Everyone is watching the Middle East as we should. What's going on in the Middle East and how does it affect our future? I was thinking about this as I listened to a very articulate and knowledgeable Jewish Christian speak about these things this morning. He just got back from Jerusalem where he took four busloads of Christians to see the land where Christ walked. He goes twice a year and I'm thinking I'd like to go on the next trip.
What we are seeing with the Jews and the Arabs now is a plan in progress predestined from the beginning of the world. Let's look at the overview of Israel's history and how their history is going to affect all of us. It's quite interesting to see how the whole plan has been unfolding as we march towards a definite ending to come.
We know the land of Israel during biblical times was first given to the Hebrews. From about 1400-586 BC they ruled during the times of the Judges and Kings. Then in 586 BC the Babylonians under King Nebuchadnezzer conquered and exiled most of the inhabitants destroying all of Jerusalem in the process.
This was the beginning of the "Times of the Gentiles." From this time forward until today no Jewish King has ever ruled over Israel again. This City of God has been dominated by Gentile rule ever since 586 BC.
When Christ came, there was anticipation that He would be the one who would overthrow this Gentile rule and once again, God and His people would be vindicated. Christ came and preached repentance and that the Kingdom was at hand.
But it wasn't to be. They would not listen. They did not repent. That Palm Sunday, before his death, all he saw was corruption. He overthrew the tables, for the second time, and left them for good. They did not; would not repent. He suffered, died, ascended to His Father because his own received Him not.
Because Israel rejected Christ they would continue under Gentile dominion. Before He left them he said "your house is left to you desolate." He wept over Jerusalem saying "if you only knew, now it will be hid from you."
Let's look at who these Gentiles were.
70 A.D. The Roman General Titus rolled into Jerusalem destroying it yet again. This was the beginning of the dispora or the dispersion of the Jews as they would be scattered to every known continent for 2,000 years with no home to call their own.
135 A.D. the Jews tried to rebell against Rome and they were slaughtered by the tens of thousands. Almost as many were jailed. From then on Jews were not allowed even to enter their beloved city or they would be surely killed. The Wailing Wall is all that is left of these times.
To humiliate the Jews even further the name of Jerusalem was changed to Palastia or Palastine. There was no rest there or anywhere for the Jews from that day forward. They were the most persecuted souls in country after country. They were not allowed to join anything like trade unions or clubs. About all they were allowed to do was enter the world of banking then called usury. This was considered the lowest of the low and was left to the Jews. Imagine that. The Jews were allowed to handle the money, giving out loans.
The Bzyantines rolled in over Israel. Then Islam rolled over Israel. Then in the 12th-13th centuries the Crusaders rolled over Israel. Then in the 1500's-1900's the Ottaman Turks rolled over Israel....for 400 years they ruled. Then came WW1 when the British defeated the Turks and then they ruled over Israel. Then came 1948 when Israel finally became a nation but without Jerusalem rule. Scripture was clear. Jerusalem would be trodden by the Gentiles until the Fullness of the Gentiles be complete.
In Warsaw, Poland there's a street there called "Jew Street." Because the Jews were not allowed into the city of Warsaw the Jews would line up outside the city and sell their wares usually clothing and such. Soon shops cropped up and something started to happen. Like the drip, drip, drip, of a faucet you can, now especially looking back, start to see the hand of Sovereign God begin to move them into a direction that was meant for them to go in.
In Paris France in the 1890's a Jewish Officer by the name of Alfred Dreyfus was court martialed on trumped up charges and found guilty basically for being a Jew in the French Artillary. He was falsely accused of selling French Military secrets to the Russians. He was later officially fully exhonorated in 1906.
Enter in Theodor Hertzl, a non-religious Jew during the time of this court martial. He was a playwright who wrote many plays in Europe. He was sent to cover this trial of Alfred Dreyfus for a Hungarian newspaper and saw the injustice going on firsthand. He listened to the cries in the street "death with the Jews." He could feel the anti-semitism as the trial raged on. He took notice and then some.
He wrote up a brochure called "The Jewish State" that was translated into many languages. He was called a dreamer of many dreams. The Jews were telling him to stop. They were finally doing well in Europe despite this plot against Dreyfus. He was going to stir up trouble and it would not fare well for them they thought.
In 1897 Hertzl held his first Zion Congress in Switzerland, the first of many calling for a Zion state. He wrote in his diary (now in a Tel Aviv museum) "today I have founded the Nation Israel. It will become a reality in 5 or 50 years." Exactly 50 years later in 1947 the dream indeed became a reality. He had great influence as a writer, a playright and now as a speaker for what would lead to the state of Israel beoming reality.
The drip, drip continues......later as we go into WWI, the Balfour Declaration and the days of Lawrence of Arabia.