“But now I have chosen Jerusalem for my Name to be there, and I have chosen David to rule my people Israel.” (2 Chronicles 6:6)
Jerusalem and Israel are in the spiritual epicenter of this earth.
This is the place the Word of God (the Bible) was written, the Messiah (God in the flesh) was born, shed His blood for our sins, rose on the third day; and it is where He will return to reign (see Zechariah 14).
The Eternal City of Jerusalem has been filled with holiness and turmoil for over 3,000 years (since the time of King David), but only a portion of these events have been remembered over the millennia.
Do you remember the story of King Cyrus? He did not know the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; however, he was anointed by God to help rebuild Jerusalem (Isaiah 45; Ezra 1) after the Jewish People spent 70 years in Babylonian exile.
And for the past 70 years, the Jewish People have been living in their sovereign nation without the rest of the world recognizing Jerusalem as its capital. However, in today’s news, May 14, 2018, something H-U-G-E, a word commonly used on the campaign trail of Donald Trump, happened.
Trump’s campaign promise to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to God’s Chosen City — Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) became reality when the current US Consulate was inaugurated today as an interim embassy while a permanent facility is being built.
Other countries are moving their embassies as well, even against threats of looming chaos:
“The Middle East peace process, and even world peace would be plunged into a crisis that would be impossible to defuse,” Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in January 2017 about Trump’s promised embassy move. (WIN)
That crisis has not happened. Instead, Israel has received one of the greatest birthday gifts she could hope for — the recognition by the world’s leading superpower that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital, just as King David declared it to be about 3,000 years ago.
“The days that David reigned over Israel were forty years: seven years he reigned in Hebron and thirty-three years he reigned in Jerusalem.” (I Kings 2:11)
In recognition of the historic significance of what Trump has done, on a recent visit to Washington, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu compared Trump to Cyrus. And Israel’s nascent Sanhedrin Court has even minted two coins with images of Trump and King Cyrus.
Breakthroughs Are Built on Truth not Fear
“Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me in a broad place. With the Lord on my side I do not fear. What can mortals do to me? The Lord is on my side to help me; I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.” (Psalm 118:5–7)
The nations of the world today will not stand with Israel and allow her to claim this city as her capital. They are afraid of mere mortals, as the Psalmist writes. Let’s understand why.
The United Nations sanctioned Israel’s Independence on May 14, 1948; yet, the very next day, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, and Iraq immediately waged war against Israel.
By the end of the war in 1949, Jordan had captured the Temple Mount and East Jerusalem and would not allow any Jewish Person to access it. In 1967, Israel recaptured the entire city — and Gaza, the Sinai, and the Golan Heights!
For the first time in over 2,000 years, Israel had full control over all of its ancient capital.Israeli soldiers overlook the Western Wall Plaza, which was built immediately after the war ended on June 10 in order to accommodate the thousands of visitors expected for the Shavuot (Pentecost) holiday on June 14, 1967. (Wikicommons)
After losing the war in 1967, Jordan signed a peace treaty with Israel that remains in effect to this day. The Palestinians, however, over many decades have sought the sympathy of the world and have won it.
The nations think Israel should negotiate giving Jerusalem back, or at least half of it. Until that matter is finally settled, no nation has ever agreed to move their Israeli embassy into this city, not even the United States of America, even though the Jerusalem Embassy Act in 1995 said that it would.
Every US president over the past 20 years has signed waivers to stall that move, giving in to the pressure of the Arab League. Then came a president from outside the political establishment, who told us quite plainly why that kind of thinking just doesn’t work:
“After more than two decades of waivers, we are no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. It would be folly to assume that repeating the exact same formula would now produce a different or better result. Therefore, I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.” (President Trump White House Press Briefing, December 6, 2017)
Trump’s decision has influenced other presidents to follow suit. President Jimmy Morales of Guatemala is set to open his nation’s embassy on Wednesday, and President Horacio Cartes of Paraguay will follow by the end of May.
When a world leader, a businessman, a journalist, a parent takes a stand for what is true and right in God’s standards, it gives courage for others to follow. And although the bitter criticism against the leaders of these three nations has been great, it has not deterred them from standing on truth.
