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Israel's Agony

Source: Art Sadlier, Sunday April 1st 2012

For two millennia Israelis have been persecuted, traumatised and slaughtered. Like the three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace, burning, burning and yet never consumed. Today Israel’s tribulations are gaining in intensity with each passing day; the whole world is set against Israel.

The United Nations' Human Rights Council recently passed a resolution ordering a first probe into how Israel's West Bank settlements may be infringing on Palestinians' rights. The UN has made it clear, that as far as they are concerned, the land God gave to Israel belongs to the Palestinians.

The U.S. administration has just recently refused to acknowledge Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

On March 30th  Arab and international protesters marched toward the borders of Israel and took part in activities designed to highlight Jerusalem’s Arab character. Volunteers from 80 countries took part in the march. Within the borders of Israel one million threatened to march on Jerusalem. The pressure on Israel continues to build. There are a multitude of other activities intended to delegitimize Israel in the eyes of the entire world.

On the diplomatic scene, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will make his case for a repeat attempt to win full UN membership for Palestine at the Arab League summit in Baghdad. Israel’s enemies never give up in their determination to ultimately destroy Israel. This is no surprise; Satan has been working at this project for 4,000 years.

The brutal and merciless slaughter of a Jewish man and three Jewish children in southern France last week shone a spotlight back onto a problem many had been doing their best to downplay the escalating anti-Semitism in Europe. Since that event Jewish schools all across France have been receiving threats of new attacks. That the Toulouse shooting itself was an anti-Semitic act driven by the killer Mohammed Merah’s irrational hatred of Jews is without question. And yet, there are many coming to his posthumous defense.

At the “Christ at the Checkpoint Conference” in Bethlehem earlier this month, there was an abundance of declarations that the aim was not to demonize or delegitimize Israel.

But actions speak louder than words, and nearly all of the scheduled activities surrounding the conference were designed with a single purpose: to paint Israel as an arbitrary and deliberate oppressor of Palestinian Christians and thereby drive a wedge between the Jewish state and its traditional Western Evangelical supporters.

The Egyptian parliament recently voted unanimously to demand the expulsion of Israel’s ambassador and the halt of all natural gas exports to Israel. The military junta is still in control, but it won’t be by the end of June. And then the deluge begins. More pressure on Israel.

For ten days Israel was under sustained rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip. It was a demonstration of what Israel will face when their enemies are ready to launch an all out assault. More pressure.

The office of UN Human Affairs posted a picture of a dead Palestinian girl allegedly killed by Israel in counter attacks by the IAF. Reuters revealed that this was a deliberate lie and that the girl was killed in a car accident that had nothing to do with Israel. You can see the intensity of the hatred of Israel at the UN.

Another pressure that has been weighing heavily on Jewish shoulders is the threat of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons to annihilate her. Those who claim to be Israel’s friends have been putting incredible pressure on Israel to just stand back and let it happen. One report suggested that Obama is betraying Israel by leaking classified information and intelligence assessments. The report said, the United States is leaking information to the media in order to avert an Israeli strike in Iran.

Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton blasted the Obama administration Wednesday March 28, for putting “just merciless” behind-the-scenes pressure on the Israeli government in order to persuade Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu not to launch an attack on Iran.

Bolton added that reported intelligence leaks by the administration could hurt Israel’s chances of successfully knocking out Iran’s nuclear facilities.

The pressure on Israel continues to build, revealing an intensity of the hatred for Israel that defies human explanation.

We must understand that God has been dealing with Israel for many long years to bring her back to Himself. There are three major ways that the Lord has dealt with Israel.

The first major way that the Lord is working to bring Israel back to Himself is through the instrument of anti-semitism, as cataloged above.

The Lord is putting Israel’s back to the wall so that ultimately Israel will have no where to look but up to her God. Satan is seeking to destroy Israel, but her God is working to turn her eyes and her heart back to Him. God loves Israel and He will not spare her any pain or suffering to win her heart, nor will He accept Israelis who refuse to return to Him in repentance and faith.

There is much pain and suffering for Israel yet to endure. She has at least three more major wars. We know that the anti-Christ will kill two thirds of the nation in the tribulation period. Then it will happen, God’s purpose for Israel will finally be consummated. We read about it in Zechariah 13:8-9. “And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.”

The second major way God deals with Israel is through blessing. The Lord seeks to prove to Israel that He loves her and that He is her God. Since Israel has returned to the land, the Lord has poured out unbelievable material blessings upon her. Everything Israel has touched in the land has turned to gold. The Lord has literally caused the desert to blossom as a rose. Recently Israel has received a new blessing with the discovery of a rich resource of oil and natural gas.

The third major way God has dealt with Israel is through war. Israel has had three major wars since returning to the land in 1948. In each of those wars Israel should have been annihilated by superior armies. The God of Israel has intervened in a miraculous way in each case. God has been saying to Israel, through those victories, Israel I am your God, Israel I love you, Israel if you trust me and obey me I will bless you and protect you.

Israel has failed to get the message and she faces at least three more wars, in which Jehovah will continue to demonstrate Himself to her as her God.

Israel is undeserving of God’s blessing in these things. God has not blessed Israel because she is deserving of it. God has blessed Israel for the glory of His own name. Ezekiel 36:21-23, “But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went. Therefore say unto the house of Israel, thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.”

God loves Israel with an everlasting love and He will finish His purposes for her. All Israel shall be saved, (Romans 11:26) that is every Jew alive at the end of the tribulation period. God will save the Jewish people who will put their faith and trust in Him. God has nothing for those Jews who are unbelieving and disobedient to Him. They will die in the last half of the tribulation period.

We sometimes cry out in anguish over Israel’s suffering, but we also understand the God is working out His purposes for His disobedient people. We are commanded to pray for the “Peace of Jerusalem,” the answer to that prayer will be the return of Israel’s Messiah, the Prince of Peace; Israel will have no real peace until that happens.