Friday, December 22, 2017

Jerusalem: A 'Burdensome Stone'

The Holy City, a 'burdensome stone'

The head of a messianic Jewish ministry says Jerusalem has definitely become the "burdensome stone" prophesized in the Old Testament.

Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, warned U.N. members earlier this week that President Trump "will be watching" to see who votes to condemn the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Trump had threatened to cut off financial aid to any country that supported the U.N. resolution. Most countries didn't heed the warning as the General Assembly approved the anti-U.S. resolution 128-to-9 with 35 abstentionson Thursday.

Major U.S. aid recipients that ignored Trump's threat and supported the resolution included Egypt, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Joining the U.S. is opposing the resolution were Israel, Guatemala, Honduras, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Marshall Islands, and Togo.
The U.N. move followed a call by Muslim leaders for the world body to recognize East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital. Jan Markell, founder and director of Olive Tree Ministries, points out that Jerusalem doesn't appear anywhere in the Quran.
"Jerusalem is honestly rather irrelevant to the Islamic world," she explains. "It may be perhaps their third or fourth most significant location, but unfortunately they're seizing on President Trump's declaration of a week or so ago."
Markell views the vote as "just the further fulfillment of Zechariah 12:3, where Jerusalem is becoming the burdensome stone – at least to portions of the world that do not want to accept ... the action that [President Trump] took."

The ministry leader points to another serious warning in the Bible.
"Joel 3 promises judgment on anybody who divides God's land – and I just hope we don't have a president who would do that now," she shares. "I hope and pray we don't ever get a president who will divide the land." Markell says that judgment will come to any nations that do.
Ambassador Haley said the vote will make no difference on U.S. plans to move its embassy to Jerusalem, but it "will make a difference on how Americans look at the U.N., and on how we look at countries who disrespect us in the U.N."

"And this vote will be remembered," she warned.

The Hal Lindsey Report: Jerusalem Reality

Israel itself has claimed Jerusalem as its capital since the time of King David.  Modern Israel was first recognized as a nation in 1948.  It took possession of West Jerusalem that year.  But because of the ongoing war, it made Tel Aviv its temporary capital.  The next year, David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister, said, “For the State of Israel there has always been and always will be one capital only — Jerusalem the Eternal.  Thus it was 3,000 years ago — and thus it will be, we believe, until the end of time.”

A Palestinian general delegate to the United Kingdom said that to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel is like “declaring war.”  Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned that there will be “dangerous consequences.”  The Palestinian terrorist group, Hamas, called for three “days of rage,” starting Wednesday, but making Friday the main day.

The State Department warned U.S. embassies around the world to be on alert following the announcement.  It also issued a warning to U.S. travelers in Israel.  “Hostilities between the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and terrorist groups, including Hamas, in the Gaza Strip could resume and the security situation could deteriorate with little or no notice.”

Turkey’s President Erdogan said Jerusalem is a “redline” for Muslims.  He said the move would be a violation of international law, and that, “This could go as far as cutting our diplomatic relations with Israel.”
President Trump argued that his action is “recognition of reality.”  He pointed out that all the major institutions of the Israeli government, including the Knesset, are located in Jerusalem.  Nations put embassies in the capitals of other nations because they want their ambassadors close to the center of power.  In Israel, that’s Jerusalem.

Through the years, proposed peace plans from the United Nations, the U.S., and Europe, have always allowed Israel to keep at least part of Jerusalem.  Israel says that Jerusalem is its capital.  Since the Israelis will be staying in Jerusalem under any of these plans, why does the world not allow Israel to choose its own capital?

From a secular, diplomatic prospective, the President’s move makes sense to me.  Israel is the one great democracy of the Middle East, and America’s most faithful ally.  The Israelis — not a bunch of European elites — should decide the location of Israel’s capital.

But I’m not a diplomat.  I’m a preacher of the Gospel and a student of scripture.  I look at this from another angle.  In Genesis 12:3, God said to Abraham (then still named “Abram”), “I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse.”  (NASB)

“God Bless America” is a prayer.  One of the actions that must accompany that prayer is for America to continue to bless Israel.

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