By Bill Randles
President Obama’s term is almost over (God willing), but in one of his last attempts to express his disdain for the only Democracy in the Middle East, and our Ally, Israel, he has denounced Jewish settlement building in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria). Normally, the U.S. would veto such a brazen vote (a vote that puts incredible pressure on the state of Israel to “cease immediately all development of settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem”).
Within two days of the uniquely conjoined holidays of Christmas and Hannukah, the U.N.security council voted for a resolution which would criminalize Israeli settlements, subject Jewish soldiers defending their homeland to international tribunals, and cede the entire West Bank, (Judea) to the “Palestinians,” cede East Jerusalem to the Palestinians, and criminalize any construction of Jewish dwellings there, as “obstacles to the two state solution.”
Such insane regulations are proposed regularly in the United Nations, the largest voting block being the Organization of Islamic conference, consisting of 57 Muslim states, not to mention Israel’s other enemies. But usually these malicious motions are dismissed by the veto of the United States of America. This resolution is the first successful condemnation of the Israeli “settlers” in 37 years.
Indeed, Obama has assured Israel repeatedly that, “we have your back,” and there is no greater friend to Israel than the United States. This is what made this act of perfidy so treacherous. It is obscene that Obama would do it in the closing hours of his failed presidency, seeking to pre-empt President Trump’s pro-Israel policy.
The implications of this resolution are ominous; Israel must return to the borders she had before the six day war in 1967, the Temple Mount, Tomb of the Patriarchs, and several other sacred sites are now considered to be illegitimately occupied by Israel; Israel can now be subjected to international sanctions for violating these redrawn lines.
In Matthew 24, in the most complete compilation of Jesus’ teachings on the events leading to the “end of the age and the sign of his coming” Jesus cited many universal signs such as floods, famines, earthquakes, wars, and rumors of wars. Suddenly, he shifts from the universal to the local . . . “Then let them which be in Judea. . . .” Judea will be the pressure point, the catalyst which provokes “Great Tribulation, such as has never been seen before, nor shall ever be seen again. . . .”
In view of this outrage, I am reposting a teaching from the prophet Joel to demonstrate the stunning relevance of this passage to the current Geo-political situation. This teaching is an excerpt from my 2010 book, A Sword On The land-The Muslim World in Bible Prophecy.
God Sues the Nations . . . Joel 3
For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land. And they have cast lots for my people; and have given a boy for an harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might drink. (Joel 3:1-3)
Joel, the biblical prophet, who ministered between 835-800 BC, prophesied with amazing clarity Geo-political events that are occurring right before our very eyes.
To demonstrate this, allow me to unpack Joel, chapter three.
*The Time of fulfillment: “For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem . . . .” This prophecy is slated for the time when God would bring back the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem; that is, it is going to be fulfilled post 1948.
* I will also gather all nations: The literal possibility for this aspect of the prophecy is only recent, for at no other time in human history has there been even a possibility for the “gathering of all nations” since the Tower of Babel judgment.
All nations have indeed been assembled into a congress, the United Nations, which arose, like Israel, out of the aftermath of World War II in the late 1940s. As Psalm 2 predicts, “the kings of the earth and their rulers take counsel together against the LORD and His Christ.”
* Valley of Jehoshaphat: “ . . . and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat . . .” The point is not that there is or isn’t an actual geographical valley of Jehoshaphat, the point is that the name Jehoshaphat is part of the prophesy. It means “Jahweh shall Judge,” i.e. God shall judge the nations of the earth.
It could also be a reminder of the story of the siege of Judah in the days of King Jehoshaphat, in which after repentance and a national day of prayer and fasting, the instruction was given not to fear the combined gentile armies of Ammonites, Moabites, and Edomites.
This is the battle where Judah, at God’s command, marched the Priests out front of the army, with instruments instead of weapons, and praised the goodness of the Lord! The enemy turned upon itself and was routed.
* “ . . . and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel . . . ” This is not a prediction that God will ask the nations to go easy on Israel. This is legal language. God is going to slap a lawsuit upon the nations; he is serving an indictment, for this is the court of Divine justice!
The indictment has four counts, 1) they scattered God’s people, 2) they parted God’s land, 3) they cast lots for God’s people, and 4) they sold out the children of Israel, for the hire of a harlot, and for wine.
