Monday, May 25, 2009

Iran’s Nuke is Impotent to Israel

I have been thinking a lot lately about what will happen to fulfill God’s prophecy in Ezekiel 39. In this Bible Chapter, Israel is attacked by “an enemy from the north”, but is supernaturally delivered by God resulting in harm not to Israel but to that enemy and “her allies by the sea”. This prophecy appears to make it very clear, that no nuclear weapon developed by Iran will destroy Israel. This does not mean that Iran will not try. They could very well be among the coalition of enemies from the north that will fulfill this prophecy.

This prophecy may very well be instructive as we continue to observe the shadow dancing that is currently playing out between Israel, President Obama and the Iranian nuclear issue. Below is an excerpt from a recent news report from the Christian News From Jerusalem website:

More ominously, (Jerusalem Post Editor Caroline Glick reports) - likely from sources high up in the Israeli government - that the Obama administration has all but accepted as an irreversible and unavoidable fact that Iran will soon develop nuclear weapons. She writes, "...we have learned that the [Obama] administration has made its peace with Iran's nuclear aspirations. Senior administration officials acknowledge as much in off-record briefings. It is true, they say, that Iran may exploit its future talks with the US to run down the clock before they test a nuclear weapon. But, they add, if that happens, the US will simply have to live with a nuclear-armed mullocracy."

She goes on to write that the Obama administration is desperate to stop Israel from attacking Iran writing that "as far as the [Obama] administration is concerned, if Israel could just leave Iran's nuclear installations alone, Iran would behave itself." She notes that American officials would regard any harm to American interests that flowed from an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities as Israel's doing, not Iran's.

In classic Stockholm Syndrome fashion, the Obama administration is empathizing more with the Iranian leaders who are holding Israel hostage than with the nation that may be wiped off the map if Iran acquires the bomb. - Christian News From

I happen not to be surprised by this account. Obama who is likely tone deaf to the protection of Israel appears to be playing a wait them out game with Israel with promises of action if Iran does not halt its nuclear weapons development program. Besides the fact that this is disingenuous, it is ultimately beside the point (the Biblical point) because it is clear from Ezekiel 39 that nuclear bomb or not, Israel will not be wiped off the map as is desired by the Iranian leadership. That Obama may be indirectly complicit if such an action is attempted by Iran may mean more for the US than it ultimately will for Israel. This is the gist of the article cited above which should be required reading for all observers of the tepid and/or dangerous Obama administration. Who will be cursed if such a scenario comes to pass: Israel or the US? The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. (Genesis 12:1-3 NLT)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Jerusalem Divided for Peace?

There MUST be a “two-state solution” for Israel and the Palestinians. So says the Pope, Barack Obama, virtually every European Leader etc. etc. According to the learned of this world, it’s not even a question anymore. Israel must submit to a “two-state solution”. And just what is the two state solution? Ostensibly, it is one in which Israel shares ownership of the land given to them by God with the Palestinian people. For those advocating such a “solution” their opinion on whether Israel was given her land directly from God must fall into one of two camps: 1) The land was never given to Israel by God and thus this claim is bogus – thus making a liar out of the Bible or 2) The land was given to Israel by God but is subject to man’s decision to overrule that God – in the interest of “peace”. I can guess which of the these options the Palestinians, Europeans and President Obama believes. This Pope is somewhat of a question, however with him earthly pragmatism is probably trumping biblical orthodoxy on this one.

Here’s what the Lord had to say on this issue of Israel and its capital Jerusalem:
  • He chose the Promised Land as our inheritance, the proud possession of Jacob’s descendants, whom he loves - Psalm 47:4

  • For the Lord has chosen Jacob for himself, Israel for his own special treasure…He gave their land as an inheritance, a special possession to his people Israel. - Psalm 135:4 & 12
  • So Paul stood, lifted his hand to quiet them, and started speaking. “Men of Israel,” he said, “and you God-fearing Gentiles, listen to me. “The God of this nation of Israel chose our ancestors and made them multiply and grow strong during their stay in Egypt. Then with a powerful arm he led them out of their slavery. He put up with them through forty years of wandering in the wilderness. Then he destroyed seven nations in Canaan and gave their land to Israel as an inheritance. - Acts 13:16-19

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Bob Marley Worships "The Lord"

I was listening to the radio this morning when the song “One Love” from Bob Marley came on. It is a wonderful song with a great message of love. However there is a line in the song that got me to thinking…the line goes something like this: “give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel alright...”

Now it’s rare that you hear a major mainstream artist like Marley incorporating praise to the Lord in their lyrics. In fact, I am certain if any established artist of today were to dare to incorporate praise “to the Lord” in their songs a) it would not be heard liberally in the media and b) that artist would probably be vilified for offending others. But alas, Bob Marley lived in a time where “the Lord” when uttered in the mainstream of public consciousness was not considered akin to a curse word. Good for him; in a way thankfully for Marley, he died before the foolishness of today's media culture truly began.

The song also got me to thinking about the phrase “the Lord”. It is not one that you will likely hear uttered by people who are indifferent to God, and in that way, it draws an important distinction. The word God is freely used by many people whether reverentially, casually or intellectually. That someone uses the term God is not necessarily a distinguishing factor to determine whether that individual is a worshipper or even a believer in the sovereignty of God. When my children were younger, I made this distinction to them repeatedly. Just because someone may talk about “God” or use the name in a song, book or movie, does not automatically suggest that they are Christian or even believes in the true nature of God. The phrase “the Lord” however indicates a far more submissive disposition in relation to the one to whom it is conferred. The person who has no hesitancy in using the term “the Lord” in their conversations or in Bob Marley’s case in a song is clearly suggesting that this “Lord” is master over them. They are overtly declaring their unabashed subservience to Him (the Lord). It is this position of subservience and humility which indicates not only a belief in that Lord but likely worship of Him as well. In our culture, the term God is most often used as a noun (the name of our creator), whereas the term “Lord” is really more of an adjective – that which describes the position of God to the person using the term. As such, “the Lord” is a term that you will likely not hear freely used by many people in our society. By this point if you may be saying “so what”? What’s the difference which term is used? I write this because so many people seem to casually ascribe biblical kinship with others who they think shares their Christian values because they may use the term God in conversation. Teenagers and young people often make this mistake when choosing others to call their close friends. A more accurate indicator of a person’s spiritual allegiance to God is whether that person is comfortable using the term “the Lord”. Is God their Lord or is He just the abstract God. The far off entity who may have made everything but who is not Lord over them personally. In this song “One Love”, Bob Marley seems to be saying that the Creator was his Lord also.

However the Bible also states clearly that implying or even believing that God is your Lord is not enough to be accepted by Him. God clearly stated in scripture that though He indeed is our God, He will only accept us on the basis of our making His Son Jesus Christ our Lord: The jailer called for lights and ran to the dungeon and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.” And they shared the word of the Lord with him and with all who lived in his household. Even at that hour of the night, the jailer cared for them and washed their wounds. Then he and everyone in his household were immediately baptized. He brought them into his house and set a meal before them, and he and his entire household rejoiced because they all believed in God. (Acts 16: 19-34 NLT)

Bob Marley (who died at age 36 in 1981) was not saved unto everlasting life because He believed that only God was His Lord. Ultimately, Bob Marley is saved today because he believed that Jesus Christ is his Lord.

A God who sends people to Hell?