The Middle East is often described as a “powder keg,” referring to a cask designed to hold gunpowder or other explosives. In the vernacular, it means “A potentially explosive situation or thing.” But why is the Middle East described in that way? Ever since Abraham established his presence there, that area has experienced many wars, including those that have occurred since Israel became a nation in 1948, when the Jewish people were granted a small section of land, approximately the size of New Jersey, to be “their nation.” Almost immediately, the surrounding Arab nations attacked the new nation, intending to destroy all the Jews and/or drive them into the sea (the Mediterranean Sea). The Jews miraculously won that war, as well as the ones that followed in 1967, 1973, and 1982, even though they were outnumbered in all cases. There have also been numerous short-duration skirmishes between Israel and her neighbors that ended with no clear winners or losers, but mostly, Israel prevailed and held off their enemies.
One might think that winning one war, especially multiple wars against the same enemies, would mean the victors got all the spoils, and peace would follow, right? No, this is the Middle East, where generations-old hatreds go to die, but this hatred has never died. The hatred that began between Ishmael and Isaac and between Esau and Jacob has been kept alive from generation to generation. It is a hatred based on jealousy, that intense emotion that arises when one person has something the other person wants and thoroughly convinces himself that something belongs to him. This is the case where God gave the land in question, the land that has been fought over for thousands of years, to Jacob (Israel) as an eternal inheritance; this is certainly God’s prerogative since He owns the Earth and everything in it (Psalm 24:1).
Those who were either the weaker nations or, the weaker fighters should have sought to live in peace with the stronger nation, but the basis for this hatred has nothing to do with the weaker or stronger; it has everything to do with jealousy and envy. James, the half-brother of Jesus, said. “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work” (James 3:16). This has undoubtedly been the situation in the Middle East for much of the past 2000 years, especially for the last 78+ years. Envy, strife, and hatred have been the stumbling block that prevents peace from existing there.
Where IS the Peace
Peace, peace, peace. That has been the hue and cry “code word” for what many assume is the desired outcome of all the wars and fighting in the Middle East, commonly known as “The Promised Land,” that small area is given by God to the Jewish people for an eternal inheritance.
But the situation in the Middle East, where Israel is surrounded by millions of Arabs and Muslims who hate them to the point of constantly threatening their very existence and conducting terrorist attacks against both the IDF and civilian Israelis, has been an ongoing problem for nearly 78 years. Many diplomats from various nations have tried to find a political solution to the problem. Still, all attempts at peace through diplomacy, a political process of mostly empty words, have proven fruitless. No diplomat or national leader has ever found one that was more than a mere shadow of peace, and none has lasted for very long.
Nearly every US president since Richard Nixon has offered a “peace plan” for the Middle East, usually one that required Israel to swap land for peace. All have failed to deliver any peace, all the while allowing the enemies of Israel to occupy more and more of the land promised to Abraham and his offspring for eternity. Some of the land swaps increased the danger to Israel by making it possible for the critical areas needed to secure the land to be used as launching points where attackers from those areas could sweep in and cause massive death and destruction.
A prime example is the recent attack from Gaza by Hamas that resulted in more than 1400 Israeli deaths, with several hundred more kidnapped, currently being held in Gaza by Hamas. This latest terrorist incident is a direct result of the pressure applied by George W. Bush on Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 2005 to relinquish Gaza to the Palestinians. While it may have sounded like a good plan, intended to provide a specific area for the Palestinians, totally separate from the Jewish people, it did not work out as planned, or did it?
It seems that all the non-Jewish peoples who have lived through the madness and chaos in the area wherein Israel is situated would be tired of the lack of security, the constant threats, and the unending shortage of necessary goods due to massive amounts of money being siphoned from aid packages and used to buy weapons and the means to deliver them, would be pleased to finally lay down their weapons and, with the aid of the Jewish people who have historically been very generous to their enemies, learn to coexist in peace and allow the same prosperity with which God has blessed the Jews, to flow over onto them. Could that actually happen, given the seemingly unending animosity between the Jews and their neighbors? Could it happen if a separate state for the Palestinians became a reality?
No Peace Without God
The answer to those questions is NO. To understand why, it is necessary to go back to the point in time when peace was destroyed.
