Israel and especially Jerusalem has been in the news a lot lately. Israel is the ground zero for prophecy. As Joel Rosenberg wrote in his non-fiction book Epicenter, that part of the world is prophetically known as the epicenter because “the eyes of the nations are riveted upon Israel and the Middle East, the epicenter of the momentous events shaking our world and shaping our future.”
For thus says the Lord of host, After glory He has sent me against the nations which plunder you, for he who touches you– that is Israel–touches the apple of His eye. (Zechariah 2:8)
He found him in a desert land, and in the howling waste of the wilderness; he encircled him, he cared for him, he kept him as the apple of his eye. (Deuteronomy 32:10)
Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings, (Psalm 17:8)
“Israel is very precious to God; and they who vex and harass him are as they who hurt that which God prizes inestimably, and which a mere touch offends and injures.” (Pulpit Commentary)
And yet we know that in the end of time no one on earth will be Israel’s friend. Zechariah 12:3 says that at the time of the very end, all nations will be gathered against her. This is to show that God alone is Israel’s protector. All who try to move Jerusalem, the immovable rock, will injure themselves, the prophecy states.
By these verses and others we can see and know that the hatred against Israel and the Jews is irrational. This is because it is from satan. This rage and hatred of Israel will only become worse as time goes on and God executes His final plans for human history.
For the last few weeks tensions and violence in Jerusalem has inched up to the nearly unbearable zone. Fox News has a timeline. Here is an excerpt
Nov. 5: A Hamas militant slams a minivan into crowd waiting for a train in Jerusalem, killing two.
Nov. 8: Israeli police shoot and kill an Arab Israeli protester at a demonstration in northern Israel. Video indicates the man was walking away from the officer when shot.
Nov. 10: Palestinian attackers kill two Israelis in Tel Aviv and the West Bank in separate stabbing attacks.
Nov. 13: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jordan’s King Abdullah II in Amman; the trio agrees on steps to defuse tensions at Jerusalem holy site.
Nov. 14: Israel lifts age restriction at holy site; Friday prayers go off without incident.
Nov. 16: Police say Israeli man stabbed in the back by an “Arab” attacker in Jerusalem and wounded. Assailant escapes.
Nov. 17: Israeli government says it will step up punitive demolitions, gives notices to families of Palestinian attackers
Nov. 18: Two Palestinians storm Jerusalem synagogue, kill
fourfive and wound six.
Avi Naim, head of the Beit Aryeh council in western Samaria, called to mobilize reserve forces to stabilize the security situation in Jerusalem on Friday, in a special interview with Arutz Sheva. “The situation is explosive and sensitive,” Naim stated. “There is the guiding hand of [Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud] Abbas there, who wants to burn the city [down], and the fact that there are no incidents in Judea-Samaria.” “[Jerusalem] needs reinforcements, and we should call up the reserves, so the [IDF] is seen everywhere and so that we take a firm hand [against terrorists],” he added.
Remember, the end of November was supposed to be a drop-dead date for finalization of peace talks, long-stalled but supposedly resumed in October. The goal in early November was this:
The Palestinians are expected to submit a resolution to the UN Security Council by the end of November or early December that calls for an end to the occupation and the recognition of a Palestinian state along 1967 lines.
Joel 3:2 prophesies judgment upon the nations for the way they treated Israel, which the verses above show God considers His own, near to Him as the apple of His eye. Dividing His land is something He will render wrath for, and dividing Jerusalem is an even worse idea. Yet Luke 21:24 shows us that the Gentiles trample Jerusalem anyway.
They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive among all nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
Revelation 11:2 says it will be for 42 months.
but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months.
EU urges two-state capital in Jerusalem as tensions soar
Europe’s top diplomat on Saturday called for a Palestinian state sharing Jerusalem as its capital with Israel, hours after the police killing of an Arab-Israeli further fanned tensions. … “I think Jerusalem can be and should be the capital of two states,” the new EU foreign policy chief told reporters in the Israeli-occupied West Bank city of Ramallah. The status of Jerusalem is a sensitive issue that has blocked peace efforts for decades.
