Saturday, September 17, 2011

We live in momentous days

Next week the United Nations will be asked to make a decision which is likely to have momentous consequences. The Palestinians will apply for recognition as a United Nations member state.

Israel has said it is willing to negotiate with the Palestinians, with no preconditions. The Palestinians are refusing to negotiate with Israel, or recognise Israel's right to exist. Instead, they will go direct to the United Nations.

Next Wednesday, September 21, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will deliver a major address to the UN General Assembly, putting Israel's case (and challenging the nations to deal with Iran in Iran's bid for nuclear weapons).

Next Friday, September 23, the Palestinian Authority will formally apply for full membership of the United Nations. To succeed, it will need two-thirds of the votes of the General Assembly's 193 nations, which it is expected to get. For full membership, it needs the votes of five members of the UN Security Council. Of the five, Russia has agreed to support the Palestinians' bid. If France, China and the UK vote in favour, the United States will - reluctantly - veto the decision. This would leave the PA not a full member of the UN, but recognised as a nonmember state.

A decision at the UN would effectively tear up agreements previously made between Israel and the Palestinians, and could lead to violent conflict in Israel, even war.

Israel is a legally constituted nation, with its own sovereign territory. The Palestinians have been offered a state on more than one occasion, but have hitherto refused the offer. Unfortunately for the Palestinians, they do not want a state as much as they want to see Israel wiped off the map.

Most people either laugh at or choose to ignore biblical prophecy, which is perhaps strange in view of the fact that all biblical prophecy of events to date (including those which took place in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago) has been exactly fulfilled.

The Bible says that God gave the land of Israel, which He calls His land, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their descendants for an everlasting possession. It says that eventually all nations will be gathered against Israel to battle. It says, what's more, that God Himself will bring all nations against Israel to battle, so that He can deal with them.

He will judge the nations, He says,
"On account of my people, my heritage Israel,
Whom they have scattered among the nations;
They have also divided up my land" (Joel 3:3).

If you would like to read of those days, start with Joel 3 and Zechariah 14. "The day of the Lord's vengeance" will not be a pretty sight.

No wonder the Bible instructs us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.