A Cup Of

Behold, I will make Jerusalem
A cup of trembling unto all the people
Round about ... In that day will I make
Jerusalem a burdensome stone
For all people...
Zech 12:2-3


      The Arab countries continue to refuse Israel full partnership in the regional structure. On the previous page is a box that lists all of the countries that are eligible to sit on the United Nations Security Council. The reason Israel is the only ineligible nation, of the 185 member countries, is because to be eligible, a country must belong to a regional group.
      Israel has petitioned to be included in the West European and Others Group (WEOG) which, in addition to Western Europe, includes the United States and other western countries. However, despite the fact that the United States, Australia, Canada and Norway have supported this move, Israel’s neighbors (specifically Iraq and Saudi Arabia) have repeatedly refused to allow Israel to participate in the Asian block regional group. Thus, with the European Union refusing to act on the proposal, Israel continues to be denied the right to sit on the United Nations Security Council.

~ Palestinian State? ~

      Meanwhile, Yasser Arafat is expected to declare a Palestinian state next May, whether Israel agrees to it or not. If Arafat goes through with such a declaration without Israeli approval, it will completely torpedo the Oslo agreements, since they stipulate that the Palestinian Authority (PA) is not to declare independence without first coming to terms with Israel. The end result of such an action could be all out war, as indicated by the following:
      "Ahmed Abdel Rahman, secretary of the Palestinian ‘cabinet,’ told a Saudi Arabian newspaper that Yasser Arafat has vowed to declare a Palestinian state next year. ‘leading to a war with Israel, with the first target being the destruction of the settlements.’ Rahman said that the declaration of the state would cover ‘all the territories conquered since 1967, including eastern Jerusalem.’
      "Palestinian Authority (PA) Deputy Chairman Abu Mazen told Labor MK Dalia Itzik yesterday that if an agreement is not signed between Israel and the Palestinians, there will be unprecedented bloodshed. (Arutz 7, May 24, 1998)."
      (Quoted from the July/August, 1998 issue of Dispatch From Jerusa1em, published by Bridges for Peace, PO Box 33145, Tulsa, OK 74153.)

But woe to him to contends with Israel, for it is written:
" those days
And in that time,
When I restore the fortunes
Of Judah and Jerusalem,
I will gather all the nations
And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshapat.
There I will contend with them
Over My very own people, Israel,
Which they scattered among the nations.
For they divided My land among themselves"
(Joel 4:1-2)

~ Lack of Real News ~

      Here in the United States, recent events in Washington D.C. have crowded out most of the news from the Middle East, and around the world. While the American public is being titillated by sexually explicit (pornographic!) releases of testimony to the mass media by the Congress of the United States, several stories which should be getting public attention have gone largely unnoticed. Examples include the increasing problems in the Balkan states, the meltdown of the Russian economy, the horrible weather that is plaguing many areas of the world, and the continuing Asian economic crisis.
      Perhaps our God in heaven is allowing these distractions to come upon our nation in order to reduce (or eliminate) the U.S. pressure on Israel to give up more of the land which He granted to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

~ Jewish Population Growth ~

      The fact that the Jewish people still exist as an identifiable group, even though they did not have a homeland for over 1900 years is evidence of divine protection.
      By the end of 1998, Israel’s Jewish population is expected to grow to over six million, surpassing the number of Jews residing in the United States. Over four million of these Jewish residents have been born in the land of Israel.
      It is interesting to note that out of a world population of over five billion people, only 13.8 million are Jews. This amounts to about one-fourth of one percent of the world’s population.
      The fact that God dispersed the Jewish people throughout the world, while still allowing them to maintain their identity, is a fulfilled prophecy:

      "‘All nations would say, ‘Why has the LORD done so to this land? What does the heat of this great anger mean?’
men would say: ‘Because they have forsaken the covenant of the LORD God of their fathers, which He made with them when He brought them out of the land of Egypt; for they went and served other gods and worshipped them, gods that they did not know and that He had not given to them. Then the anger of the LORD was aroused against this land, to bring on it every curse that is written in this book. And the LORD uprooted them from their land in anger, in wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land, as it is this day.’"
(Deut: 29:24-27)

