Enemies of Israel – Isaiah 17:12-14

Great Destruction Will Come Up Against Those Who Oppose Israel

12 Woe to the many nations that rage-
they rage like the raging sea!
Woe to the peoples who roar—
they roar like the roaring of great waters!
13 Although the peoples roar like the roar of surging waters,
when he rebukes them they flee far away,
driven before the wind like chaff on the hills,
like tumbleweed before a gale.
14 In the evening, sudden terror!
Before the morning, they are gone!
This is the portion of those who loot us,
the lot of those who plunder us.

Reckless Roaring

God does not take kindly to those who would overwhelm His people.  Even when He raises up those whom He would use to chastise Israel, their eventual end is destruction.  Even now, the offspring of Ishmael and many nations rage against Israel.  They roar against her like the sea of incoming tide, seeking to wash her from the face of the Earth, to remove her as her very presence is a painful thorn in their side.

The nations rage against her because they hate who protects her.  Her very presence, they beloved of God, is like the brothers of Joseph, watching him in his ornate coat, favored by their father, made them hate him and jealous of him.  And the nations do that today.  They fabricate lies against her and try to cheat her out of her inheritance – the land of Israel, given to her by The Lord God Almighty.  For years they tolerated her, broken and scattered among the people, scoffing at her and gloating over her as God disciplined her.  But when God did the impossible and gathered her again to her home and gave it back to her, it was too much for them to bear.  And even now, they seek to undermine, impugn, and utterly destroy what God has wrought – the fulfillment of His Holy Word.

Regal Rebuke

God, however, does not take this sitting down.  He has prepared a rebuke for the nations that oppress, antagonize, and refuse to recognize the sovereignty of Israel.  This is not some simple rebuke.  The people of the nations that are seeking the eviction and/or the eradication of every descendant of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob (now Israel) will come under a most difficult rebuke.  They will come under a rebuke that is even more terrible than that which they intend to inflict upon Israel

Terrible Terror

God will drive Israel’s enemies far from their homes.  They will flee with such speed that they will look like tumbleweeds in a great windstorm.  They will fly under the pressure of God’s rebuke.  There will be sudden terror in the evening, when light has fallen and they cannot see their attackers.  Terror will fill their hearts, and in a measure that pales in comparison to what they intended for God’s people.  So swift will be their flight, that by morning they will no longer be there.  No one will be exempt – they will all flee.

Guarantee from God

God has declared that this is the portion, the judgment upon and rewards reaped from their actions.  Any who loot Israel, any who plunder her, will be utterly destroyed and driven from their homeland.  Because God’s judgment is not swift and immediate, the nations brag that God does not see, or does not exist, because they do not immediately reap the consequences of their actions.  They incorrectly interpret God’s grace and mercy for impotence or imagination.  But God will certainly cause this, for He has spoken it, and it is the portion of God’s enemies to be reaped in its proper time.

A Qualifying Question

Let’s ask a question:  Am I praying for Israel’s enemies to repent?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, You are holy and righteous, and every word that You have ever spoken has or will come true.  Father, remember the enemies of Israel.  Plow through the hardness of their hearts so that they will be positioned to receive the seed of the Gospel.  Grant them mercy in their cruelty, that they would see how good You are.  And when it is time, Father, may your rebuke upon them be so overwhelming that the nations would tremble, and that the fear of You would come upon all the Earth.  This I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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The Peace of Israel – Psalm 122:6-9

Those Who Bless Israel Will Be Blessed And Those Who Curse Israel Will Be Cursed

6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May those who love you be secure.
7 May there be peace within your walls
and security within your citadels.”
8 For the sake of my family and friends,
I will say, “Peace be within you.”
9 For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
I will seek your prosperity.

Pray for Peace

There is a blessing and a curse in Genesis concerning Israel.  Those who bless her will be blessed, and those who curse will be cursed.  The Israelites are The Lord God Almighty’s chosen people.  He has seen them through wars, famines, earthquakes and every imaginable disaster and tragedy, including the Holocaust.  Everyone who has welcomed her and sought (and still seeks) her prosperity has been blessed by God.  And everyone who has (and still currently) seeks her destruction is being cursed by God.

Israel is the apple in God’s eye.  She is the jewel that He desires to use to show the world His goodness and grace.  Out of her came Jesus Christ, His appointed Savior.  God seeks her peace, and after almost two thousand years of being scattered to the four winds, God kept His promise and restored her to the land that He had given to her millennia before.  The fulfillment of this prophecy greatly angers the enemies of God, who greatly desire the destruction of her people.

Because of the hatred of her enemies, and because God is good and gracious, all who love God should love her and her people, and pray day and night that she be kept safe, and that her people would find peace.  If any harbor anger at her, this is unresolved unforgiveness in their hearts, and they need to take this before the Lord to have it dealt with.

