By John Hulley 1
The Lord has a controversy with America over Zion.
Some people think the WTC was destroyed and the Pentagon was damaged because of the strength of American support for Israel. I believe the opposite is the case: these blows were received because of the weakness of American support for Israel.
Pat Robertson and others have pointed to the sins of the U.S. as the ultimate cause of the tragedies of September 11th.2 In a list of those sins several people have said that the policies toward Israel should hold a prominent place. In this connection Bob Jones and Keith Davis have drawn attention3 to a passage in the Bible:
Thus says the Lord of Hosts, “I am exceedingly jealous for Jerusalem and Zion. But I am very angry with the nations who . . . furthered the disaster” – Zechariah 1:14-15 NAS.
How is Jerusalem related to the terrorist strikes against the U.S. on September 11th.? When the Israelis captured Jerusalem in 1967 the left-wing government of the time chose to leave the Muslim Arabs in control of the Temple Mount – the religious heart of the holy city. In negotiations for a peace agreement since then the U.S. Government has been pressuring Israel to share control of Jerusalem with the Moslems. In a meeting under American leadership at Camp David near Washington last year representatives of a later left-wing government of Israel discussed a proposal to divide Jerusalem, leaving the Temple Mount under the control of Arab Moslems.
The Bible tells us that Jerusalem is the holy city, soon to serve as center for messianic rule of the world. Christians and Jews will by then be reconciled, and the Messiah will have the help of <->Bible-believers who have been prepared for the task. The idea of sharing the center of messianic rule with another faith is not to be found in the Bible. This is not just a bad joke; it is a desecration of God’s word.
How did the U.S. manage to get itself into this position? It seems odd for a nation that is about 85% Christian, 60% Protestant, with another 2% Jewish.
But the State Department has other objectives to take into account. Its responsibilities include support for American business interests in foreign countries. And American oil companies are concerned that policies in Israel should not upset their profitable relationship with Arab members of the international oil cartel. No doubt it appears to the Department that smooth relations with the Arabs depend on ignoring the plan set forth in the Bible. Thus it is that Israel has been pressured to negotiate with the Arabs over the partition of Jerusalem, and control of the Temple Mount.
But the Arabs have rejected even these offers as insufficient. It may be that the State Department is overlooking the possibility that their offers can be considered as signs of weakness. Islamic culture is based on force. It was originally spread from country to country by conquering armies. And it is maintained in the same way. Citizens are compelled to belong, and are sometimes killed for attempting to leave. There is no real democracy in Islamic countries. The system is authoritarian.
Under no circumstances would they consider partitioning the holy city of Mecca or handing over control of the Kaaba. In this light the apparent willingness of Israelis to give up parts of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount, must appear to them as further evidence that western society has lost its nerve. They must believe that the shock of terrorist attacks is undermining western determination.
In their struggle with Israel they have noted the great sensitivity to the loss of even small numbers of lives. They believe that Americans react the same way. In the circumstances they may well hope that a few major strikes by terrorists – especially with nuclear, chemical or biological agents – will lead to victory.
It is easy to see why God would allow such things to happen. Indeed He may not only be allowing them to happen; He may also be hardening Muslim hearts to the point where their demands are too extreme ever to be accepted. His purpose would be to make it impossible for the two sides to agree on Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. Another purpose would be to wake Americans up.
The U.S. needs a State Department that expresses the views of the people. In other words it needs to Americanize its foreign policy. Perhaps the Department ought to have more Bible-believers on its staff. Perhaps the Senate should refuse to confirm any other kind of appointments to positions of responsibility concerning Israel.
Perhaps the Congress itself needs at least one subcommittee to monitor U.S. policy toward Israel. After all relations with that country are more important than with Britain, Russia, Japan or any other nation. The importance is not because of the Jewish population there, or the Arab population either, but because of its role in God’s plan for the messianic era.
The subcommittee could issue reports on the differences between American policies and God’s plan for Israel. They might note also that proposals under discussion for sharing the land of Israel are just as contradictory of the Bible as those for sharing Jerusalem. The Committee might suggest ways of bringing U.S. policies in harmony with the Bible.
Americanize U.S. policy on Israel and other things will tend to fall into place. Until this is done, the policy is likely to fail. The President is not just fighting terrorism; he is fighting the will of God. That is a miserable position to be in. Any success will be only apparent, and the problem will keep coming back in other forms:
“. . . I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured” – Zechariah 12:3.
If God has hardened Moslem hearts, no secular combination of nations, nor any inter-faith array of religious officials is going to soften them. Jerusalem has one destiny, and nothing they can do will change that. The God of the Bible is going to win; and the sooner people accept this, the happier they will be.
To some people Jerusalem may seem small and far away. But for God there is no city as important. And in His agenda there is nothing more vital going on in the world than preparations for messianic rule there.
Note for Israel
The Lord has the same controversy with Israel as He has with America. The 167 Israelis killed by terrorists since the Intifada began a year ago are a larger proportion of national population than the more than 6,800 Americans killed in the destruction of the World Trade Center.
Ariel Sharon, Prime Minister of today’s right-wing government in Israel, was elected with an overwhelming majority of 70%.
As far as his own countrymen are concerned, it appears that he has the political backing to make a stand on Jerusalem. -
1 John Hulley is a Harvard-trained economist who has worked for national and international agencies in Washington, D.C. A writer and lecturer on science and religion, he is author of Comets, Jews & Christians (Jerusalem, Root & Branch, ©1996).
2 Associated Press, September 14th.
3 “Concerning the events of September 11, 2001” circulated by the Elijah List, Sept 15.