A Life of Anger and Destruction for What God Has Done
“Do not be eager in your heart to be angry, for anger resides in the bosom of fools.” (Ecclesiastes 7:9)
Instead of moving on with life after the 1948 and 1967 wars and building a thriving nation for the Palestinian people, its leadership over the past 51 years has allocated billions of dollars of international assistance and natural resources to wage a continual war with words, riots, rockets, murder, tunnelling, and boycotts to recapture not only what was lost in 1967, but all of Israel.
We know this because in September, 1967, 13 Arab nations declared in the “Khartoum Resolution” the three No’s statement: “No peace with Israel. No negotiations with Israel. No recognition of Israel.”
Eighteen years ago, when Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered the Palestinians a state with its own capital in Jerusalem, along with returning 95% of East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, along with $30 billion in compensation for those who were displaced in the 1948 war with Israel, Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian leader at the time, said No.
Every peace offer by the Israelis has been refused by the Palestinians since 1948, with a definitive No.
As Trump dared to say, it is foolish to follow a peace formula that continuously fails. A new strategy was needed, and it’s a very simple principle that every Christian can follow:
First recognize what is true: Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.
Then negotiate on that foundation.
“Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts; … love truth and peace.” (Zechariah 8:16, 19)
In pursuit of peace, Trump is still leaving the Palestinians with hope that they can also claim part of Jerusalem as their own capital; it’s just that he insists it be done in a way that keeps Israel safe.
However, in March Abbas reaffirmed his peace goals:
“I have said in the past — and afterward — that I will not end my life as a traitor. [The US] can announce the deal whenever and wherever they want, but nothing will happen against our will.” (Times of Israel)
So, that’s another No.
Yet, there is reason to rejoice.
A Life of Rejoicing and Thankfulness for What God Has Done
“The Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!” I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the LORD has done.” (Psalm 118:16–17)
Even with a day of rage planned against Israel today by the Palestinians in Gaza and the condemnation coming out of the world against this tiny nation, we rejoice in what God has done for the sake of His Name and the Jewish People.
We remember how in 1967 the limited Israel Defense Forces fought against the Arab planes, tanks, and ground forces of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria — and Israel won.
In just one example of how Israel achieved such a victory, on Day 1, in a preemptive strike, the Israeli Air Force destroyed six Egyptian airfields and hundreds of Egyptians planes.
Jordan tried to warn Egypt that Israel was coming, but Egypt changed their communication codes the day before and didn’t tell Jordan about it!
The many miracles that occurred in these few days of June, 1967 should have sent a signal to the nations of the world that what God has blessed, no man can curse. He will protect what He wants to protect.
The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob said, “I have chosen Jerusalem that My name may be there.” (2 Chronicles 6:6)
And the prophets declared that Jerusalem is “the Mountain of YHVH.” (Isaiah 2:3; Micah 4:2; Zechariah 8:3)
But sadly, only a few nations are listening.
Instead of supporting the US decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem, the right of any sovereign nation to do so, 128 nations at the UN approved a resolution to keep the status of Jerusalem “unresolved.” Thirty-five nations stayed silent.
Only seven nations (besides Israel and the US) voted to support America’s decision: Guatemala, Honduras and five small Christian island nations: Togo, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, and the Marshall Islands.
God’s Word is clear; He will repay Israel’s Arab neighbors in the same way that they treated their cousin, Israel:
“Because of the violence you did to your close relatives in Israel, you will be filled with shame and destroyed forever. When they were invaded, you stood aloof, refusing to help them.” (Obadiah 1:10–11)
And the rest of the nations will be judged, too:
“The day is near when I, the LORD, will judge all godless nations! As you have done to Israel, so it will be done to you. All your evil deeds will fall back on your own heads.” (Obadiah 1:15)
But, God promises He will bless those who bless Israel (Numbers 24:9).
Today, it can be said that the United States has done kindness to Israel in giving Jerusalem back its status as her capital. So, too, have Guatemala and Paraguay in deciding to do the same.
And just two days ago, Hungary, Czech Republic, and Romania also sided with Israel by blocking a joint EU resolution that would have condemned the US embassy move. (Axios)
Unfortunately, there is now shame on the 25 other European Union members who supported the resolution as well as Canada, South Africa, Australia, England, and the rest of the world who have chosen to stand against God and His plan for Jerusalem, the Holy City where Yeshua (Jesus) will soon return.
But we can hold on to this truth:
“As the mountains surround Jerusalem, the Lord surrounds his people, from this time on and forevermore.” (Psalm 125:2)