Saturday, August 9, 2008

Jerusalem: The Focus of the Middle East and the World

Approximately 2,500 years ago, the prophet Zechariah warned us that Jerusalem would be the focus of the world's attention in the last days. Before 1967, Jerusalem wasn't a consideration in terms of the world's attention; a small city in the Middle East with seemingly no significance. Then, while Israel was in the process of responding to yet another attack by surrounding enemies, Jerusalem was taken by Israel. Thats when the process began - a process of dispute over who "owns" Jerusalem. Its also when Jerusalem became central in all negotiations regarding peace in the Middle East.

As reported this week we see how Jerusalem is the last "sticking point" as far as completing a "Peace Plan" for Israel and the surrounding terrorist groups. As we have witnessed several times in the past, most notably during the Clinton administration's efforts to finalize a peace plan in 1993, the lack of an agreement over Jerusalem ultimately prevented the plan from completion. We are seeing the same difficulty today - the lack of agreements over the fate of Jerusalem, and how it would be "divided", remains as the last barrier during these ongoing negotiations.

The detail and specificity of biblical prophecy is stunning. Just read the words from the prophet Zechariah, as written approximately 2,500 years ago - at a time that Jerusalem had just been completely destroyed by the Babylonians, and there was little hope for Jerusalem to even exist again, much less be the center of the world's attention. Despite this, we see the following prophetic scriptures:

"This is the word of the Lord concerning Israel. The Lord, who stretches out the heavens, who lays out the foundation of the of the earth, and who forms the spirit of man within him, declares: 'I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling.'"

"On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves"

(Zechariah 12:1-3)

These scriptures perfectly describe the current situation in the Middle East. Jerusalem - a small, seemingly insignificant city, buried in the region - yet, as predicted has become the focus of the peace efforts - and in turn, is thus the focus of all nations involved. Additionally, Jerusalem is completely surrounded by radical Islamic terrorist groups, all with stated objectives to destroy Israel: Hezbollah, which is embedded in Lebanon, just to the north of Israel, Hamas, who occupies the Gaza strip, to the west of Israel, and Fatah, who is embedded in the west bank. Extending outward, with countries such as Syria, Egypt, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Libia, Sudan, etc., indicate that Israel is indeed surrounded by enemies. A quick glimpse of a map reveals this truth.

Jerusalem. A small city in the middle of a large planet. A city that barely existed at the time of Zechariah's prophetic writings. Yet - because prophecy comes directly from God, as spoken by the prophets (2 Peter 1:19-21), we shouldn't be surprised. We have the news of our future, written in advance by these prophets. Jerusalem will continue to be the focus of the world's attention - right up until the Second Coming of Christ Jesus.

Keep watching. Its all about Jerusalem.

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