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Understanding Israel’s Dilemma (2000)

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The violence and fury unleashed by Ariel Sharon’s escorted tour of the Temple Mount has astonished Israel and the world.  At this writing, nearly a month after, it has not abated.  For the first time in Israel’s history the violence spilled out into the streets between civilian Arabs and Jews within Israel’s own borders in the cities of Jaffa, Haifa, Nazareth and Tel Aviv.  The depth of stemmed up hostility and enmity on the part of Israeli-Arabs in clear identification with their Gaza and West Bank brethren shocked the nation.  Clearly, there is no turning back.  Something irretrievable and irrevocable has taken place that bodes ill for the nation’s future, making hope of any enduring peace vain.

I believe that the Church needs to prophetically consider the phenomenon of Islam as God’s judgment upon an apostate Israel as well as a defunct, non-apostolic Christendom.  It is a heresy born out of a monotheistic rejection of the Second Person of the Triune Godhead – inscribed upon the very “Dome of the Rock” that Allah has no son! Taking its cue and inspiration from a rabbinical Judaism’s rejection of the Crucified, it has ironically grown into the principal persecutors of those who continue in that heresy and of a denuded church, who while shallowly subscribing to the doctrine of a Triune God, shares Judaism’s monotheistic mentality in all its suppositions.  While both Islam and Judaism, the former more than the latter, might make some acknowledgment of Jesus as prophet, neither admit to His resurrection!

Can God allow such wholesale rejection of the costly revelation of His Godhead to go unjudged?  Can the nation called to be His essential witness to the nations be allowed so callow a dismissal seeing that it has opened to a perishing world bewildering pluralisms, one no more valid than another?  Should it not, in the irony of God’s judgment, be the chief recipient of the mischief it has allowed into the world by the rejection of the supreme revelation of its own God still proudly insisted upon till this day?  I believe Islam is that judgment and will remain the bane of Israel and the chief threat to its existence until the principal error is acknowledged and repented of.  Indeed, when Israel’s final deliverance comes from the devastating invasion of these relentless nations in Zechariah 12:10, is it not in the Person of this Son whose wounds testify to this rejection?  Did not this same Jesus weep over Jerusalem, foreseeing as the Prophet He was, what would be the ultimate consequence of Israel’s rejection of the “Day of their Visitation,” making the heresy of Islam an inevitability out of a now Christ invalidated monotheism?

Surely what has distinguished Israel’s prophets, namely, a Deuteronomic view of Divine causation (a covenantal blessing/curse perception of Israel’s history) needs to shape our own prophetic understanding of the nation’s present and future afflictions as judgment.  Instead of the false comfort of commiserating with her in her misfortunes as somehow uncaused and sharing with her the false hope of a negotiated peace, the Psalms inform us, “Do not put your trust in princes, in mortals, in whom there is no help…whose plans perish” (Psalm 146:3-4).  We owe it to the people for whom we profess to care that the only solution is to go back to the place of initial error and departure from God, whose rod of chastisement Islam is, and there repent and return!  The Church itself needs to repent of its own effectual departure from its apostolic origins and uncompromising insistence upon “Christ and Him crucified” to the truncated and feeble non-witness to the Triune God that it now is.

The world and Israel wait for the demonstration through the Church of the mystery of the Godhead in its own self-deferring relationships one to another as is the genius of the Son deferring to the Father and the Spirit to the Son.  It is in this earthly fulfillment of the Divine paradigm, “that the world will believe that the Father hath sent Me” when “they all may be one” (John 17:21).  Only the true knowledge of God as He in fact is and desires to be made known can reveal the bankruptcy of all heresy including our own.  If ever there was a time to “blow the trumpet in Zion,” it is now.

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