- God created man and placed him in a perfect, PEACEFUL environment on a perfect Earth. Man and animals coexisted with neither harming the other; instead, there was “peace between man and animals” (Genesis 1)
- Man defied God and committed high treason by obeying Satan, placing all mankind in a state of war with God, thereby eliminating any close relationship with God; the original state of peace between man and God was destroyed (Genesis 3)
- God prophesied the coming of one who would bruise the head of the serpent (Satan); this would be the “PRINCE OF PEACE,” the only person who could possibly ever restore peace between God and man (Genesis 3:14-15)
- Cain killed his brother, Abel, destroying “peace between brothers” (Genesis 4:8)
- The hatred between brothers is a historical fact (e.g., Cain v Abel, Isaac v Ishmael, Jacob v Esau)
The destruction of peace worsened with each new generation
- For nearly two millennia after creation, the increased sin of all mankind led God to destroy the world save for eight souls who survived a worldwide flood, a culmination of the war between God and man, with God winning that war, destroying His enemies, and re-establishing a sort of pseudo-peace on Earth (Genesis 6-7)
- After the flood, peace was once again destroyed by the uprising of Nimrod and others who continually defied God (Genesis 10-11)
- In the fullness of God’s time, He sent His own Son, the “PRINCE OF PEACE.”
- He was sent to the Jewish people in fulfillment of His promise to Abraham that God would make him a great nation and would make him a blessing to all the world. There are no blessings for man through war, only through peace. The Jewish people were to accept God’s Son as the Prince of Peace through whom the entire world would be blessed, but they rejected the Prince of Peace, and the Jews have lived in a constant state of war and fear of war since Jesus was sacrificed on the cross. Even though they have been returned to their historic land and have become prosperous, they still have not known peace on any lasting basis since 1948
All attempts to restore peace in the land of Israel and with their neighbors have failed miserably and will continue to do so until the Prince of Peace returns to this earth, sets His foot on Mount Zion, and is recognized by the Jewish people as their Messiah, the Prince of Peace. Those attempts at making peace will fail because God will have HIS way, and HIS way is using HIS Son to establish a lasting universal peace, the promised restoration of peace between God and man.
God is jealous of His plan and way and will NOT allow any man to usurp His glory by establishing a peace that excludes Jesus Christ. From this day on until the end of the seven-year Tribulation Period, the week of Jacob’s Trouble, wherein God will finally deal with the betrayal of the Jews in rejecting His Son, there will be continuous war in the Promised Land with peace being only an elusive dream.
As long as there are evil, proud, and greedy politicians who insist they alone have the key to finding peace between Israel and her neighbors, when in fact, ONLY Jesus has the power and authority to bring about that elusive peace, the situation in the Middle East will not improve; indeed, it will only worsen until men recognize how important Jerusalem, Israel, and the Jewish people are to God. Those who tend to meddle where God has instructed them not to meddle are placing themselves and their nations in a dangerous position.
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions
Every person on Earth is making decisions that will affect his future, both the immediate future and the eternal future. These personal decisions are the responsibility of every individual and will be a means whereby Jesus Christ will call every person to account when He begins His judgment of humanity.
Every nation is also making decisions that will affect that nation’s immediate and eternal future. The nations’ decisions are based on the words of God spoken to Abraham and recorded in Genesis 12:1-3. The nations that decide to bless Abraham and his offspring in obedience to God will be counted as the “sheep nations” that will be invited to enter the 1000-year righteous reign of Jesus Christ when He establishes His Millennial kingdom on Earth. They will experience living on a renewed and restored Earth that will be a perfect paradise with no war, no threats, no violence, and no temptation to sin because Satan will be locked away in the Bottomless Pit for that 1000-year period of time.
On the other hand, all the nations that disrespect and dishonor Abraham and his offspring will be called the goat nations and will be sentenced to eternal death in the lake of fire.
The actions we are now witnessing in the Middle East and around the world, where people and nations are choosing which side of God’s red line they will be on regarding the treatment of the Jews, are deciding the future of those people and nations. The time, both for individuals and nations, to make a quality decision to bless Israel and support the Jewish nation in its struggle to survive while being surrounded by 300 million people who hate them and desire nothing more than their complete destruction is growing short. At some point in the not-too-distant future, God will step in and destroy all the enemies of Israel, and at that point, it will be too late to change one’s mind.
My advice is to carefully consider your decisions, realize which side of God’s red line you are on, and make the right decision to move to and remain on the right side.
Nothing less than your eternal future is at stake.
Blessings and Maranatha!