Three hours ago I watched Israeli prime minister Netanyahu risk his future in Israeli politics, and perhaps his life, in speaking to the US Congress. Was a “golden scepter” of favor extended to him as he walked into Congress’s legislative chamber to a wildly robust standing ovation—followed by approximately 40 more rounds of applause during his 40 minute speech? By the fact that Congress was swamped with requests for visitor tickets amounting to 10 times its seating/standing capacity? (as reported by Fox News) Clearly, Netanyahu is deeply appreciated by many Americans. Just as clearly, President Obama now has some unhappy explaining to do.
Netanyahu explicitly paralleled Israel’s situation regarding Iran to that of events in the book of Esther. He noted that after Esther exposed the plot against her people, the Jews were given the right to defend themselves and their lives were spared. Later he said that if Israel had to act and stand alone against Iran in the future, it would—but it WOULD stand.
Stated the prime minister: “The greatest danger facing our world is the marriage of militant Islam to nuclear weapons.” The current deal, he warned, would “all but guarantee” that Iran gets those nuclear weapons. It would assure war, not peace.
Implying that Haman today is reincarnated through militant Islam, Netanyahu pointed out weaknesses in the deal negotiated by the P5 +1 nations. He did not leak information not already known. Most importantly, he said the deal would leave Iran with a vast nuclear program that would surely go unchecked (the country “plays hide and cheat”), and it would lift all restrictions against Iran in 10 years. Any deal, he said, should require Iran to first stop aggressively attacking other nations and threatening Israel’s existence. “If Iran wants to be treated like a normal country, let it first act like a normal country.” The PM warned that Iran should not be viewed as a Western ally just because it stands against IS. “When it comes to Iran and ISIS, the enemy of your enemy is your enemy,” not your friend.
In conclusion, Netanyahu referred to a statue of Moses in Congress. He explicitly reminded Congress of Moses’ words concerning the enemies of God’s people: “Be strong and resolute. Neither fear nor dread them.” This I personally perceived a word from God to His people in America at this time.
Friends, God has allowed an evil plot to be exposed to a wide audience—much wider than if there’d been no controversy concerning it. It seems partial victory has been achieved and we should be encouraged. But let’s not think the battle is over. Three hours after the speech, a deep spirit of offense and resentment is rising up. Netanyahu’s words are already being mischaracterized by politicians and media. A backlash of anti-Semitism is already threatening. This means devilish forces are running scared. Here’s how I believe we can pray:
1. Praise and thanksgiving: “Thank you, Righteous God, for directing Mr. Netanyahu to the US to ‘seek the good of his people and speak [the way of true] peace to all his kindred’ (Esther 10:3). I declare your sovereignty over the nations and the affairs of humankind. I praise you that you are good, you are peace, and you are faithful.”
2. Continue praying all the points noted in our February 27 post entitled “Why this Purim could be Pivotal.”
3. Mr. Obama: (Esther 3:1-6, 6:13, 7:5) “Almighty One, please hedge in President Obama by your grace. As Haman was infuriated by Mordecai’s refusal to bow down to him, so Obama has been greatly angered at Netanyahu’s refusal over time to comply with his demands. Just as you did with Haman, please raise up those who will give Obama wise counsel and an opportunity to repent. Give Obama, as you did Ahaseruus, a gift of humility to turn from unwise ways. For the sake of your kingdom and your people, cause the President’s wrath to prove of no effect and turn it around for good.”
4. US Congress: “God of Justice, would you stir courage in Congress to stand against evil and unwise counsel regarding Iran and turn around a very bad deal with Iran. Give both Democrat and Republican representatives supernatural unity and wisdom to sort truth from lies and replace confusion with clarity. Expose any important but hidden facts in the deal. Let Netanyahu’s words continue to ring with effect in the months ahead. Give your people ‘the house of Haman’.” (Esther 8:1-14)
5. Mr. Netanyahu: “Shield of Israel, please extend your blazing scepter of favor to protect the life of Benjamin Netanyahu and his family. Expose and thwart every evil plot to annihilate him or his position as prime minister of Israel. Embolden him with strength and courage.” (Esther 3:11)
6. Purim: “This Purim may your people celebrate and worship you alone, YHVH, according to your Book, that you may be magnified in truth in Israel, the US and Iran.” (Esther 9:20-32)