Today In Prophecy
“And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed” (Genesis 12:3, all scriptures are from the NAS version).
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On December 24th, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution condemning Israel as an illegal “occupier” of the West Bank, parts of Jerusalem, and all land it acquired from Jordan between 1948 and 1967. For the first time, the United States abstained in the vote, despite pleas from the Israeli government to veto. The decades-long US policy to veto any proposal that condemned Israel in its settlement of the land was exercised as late as a year ago when a similar proposal was brought to a vote. Because only the other four permanent members of the Security Council have veto power (China, France, Russia, United Kingdom), the US abstention allowed the resolution to pass. New Zealand, Malaysia, Venezuela and Senegal were co-sponsors of the revived resolution despite the fact that Egypt, the original sponsor, asked that the UN vote be delayed indefinitely.
The UN vote would lock Israel into the 1948 Armistice line and declares Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem “occupied” Palestinian land. Because Security Council resolutions create international law, this means that the Jewish State’s presence in East Jerusalem, commonly known as the “Jewish Quarter” is illegal. Jewish residents of the Jewish Quarter are deemed international criminals!
The resolution that passed also asks UN member states not to use Israeli products that were created in “disputed” territories. To the credit of the US Congress, leaders of both parties voiced great displeasure at the decision by the US administration to abstain during the vote.
Although the new US administration has expressed disagreement and disappointment, it is almost certain that the results of this decision cannot be undone. The only way to overturn a UN Security Council resolution is to pass another UN Security Council resolution. With Russia and China each having veto power, it is unlikely that this will occur.
UN Secretary General Recognizes Bias Outgoing United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon admitted that the Jewish state is the subject of strong and “disproportionate” bias in the international body. During his departing speech to the Security Council on December 24, he said, “Decades of political maneuverings have created a disproportionate volume of resolutions, reports and conferences criticizing Israel. We must never accept bias against Israel within UN bodies.”
A number of UN bodies, in particular the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) have exhibited anti-Israel and anti-Semitic agendas. Almost half of the UNHRC resolutions have centered on condemning Israel while gross violation of human rights, war and atrocities committed elsewhere are ignored. Over the past year, bodies within the UN have passed a number of resolutions denying Jewish and Christian historical ties with Jerusalem. “During (Ki-Moon’s term as Secretary General), the UN passed 223 resolutions condemning Israel while only eight resolutions condemned the Syrian regime as it has massacred its citizens during the past six years of the conflict there,’” said Danny Danon, Israeli ambassador to the UN.
The Regathering of Israel
The prophet Amos said, “’Also I will restore the captivity of My people Israel, And they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them; they will also plant vineyards and drink their wine, And make gardens and eat their fruit. I will also plant them on their land, And they will not again be rooted out from their land which I have given them,’ says the LORD your God” (Amos 9:14, 15). When the Zionist movement began in the 19th century, Jews emigrated from all parts of the world. In the late 1800’s persecuted Jews in Russia and Russian-controlled lands returned to the new settlements in Palestine (Jeremiah 16:15, 16).
The Nazi persecution of the 1930s drove Jews from Europe to Palestine, despite control of that land by the British and their Arab partners, who allowed no open doors to the land. The prophet Ezekiel describes how Jews would be gathered to the promised land: “I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you from the lands where you are scattered, with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out” (Ezekiel 20:34). Thus, as long as Jews are being regathered to the land of Israel, we are to expect troublous times in the earth.
Scriptures tell us that the travail upon Israel is accompanied by travail upon the entire world. “For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. While they are saying, ‘Peace and safety!’ then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:2, 3). Note the statement that the trouble upon the world is to come in spasms, similar to a woman in labor, with intervening periods of peace and safety. The result of this travail is to be the disintegration of all the world’s nation states, and eventually, the birth and full establishment of Christ’s kingdom.
Today, Israel is being corrected and taught during her travail in order to be prepared for the role of blessing the world during the time of the Messianic Kingdom. Israel will become part of the earthly seed of Abraham that will bring blessings to the world. (Genesis 22:17).
Role of the Christian
Paul tells us, “For those whom the Lord loves he disciplines, and he scourges every son whom he receives” (Hebrews 12:6). It should not surprise us that Israel is having much trouble in its effort to be established amongst the nations. God is preparing that nation to be a channel of blessing to all others, but only to a limited extent at this time. While we are to expect that all nations favorable to Israel, including the US, will eventually turn their backs on her, Jehovah God will never do so. He will continue to comfort her and bring good upon her as he has promised.
“Indeed the LORD will comfort Zion; he will comfort all her waste places. And her wilderness He will make like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; Joy and gladness will be found in her, Thanksgiving and sound of a melody” (Isaiah 51:3). Before this, however, the final throes of the Gospel Age must be fulfilled, including also the completion of the Bride of Christ.
Once Jesus begins his Messianic reign, all nations will experience peace and learn that Israel has been reestablished for a purpose. The peace of Jerusalem mentioned in Psalm 122:6 will then flow to the rest of the world (Zechariah 14:16-19). Resurrected man will experience true peace on earth (Luke 2:14). God’s promise to Abraham in the theme text will then be fulfilled, and all families of the earth will indeed be blessed. Let us pray for that time to come soon!