Jerusalem, Jerusalem…

While there are numerous domestic issues that have captured our attention in recent days, there are also many foreign policy issues that should cause us great concern. There is none more important than the Jerusalem question. It is one thing for the Palestinian Authority to make ludicrous demands on Israel regarding Jerusalem, however, when our own administration makes demands on Israel relative to Jerusalem, we better take note. The current issue relates to the Israelis continuing to build housing units in East Jerusalem. The Palestinians hope to have their capital in East Jerusalem some day.

Many question why the president of the United States would bow down to Saudi King Abdullah while showing disdain for Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu. It is little wonder that president Obama’s approval rating with the Israelis fell to a record low of 4%.

There is an anti-Israel coalition at work that wants to compel Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians that would include among other things, giving up parts or all of Jerusalem. Presently the international community doesn’t recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Jerusalem is such a sensitive issue that Security Council resolutions prevent Jerusalem from being Israel’s capital. The recognized capital of Israel is presently Tel Aviv. Furthermore, the United Nations considers that Israel is illegally occupying parts of Jerusalem.

Can the future of Jerusalem be negotiated among gentile nations or has Jerusalem’s history already been written? The Bible is very clear on this issue. God gave the Israelites specific instructions about His expectations when they entered the land He was giving them to possess.

“These are the statutes and judgments which you shall be careful to observe in the land which the LORD God of your fathers is giving you to possess, all the days that you live on the earth. You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations which you shall dispossess served their gods…And you shall destroy their altars…and burn their wooden images with fire…You shall not worship the LORD your God with such things. But you shall seek the place where the LORD your God chooses, out of all your tribes, to put His name for His dwelling place, and there you shall go.” Deuteronomy 12:1-5

The latter part of this passage states that God would choose a location within the Promised Land to establish His earthly dwelling place. He would subsequently disclose where this place would be.

One of the psalmists writing during the time of King David recorded where God’s chosen dwelling place was located.

“For the LORD has chosen Zion (Jerusalem); He has desired it for His dwelling place: ‘This is My resting place forever; Here I will dwell, for I have desired it.’” Psalm 132:13-14

God then confirmed His choice to David’s son Solomon.

“And it came to pass, when Solomon had finished building the house of the LORD (in Jerusalem) and the king’s house…the LORD appeared to Solomon…and said to him… ‘I have consecrated this house which you have built to put My name there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.’”
I Kings 9:1-3

God subsequently confirmed the significance of Jerusalem to His prophets Ezekiel and Joel.

“And He said to me, (Ezekiel) ‘Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever.’”
Ezekiel 43:7

The prophet Joel prophesied about God’s earthly dwelling place relative to the return of Christ.

“The LORD also will roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; the heavens and earth will shake…so you shall know that I am the LORD your God, dwelling in Zion My holy mountain. Then Jerusalem shall be holy, and no aliens shall ever pass through her again.”
Joel 3:16-17

It is difficult to fathom that those who profess Christianity do not take seriously the contents of the Bible when an issue such as Jerusalem is so blatantly clear. One would think that inasmuch as Israel is still the Apple of God’s eye and the future of Israel’s real capital Jerusalem is so clearly spelled out the United States would be doing everything in her power to befriend Israel and protect her wellbeing. Cozying up to Israel’s enemies is not a viable strategy. For example, Russia is perhaps Iran’s biggest enabler and yet we are entering arms treaties with them while Iran’s goal for Israel remains the same, total destruction. We are focusing on the wrong things, according to the Bible. It is as if our nation’s leaders are trying to convince us they have a better plan. Some of our foreign policy priorities are totally contradictory to scripture. Disregarding Biblical truths will have perilous results.

Pursuing anti-scriptural teachings by our nation’s leaders is one thing but trying to convince the citizenry that they have extra-Biblical wisdom is quite another. Such tactics are also addressed in the Bible.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! …Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”
Matthew 23:27-28

“Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in you hindered.”
Luke 11:52

And once again this is foolishness to those who do not place confidence in the Bible. Fortunately our nation’s freedoms allow, and in fact welcome, dissenting opinions, at least for the time being.

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