in Israel, who do not serve in the military, yet demand millions in subsidies for their yeshivas. Netanyahu has to placate them, while also holding-off rivals like Avigdor Liberman.

Latest polls show the Likud winning 58 seats, leaving Netanyahu in the same position as before. He was not able last time to cobble together a ruling coalition, so new elections had to be called.

Remember, in Israel, their system is different from ours. There, a voter votes for a party specifically, not necessarily the candidate.

There is no question that Netanyahu is popular. And also unquestioned is the decade-long period of relative peace and prosperity enjoyed by Israelis. “Peace” is a selective term in the Middle East, and while Israel grapples with huge issues on her borders (Hezbollah, Iran, etc.), it is unthinkable that anyone but Netanyahu should run the security show.

There is another element of drama. Netanyahu has just called an emergency meeting, alleging election fraud next time. According to the Jerusalem Post:

“Likud stated that the ‘grave findings of the Kalman Liebskind investigation’ indicate that the election was “stolen” from Netanyahu, according to Maariv. ‘If the Likud complaints were examined on time, Israel would not be in the current round of elections.’

“In his article, which Maariv will publish in full tonight, Liebskind writes, ‘Those responsible for the purity of the Israeli elections should not be entrusted with this sacred work. The Central Election Commission Chairman, Hanan Meltzer, at best did nothing to check forgeries [reported] in the previous election, and in the worst case, fought with all his might, for his own reasons, so that counting errors discovered – would not be corrected.’”

Next Tuesday, be in prayer for Israel and for Netanyahu. Also keep in mind, as always, that a vote that goes against Likud does not mean God’s plan is dismantled and in tatters. Far from it. The Lord does as He wills.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!

Jim1fletcher@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

 

9 Sep 2019

Judgment?

I taught at a church Wednesday night, from Joel. Of course, the famous third chapter looks ahead to God’s judgment of the nations in the end of days. Here, the Lord says He will enter into judgment against the nations of the world, specifically for how they treated the Jews and Israel.

It won’t be a pretty sight. History is littered with countries and civilizations that oppressed the Jews, and they all went down to the pit, as they say. Babylon, the Greeks, the Ottoman Empire, etc., have all gone the way of the dinosaurs.

And yet I noticed something in studying these passages and so I want to share this with you and let you mull it over.

Over and over, I’ve heard people ask, “Is the United States in Bible Prophecy?”

I don’t think it is directly, at least it’s not mentioned by name.

But as I read over Joel 3, it occurred to me that if it says all nations will be judged, that must mean all, right? I believe it does. We see in this passage scenario that I think very closely follows Zechariah’s great prophecies. It sounds like the same event, this battle over Jerusalem and Israel’s sovereignty.

So let me throw this out there:

Even though judgment is a scary word, and Divine Judgment is positively shattering to contemplate…does it always mean something negative?

The Scripture simply tells us what the nations will be judged for how they treated God’s People.

Naturally, that should make the nations quake in their boots.

But not all nations.

What is the one nation that has embraced the Jews and offered them sanctuary?

Correct. America.

Is it wrong to think God will judge our country in a positive way? I don’t think that’s out of the realm of possibility. But something important remains.

We are not out of the Divine Woods yet. We are not yet at the very end.

A story this week gave me pause. From the Jerusalem Post:

“Swastikas were found painted using graffiti on over a dozen houses along several streets in San Pedro, California.

“’I cannot believe this happened to my house,’ said Lilliana Gonzales, a resident of one of the vandalized properties. ‘It’s ugly. It’s disgusting and we need to do something about it.’”

Yes, we need to do something about it. But who will do something about it? Gonzales went on to say something good, but naïve:

“’God created everyone all equal and we should be able to be nice to each other, happy, content, and just avoid this stupidity.’”

Anti-Semitism is starting to become a force in America. This has never been so. Another family had to flee persecution by finding sanctuary in a synagogue in Philadelphia. Even in my own rural area, there is a rag newspaper printed that subscribes to Jewish conspiracy theories.

These things not only damage people, but they threaten our future.

I don’t want to stand in that kind of judgment one day.

Jim1fletcher@yahoo.com