My people, whom they have scattered among the nations— The nations of the world indeed scattered the children of Israel, thoroughly across the world; it is not unusual even to this day to find a tribe in remote China, India, or even black Africa, who keep kosher and observe other practices of the Jews, though cut off for centuries from the rest of the world.
But one could argue that this was exactly what God told Israel would happen should they prove faithless.
And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste.(Leviticus 26:33)
So why is there an indictment on the nations of the world for doing exactly what God said they would do? We have to turn to Zechariah for the answer:
And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction.(Zechariah 1:15)
God is bringing suit against the nations because though He used them to scatter the children of Israel, and to afflict them, they have taken it further than He wanted.
The nations were “at ease” when holocausts and pogroms were occurring—it didn’t bother them. Hitler was offering shiploads of German Jews to any nation that would shelter them, but there were no takers. He then knew that his “final solution” was possible to undertake without international interference.
All through the 1940s into the 1990s, the word of the nations to Israel, in the midst of intifada and terror campaigns was “don’t rock the boat” and inflame the Arabs, give them “land for peace” so that oil prices would be stable.
The nations could overlook the Palestinian bombings and murder campaigns, the slaughter of children, women, Olympic athletes, etc., for they themselves were “at ease.” This is what is bringing upon the world the final judgment.
The second indictment against the nations of the world is that they have participated in the partition of God’s land. This will bring judgment to the world.
* Israel isn’t the property of the UN, the Vatican, the European Union, or the Arabs; neither is it the property of Israel, for it belongs to God himself.
The land shall not be sold for ever [permanently]: for the land is mine; for ye are strangers and sojourners with me. (Leviticus 25:23)
Therefore, for the nations of the world to deliberate at the UN, or in Rome or Washington or Cairo as to the disposal of the Holy Land and its borders, as if it were theirs to dispose of is arrogant presumption.
Not even the Jews have the right to trade land for peace, although the leadership of Israel being for the most part secular in their outlook, would desperately love to do so if it would bring peace.
Currently, this prophecy is being fulfilled by the insistence of the UN that Israel return to its pre-1967 borders (rendering it indefensible), as well as the pressure everted to cede the Gaza, and the so-called “West Bank” territory, which is biblically named “Judea and Samaria.”
The United States, under the Obama administration, has been insisting upon a “No Natural growth” policy for Judea, which means that the number of Jewish settlers there is to be “capped,” allowing for no further growth in population. This would effectively strangle the existing population, forcing the remaining Jews to leave.
While Arab leaders, International statesmen, “human Rights” champions of every stripe, the Pope, the presidents of the free world, UN delegates, and a host of other parliamentarians the world over heatedly debate the “status” of Jerusalem and the “legitimate” borders of Israel, the Holy God of the Bible observes.
It would be well to remember the Words of the prophet Ezekiel in his prophecy to the “West Bank,” that is the mountains of Judea:
Also, thou son of man, prophesy unto the mountains of Israel, and say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord: 2 thus saith the Lord God; Because the enemy hath said against you, Aha, even the ancient high places are ours in possession: 3 therefore prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Because they have made you desolate, and swallowed you up on every side, that ye might be a possession unto the residue of the heathen, and ye are taken up in the lips of talkers, and are an infamy of the people:
Therefore, ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord GOD; Thus saith the Lord GOD to the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys, to the desolate wastes, and to the cities that are forsaken, which became a prey and derision to the residue of the heathen that are round about;
Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Surely in the fire of my jealousy have I spoken against the residue of the heathen, and against all Idumea, which have appointed my land into their possession with the joy of all their heart, with despiteful minds, to cast it out for a prey.
Prophesy therefore concerning the land of Israel, and say unto the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I have spoken in my jealousy and in my fury, because ye have borne the shame of the heathen: therefore thus saith the Lord God; I have lifted up mine hand, Surely the heathen that are about you, they shall bear their shame. . . .
But ye, O mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people of Israel; for they are at hand to come. For, behold, I am for you, and I will turn unto you, and ye shall be tilled and sown: 10 and I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, even all of it: and the cities shall be inhabited, and the wastes shall be builded. (Ezekiel 36:1-10)