by BJ Rudge, Ph.D.
One of the prophetic keys to God’s plan before He returns is the restoration of the nation of Israel (Ezekiel 37:21). Through prophets such as Ezekiel, God foretold a day when He would gather the Jewish people from the four corners of the earth and bring them back to the land He had promised them. The fulfillment of this prophecy began in 1948 when Israel became a nation, and continues to this day as more Jews return to the Promised Land.
In biblical times Israel sought assistance from other nations for protection against an impeding enemy. For instance, as the Syrians threatened Israel, King Ahaz called upon the help of Tiglath-Pileser, king of Assyria (2 Kings 16:7). Later, King Hoshea would try and break his alliance with Assyria as he sought the protection of So, king of Egypt. This decision ultimately led to the northern tribes being conquered and exiled from the land by the Assyrians (2 Kings 17).
In the present, Israel has looked to America as its source of help and protection. However, a new political regime could quickly change the relationship between America and Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech of several years ago, before a joint session of the United States Congress, accurately noted that Israel may have to stand alone. Their position will ultimately force Israel to recognize that her only true source of protection is God Himself. The following words by the prophet Isaiah should be a reminder to Israel of the dangers that arise when trust is placed in man:
Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, who rely on horses, who trust in the multitude of their chariots and in the great strength of their horsemen, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel, or seek help from the LORD (Isaiah 31:1).
At the end of his speech Netanyahu quoted the following words by Moses, “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them” (Deuteronomy 31:6). It is unfortunate he did not quote the remainder of the verse, because it reminds both Israel and America where this courage comes from: “for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”
While many trials and tribulations lay ahead for Israel, God will one day change the hearts of the Jewish people and bring them to a full understanding of their Messiah:
And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on Me, the One they have pierced, and they will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for Him as one grieves for a firstborn son (Zechariah 12:10).