Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Petra, Jordan, and God's Mighty Love

Jordan and Israel's relationship during the Tribulation is an interesting one. In researching the facts behind the Arab League for yesterday's post, I learned that Egypt and Jordan are the only two Arab nations to have normalized relations with Israel. Jordan's peace treaty with Israel was signed in 1994 with President Bill Clinton as mediator, between Hussein I of Jordan and Yitzhak Rabin of Israel. King Hussein, of the Hashemite dynasty, died in 1999, and his designated son King Abdullah II became King. King Hussein had guided his country through the Cold War and four decades of Arab-Israeli conflict, balancing the pressures of Arab nationalism and the allure of Western-style development against the stark reality of Jordan's geographic location. He worked throughout his life to advance the cause of peace between Jordan and Israel (which he successfully achieved in 1994. (Wikipedia). Above, Petra, the Rose-red city. That peace will be broken, and soon.

Between 1999 and 2009 relations between Israel and Jordan have maintained the same level of respect and courtesy. However, that has to change, because Jordan is listed among the nations that attack Israel during the Psalm 83 war.

"With one mind they plot together; they form an alliance against you- the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, of Moab and the Hagrites, Gebal, Ammon and Amalek, Philistia, with the people of Tyre. Even Assyria has to lend strength to the descendants of Lot." (Psalm 83:5-8). Edom, Moab and Ammon are today's Jordan. Ammon is the capital.

Yet...Jordan is one place the antichrist is not able to overcome. "He will also invade the Beautiful Land. Many countries will fall, but Edom, Moab and the leaders of Ammon will be delivered from his hand." (Daniel 11:41)

And...Petra in Jordan is the place the Jews flee to when the antichrist begins his persecution, and it is where they remain in safety, protected by God during the Great Tribulation and led out by Him to Jerusalem at the conclusion of the Day of the LORD. (Isaiah 63:1-6). Here is an excellent, scriptural basis for the supposition that Petra/Bozrah/Sela in Jordan is the place to which the Jews flee and are sheltered, I recommend it. "Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days." (Rev 12:6) "But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent." (Rev 12:14)

So it appears that though peace has held between Israel and Jordan for over a decade, something will change to cause Jordan to pile on in the Psalm 83 war and attack Israel. However, Jordan will remain intact enough so that the antichrist will not overcome her.

Whatever that "something" is to change Jordan's mind about Israel, it is happening now. These are but a few of the headlines from the last two months and are an indication that Jordan is becoming impatient with Israel:
King of Jordan accuses Israel of 'underhand' plot to thwart nuclear project.
King Abdullah accuses Israel of blocking Jordan nuclear bid
Report: Jordan queen rejects Hebrew translation of book

I thought that last one was interesting: Queen Rania of Jordan wrote a children's book which is a bestseller, was translated into Arabic and English, proceeds of which are being used to renovate 500 Jordanian schools. However, she refuses to allow a translation into Hebrew, even though further sales will help children.

Obama and King Abdullah of Jordan are pushing Israel to accept a two-state solution, which would create a Palestinian State and divide Jerusalem. East Jerusalem would become the capital of this newly created Palestinian State. When you hear of the "two-state solution" that is what it means: dividing Jerusalem. God has something to say about that:

"I will gather all the nations And bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat. Then I will enter into judgment with them there On behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; And they have divided up My land." (Joel 3:2)

A couple of further points before I reach my conclusion: Jordan's full name is the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The Hashemites trace their ancestry from Hashim ibn Abd al-Manaf (died c. 510 AD), the great-grandfather of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. The early history of the Hashemites saw them in a continuous struggle against the Umayyads for control over who would be the caliph (successor) to Muhammad. The Umayyads were of the same tribe as the Hashemites, but a different clan. This rivalry eventually would lead to the split between the Sunni and Shia. (Wikipedia). And we see the tension between the ever-widening split beteen Sunni and Shia Muslims today.

It is interesting to note that the Kings of Jordan claim direct ancestry to Muhammad. I speculate that this may be one reason that Jordan escapes the antichrist's domination: he may not even try, if he is a Muslim as many suspect he will be. It also may be why the "Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan" commands so much respect in the Arab world. Today Hashemites have spread in many places where Muslims have ruled, namely Uzbekistan, India, Pakistan, Turkey, and Iran. Above, the cleft in the rock to Petra, at places only 9-12 feet wide.

The second curious thing before conclusion is that Petra is also known as Sela, which means rock. It is referred to in Judges 1:36; Isaiah 16:1, Is 42:11; Obad. 3 where Petra is known as the "cleft in the rock".  Petra is also known as Bozrah, which means sheepfold. Sheepfold or sheep pen is an enclosure designed with overhangs or other protection from the elements, and is solid enough to keep the sheep in and the wild animals out. It always has one narrow gate for entry. Bozrah is the perfect sheepfold! Our Shepherd Jesus will protect His remnant during the Great Tribulation at Bozrah, the sheepfold, the Cleft in the Rock. It is there He returns at the Second Coming and becomes stained with blood of the armies attempting to wipe out the remnant, and leads them to victory at Mt. Olive.

God's Vengeance on the Nations
Who is this who comes from Edom,
With garments of glowing colors from Bozrah,
This One who is majestic in His apparel,
Marching in the greatness of His strength?
"It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save."
Why is Your apparel red,
And Your garments like the one who treads in the wine press?
"I have trodden the wine trough alone,
And from the peoples there was no man with Me
I also trod them in My anger
And trampled them in My wrath;
And their lifeblood is sprinkled on My garments,
And I stained all My raiment. (Isaiah 63:1-3)

Finally, back at the beginning of this entry, I noted that one of the verses said of the Jews during the Great Tribulation that "Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God." (Rev 12:6) In John 14:3 He promised His church that "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am". All this time He has been preparing a place for the church believers. He also had prepared a place for His people, the Jews, to reside at Bozrah in protection and safety. He is a God who cares for His people, He prepares places for us. For US! And that is a mighty thing indeed. Hallelujah to the One True and Mighty God, who prepares for us a place!

2 comments:

  1. Wow! Amazing... I love you God! What will happen to Christians who are not on that side of the world and are able to flee to Petra? Where should they flee to?

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  2. Jaime,

    When Jesus was speaking in Matthew 24:15-20, He was speaking about the Jews in Jerusalem. He had opened His discourse in response to a query from the disciples about the Temple, and about the signs of the end of the age. He is speaking to the Jews and about the Jews during the tribulation. He continues speaking of Jewish things in verses 15-20:

    " “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,' spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath."

    He mentioned the sabbath because according to the Law Jews are only allowed to take so many steps on the Sabbath, and it is the Jews who are concerned with the Temple's desolation.

    Not that the Tribulation won't affect Christians who converted after the rapture or the unbelievers, but that the Tribulation is about the Jews is also confirmed in Dan 9:24 when the angel speaking to Daniel says the time is for "your people" and again in Jeremiah 30:7 where it is stated to be the "time of Jacob's trouble."

    The Jews that flee to Petra will become His remnant and in the end just before Armageddon, will believe in Jesus (Zechariah 12:10.)

    Born again Christians at the time of the rapture (alive or dead) will be called to Him in the air and we shall be with Him always. Those will not go thru the Tribulation. People who come to believe in Jesus after the rapture, and there will be many, will be hunted and killed (beheaded). They may flee, but most of them will be found and killed. (Rev 6:9; Rev 20:4).

    The wisest thing is to ensure your salvation now by believing on the risen Jesus as the sacrifice for our sins, repenting of your sins,and to be born again. You will not go thru the tribulation in that case.

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