An amazing global trend seems to have been obscured, even to Christians, for many years. While social media and daily news headlines dutifully spew their anti-Israel and anti-Semitic rhetoric, more and more nations are actually liking Israel! Take just this week, for example. PM Netanyahu is presently receiving a warm reception in countries throughout Africa. His tour to the African continent is the first by an Israeli Prime Minister in over 50 years. There, heads of states are expressing a sincere desire to develop and deepen mutually beneficial relations with Israel. They need and seek Israeli anti-terror, water and food, as well as biomedical and other technologies. In exchange, Israel needs and seeks Africa’s diplomatic support in a post-American world of disorder and distress.
Similarly, over the past several years, nations throughout Asia and Eastern Europe (including Russia) have quietly deepened relations with the Jewish state. Overall, despite anti-Semitism and BDS, economic trade and political diplomacy between Israel and non-Western, non-Islamist countries has flourished. Energy sources discovered and developed in Israel are a major draw. Emerging nations view Israel as a go-to resource for help on many levels.
To the surprise of many, Israel is forging an unprecedented, under-the-radar alliance with “moderate” Middle East countries. Behind the reported scenes, Israel is establishing or strengthening relations with Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other states. These nations feel deeply threatened by Iran. They know Israel’s military ability to withstand Iran is stronger than the rest of theirs put together. It is said in the Middle East that, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” So for now, some Arab countries are willing to entertain the idea of a cold friendship with Israel. Even Turkey, a once bitter enemy, is pursuing normalized relations with the Jewish state.
Meanwhile, in a sadly ironic turn of events, some of the Western nations that were once instrumental in establishing a Jewish state are now the very ones turning against her. Not surprisingly, most or all can now be identified as post-Christian. At the same time, most or all nations now opening their doors to Israel (including Arab countries) are those in which at least a groundswell is opening to the Gospel. Many of these nations also face Islamic terror – which further disposes them to align with or relate to Israel. To date, their collective political clout in the international community is still outweighed by that of Europe and the US. But winds are shifting; times are changing. (For more on this topic, see Luke Baker, Reuters, “Diplomatic Ties Help Israel Defang International Criticism,” 7/7/16.)
As more and more nations view the Jewish state more favorably, what are the prophetic implications? Are we as close to an all-out war against Israel as we thought we were even a year ago? Could God be giving emerging Christian nations an opportunity to be blessed by Israel and bless her back? Or are these nations simply trying to take economic advantage of Israel’s resources? And are we Jews simply trying to curry the nations’ favor instead of wholeheartedly depend on God? And then there’s the Big Question: Will Iran strike very soon at Israel and usher in an Ezekiel 38-39 war – or will such a war take place many years from now, later than we’d thought?
Politics in the Middle East is nuanced and complex. Most prophetic and biblically knowledgeable Israeli believers admit they don’t know exactly how or when things will play out. I must say I agree with them. One reason I believe we don’t quite know how and when events will occur is that our prayers can and should influence those events. So, friends, let’s keep praying! God wants to draw all to Himself, does not enjoy human suffering, and prefers to bless rather than curse.
As you pray and seek first His Kingdom, God will give you the information you need, when you need it, to stay the course. As you’re faithful to the revelation you have, His Spirit will guide you in all truth, according to His Word. So stand firm! Remember that as you do, immense and infinite joy is set before you!
“Through your offspring, all nations on earth will be blessed.” Genesis 22:18
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