Israel has never had peace or security. Not for any real length of time. Their constant falling away-repent-falling away cycle prevents that. their penchant for making alliances with hostile nations in vain hopes of forestalling attacks also is a sad pattern. (Ancient Assyria, Egypt, Cush ... 2 Chronicles 18:1-2, Isaiah 31:1, Isaiah 20:5)
Praying for the peace of Israel as Psalm 122:6 says really means as Gill's Exposition says, a future peace in the Millennium:
"but for the spiritual and heavenly Jerusalem, the church of God, and for the peace of it; that Christ, the Man, the Peace, the Peacemaker, who then was not come, might come; that the members of it might enjoy spiritual peace in their son is, and might have peace one with another, and be at peace with their enemies; and enjoy the abundance of peace and prosperity, which will be in the latter day;"It will be then and only then Jerusalem has peace. That doesn't stop Israel from seeking it though. Nor does it stop false friends from pressuring it upon Israel, either. The Israel Daily newspaper Haaretz this morning has a front page dedicated to peace. An opinion article from Obama is prominently placed there. Here is a photo of today's front page from Haaretz:
In an exclusive article for Haaretz's Israel Conference on Peace, Barack Obama says that the only solution is a democratic, Jewish state living side-by-side in peace and security with a viable, independent Palestinian state.
This latest round of peace talks has ended with a sputter. Secretary of State Kerry failed to make headway. Tablet Magazine actually claims that America is the Arsonist in the Middle East, and that it was "Kerry’s failed peace negotiations set off the spiral of violence between Israel and the Palestinians." Apparently someone has to blame someone.
Obama is pushing the issue once again after it has languished on the back burner these long months. A deadline set by Kerry 9-months ago has approached and it is time to renew attention to the issue. Hamas isn't unaware either and has ramped up rocket fire in this last week. Joel C. Rosenberg writes today,
Escalation: 130 rockets fired at Israel since midnight. IDF calls up 40,000 reservists for possible ground operation in Gaza
(Washington, D.C.) — My heart is breaking over the escalating violence between Israelis and Palestinians as the situation goes from bad to worse, hour by hour.I know the prophecy in Thessalonians is trotted out any time anyone ever says "peace and security". The verse is actually pointing to the Day of the Lord, AKA the Time of Jacob's Trouble AKA The Tribulation. However, it does do for us to keep the prophecy in mind as we watch unparalleled events in the Middle East occur. ISIS is advancing, a caliphate has been established, rocket fire is barraging Israel, the deadline for the peace talks is renewing pressure on everyone involved, and let's not forget the violence in northern Africa and central Africa. Several of those nations will take part in the Psalm 83 war.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Netanyahu and his government authorized “Operative Protective Edge” to ratchet up attacks on the terrorists in Gaza. The IDF is calling up 40,000 reservists for a possible massive ground invasion of Gaza.
- In recent days, Palestinian extremists kidnapped and murdered three Israeli teenage boys.
- Then Jewish extremists kidnapped and murdered an Arab teenage boy, apparently burning him alive.
- Meanwhile, Palestinian extremists in Gaza began firing rockets at Jewish and Arab civilians in southern Israel.
- More than 220 rockets have been fired at Israel since July 1st. And just since midnight, 130 rockets were fired at Israel.
- Israel’s “Iron Dome” system is shooting down many of them.
- The Israeli Air Force is striking Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets in Gaza.
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We won't know the day or hour, or even whether the Day of the Lord is approaching very near, but we can see that the world is in turmoil and in need of its Savior once again. He will return in wrath next time though. Before there is peace on earth there will be wrath.
As for us Christians, John MacArthur reminds us,
You say, "Will we be there at the day of the Lord?" No. We'll be taken out before the day of the Lord. Now as you know through all the years it has been my conviction to teach you that we are taken out before that final seventieth week, that final seven-year period begins. The great promise is that we have not been appointed unto wrath. We have been appointed unto glory. If you know and love the Lord Jesus Christ, the future you look for is all glorious. If you don't know Him, the future you look forward to is all terrifying. It is no insignificant thing that the whole world has its eyes on the Middle East, that's where all the consummation of God's history will take place. It could be in this generation, it could be soon. We must be ready. If you know Christ, you'll be taken before it hits. If you don't, you'll be destroyed when it comes.