The age old conflict in the Middle East has gone through many metamorphoses but the final outcome remains certain. While America may talk of isolationism God has indicated a course for the Tarshish powers to take. The end of the conflict will play out as the Bible has predicted since the hostility between God's people and the world was announced in Genesis 3:15.
Welcome to another edition of the Bible in the News, this is Jonathan Bowen joining you. This week in the news we see the nations of the world posturing on the eve of change. Russia is undergoing change in its political hierarchy, as is America. The two world super powers are poised to see a change in leadership, with this many are hoping to see a change in policy that will bring about stability, peace and prosperity.
Whatever the political fallout of the changes that will take place during the next 12 months, one thing is certain, “….the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men” (Daniel 4:17). Regardless of what nations have on their political agenda’s, God is ultimately in control.
A Return to Isolationism?
Think back to the election that brought President Bush to office after the reign of Bill Clinton. Bush ran on a platform of isolationism – suggesting that America should pull it’s horns in and worry about America and not the rest of the world. Yet within a few months of being in office he was compelled to do what the American people would never have acquiesced to, given the choice. The 911 attacks embroiled America in a war it didn’t want, and wouldn’t have chosen – but a war that has reshaped the Middle East, and eliminated one of Israel’s biggest enemies in the Middle East.
This week, The Economist in its special section on the changes in America warned, “One of the biggest dangers facing the next president is that the bungled assertiveness of the Bush years may be replaced not by mushy multilateralism but by grumpy isolationism. In the past America has often followed periods of intense involvement with periods of withdrawal—think of the aftermath of the first world war or the Vietnam war—and isolationist sentiment is clearly on the rise. Around 42% of Americans now believe that the country should “mind its own business” and stop playing in other people's backyards. America has spent a fair amount of blood and treasure on bringing democracy to Iraq, the argument goes, and all it has got in return is a civil war and global opprobrium [scorn].” (Economist, Wooing the World, March 27, 2008). The article went on to state, “Today's threats are fluid and unpredictable. The bonds that tied Europe and America together are weakening: Europeans no longer grow up thinking of Americans as liberators, and Americans no longer grow up thinking of Europe as their spiritual home. Strong cultural and demographic forces are pulling the two continents in different directions.”
The growing divide between Europe and America was seen this week at the NATO meeting in Romania, when the Jerusalem Post reported that NATO was divided on Georgia and Russia (April 3, 2008). The article reported, “German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy are concerned about provoking a crisis with Moscow, which is vehemently opposed to NATO taking on the two former Soviet republics located on Russia's southwestern borders and across key east-west oil and gas routes.” After the article was written, NATO eventually turned down the requests of Georgia and Ukraine under pressure from France and Germany.
Clearly Defined Roles:
So regardless of who wins the Presidential election in America, the course the nation will take is ultimately laid out by the prophets. While the world watches international politics through the eyes of the media, we hope to watch it through the eyes of prophecy. What we do know is how the things will form up in the end. Ezekiel 38 and Daniel 11 clearly define two power bases surrounding Israel, a king of the North and a King of the South, a Northern Confederacy and a Southern Opposition. So regardless of the plans of politicians, we can expect a Russio-Iranian-European Alliance in opposition to Israel and an American-Anglo-Saudi Alliance in opposition to Russia.
While America might look to isolationism, it really doesn’t matter what it’s future leader’s plans are. To cite the words of John Thomas on the role of Britain and Tarshish written in 1848, “I know not whether the men, who at present contrive the foreign policy of Britain, entertain the idea of assuming the sovereignty of the Holy Land, and of promoting its colonization by the Jews; their present intentions, however, are of no importance one way or the other, because they will be compelled, by events soon to happen, to do what, under existing circumstances, heaven and earth combined could not move them to attempt. The present decisions of “statesmen” are destitute of stability. A shooting star in the political firmament is sufficient to disturb all the forces of their system; and to stultify all the theories of their political astronomy. The finger of God has indicated a course to be pursued by Britain which cannot be evaded, and which her counsellors will not only be willing, but eager, to adopt when the crisis comes upon them. The decree has long since gone forth which calls upon the Lion of Tarshish to protect the Jews.” (Elpis Israel, p442).
Thomas words, or more accurately the prediction of scripture, proved to be completely correct during the last century when the Jewish nation was established under a British mandate.
Today therefore, we do not place much weight on the political whims of whoever will assume the helm of the America government. America is the chief among the young lions of Tarshish. The finger of God had indicated a course for Britain and all it’s young lions that they will be compelled to pursue. America with Britian, Canada and Australia will be forced into the final conflagration of the Middle East. It has the role of protector, whether or not it wants it. Until the Lord returns it will be involved in the Middle East – keeping the wolves at bay.
Hostility to Israel
Interestingly, the Jerusalem post reported on another message from Al-Qaida's No. 2 man al-Zawahri stating in a taped message, “We promise our Muslim brothers that we will do the best we can to harm Jews in Israel and the world over, with Allah's help and according to his command.” (Jerusalem Post, April 3, 2008). Zawahri went on to state, “I expect the Jihadi influence to spread after the Americans' exit from Iraq, and to move towards Jerusalem.” The article continued, “Zawahri reassured many of the questioners, who seemed worried about the direction of the organization, that the global jihad was on track and would soon expand elsewhere.”
Regardless of the catalyst, the forces of Tarshish will be marshaled to the defense of Israel, whether they want to be or not until the great northern confederacy is brought down upon the mountains of Israel and eventually destroyed.
Cause of Conflict in the Middle East
The cause of this hostility and the conflict in the Middle East is rooted in the agelong conflict of Genesis 3:15 and the enmity placed between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. From the moment God chose Israel and stated “Ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people; for all the earth is mine: and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation” (Exodus 19:5-6) the world has been in hostility to them. They are jealous of God’s choice and remain in hostility to the chosen seed. When the King of Israel appeared on the scene, Rome joined with the corrupt Jewish leadership put him to death hoping to seize on his inheritance. The conflict has been the same since the beginning of time: the seed of the woman verses the seed of the serpent, Babylon vs. Israel, Rome vs. Jerusalem, The kingdom of God vs. the Kingdom of Men. The kingdom of man has sung the same tune for millennia, “This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours” (Mark 12:7).
The world has always hated the kingdom of God on the earth. They cannot accept his choice, they reject his word and will not submit to his rule unless forced to. Israel forms the nucleus of the future kingdom of God and consequently is rejected by mankind. The Vatican sees Israel as a direct threat to its own claim to be Christ’s Kingdom (Christendom) and therefore is marshalling all its resources, behind the scenes, whether Christian, Muslim or European to oppose the tiny nation that is constantly at the center of world controversy.
Indeed, “The day of the LORD’S vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion” spoken of in Isaiah 34:8 will soon be upon us. The world will be divided between those who bless Israel and her king and those who curse Israel. The words of God are unchangeable, “I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” (Genesis 12:3)
We eagerly anticipate the return of the King of Israel when he will “rule over the house of Jacob and of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:33).
We await the time when all nations of the earth will be blessed in Abraham and his seed through the Lord Jesus Christ.
We need to watch the Bible in the News as we stand at the edge of the establishment of the Kingdom of God on Earth. Together we pray, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
This has been Jonathan Bowen reporting for the Bible in the News. Tune in next week to www.bibleinthenews.com or www.biblemagazine.com.