Martin Sherman wrote an opinion piece on the Jerusalem Post asking a terrible question,
Into the Fray: On the cusp of carnage?
A perfect storm brewing
A perfect storm is brewing for Israel. On virtually every front, ominous clouds are gathering, and should the menacing maelstroms they portend hit together, it is far from certain that the Jewish state will survive the destructiveness of their combined impact. Since I began writing this Into the Fray series in mid- 2011, I have warned repeatedly of the perils of the government’s policy of counterproductive compromises and concessions. I cautioned that this “cavalcade of capitulation” will elicit nothing from our adversaries other than demands for more – and more far-reaching – concessions, as indeed it has. In my column of December 2, 2011, I wrote: “By adopting a policy of continually trying to avoid confrontations in which it can prevail, Israel may eventually find itself forced to engage in a confrontation in which it cannot.”
Precisely such a perilous predicament is now beginning to develop before our eyes.
Across every border Israel shares with its Arab neighbors, within its own borders, and far removed from them, a formidable range of threats – from damaging economic sanctions and international isolation, through murderous terrorist attacks, jihadi insurgency and domestic insurrection, to the specter of weapons of mass destruction and a nuclear Iran – is coalescing with disturbing speed into a multi-faceted menace that jeopardizes the survival of the Jewish nation-state to a degree arguably unprecedented since its inception.
There is one yet-to-be fulfilled prophetic confrontation that Israel engages in which they cannot and do not win: The Gog-Magog battle of Ezekiel 38-39. In that confrontation, Israel is taken by surprise, and would lose, unless the LORD had directly intervened.
ISIS Blows Up Egypt-Jordan Gas Pipeline
The pipeline through Sinai exports Egypt’s natural gas to Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. Jordan is in the anti-ISIS coalition.
The Islamic State’s Sinai Peninsula terror organization, which was named Ansar Bayt al-Makdas until it swore allegiance to Islamic State (aka ISIS), has blown up the pipeline carrying gas from Egypt to Jordan. The pipeline, which is 1,200 km long, and was built at a cost of $1.2 billion, is used for exporting natural gas to Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. In the past, it was repeatedly attacked by Islamist terror groups, until Egypt’s gas exports to Israel were halted. The Islamic State’s Sinai Peninsula notified the press that it would not allow gas to be exported to Jordan unless ISIS head Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi allowed it. It said that the attack was a response to Jordan’s participation in the military coalition against ISIS.
Speaking of being on the cusp of carnage, though in his opinion piece Mr Sherman was speaking of general war between nations, there was carnage today, sadly and mournfully.
Four Israelis were killed and eight more wounded in a frenzied assault by two Palestinian men on Jewish worshippers praying at a Jerusalem synagogue in the most lethal incident in the city in years. The two assailants who launched their attack with meat cleavers and a gun during early morning prayers were then killed by police officers in the ensuing gun battle at the scene of the attack. The deaths occurred as the two men – identified by family members as cousins Ghassan and Uday Abu Jamal from the East Jerusalem district of Jabal Mukaber – burst into the Bnei Torah synagogue in Har Nof, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighbourhood of West Jerusalem.
Israel vowed harsh retaliation Tuesday for a Palestinian attack that left four rabbis hacked or shot to death on the blood-smeared floor of a synagogue in Jerusalem, a major escalation of already-high tensions after weeks of religious violence. The attack during morning prayers in the west Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof was carried out by two Palestinian cousins wielding meat cleavers, knives and a handgun. They were shot to death by police after the deadliest assault in the holy city since 2008. Three of the dead were born in the United States and the fourth was born in England, although all held dual Israeli citizenship. Six others were wounded, including two police officers.
Tuesday’s attack, however, appeared to mark a turning point, with the gruesome scene in a house of worship shocking a nation long accustomed to violence. The government released a photo of a bloody meat cleaver it said came from the crime scene. Government video showed blood-soaked prayer books and prayer shawls on the floor of the synagogue. A pair of glasses lay under a table dripping in blood, and thick streaks of blood lined the floor.