The People Of The Book

Opinion by Jack Kelley

“In those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will enter into judgment against them concerning my inheritance, my people Israel, for they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land.” (Joel 3:1-2)

“The People of the Book” is a name first given to Jews and then expanded to include Christians, since the Christian faith is based on the teachings of the Book, too. The main problem with the leaders who govern the People of the Book is that they don’t believe the Book. Verses like the one above won’t mean anything to them until it’s too late.

For example, let’s take the leaders of the original People of the Book. It’s one thing to hear that this or that Gentile Government has a plan to divide Israel, but when we learn that Israel’s own leaders are trying to do it we shake our heads in wonder. Are they determined to end their very existence as a nation?

“The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine and you are but aliens and my tenants.” (Lev. 25:23)

Recently we’ve heard rumors that the government has secretly agreed to re-divide Jerusalem, even though their own laws prohibit such a thing. The Palestinians say that PM Olmert has already agreed to give up almost all of the West Bank, too. And now we’re being told that he’s promising the Golan Heights to Syria in exchange for peace. The Turkish government said that they’ve relayed the offer to Syria, and Syria has confirmed receiving it.

Israel’s opposition party, having already declared that as soon as they’re elected they’ll cancel any peace agreement the current government makes, has now demanded an emergency session of the Knesset to explain once again to the Prime Minister that he has neither the mandate nor the authority to make such an offer.

As if that wasn’t enough, they’ve got outsiders making promises for them. Jimmy Carter, who claims to follow the Book, says that he’s behind Hamas’ offer of a 10 year peace agreement and that he convinced Hamas to accept Israel as a friendly neighbor. (Naturally, Hamas has denied it. Their charter calls for Israel’s destruction.)

Are our memories so short? Hamas proposed this same thing a couple of years ago after they first came to power and were startlingly clear about their intentions. Drawing from their religious history, they said that it was acceptable for them to offer a truce of up to 10 years to an enemy currently too strong for them to defeat. They’re to use that time to lull their enemy into a false sense of security while increasing their own strength to a point where they could be victorious. As soon as that happens they’re free to break the truce and attack.

The example they use is of the Prophet Mohammad who was driven out of Mecca by the more powerful Quraysh leaders. He negotiated a 10 year treaty with them, called the Treaty of Hudaybiya after the town where it was signed, and went to Medina to build up his strength. 22 months later he marshaled his now much more powerful forces against Mecca, and though he had a 10 year treaty with them, he demanded that they surrender. Seeing that they couldn’t win, they did.

Why would anyone believe that this current offer is anything different? How long will we continue to view Eastern intentions through a Western perspective. “Oh, that stuff they say is just for local consumption,” our leaders say, “We don’t pay any attention to it.” They’re right, they don’t and it has always worked to our disadvantage.

And as for the leaders of the other People of the Book, President Bush seems obsessed with the idea of having his “two state solution” in place before he leaves office next January. Sec’y of State Rice is right there with him, perhaps hoping to enhance her chances of being picked as John McCain’s running mate.

It seems like everybody has a plan for Israel. All of them involve cutting the country into pieces and giving them away, and their motives are always self interest. PM Olmert wants to salvage his position as Israel’s leader. Pres. Bush wants to improve his legacy, and Sec’y Rice wants to be VP. None of this bodes well for the people of Israel. Their supposed friends and their own leaders seem determined to sell them down the river. Surely this is what the Lord had in mind when He inspired Isaiah to say:

You boast, “We have entered into a covenant with death, with the grave we have made an agreement. When an overwhelming scourge sweeps by, it cannot touch us, for we have made a lie our refuge and falsehood our hiding place.” (Isaiah 28:15)

True, this passage will have it’s ultimate fulfillment in Israel’s acceptance of the anti-Christ as the messiah. But you can see the trend emerging as those who think they control Israel’s destiny repeatedly make decisions that are contrary to God’s will, in the name of accommodation with His enemies.

But He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep (Psalm 121:4) and no matter what the self-important men of this world try to do, He will have His way. He will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all nations and all who try to move it will injure themselves. (Zech. 12:3)

Speaking as one of them, I just wish the People of the Book had leaders who believed the Book. If they did they’d understand that without the Book there’d be no reason for Israel to have a national homeland, and their enemies would be justified in saying that the world would be a more peaceful place if Israel ceased to exist. But the One who wrote the Book on Israel has something different in mind, as His enemies will soon discover to their eternal shock and dismay. Lord, let it be soon. 4-25-08

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