The specificity and accuracy of biblical prophecy is a never-ending source of amazement, and it undeniably comes from God - just as the apostle Peter informed us throughout 2 Peter.
As mentioned before, one of the more amazing prophecies comes from Zechariah - the first several scriptures in the book of Zechariah, as quoted so many times on this blog. The scriptures which inform us - that in the latter days, just before the end of this age - Jerusalem would be the focus of the world's attention, and the entire world would be opposed to Israel, while attempting to "move" or divide Jerusalem.
Just ponder that for a moment. Over 2,500 years ago (thats a really long time ago, isn't it?) - the prophet Zechariah - with information obtained directly from God (again as stated in 2 Peter) - let us know that this small city in the middle of a Middle-East desert - a city, that, at the time of his writing, didn't even exist (it had been destroyed by the Babylonians), would become the focus of the entire world.
To put this in perspective, imagine attempting to predict the following scenario which would occur 25 centuries from now:
1) there will be some city in the world that would somehow, for some reason, become the focus of the entire world, 2) that city would be a source of conflict, with the "world" attempting to divide it, and 3) that small city would survive such attempts, as protected by a tiny nation (a nation which would be dispersed throughout the world for ~ 2,000 years and regathered miraculously - another amazing prophetic fulfillment, but I digress), who would gain world status/power in a mere 60 years.
Good luck with that.
With this as a backdrop, we see the following stories in the news today:
"Israeli-Palestinian peace isn't the Mideast's magic cure"
In this commentary, the focus is the "Jerusalem Syndrome". The comments below could have come straight out of biblical prophecy:
Andrew Exum, a brilliant young American researcher recently posted a quite justifiably critical post concerning our blog , saying we were focusing too much on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict while disregarding broader Middle East strategic issues. Problem is, that it isn't only us doing it, with the whole of the American administration seemingly coming down with Jerusalem Syndrome. At times it appears that the administration's sole focus in the Middle East is the freeze of 1,600 housing units planned to be built in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo, the location of which even veteran Jerusalemites are hard pressed to pinpoint..
Instead of demanding both sides to "sit and talk," the U.S. administration is obsessed, working in every possible way to force a construction freeze in the East Jerusalem's Jewish neighborhoods on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu had already clarified that that was not going to happen. But, if only to appease U.S. President Barack Obama, the PM pulsed out the new/old idea published today in Haaretz of recognizing a Palestinian state within temporary borders while postponing the discussion over Jerusalem's future status.
It's understandable why the Palestinians would reject a Palestinian state within temporary borders. They have witnessed the Jewish population in East Jerusalem and the West Bank triple itself since 1993, despite signing the Oslo Accords
Then we see this:
"Netanyahu firm on Jerusalem"
But Netanyahu has rebuffed U.S. and Palestinian calls to halt the construction of homes for Jews on occupied land in and near Jerusalem, referring to those areas as Israeli neighborhoods no different than those in Tel Aviv.
"Our policy in Jerusalem will not change. It's not just my policy, it's the policy of all my predecessors since 1967," he told Israel's Channel Two television in an interview.
"There won't be a freeze in Jerusalem ... Why do I need to give up on Jerusalem?"
The fate of Jerusalem lies at the heart of the conflict.
The Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state and fear a proliferation of Israeli settlements will strip them of land needed to achieve that.
Israel regards all of Jerusalem as its capital, a claim not recognized internationally. The United States has urged Israel not to take steps that could predetermine the city's future.
We also see this - even though the article is about a pro-Israeli rally in New York - we find the focus around Jerusalem:
"Massive Anti-Obama Rally Set for Sunday in New York"
Beth Gilinsky, head of the Jewish Action Alliance that is sponsoring the event, said, "We are outraged that President [Barack] Obama is scapegoating Israel and wants to expel Jews from their homes in Jerusalem. President Obama and Secretary Hillary Clinton show more anger about a Jewish family building a home in Jerusalem than Iran building a nuclear bomb," she added.
Gilinsky was referring to the brouhaha that ensued following a mis-timed announcement that the fourth stage of a seven-year plan for a housing project in the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood of Jerusalem had been approved by Israel's Interior Ministry.
Again, even with a planned demonstration, to be held in the United States - far, far away from Israel - the focus of the event, according to sponsor, is none other than Jerusalem.
As foretold 2,500 years ago. It is beyond amazing. What are the odds that this scenario could have been predicted so long ago? Well, for man, approximately 0 %. For God, 100 %.
It's just one more proof of God. Perhaps this is one reason "the world" refuses to take a serious look at biblical prophecy. It may just offer absolute, undeniable proof of God and His existence. That is a thought that many simply refuse to accept. Denial
is a far better scenario for many folks because any serious study of the prophetic scriptures - as aligned with world events - would point to one undeniable fact: God is alive and well, and He will soon directly intervene (again) on this earth in an epic manner.
It's just a matter of time. Unfortunately, most of the world continues to deny this obvious fact. "The world" would rather take the easier approach, which is "move along - nothing to see here" and either deny prophetic fulfillment or actually "scoff" at prophecy, again, something foretold by the apostle Peter.
That approach may work temporarily, now, as we watch the build-up leading into the Tribulation and as the world remains relatively normal. But soon, those who continue deny God will witness the most dramatic, terrifying events ever recorded in human history. Denial won't be an option at that point.
We can only hope that they find their way to God, through Christ Jesus at that point - once the Tribulation has started. At that time, there will only be two choices - to worship Christ or to worship the antichrist. Many will come to Christ during the Tribulation, but they will have to endure enormous persecution and hardship.
There is still time remaining - we need to reach as many people as possible before this time of Tribulation comes - with the good news of the true Messiah - Jesus Christ.
It's the only good news as the shadow of the Tribulation looms larger and larger by the day.