The USA’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel stirred up a hornet’s nest of outrage. So the question is: Jerusalem – What will happen next?
This is the second article in this short series. If you did not read the previous article “Christian Response to the Jerusalem Announcement,” click and read it first as it provides a lot of background information.
The Nations Rage
The rhetoric from all portions of the globe has been swift and quite over-the-top. The USA’s top “allies” Britain, France, Canada, Sweden, Japan, and Germany all condemned Trump’s announcement. Unbelievably, a UN Security Counsel session was also held to denounce the USA’s action with all 14 other representative nations rebuking the USA’s move.
Closer to the scene of the action, protests have erupted in the streets as violent Palestinians and Israeli police have clashed for the past several days. And the leaders of the Islamic opposition to Israel have made threats :
The Palestine Liberation Organization’s secretary-general Saeb Erekat said the Palestinian leadership was considering “all options” in response to the USA’s announcement.
Hamas’s leader Ismail Haniya said the USA’s recognition of Jerusalem was a “war declaration against Palestinians”, and called for a new Intifada (as if one hasn’t already been ongoing!)
In North Carolina (my home state), we would say ‘Them’s fightin’ words.’
Why the Outrage?
The first part of Zechariah’s prophecy about Jerusalem is being fulfilled before our eyes:
Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around. (Zech. 12:2)
The nations are certainly becoming “drunk” and irrational about Jerusalem. Although the nations have been opposed to Israel for some time, the USA’s declaration has forced them to “show their hand.” And the entire world including the Vatican has come out against Israel.
Why do they oppose Jerusalem as Israel’s capital? Jerusalem is and has been the declared capital of Israel since 1980. Yet only the USA and the Czech Republic now acknowledge it. And it is just as obvious that from Israel’s point of view any peace plan will need to include Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in a two-state solution.
The answer to why this declaration is so inflammatory should be obvious to all. The Islamic position is that Jerusalem should not be the capital of Israel in a two-state solution. And they think they can enforce their will to make this happen. They desire a return to pre-1967 borders. Trump’s acknowledging Jerusalem as the capital essentially is a declaration that the USA believes this Islamic position is unreasonable and off the table.
The the universal condemnation of the USA’s move is a clear demonstration that the rest of the world agrees with the Islamic position-or believes agreeing with the Islamists is the politically expedient thing to do. It appears that the rest of the world wants to divide the land AND to return Israel to pre-1967 borders. In their minds they see this as the “simple” solution. Additionally, do anti-God and anti-Semitic hatreds fuel some of that desire? Most likely they do as well.
Israel and the United States are now isolated on the world stage.
Jerusalem – What Will Happen Next?
These last sections discussed the secular and political view of the situation. What does scripture tell us about what happens next?
Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around; and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah. It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it. (Zech. 12:2-3)
Scripture tells us that a siege will be necessary for the Islamic forces to take Jerusalem. Israel will not negotiate it away, it will have to be taken by force.
Additionally, the NASB says “all the nations of the earth” will be gathered against it. The Hebrew word here for “earth” is “errets” or land. It is most likely the entire earth, although this word can mean just the land around Israel (the Middle East). Will Trump’s edict be overruled by a subsequent USA President? And will the USA join the rest of the nations in “coming against” Israel’s position on Jerusalem so that “all” the nations are gathered against Israel? None of us know that for sure, but the odds are very high that the USA will abandon Israel in the future, and Israel will be left alone on the international arena.
How will the “all” the nations be gathered against Israel?
The BIble isn’t clear. It certainly may be by UN Declaration. Later all the nations may be involved in a siege by economic sanctions, and it may be that a UN “peace-keeping” force is actually on the ground in a military siege. Or of course, the nations may be involved by all three means.
What are the Likely order of events?
We will now enter the section of this blog article that is speculation. Based on what the Bible tells us about the end times, the rest of the blog is devoted to what I “think” might happen.
As long as Trump is President, it seems unlikely that the UN or the Islamic factions will take “dramatic” action against Israel. However, once he is no longer President, they might strike and strike quickly. It’s likely that a new “globalist” leader of the USA will no longer protect Israel. Assuming Trump is a one-term president, in January, 2021 a new President could begin to align the USA with the rest of the world.
The Islamic nations round-about Israel know this as well and will probably do everything in their power to influence the results of the 2020 election. It is also likely that they will position themselves for action in 2021 by attempting to weaken the USA as much as possible in the next 3 years. Perhaps they will use a combination of civil unrest and economic sabotage.
Then when they have secured the USA into their “camp,” the UN could easily undertake severe economic sanctions against Israel based on fabricated human rights violations; perhaps a “blockade” of all imports and exports. Israel’s main imports are oil, grains, raw materials, and military equipment. A complete blockade of Israel could bring the nation to its knees in months.
Enter a “Hero,” (or Anti-Hero)
Perhaps it is at that point that the Antichrist enters the picture. Perhaps he offers a two state solution and allows two “sweeteners” to the deal: splitting Jerusalem into East Jerusalem and West Jerusalem so Israel could have its capital there, and also allowing Israel to rebuild the Temple on the Temple Mount next to the Dome of the Rock.
This scenario seems all too plausible.
And then of course, after a short time of “false peace,” fabricated reasons that Israel broke the peace will be created and a military invasion will begin.
For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled. (Zech. 14:2)
What Should Christians Be Doing?
We should pray at all times. We should pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and we should pray for God’s Will to be done. You see, the scenario I outlined could be completely false or it could be similar to God’s Will for Israel. At some point, God will permit a siege to take place, Israel will enter into the covenant with the many, and then the 70th Week of Daniel will begin. The only question is whether or not these events will begin in the next 4 to 5 years.
As Christians, we are ambassadors of the coming Kingdom of Israel. Jesus will rule the nations with a rod of iron from that same Jerusalem we have been discussing. And all of our allegiance and efforts should be focused on that coming Kingdom. Our efforts should not be directed to trying to prevent Israel from entering that time of trial. It is God’s Will that it eventually enter it, and the timing is in His hands as well.
No, our efforts need to be directed at working to bring as many into the coming Kingdom as possible, gentile and Jew, possibly especially the Jews. Was Trump elected to give us a brief window of time to do as much as we can to advance the Kingdom before the window is slammed shut?
If we have 3 1/2 years before a new globalist President of the USA potentially makes the gospel illegal and aligns with the Islamic factions, what will you do? What are the most impactful things that you can undertake in the next short period of time?
We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work. (John 9:4)
So if you pray, pray for that. Pray for wisdom to know what to do for the Kingdom and for the strength to accomplish it.