As a non American, it is interesting to watch the war against Mr Donald Trump. He can hardly do anything right in the eyes of the left. It even seems as if some churches have forgotten God’s command, ‘I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.’ 1
# What is Mr Trump’s biggest sin?
It was to move the Unites States’ embassy to Jerusalem and acknowledge it as Israel’s capital. So, what is the big deal in that? Why did it cause an almost apocalyptic out roar? The reason is that Jerusalem is God’s city:
- ‘Great is the Lord, and most worthy of praise, in the city of our God, His holy mountain.’ 2
- ‘…Like the utmost heights of Zaphon is Mount Zion, the city of the Great King [God].’ 3 Psalm 48:4 repeats that Jerusalem is the city of God.
- ‘For the Lord has chosen Zion [Jerusalem], He has desired it for His dwelling: This is my resting place for ever and ever; here I will sit enthroned for I have desired it..’ 4
Mr Trump supported what the Bible declares about Jerusalem. It is God’s dwelling place. If so, why all the accusations, complaints and general discontent from especially the left and many Democrats? It has to do with the invisible ruler of this world, the devil. 5 He does not love God or God’s love for Jerusalem. To explain it let’s look at the following:
# Satan’s last act before his eternal sentence will be to attack Jerusalem.
- Some time in the future, before Satan enters his eternal dwelling in the lake of burning sulphur, he will be chained in the Abyss for a thousand years. That is during the time of the Millennium, when Christ will personally rule over the nations, from Jerusalem.
- When Satan is released after the thousand years, he immediately deceives the people and gathers them for battle. Revelation 20:8b-9 records, ‘In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city He loves.’
- This is Satan’s last act of treachery, ‘And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulphur.’ 6 From then on his future is only eternal torture in the lake of fire.
- God and Jerusalem are so intimately tied together that on the new earth, we will not have a New Moscow, or a New Washington, but a New Jerusalem.
# God loves Jerusalem and has not forgotten the Jews.
- Many people think that God has forgotten His nation. He has not. The prophet Jeremiah tells in no uncertain terms that Israel will not cease to be a nation before God. 7 Paul writes in Romans 11 about the future restoration of the Israelites. It all has to do with the end times.
- Satan is very well aware of it, and he does not like this prospect, because it means his doom is near. He likes being the ruler and the destroyer of humans. Behind the scenes of the ‘attacks’ against Mr Trump is the hand of Satan. Any leader that in any way advances God’s plan and admits that Jerusalem and therefore the Jews, are important, is the devil’s enemy. That explains the furore against Mr Trump by the left: they are on the side of the enemy of God, the devil. Wittingly or unwittingly, they advance the devil’s agenda, not God’s.
This verse explains what is happening in the world, “The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against His Anointed One. ‘Let us break their chains,’ they say, ‘and throw off their fetters.’“ 8 However, in America we have to add, ‘Certain news media and influential people in America gather together against the Lord, and do their best to abuse Mr Trump who recognises the importance of Jerusalem in God’s plan.’
- 1 Timothy 1:1-2
- Psalm 48:1
- Psalm 48:2b
- Psalm 132:13-14
- 1 John 5:19bd
- Revelation 20:10
- Jeremiah 31:35-37
- Psalm 2:1-3
Israel is almost always in the news and it is usually negative. It has been like that for many years. How is it possible that such a tiny nation can cause so much ‘trouble?’
- The United Nations passes most of their resolutions against Israel.
- When Mr Trump announced that the United States will move their embassy to Jerusalem, it was as if he triggered the Third World War. We waited with bated breath for the end of the world to come, so vicious were the reactions.
- The Palestinian question remains contentious.
To answer it, we have to go back to God and where Israel fits into God’s plan.
- God called a man, named Abram, who lived with his family in Haran. We read, “The Lord said to Abram, ‘Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.”’ 1
- Abram obeyed, ‘So Abram left, as the Lord had told him;….’ 2 God promised him, ‘The whole land Canaan, where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.’ 3
# Eternal possession and exile
Note that God promised the land Canaan to Abram and his descendants for ever. Yet the Israelites (Jews) were exiled twice.
- The first exile happened because they broke the covenant they had with God. The Northern Kingdom was exiled by the Assyrians and the Southern Kingdom by the Babylonians. Many, but not all, returned from Babylon after 70 years.
- The second exile happened when the Jews rejected Jesus. They were exiled by the Romans in 70 AD, and in the Bar Kochba war (141AD). Many, but not all, returned after about 1,800 years.
