Heading East on the West Bank

April 2, 2015

4 min read

Jim Fletcher

Charles Krauthammer is not, so far as we know, a believer, as Christian readers of “Israel Watch” would understand. He is Jewish, and one of the best political commentators around.

In a recent piece in the Washington Post, Krauthammer got downright biblical, though, in his language:

“The fundamental reality remains: This generation of Palestinian leadership — from Yasser Arafat to Mahmoud Abbas — has never and will never sign its name to a final peace settlement dividing the land with a Jewish state. And without that, no Israeli government of any kind will agree to a Palestinian state.”

This calls to mind again (and please, do not misunderstand: I do not mean that Krauthammer or any other political commentator would agree with me on this point) the ancient prophecies concerning the Land of Israel and the last days.

I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat.[a] There I will put them on trial for what they did to my inheritance, my people Israel, because they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land. (Joel 3:2)

The division of the land, promised to the Jews, is something that in particular provokes God to wrath. We see this as well in Zechariah, and in Amos 9:15, the Lord promises that no one will uproot Jews from the land once He has placed them there a final time, in the last days:

I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted rom the land I have given them,” says the Lord your God.

Interestingly, more than a dozen years ago, Ariel Sharon quoted this verse almost verbatim (although, like Krauthammer, he didn’t necessarily mean that he was being biblical about it).

On the minds of prophecy students now, at a fever pitch, is the question of the famed “Gog-Magog War” mentioned in Ezekiel 38-39, and also related is the question of whether Scripture mitigates against a Palestinian state. I read recently an email exchange on this between prophecy students/teachers, and at least one dogmatically claimed that a Palestinian state could never be established, according to the Bible.

I’m not so sure. You see, we all draw conclusions. I would say that given the current climate, politically speaking, a Palestinian state is not in the offing. However, notice:

“Son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel and say, ‘Mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord. This is what the Sovereign Lord says: The enemy said of you, “Aha! The ancient heights have become our possession.”’ Therefore prophesy and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because they ravaged and crushed you from every side so that you became the possession of the rest of the nations and the object of people’s malicious talk and slander, therefore, mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Sovereign Lord: This is what the Sovereign Lord says to the mountains and hills, to the ravines and valleys, to the desolate ruins and the deserted towns that have been plundered and ridiculed by the rest of the nations around you— this is what the Sovereign Lord says: In my burning zeal I have spoken against the rest of the nations, and against all Edom, for with glee and with malice in their hearts they made my land their own possession so that they might plunder its pastureland.’ Therefore prophesy concerning the land of Israel and say to the mountains and hills, to the ravines and valleys: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I speak in my jealous wrath because you have suffered the scorn of the nations. Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I swear with uplifted hand that the nations around you will also suffer scorn. (Ezekiel 36:1-7)

“Aha, the ancient heights have become our possession.”

Now, we can’t be too dogmatic, either, but let’s think about this.

The above scenario fits the Kingdom of Jordan nicely. Coming from the east, the Jordanians at one time controlled the “West Bank” (a term so coined by Jordan’s King Hussein for political purposes). The Ezekiel verses could refer to that (although Jordan did not develop the land, but left it waste), or to a future sovereign control. After all, much of the Jordanian population is Palestinian.

When the Israelis won the territory in their lightning victory in 1967, Christians rejoiced because the ancestral land was now under Jewish control.

As always, we must be cautious in being dogmatic about certain future scenarios. Are conditions ripe for an acceleration of prophetic events? Certainly.

Slowly but surely, the nations are forming a confederacy against the Jewish state, led by the gang in the White House.

Yet, Canada and Australia are strengthening their ties with the Jewish state, proving beyond doubt that Israel is not currently friendless. Close, but not yet.

Another important point to remember when we are lured into thinking dogmatically is that geopolitics change with the wind. Consider that a few months ago, Egypt was a mortal enemy of Israel. Today, the military government is cooperating with Israel in unprecedented ways.

In another year, those Canadian and Australian governments, too, could elect anti-Israel leaders.

We can’t bet the farm on short-term political realities in our world. Hear Krauthammer again:

“In the last four years, Egypt has had two revolutions and three radically different regimes. Yemen went from pro-American to Iranian client so quickly the United States had to evacuate its embassy in a panic. Libya has gone from Moammar Gaddafi’s crazy authoritarianism to jihadi-dominated civil war. On Wednesday, Tunisia, the one relative success of the Arab Spring, suffered a major terror attack that the prime minister said ‘targets the stability of the country.’

“What we can know for sure is that God’s promises are sure and true and will be fulfilled in exact detail.”

Many of us long for the Lord’s return. He is coming, that is for sure.

In the meantime, let us not be overly sure of all the details. Frankly, it’s fun in a way to watch all this unfold. And we are surely getting closer.

What we do know is that the Land of Israel is the trigger for it all. So we watch.

And wait.

Reprinted with author’s permission from Israel Watch

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