      The Jewish people were cast out of their homeland for 1900 years because God is faithful to the covenant that He made with them, which clearly states the consequences for their covenant unfaithfulness; the fulfillment of which is evidence that the covenant is still in effect!
      Education and learning are central to the Jewish way of life, and during the many centuries of punishment, the Jewish people kept alive the flame of learning, continuing to educate their children, so that study of the Torah would not cease. During the Middle Ages the Catholic children in Europe were denied education unless they were chosen to become priests. Meanwhile, the Jewish children would begin studying the book of Leviticus in the tie-brew language at five years of age.
      God has blessed and protected the Jewish people even while lie was punishing them for breaking the covenant of Mount Sinai; and while they make up such a small percentage of the world’s population, many Jewish people now find themselves in positions of leadership in all fields of study.

~ Judah in Prophecy ~

      Notice the prophecies concerning Judah. the Patriarch of the Jews:

"Judah, you are he whom your brothers shall praise;
Your hand
shall be on the neck of your enemies;
Your father’s children shall bow down before you."
(Gen. 49:8)

"And this he said of Judah:
‘Hear, LORD, the voice of Judah,
And bring him to his people;
Let his hands be sufficient for him,
And may You be a help against his enemies.’"
(Deut. 33:7)

      Included within the house of Judah is the tribe of Levi:

"And of Levi he said:
Let Your Thummin and Your Urim be with your holy one,
Whom You tested at Massah,
They shall teach Jacob Your judgments,
And Israel Your law.
They shall put incense before You,
And a whole burnt sacrifice on Your altar.
And accept the work of his hands;
Strike the loins of those who rise against him,
And of those who hate him, that they rise not again.’"
(Deut. 33:8, 10-11)

      The tribe of Benjamin makes up the third group in the house of Judah. All three of these tribes are considered to be Jews today, along with a remnant mixture of the other ten tribes who either migrated to Judah prior to the Assyrian captivity, or returned with the remnant of the house of Judah from captivity in Babylon.

"Of Benjamin he said:
‘The beloved of the LORD shall dwell in safety by Him,
Who shelters him all the day long;
And he shall dwell between His shoulders.’"
(Deut. 33:12)

      So, despite their dispersion among the nations; despite the persecutions inflicted upon them by those who called themselves ‘Christians’ (including the ovens of WW2); the Jewish people have survived because the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has decreed that they should survive as an identifiable people group. Certainly many individual Jewish men and women have assimilated into the general population over the centuries; some for social or financial reasons, others because they were forced to convert to Catholicism. Today we hear of an increasing number of Believers that are discovering they have Jewish ancestry. It is especially prevalent among those who seem to have a love for Israel and for the Jewish people. It is as though God has given them a Jewish heart before allowing them to learn of their Jewish lineage.
      Let us not forget that another large group of people are also descended from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. These people are often identified in Scripture as the ‘House of Israel,’ and are from the so-called ‘Lost Ten Tribes of Israel.’ They too exist in every corner of the globe (see Endnotes concerning a remnant from the tribe of Manasseh), for God has promised that none of His people would be ‘lost’ permanently.

"‘For surely I will command,
And will sift the house of Israel among all nations,
grain is sifted in a sieve;
Yet not the smallest grain shall fall to the ground.’"

      God has a plan, and it is best summarized by the Apostle Paul:

"And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:
‘The Deliverer will come out of Zion,
And He will turn away
ungodliness from Jacob;
For this is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins.
(Rom. 11:26-27)

      The LORD God of Israel is currently in the process of bringing the house of Judah back to the land which He promised to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In due time the house of Israel (sometimes called the house of Joseph) will also return. It is YHVH's decree, and Yasser Arafat and the PA can do nothing to stop it.

"Thus says the LORD,
Who gives the sun for a light by day,
And the ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night,
Who disturbs the sea, And its waves roar
(The LORD of hosts is His name):
‘If those ordinances depart
From before Me, says the LORD,
Then the seed of Israel shall also cease
From being a nation before Me forever.’"
(Jer. 31:35-36)

      The seed of Israel still exists because God wills that it be so. Therefore, pray for the peace of Jerusalem!