# Two decrees and the hostilities they caused
- The first return was by a decree of King Cyrus. They went back to rebuild the temple under much hostility. 4 During the time of Nehemiah, the Arabs were among those who opposed them when they restored the wall of Jerusalem. 5 It was obvious to the enemies that the Jews would establish their fatherland again.
- The second return was by a decree of the United Nations. On November 29,1947 they passed a resolution to end the British mandate. On May 14, 1948 David Ben-Gurion read the Declaration of Independence of the new State of Israel. The response of the Arabs? War! On May 14, 1948, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon invaded Israel. The Arabs responded with hostilities against the Jews just like with the first return. It was very clear that the Jews established their God-given fatherland again. 6
Since that time, the hatred against the Jews never ceased. As they were persecuted since the time of the first exile, so it happened through the ages. The question is, why? Israel is not the biggest, wealthiest country in the world, endowed with limitless resources. Far from it. To answer it, we have to consult God’s Word. The Bible mentions Israel and their role in history many times, but that is for next time.
- Genesis 12:1
- Genesis 12:4
- Genesis 17:8
- Ezra 4:1-5; 5:3-6:18
- Nehemiah 4:1-23
- Willmington’s Guide to the Bible, Tyndale House Publishers, 1984, p 975-978
People think the Bible is about religion, but we beg to differ. It is about reality. God is real, His Kingdom is real and what He does has to do with reality. For example, Israel is living proof that the God of the Bible is alive and well and keeps His promises:
# Abraham was the original ancestor of the nation of Israel.
- God called Abraham to move from Haran and go to Canaan, about 1921 BC (nearly 2,000 years before Christ). 1
- God promised the land of Canaan to Abraham’s descendants. ‘To your descendants I will give this land.’ 2
- The history of Abraham’s descendants had many ups and downs. There were two exiles where they were removed from their promised land (first by the Babylonians from 605-586 BC and then by the Romans in 70-136 AD). From then on they were banned from Jerusalem, except for the Passover Feast.
- Then the miracle happened. In 1948 on May 18, ‘for the first time since September 8, A.D. 70, the Holy Land by official Gentile action belonged to the Jews.’ 3 The Jewish state is living proof that God kept His promise to Abraham.
# God would bless all people on earth through Abraham.
‘…and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.’ 4 The promise has to do with Jesus. He was a descendant of Abraham and through Jesus all nations on earth have the potential to be blessed. The followers of Jesus are part of the multitudes who have been blessed through Jesus.
# God promised blessings to Israel’s friends and curses to its enemies.
- God promised that those who curse Abraham’s descendants will be cursed and those who bless them will be blessed. ‘…I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse.’ 5
- Abraham’s descendants, almost like Jesus, are hated without reason. People invent false reasons on which to base their hostility. It all boils down to hatred of God. But God warned people that it is a dangerous exercise to curse Israel, as many do.
# Are the Jews as numerous as the stars in the sky?
- Did God’s promise to Abraham come true that his descendants will be as numerous as the stars in the sky? 6 It doesn’t seem so because Israel is a small nation.
- Yet Galatians 3:7 says, ‘Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham.’ So not only the Jews but also gentile children of God through Jesus, are Abraham’s descendants.
- Jesus told the parable of the rich man and Lazarus to illustrate this. The rich man is in hell after his death (he probably did not prepare for eternity but concentrated only on material wealth). The poor man is in heaven at Abraham’s side. 7
- So Abraham welcomes every person who dies as a believer in Christ, in heaven, as another of his children. There must be multitudes of Abraham’s ‘descendants’ already in heaven with him – as numerous as the stars in the sky.
# Remarkable hatred against God
- The following scene describes the hostility against God, ‘When the thousand years are over [while Satan will be in the Abyss], Satan will be released and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth…. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city He loves.’ 8
- Look at the remarkable fact. For a thousand years the devil will be inactive. The moment he is released, he begins to deceive people to prepare to attack God’s city, Jerusalem. Isn’t it a remarkable proof that he is alive and hates God and His people?
- Incidentally, that is also the devil’s last act of rebellion on this earth, ‘And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into to the lake of burning sulphur.’ 9 Then the devil will inherit his final destination where he will be tormented day and night for ever.
The hatred of the devil and those he influences against God’s people, is an outstanding evidence in real life that there is a God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He is alive and well. Israel is living proof of the living God and we can trust Him to fulfil His promises.
- Genesis 12:1-3
- Genesis 15:18
- Willmington’s Guide to the Bible, Dr H L Willmington, Tyndale House Publishers, inc., 1981, p 977
- Genesis 12:3b
- Genesis 12:3a
- Genesis 15:5
- Luke 16:22-23
- Revelation 20:7-9
- Revelation 20:10