Last November, the United Nations voted 138-9 to declare Palestine a (nonmember observer) state with East Jerusalem as its capital. If you are a Bible-believer, you MUST come to terms with the truth that Israel is God’s land and he gave it to Abraham and his descendants through Isaac. While the Land has been divided throughout history under various circumstances, we have a unique situation that begs our attention. The world has voted to divide Jerusalem. God is clear. There are consequences for dividing the Land and for exploiting and persecuting the Jews.
Tuesday at sunset begins the Jewish Festival of Weeks, called Shavuot in Hebrew. Many of us know it by its Greek name, Pentecost. Pentecost is not an exclusive “Christian” event. Firstly, Pentecost is what the Greek-speaking Jews of the first century called Shavuot. Secondly, the 120 who were the first to experience the comforting Spirit of Truth that Yeshua promised in John 14 were all practicing Jews. So were the 300 baptized after Peter’s sermon that day.
I was very distressed to read about your recent paper on Israel that concluded that the people of Israel have no right to the biblical land of Israel. I must warn you that you are poking God in the eye. Paul is very clear in Romans 9, 10 and 11 that God has not repudiated his people and that the promises to Israel still stand. That includes promises of the land.
On June 7, 1967 — 19 years after the nation of Israel had been reborn — Israel regained ancient Jerusalem and reunited it with modern Jerusalem. And so the ancient capital of Israel was made whole and under Israeli control for the first time since the Maccabees, 1,900 years since the Romans destroyed the Temple. Why does this matter? Because the re-formation of Israel as a nation is a fulfillment of prophesy.
In March of 2008, an Israeli teen found a holiday package on his door step. It was Purim, the day Jews celebrate their deliverance from Haman’s plot to rid Persia of the Jews. The boy took the package inside. When he opened it, it exploded, shrapnel ripping his body. Ami Ortiz is a pastor’s son. The family’s offense: believing and proclaiming that Yeshua (Jesus) is the promised Messiah of Israel.
Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread begins at sunset Monday. We are also in Christian Holy Week and will celebrate the resurrection of Yeshua the Messiah next Sunday. It is an important time for both Christians and Jews. Even more important is the link between the two sets of holy days.
President Barak Obama’s trip to Israel was a success if his goal was to gain the Israeli people’s trust. TV news poll showed that 39 percent of Israelis had a positive change of mind about Obama. He said all the right things, most importantly acknowledging the thousands of years of Jewish history in the Land. That was to correct his statement in Cairo four years ago that Israel was created because of the Holocaust. The Palestinian people greet Obama with protests, though Obama’s meetings with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was deemed positive.
The famed foiling of the wicked plot of Haman to blot out the Jews is, of course, one of the more dramatic narratives in the Bible. In addition to the many twists in the plot, there are also some surprises hidden behind the text itself. It is significant that the name of the book itself, Esther, means “something hidden”