I was one of those uber-patriotic kids. Texas and U.S flags in my room, pinned to my clothes. (Yes, Texas. We Texans love our state, maybe more than our nation. But I digress.) Then I went to Texas A&M University, where it’s God, Aggies, Texas and Country! I loved it, what can I say.
While I did grow out of some of that childhood enthusiasm, I considered myself a proud American until 2008 or so. Yes, that was an election year. But it wasn’t about who was elected. God was putting my focus somewhere else.
2008 is the year God told me “your job isn’t here. It’s in Israel.” Six months later, I was on a jet headed for Tel Aviv. And my heart separated from the United States. While in Israel and Europe, I struggled to pray for the United States. I was focused on Israel and could even see God’s heart for Wales and Britain. The U.S. was no longer my concern.
It’s 2011 and I’m back in the States. Still, even at Justice House of Prayer – El Paso, I found I could pray for Israel and Mexico and Japan, but it was work to intercede for this nation.
Today, my heart groaned for the United States.
Ruth Graham, wife of evangelist Billy Graham, once said, “If God doesn’t come soon and bring judgment upon the United States, He’s going to have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah!”
Bible teacher Chuck Missler has said that the reason the LORD has mercifully delayed America’s judgment is because of our steady alliance with Israel. One reason the U.S. has been blessed, is because we’ve blessed the sons of Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3). Psalm 122 says that those who love Jerusalem and pray for her peace will prosper.
Today, we — as a nation — may have begun our stepping away from Israel, and so from God’s mercy.
As I read that headline, my spirit shuddered and my heart softened for the Americans that don’t know what’s going on.
Why is this a big deal? What do we care about a tiny nation on the eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea?
1967: Israel regained her capital. Will we now take it away?
In 1948, Israel rose from the dead. More than 1,800 years after being displaced by the Romans, the Jewish nation began to be regathered into her land. It was the start of prophecy being fulfilled before our eyes (Ezekiel 37, just to start).
Even though Israel was back on the global map, something was missing. Ancient Jerusalem — both the ruins of David’s capital and the walled city, the Temple Mount and the Mount of Olives — were within Jordan. Israel’s Jerusalem was only the western suburbs.
In 1967, the Arab neighbors began to stir. They began to muster troops and to prohibit Israel ships from passing through waterways. On June 5, Israel struck first. In six days, she captured land from Egypt, Syria and Jordan and defeated their nine allies (see Wikipedia for stats).
At last, original Jerusalem was back in Israeli hands. At last, the Jews could pray at their holiest site. At last…
Now, U.S. President Obama wants Israel to give ancient Jerusalem back, among other things.
“For then, at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Y’hudah and Yerushalayim, I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Y’hoshafat [ADONAI judges]. I will enter into judgment there for my people, my heritage Isra’el, whom they scattered among the nations; then they divided my land. They drew lots for my people, traded boys for whores, sold girls for wine to drink. –Joel 3:1-3 (CJB)
The nations will be judged. They will be held accountable for how they dealt with Israel, with the Jews. There is a consequence for dividing the Land. By Obama supporting the 1967 borders, he is advocating dividing Jerusalem, the heart of the Land.
Jesus backs this up in Matthew 25.
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.” — Matthew 25:31-33
He judges the nations on how they treated his brothers. Who are His brothers in the flesh? The Jews. Jesus was born a Jew and will remain a Jew forever. The nations will be judged on how they treat Israel. (The nations, not individuals. Individuals will be judged on whether they accepted Jesus ransom and pledged their allegiance to Him. See the book of Romans).
Pray for mercy
The United States is ripe for judgment. The blood of the aborted children cries out to God for justice. He is a God of justice, and He will avenge their murders.
Homosexuality is sanctioned by the government and even by some purporting to be of Jesus. Just last week, U.S. Presbyterians dropped the clause that required clergy to be chaste in singleness and faithful in marriage. The change allows homosexuals (as well as adulterers and sexually active unmarried persons) to serve in ministry. Several other church groups have preceded the Presbyterians in similar changes.
I do believe God has been extending mercy to us because we have blessed Israel. It’s not because Israel is anything great. God tells her that He is faithful to her on His behalf, not theirs. Why? Because God is not a liar. He promised to use Israel as an example to everyone, and He has and is and will. And our King will rule from there (see Zechariah 14, Revelation 21, etc.)
As the DAY of the LORD approaches — the day Messiah, King of Israel comes to rule the world from Jerusalem — the consequences of our decisions will begin to manifest. (As for when judgment day is, we’re at least 7 years away, at least but probably more. Another post for another day).
As I was researching for this post, I ran across a prayer in Isaiah 64. If you follow Yeshua, the Messiah of Israel, the Son of God, pray this out as you pray for our nation and for all the nations. Shalom.
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down,
that the mountains would tremble before you!
As when fire sets twigs ablaze
and causes water to boil,
come down to make your name known to your enemies
and cause the nations to quake before you!
For when you did awesome things that we did not expect,
you came down, and the mountains trembled before you.
Since ancient times no one has heard,
no ear has perceived,
no eye has seen any God besides you,
who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.
You come to the help of those who gladly do right,
who remember your ways.
But when we continued to sin against them,
you were angry.
How then can we be saved?
All of us have become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
No one calls on your name
or strives to lay hold of you;
for you have hidden your face from us
and have given us over to our sins. Yet you, LORD, are our Father.
We are the clay, you are the potter;
we are all the work of your hand.
Do not be angry beyond measure, LORD;
do not remember our sins forever.
Oh, look on us, we pray,
for we are all your people.
Your sacred cities have become a wasteland;
even Zion is a wasteland, Jerusalem a desolation.
Our holy and glorious temple, where our ancestors praised you,
has been burned with fire,
and all that we treasured lies in ruins.
After all this, LORD, will you hold yourself back?
Will you keep silent and punish us beyond measure?