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
Richard Dawkins claims that God is a Cosmic Tyrant because He commanded the Israelites to kill the Canaanites. 1 Others argue that the God of the Old Testament is not the God of the New Testament.
While we discuss the issue it is important to keep a specific aspect of the Bible in mind. The Scriptures tell us to seek God. Why? Because, ‘God reveals Himself in His word, as He does in His works. In both we see a self-revealing, self-concealing God, who makes Himself known only to those who earnestly seek Him.’ 2 Let’s see how it applies to Jerusalem and the Jebusites:
# The Jerusalem case
We can summarise the conquest of Canaan as follows, ‘So Joshua subdued the whole region…. He left no survivors. He totally destroyed all who breathed.’ 2 Yet when we carefully read the Scriptures, it didn’t happen that fast. For example,
- The king of the Jebusites joined Jabin (with other kings) and attacked the Israelite army. Joshua defeated them. The Israelites put Jerusalem to the sword and totally destroyed the people. 3
- So the king of Jerusalem was conquered. 4
- Despite the fact that the ‘whole region was subdued,’ the tribe of Judah still had to take in more than 109 towns and villages that were part of their inheritance. 5
- Later it says that Judah could not dislodge the Jebusites who lived in Jerusalem. 6 That is after the verse that said Jerusalem was conquered. 7
- Judges 1:8 tells us, ‘The men of Judah attacked Jerusalem also and took it. They put the city to the sword and set in on fire.’ That was after it was conquered by Joshua and his men.
- However, many years later king David fought to conquer the Jebusites living in Jerusalem. 8
# The question is, how does that work?
Careful investigation gives the answer.
- The Canaanites knew that Joshua and his army were on their way. Joshua sent spies to inspect Jericho, the first city they conquered in Canaan. There Rahab hid the spies and told them, ‘I know that the Lord has given this land to you, and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you.’
- The Canaanites also knew the history of how God helped his people, because Rahab recited the great acts of God when He delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. 8
- So it is logical that the Canaanite women, children and elderly fled before the victorious Israelite army. Later on they probably return to their city, rebuilt it if it was necessary, and lived there again.
- The text does not mention that all the towns and villages were destroyed and their inhabitants killed. It only mentions that some of the main cities were conquered.
- After the three main campaigns under Joshua, each individual tribe received its inheritance. From there it had to secure that inheritance for itself. Scripture explains, “After the death of Joshua, the Israelites asked the Lord, ‘Who will be the first to go up and fight for us against the Canaanites?’” 9
When you read Scripture carefully, you will not jump to conclusions that are false. That is what Richard Dawkins fails to do. We, who love the Lord, need not follow his example.
- Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, Bantam Press, 2006, p 36
- J Haley, Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible, Whitaker House, 1992, p 15. Joshua 10:40
- Joshua 11:12-13
- Joshua 12:10
- Joshua 15:20-62
- Joshua 15:63
- Joshua 11:12
- 2 Samuel 5:6-9
- Joshua 2:8-11
- Judges 1:1
Bible believers often forget that the Bible is a Jewish book. The writers of the Bible were Jews, with the exception of Luke who was a Greek (some think he was also a Jew). The Old Testament was written in Hebrew, the New Testament in Greek, but both are mainly about history that took place in Israel.
# 1. Our roots. So with our roots firmly established in Jewish soil, it is obvious that our loyalty is also with God’s chosen people. God is never going to reject Israel, since He is not interested in divorce (‘I will betroth you to me for ever….’).1 Even though many Jews reject Jesus, it is no reason for us to reject them.
# 2. Culture. Since the Bible is about Jews, it is obvious that the Jewish culture of those days is important. The following two examples in the Complete Jewish Bible 2 give us a feel of the Jewishness:
- Isaiah 2:3 in the NIV says, ‘The Law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.’ Stern translates it, ‘For out of Tziyon (Zion) will go forth Torah, the Word of Adonai from Yerushalayim’ (Yesha’yahu 2:3).
- Matthew 10:1,5, in the NIV says, “He called His twelve disciples to Him and gave…. These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: ‘Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans.’” Stern’s translation is, “Yeshua called His twelve talmidin and gave…. These twelve Yeshua sent out with the following instructions: ‘Don’t go into the territory of the Goyim and don’t enter any town in Shomron’” (Mattityahu 10:1,5).
# 3. Jesus. Nobody can deny that Jesus spent most of His short life in Israel, in the vicinity of the Sea of Galilee and Jerusalem among other places. Jesus was a Jew, and to all understanding, is still a Jew after His resurrection.
# 4. Jerusalem. David’s city will be important in the new heavens and earth: And I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 In the new city that we hope to be part of,
- The names of the twelve Jewish tribes will be written on the gates. 4
- The names of the twelve apostles will be written on the twelve foundations. 5
Since Jesus is our Messiah and He is a Jew, we should take time to ponder the miracle that God chose such a small country and the small ‘family’ of Jesus and His disciples to construct the biggest family of all times.
- Hosea 2:19
- Complete Jewish Bible, translated by David H Stern, Jewish New Testament Publications, 1998
- Revelation 21:2
- Revelation 21:12
- Revelation 21:14