One of the Biblical names for Jerusalem is Zion and it means signpost – we might say highway sign or even billboard. There is much flashing across the sign right now as Israeli-Palestinian peace talks resume after a three-year stall. In light of current events, I want to share some points that have stood out to me as well as some points to consider and watch.
As the United Nations announced that 93,000 people have died in the Syrian conflict, the United States announced that it is ready to arm the Syrian rebels. Russia is vocally upset the US is leaving jets and missiles in Jordan, which some say could be used for a no-fly zone in Syria (much like was done to aid Libya’s ultimately victorious revolutionaries).
It is interesting that this week’s Torah Portion (Numbers 19:1-22:1) ends on the Golan Heights with God instructing Moses, regarding the ruling power there, “Do not fear him, for I have delivered him into your hand, with all his people and his land.” The land eventually became part of the inheritance of the tribe of Manasseh. Golan is mentioned several times in Scripture as the location of a “city of refuge” in Bashan, and that is the name by which the region is known today, the Golan Heights.
Russia offered to send troops to the Golan Heights after other UN peacekeepers pulled out. The same week, Russia announced it would have a permanent naval presence in the Mediterranean Sea. Add that to Russia’s tenacious support for Syrian president Bashar Assad, which includes providing weapons. Why is Putin asserting himself in the Middle East? Is this Magog moving?
Joel Rosenberg lays out several reasons why Christians should stand with modern Israel, how Israel is a fulfillment of prophesy and how the treatment of Israel could affect a nation. “The Church is splitting over the nation of Israel. It has for years, and it will get worse. The world is turning against the nation of Israel. And the question is ‘What will you and your congregation do?’ We have to get this Biblically right because we’re going stand before Jesus very soon.”