Psalm 81 is a tale of postponed love, as it were. God tells Israel that if only she had been like her forefather, Joseph, who called on Him in time of trouble…He would have delivered her from her enemies. Instead, there were those who sought after strange gods. God reminded them that He had brought them out of Egypt. They rebelled, anyway. Thus started Israel’s long slide into persecution.
However, every great drama has an ending. Israel’s “end” is still future, but we are seeing the outlines coming sharply into focus. Ironic that the outlines are still blurred for Christians who denounce Bible prophecy.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the critics of the Bible, including several Christians, mock folks like Hal Lindsey. They say that he made specific assertions 35 years ago with The Late, Great Planet Earth, and some didn’t come true. Well, anyone who sees Israel as central to world history must be doing something right, and Lindsey saw correctly on a number of things. Psalm 81 is one of those scenarios in which Israel’s history is so clearly revealed — if one reads history — that one wonders how the critics can see themselves without shame.
What I mean is this: Psalm 81 reads like the first half of a great love story; God passionate for His people, but they rejecting Him. However, as one progresses through the sweet musings of David, one can see that God intends to rescue them, and rescue them forever.
In their gross stupidity, Israel’s enemies — may I say this boldly: Islamists and Jew-hating Christians — see the Jews in the past-tense. For them, the story stops at the end of Psalm 81.
Christian critics of Israel (guys like Tony Campolo, United Methodist bishops, and “thoughtful, careful” thinkers such as Brian McLaren) seem to enjoy thinking of Israel in the past. For them, there is no link between modern Jews in the Jewish state and the figures from the Bible. And notice this: the critics talk long and loud about the OT admonitions that the Jews will live in peace in their land so long as they practice justice and mercy. In other words, if Israel today will show “justice” and give the Palestinians a state, God will be happy with them.
This is a real recipe for disaster. As Israel’s current, outgoing prime minister surrenders and says Israel must return to the 1949 UN armistice lines (nine miles wide at its narrowest point), the Arabs grow more aggressive, arrogant, and demanding.
As the Jerusalem Post’s astute Caroline Glick notes, these things are now accepted by Israeli leaders simply because. There is no rationale given, only the shrill assertion that it must be done now.
So Israel is being squeezed diplomatically, militarily, religiously, philosophically. As we’ve said before — but it bears repeating again and again only because it is so delicious — all this merely proves that God’s promises to the Jews are still in force. The critics, the opponents of Israel, by their mere presence and mendacity, are themselves part of prophecy.
And they don’t get it.
When an agency head with the United Methodist Church chirps that Israel is “occupying” the Palestinians and is therefore not practicing justice and mercy, I laugh and recall my friend who says, of a proposed pull-out from the West Bank: “Leave Judea and Samaria? They could move 8,000 from Gaza, but there are a quarter-million of us in the heartland.”
Which of course sets up a showdown, an ultimate High Noon. God has said that because He wants to, He will set up Israel again, forever. The critics claim Israel will disappear.
Someone must be wrong!
The psychopaths who run Iran are so sure they have the final solution to the Jews, they can’t discern that history itself is dead-set against them. They should remember their ancestors, the Persians, who failed miserably in their own extermination plans.
With every Israeli concession, her enemies stupidly lick their chops and anticipate victory. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, visiting Moscow this week to ask the Kremlin to please help with Iran (think JFK asking Russia pretty please to remove the missiles from Cuba), pledged to turn over a patch of ground — a Russian compound — in Jerusalem, to Moscow.
It is symbolic, of course, because Russia has no military presence there. Yet the power of symbol pushes Israel further down the path of seeming vulnerability. I say “seeming” because it is much like a lion lying down and feigning injury while a bunny rabbit plays all around him.
The Bible tells us that as Israel becomes more vulnerable in the last days, that is precisely the moment that God rises up to defend her. The ultimate fighting lion will arise and destroy His enemies.
We are upset that Olmert is weak. We are upset that Iran is saber-rattling. We are upset that the international community desires to carve-up Israel.
But it has to be this way! Three thousand years ago, David recorded God’s judgment on the people of Israel.
Now we have a situation in which Israel is becoming more vulnerable, though in her own sovereign land.
This week, Michael Freund wrote in the Jerusalem Post:
“[Shimon] Peres and those who backed the Oslo Accords owe all Israelis a belated apology. On September 13, 1993, when Rabin shook hands with Arafat after signing the accord, I along with many other television viewers felt a sense of gloom. Not because we were we were any smarter or wiser, but simply because we knew, deep down, that you cannot compromise with evil, however easy and tempting it might appear to be.”
Now it is time for the second half of the story. The half that ends with Israel’s permanent survival.
Her enemies don’t see it coming.