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DEAR WATCHMEN ON THE WALL,
DID ISRAEL JUST GIVE UP HER INHERITANCE? That is the question so many evangelicals are wrestling with as the groundbreaking deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was announced yesterday by President Trump. The deal is absolutely historic. No mideast nation has entered into a peace treaty with Israel since 1994, when the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan agreed to end a border conflict which raged since the moment Israel was reborn.
Which makes the treaty perhaps the most important development in years for peace in the mideast.
But for Israel the treaty with the UAE seemed to come at a very high price. As part, Prime Minister Netanyahu agreed to suspend pursuit of restoring sovereignty to settlements in the West Bank. This when earlier this year with the Mideast peace plan, President Trump initially signaled his willingness to see this restoration, becoming the first president in US history to do so.
Note that suspension of plans does not mean abandonment of pursuit. Still the decision by the Netanyahu administration is extraordinary, especially given the fact that until very recently the Prime Minister was moving forward at light speed to secure the settlements in Judea and Samaria.
Lamplighter readers know we are fully supportive of restoring Israel’s sovereignty over the settlements in Judea and Samaria. Scripture is clear on this. In fact Amos 9, the same passage that prophesies the end-time prayer movement also promises the restoration of this very ground to the Jewish sojourners who return to the reborn land.
“Also I will restore the captivity of My people Israel, and they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them; ahey will also plant vineyards and drink their wine, and make gardens and eat their fruit. I will also plant them on their land, and they will not again be rooted out from their land which I have given them,” says the Lord your God (Amos 9:14-15).
With this in consideration, here’s a hard statement for me to make. After prayer, I believe the course Israel has set is both morally right and strategically wise for this moment. And it will provide great blessing longterm. Here are a few points.
- The Moral High Ground. Man has his plans, but God has His own. And He never compromises one aspect of His character to achieve what He has promised. Current plans amounted to what the entire world would have perceived as a unilateral hostile takeover. Which in some cases would be justified.But you must remember that the entire Arab world was set against the actions as planned. Not because they don’t honor the settlements—behind the scenes at least, most do. But such an aggressive action by Israel would have incited the most terror-prone elements of their respective nations. Not only for war against Israel but war against the regimes that even covertly collaborate with Israel.
Very simply, Israel’s decision to sacrificially suspend restoring sovereignty over areas of Judea and Samaria, in favor of mideast peace, clearly shows a willingness to put the interests of the region ahead of their own. As a result, regional stability has been secured at a level not seen in our time. And this raises Israel’s credibility DRAMATICALLY in the eyes of the surrounding nations. No matter what transpires, by putting everything on hold for peace, Israel has taken the moral high ground. Their decision not only reflects on Israel, but Israel’s God. Your God.
And I believe the Lord will reward the covenant nation in kind.
- Coalition Needed to Counter Iran. Israel moves intuitively by an Issachar anointing. Like few other nations, they understand the times and how to position themselves for maximum victory. Perhaps because since their birth they’ve faced such an existential threat.That said, it is clear that Israel has decided that the formation of a mideast coalition to counter Iran is of greater immediate strategic importance than even pursuit of settlement sovereignty. The recent, mysterious explosions at Iranian nuclear and missile facilities certainly allude to the immediate need to harness the full potential of this emerging coalition.
- Isaiah 19 Highway. And it’s important to note that in context with all this, the prophetic words describing the Isaiah 19 highway are now coming to pass before our eyes.
- Major Diplomatic Accomplishment for Trump. Lastly, it cannot be emphasized enough that President Trump has just achieved perhaps, on a broad level, the pinnacle foreign policy achievement of his presidency. Critics have debated whether Trump has actually lived up to his self-description as “a very stable genius.” No matter where you stand, this deal is a genius development which is absolutely poised to bring stability to the mideast.Obviously the timing of this victory could not be more perfect for the Trump campaign. But most importantly it sets up opportunities for the future of Israel and the mideast that I believe will prove to be vital in the days ahead.
Of course, Iran and Turkey have both expressed disdain over the Israel-UAE deal. Both are moving in the mideast with aggression. It is no coincidence God has emphasized Isaiah 28:5-6 over the past few weeks. “He will be a spirit of justice to those who sit in the seats of justice, and a strength to those who overthrow the onslaught at the gates.”
We do not know the full extent to which this is needed. But it seems clear to me the emerging coalition goes a long way towards creating the strength needed just for this purpose.
One other thing is clear. In the spiritual realm, we as watchmen need to accelerate our intercession to see the Prince of Persia fully restrained.