Iran, Israel's Defense And Hastening Armageddon (11.23.11)
Zechariah 12, 1-6: "When that day comes, I shall make Jerusalem a stone too heavy for all the peoples to lift; all those who try to lift it will hurt themselves severely, although all the nations of the world will be massed against her. When that day comes- declares Yahweh- I shall strike all the horses with panic and their riders with madness. And I shall strike all the peoples with blindness. (But I shall keep watch over Judah.) Then the rulers of Judah will say to themselves, 'The strength of the inhabitants of Jerusalem lies in Yahweh Saboath their God.' "
James 3,5: "Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles."
Perhaps prompted by President George W. Bush's exiting, neocon, pre-emptive strikers, John McCain in 2008 tried hard to appease the right about his committment to using U.S. military might.
This was off putting to some who wanted the rhetoric to be toned down.
Now our President that beat Sen. McCain didn't say much about his military plans, and we thought he would be more moderate. But he immediatly surged in Afghanistan, sustained in Iraq, took out Bin laden, invaded Lybya, took out Qaddafi and an untried U.S. citizen, called out Syria, and seems to have embraced the "Arab Spring" movement rather uncritically.
In the midst of this present massive mideast political upheaval, Israel of late is again testing U.S. resolve to support it by calling out Iran over their apparent nuclear bomb capabilities. Israel's latest talk on this somber and real subject was prompted by the UN International Atomic Energy Agency's recent report that Iran's nuclear plans apparently do include future bombs.
Now comes the repeat Republican Candidate Mitt Romney declaring "If Mitt Romney is elected Iran will not have a nuclear bomb." (I'm wondering if there is some eschatology in this statement that I don't know about)
It's almost 2012, and yet it feels like 2008 again.
But our present President, despite his latent military prowess having come to the fore, may not support Israel's proposed plans, or be able to stop them, or be willing to back them up. And even if he did support them, and or back them up, such support may not prevent Iran from getting a bomb anyway.
This is Zechariah 12,1ff.
Jerusalem is surrounded by Hamas and Hezbollah and Syria and Islamicist Iran and an Arab Spring perhaps too big to control. But thanks be to God, Jerusalem would still be too big a stone for any massive Jihad to take on or out (consider Revelation 9,16).
Zechariah 12 says if Islam and the Arab Spring turns Jihadist, they will stumble.
But Jerusalem also may be too big a stone for the U.S. to defend, when nuclear bombs are involved anyway, and we too could be hurt badly if we tried.
So where does that leave Israel?
In the same place Israel has always been, living by faith and every word that comes from the Lord, totally dependant on God.
Simply put, the word of God is guiding us to a place in the history of salvation where Israel (and by extension the rest of the nations bound to them as the center of salvation history) must solely rely on him: "For I will not trust in my bow. Nor shall my sword save me." (Psalm 44,6)
I don't ask this with a critical spirit, or any lack of love for Israel or my own country, but hasn't our U.S. foreign policy in the last ten years taken on the role of trying to micro manage the whole world, and haven't we, inadvertantly perhaps, stepped into God's heavy lifting domain, and into biblical prophecy?
Or let me state it this way- perhaps it's time to entertain the possibility that our U.S. actions around the world may not be preventing Armageddon, but hastening it.
I have serached the scriptures and I can find no instance where any man or nation has the right or responsibility to hasten Armageddon, let alone takes over God's sovereign role in governing the world and over life and death.
Yes Cyrus the Persian king gave money to re-build the Jerusalem temple in 520 BC. Yes the Canaanite Rahab helped Israel enter the promised land. Yes we the gentile church is Ruth seeking her final home with the bridegroom Jesus in literal Zion. Yes the U.S. has been and will continue to be Israel's ally.
But God has unfinished salvation business, final crisis business, and this business is, per his word, between God and Israel, and her enemies:
"When that day comes, I shall set about destroying all the nations who advance against Jerusalem. But over the House of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem I shall pour out a spirit of grace and prayer, and they will look to me." (Zechariah 12,9-10).
So when it comes to Israel and Iran's prospective nuclear threat against it, Israel will do what it deems best for Israel, as guided by prayer, and its history of God's miraculous dealings with His chosen people.
And whatever Israel does, now or in four years, or whenever, we in the U.S., many of us faithful to God, are left to wonder whether we have done enough peacemaking around the world.
And left to wonder whether we have the faith to leave anything about our own country's future (or the world's) in the hands of God, rather than in the hands of fallible men, running fallible governments.
Prayers added to those of all loving Christians, of our brothers and sisters in Israel, and of all God fearers:
That we in the U.S would not be blind and ungrateful for the faith leadership You have bestowed on this country, and that we would turn to You God in a renewed faith and demonstrate that leadership only according to Your word and Your Spirit;
That all nations, especially China and Russia, would turn to God in freedom and allow faith freedom and press freedom into their countries;
That the rushing wind of the Gospel and the Holy Ghost would invade the Mideast, and all would look upon Christ, on the merciful God of Israel, as He is, and turn to Him, and that revival and peace would break out during the massive demonstrations of the Arab Spring.
In the mighty NAME of JESUS.
Peace Out, Br. Tobin
PREACHING HOUR TV
TUESDAY EVENINGS - 8PM EST
Preaching Hour TV weekly on Cox PATV Channel 15 in Cheshire, Southington and Meriden CT and on VCAM Channel 15 10pm Fridays in Burlington VT.read more...
Tobin Hitt is the founder of the Zion Pentecost Mission. He is open to gospel partnership with all, and identifies with Paul's description of our mission as ambassadors for our king, Jesus, urging all to reconcile with God (2Cor.20-21). He resides in Cheshire, Connecticut.read more...