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Anti-Semitism and Armageddon
The tradition of anti-Semitic blood libels continues.
February 2, 2013 - Audio, 9.50 MIN
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This week has seen the world mark Holocaust Remembrance Day, 68 years after the liberation of Auschwitz in 1945. But while the gas chambers are now empty, and the ovens cold, anti-Semitism remains endemic amongst the nations of the Earth.
Hello this is Nick Barnes with the February 2nd Bible in the News.
 
This week’s World Holocaust Memorial Day, happened to be the day, that the London Times published an anti-Semitic cartoon, showing Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, building a wall, with bloody mortar and protruding body parts of Palestinians.
 
Defenders claim that the cartoon merely protests the policies of Mr Netanyahu himself.  But the implied policy, of wanton murder against men, women & children, in no way represents anything like the truth.  It is a lie, and it is the same lie that has been used so many times, to stir hatred against Jews.
 
The irony is that the death toll in Syria, in just the last two years, is three to four times that of the entire Palestinian-Israeli conflict, since 1948.  Likewise in Egypt, this week alone has seen more than 60 die in protests against Morsi’s government in general, and the death sentences handed down to 21 football fans, in particular.
 
And while Arab governments continue to trample their people, the majority of whom continue to live in abject poverty, Arabs under Israeli jurisdiction, have higher literacy rates, higher standards of living and longer life expectancy, than nearly anywhere in the region.  
 
Yet neither Assad nor Morsi is portrayed with blood red mortar and pathetic corpses.  Instead symbols of Israel, such as its Prime Ministers, its flag and the Jewish symbol of the Star of David, are the stock in trade of the cartoonists.  The tradition of anti-Semitic blood libels continues, and it is the Jew who is presented as the one who murders for blood, as part of the cannibalistic rights of Judaism.
 
And this picture, of increasing modern day hatred of the Jew, is confirmed this week by a report by the European Union Commission.  It reported, on Monday, that “violent extremism [including anti-Semitism] is at its highest level in Europe since World War II and is becoming the continent's top security threat”.
 
The United Nations went on to demonstrate the truth of this assertion, when, on Thursday, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) brought out yet another report condemning Israel.  In this session of the UN, the UNHRC has made 21 resolutions explicitly condemning Israel, and only 4 related to the rest of the world combined – and, of these, none blamed a specific country.
 
This hypocrisy is underlined in another UN Human Rights body, ECOSOC, which has elected Sudan to be its vice-president.  This is despite the fact that the current ruler of Sudan, president Al Bashir, is wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity and genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan, and that he and his regime are currently orchestrating a campaign of ethnic cleansing in Sudan’s border regions.
 
How is it that such bodies have the audacity to accuse Israel of genocide and apartheid, of occupation and oppression?  And why is it that the western media outlets report their resolutions and reports as authoritative and impartial?
 
The one word answer is anti-Semitism.  That continuation of what the Bible calls the perpetual hatred.  And yet that is what God prophesied would happen.  Some 3500 years ago, before the nation of Israel was even established, as they were about to enter the Promised Land, God warned them that their sins would cause His judgements to fall upon them.  And so in Deut 28v64, He says:
"And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone. And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the LORD shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind: And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life"
 
And as De 28:37 tells us, God says to them, "And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither the LORD shall lead thee."
 
Likewise in 1Ki 9:7 we are told, "Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people"
 
But while a people cut off from their land usually rapidly cease to be a people, God not only promised that he would not make a full end of them (Jer 30v11), and that they would eventually be restored to their land (Eze 38v8-12), he also warned them that their oppression, at the hand of the nations, would continue.  
 
In Micah 4, we see in the early verses, a picture of the kingdom, in very similar words to Isa 2.  But from v6, we then see the process of how that kingdom would be established, and in v10 we see the daughter of Zion in birth pangs, pained to be delivered, but God is to redeem her.  But v11 says, "Now also many nations are gathered against thee, that say, Let her be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion."

The nations are against Jerusalem and want to defile and humiliate her – it is a metaphorical gang rape.  And this desire is seen, just before the battle of Armageddon described in v12-13, where we read:

"But they know not the thoughts of the LORD, neither understand they his counsel: for he shall gather them as the sheaves into the floor. Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion: for I will make thine horn iron, and I will make thy hoofs brass: and thou shalt beat in pieces many people: and I will consecrate their gain unto the LORD, and their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth."

Incidentally, the judgment of these nations, is likened to the threshing of sheaves in the floor – an idea closely related to the meaning of the word Armageddon – sheaves (arma) in a valley (ge) for judgement (don).
 
We find a similar picture in Isa 41.  In v11, we see that there are those that are incensed against Israel, who hate her and persecute her, and who ultimately war against her.  But, God says, "Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish. Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee." And the end of these nations is again to be threshed, as we find in v15-16.
 
And Zech 12v2 describes Judah and Jerusalem in a state of siege, and the hands of the nations, prior to that great battle.  This does not appear to be part of the king of the north’s actual invasion, for that is like a “whirlwind” (Dan 11v40) and a “storm” (Eze 38v9).  No, this siege is a description of a world set against Israel, in the period leading up to that campaign.
 
So as we see the gathering of “all nations against Jerusalem to Battle” (Zech 14v2) we “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem” for “they shall prosper that love thee” (Ps 122v6).
 
Join us again next week, God willing, for the Bible in the News.



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