Iran is now sending some ships to Gaza this week with 'relief'. Right. This kind of 'relief' would be like the relief your mouth would get from eating glass. In reality, this is probably just the next step in the radical Islamists' efforts to provoke Israel into international isolation (made all the more possible by Obama's lack of support for Israel after Turkey's flotilla). Watch for more problems and conflict to come.
Someone really needs to clue in our Secretary of State, who clearly hasn't followed these events over the past few days, and thinks that Iran might try something fishy. Way to be on top of it, Hil.
Of course, someone in Israel has not only a sharp sense of political awareness, but also a sense of humorous irony:
Sweet! Well played!
Student Union chairman Boaz Torporovsky, who has been leading the reverse flotilla charge, told The Jerusalem Post on Monday, “Hundreds of people have volunteered for the flotilla, and many more are contacting us all the time for ways they can help.
“Our plan is to deliver much-needed humanitarian assistance to the Kurds of Turkey, who by the way outnumber Israelis and Palestinians combined,” he said…
Another sea-bound venture is being organized in an effort to draw attention to Turkey’s own controversial policies – this time to Cyprus, to “call for an end to the Turkish occupation” of the island’s northern half – and is being organized by Meretz activist Pinchas Har-Zahav, and his son Haim, who has also signed on for the voyage…
Har-Zahav added that the ship’s passengers were not looking for a violent confrontation and if told to turn back, they would.
“But we feel that it’s important for us to show and remind the world that Turkey is not a righteous country, but a near-rogue state, and that we, the Israeli people, are not suckers.”
Still, perhaps the most unfortunate thing about this series of events is that Barack Obama is using them to revise American policy on Israel, and not in a way that will improve relations or Israeli security.
Kyle-Anne Shiver offers some words of encouragement with which I heartily agree:
I must now ask whether Barack Obama is signaling to the entire Muslim world that Israel is theirs for the taking, that America will stand aside and twiddle our collective thumbs while Iran and her Muslim neighbors finally get to carry out Holocaust II.
...The only thing I can add is that I now declare myself, a devout Catholic, Jewish too. And it would seem the only moral thing any of us can do is to proclaim this as loudly and as furiously as we can.
The bottom line is that we need to understand the dangers from radical Islam. The pope apparently does, which is a very good thing. Unfortunately, the Obama administration does not. Politically speaking, the Middle East is a powder keg that is likely to explode due to the simple fact of diametrically opposed ideologies. For example, Hamas' official charter explicitly professes the extermination of Israel and the Jewish people as its reason for existence; much of the radical Islamic world agrees. There's simply no negotiation possible with that mindset. As long as the Middle East exists, there will be conflict, and as long as the U.S. is a major world leader, the politics of the Middle East will affect us, if nothing else but for the simple demographics of it.
But I believe there's even more to it than that.
Even more critical is to understand the role of Israel in the world. Let me recap a bit on my understanding of things. Based on my Christian beliefs, I obviously hold Israel in a special place in my heart, and I believe that it is God's chosen land for His chosen people. The Bible is mostly a story about Israel and the Jewish people, and the rest of the world is only brought into their blessings and inheritance after Jesus Christ graced this world. Make no mistake: we are all included, if we accept His gift of salvation. But, Israel and the Jewish people are the primetime, and I believe there is a reason that the Middle East is flush with critical natural resources...to guarantee that that part of the world remains prominent, and becomes more so as our time on this planet comes to an end.
Thanks to the theology of smart people like Joel C. Rosenberg and Dr. David Jeremiah (and their study of the events written about in Ezekiel 38-39), I believe that we're careening toward another world war, called the War of Gog and Magog; on one side will be a coalition of Russia, Iran, and a bunch of Arab nations, and on the other side will be Israel. Of more concern to us, perhaps, is the fact that there is absolutely no mention in the Biblical record of a powerful nation to the West (us) helping Israel once this war is fully joined...they will be completely on their own. The Bible is silent on exactly why the U.S. is a non-player, but it's not too much of a stretch to see any number of scenarios that might play into current events:
1. the U.S. chooses not to participate --- given the Obama administration's pullback from our long-time ally, this is certainly plausible
2. the U.S. is unable to participate because...
...a collapsed economy destroys our ability to do anything
...a devastating terrorist attack renders us unable to do anything
...some combination of those, or some unknown circumstance
For whatever reason, we don't help Israel. But God does, and Israel wins a decisive victory that triggers the sprint to the end of the world as we know it and the return of Christ.
For a vastly more comprehensive set of details on this whole thing, check out the Rosenberg and Jeremiah links above. The nuts and bolts of the situation is that while we don't know the exact timing of these events, the Bible does give us a series of general road signs that we will pass leading up to this climax. While the exact timing and precision of details are subjects for much debate, it seems plain to me that we are seeing a whole lot of those general road signs nowadays, so it would be wise if every one of us investigated these prophecies and takes them seriously.
Why do I bring this up? To scare you? To predict gloom and doom? To get all preachy on you?
No, that is not my intent. My intent is to encourage you to think. You know I've always been a proponent of looking at the evidence and making up your own mind on things, and that hasn't changed with this subject. If you're familiar with these topics and have come to your own conclusions on them (and thus, how you should live your life in relation to those conclusions), I applaud you. If not, then now's a great time to start. Don't dismiss this as mere religious hocus-pocus...I think that if you'll take but a small amount of time to objectively examine the facts first, then the prophetic clues, suggestions, and predictions made by the likes of Rosenberg and Jeremiah suddenly become immeasurably more plausible and worthy of serious consideration that could have major ramifications for your life.
As Christians, we are called to understand our faith, to live it out, to be in prayer for Israel, and to rest confidently in the anticipation of Christ's ultimate victory over all evil in the world. In reality, the exact unfolding of the end times -- both the ways and the timing -- is irrelevant, because if we do what we're supposed to do, then we're standing with God's people, and with God Himself. And really, if you're on God's side, what else matters?
It's time to bring it to a close. No matter how dark the days get, remember who ultimately wins this battle. Always strive to conduct yourself as if you represent God...because you do. When you're bone-weary of the struggle and you wonder why you should bother to keep going, just remember the words of Galations 6:9:
"And let us not get tired of well-doing; for at the right time we will get in the grain, if we do not give way to weariness."In closing, I wanted to post something that really captured this message, both in an overarching sense and in the sense of how we in the West need to recover our roots. I could think of none better than this clip of one of my favorite movie franchises, from a moment when the heroes are surrounded and outnumbered, and facing obliteration at the hands of their enemies:
It's just a movie, but that spirit is very real, and one that we should live with each day.
It's been a tremendous journey...thank you for making it with me.
There's my two cents.