Safe and Secure

Even now, Israel and her people are under a constant barrage and attack by the descendants of Ishmael.  Sarai, Abraham’s wife, was impatient with God, and offered Hagar to Abraham to start a nation.  And Abraham had a son through Hagar.  Here is the Bible’s description of him:

11 The angel of the Lord also said to her:

“You are now pregnant
and you will give birth to a son.
You shall name him Ishmael,
for the Lord has heard of your misery.
12 He will be a wild donkey of a man;
his hand will be against everyone
and everyone’s hand against him,
and he will live in hostility
toward all his brothers.”

Because of his nature, and the nature of his descendants, we should be praying for the safety and peace of Israel.  As long as the descendants of Ishmael are alive, they will forever torment, harass, harangue, bombard, murder, and try to destroy the descendants of Ishmael’s half-brother through Issac, and his descendants through Jacob, now Israel.

Make no mistake about it.  Ask any truly evil person the best way to hurt someone, and they will all tell you, without fail, that the best way to hurt someone is to hurt the ones that they love.  God’s love for his chosen people is immense.  It is only proper that the enemies of God, who cannot touch Him in His dwelling place, would make every effort, with every breath on their lips that they grudgingly receive from Him, plot to cause harm, destruction, pain, and misery to God’s children.

Indirect Impact

Besides seeking the welfare of God’s nation of Israel and her people for the sake of loving God, there is an indirect impact when this occurs.  God has PROMISED to bless those who bless her, and curse those who curse her.  This should make everyone pause and reconsider their position on Israel (either to strengthen their opinion for her, or to change their opinion from being against her).

Just about everyone seeks the blessing of God.  Although many worship anything and everything BUT the One True God, YHWH, they seek the blessing nonetheless.  Apart from Satanists, Anarchists, and Death Cults, just about everyone else is seeking blessing from the one or thing who/that they worship.

We seek the blessing of Israel because God loves them.  But it personally benefits us when we do so.  Although this may seem self-serving, for anyone who desires to be blessed by God who is in leadership of nations, they might want to seriously consider the impact that blessing Israel (in terms of friendship, financial aid, as well as military aid) might bring to their nation as opposed to ambivalence or antipathy.

Woe of Worship

The Psalmist says that the reason they are seeking the prosperity of Israel is for the house of the Lord.  For almost two millennia, since the Romans tore down the Temple of God in Jerusalem, the Israelites have not had a temple where they could worship.  In 688 C.E., the Fundamentalist Adherents to Islam (FAI) built the Dome of the Rock on the former temple Court of the Gentiles, and have greatly afflicted the Israelites ever since.

The good news is that the presence of God moved from the temple to the people when Jesus Christ, the Messiah, King of king and Lord of lords was obedient to God, was crucified, buried, and resurrected three days later.  He paved the way for the Holy Spirit to come and indwell all who would believe God, and who God then credited to them as righteousness.

God will soon reveal His Son as Messiah to the entire Israelite nation once He has gathered all who would return home again.  And when that happens, they will forget about the Solomon and Herod temples, because they will then realize that THEY are the temples (naos*) of God!

A Qualifying Question

Let’s ask a question:  Am I actively seeking the welfare of Israel?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, You have sovereignly chosen the Israelites as Your people.  Thank You for grafting me in to the True Vine, Jesus Christ, who feeds the native branches of Israel as well as the wild branches of the Gentiles.  Father, I pray that You would bless, protect, and prosper Your chosen people in Israel.  Grant the descendants of Jacob peace on every side.  Draw them back to the land that You gave to them millennia ago as their inheritance, and provide for their welfare mightily.  Sovereignly push her enemies back far away from her, and as David would say, “break their teeth” – destroy their strength that gives them the ability to harm her.  Father, whom You love, may I love just as much.  Help me to do anything and everything that I and my family can to seek and ensure the peace and prosperity of Israel.  And in this pursuit, bless and protect me from my enemies and her enemies, as they will surely turn their vitriol and abject hatred in my direction as well.  This I ask in the precious name of my one and only Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.

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*Notes:  The Greek word naos used here is not just the temple, but a specific part of the temple – it is the Holy of Holies.  This was where the Ark of the Covenant was kept, and was the area of the temple where the presence of God dwelt.  In pre-resurrection times, only the High Priest of Israel could enter once a year to offer the sacrifice for the sins of the nation.  When Jesus died, the veil was torn, and symbolically ended the separation 0f man from God in worship and repentance of sins.

The Holy Spirit now indwells ALL believers, and because the container where the presence of God resides is the temple, our bodies are now the temple housing His Spirit.  When God reveals Jesus Christ as the Messiah to the Jews, they will no longer need to offer the ritual sacrifices for sin because they will accept that Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection was the fulfillment of the temple sacrifice, His perfect, sinless blood as the final and permanent sacrifice for all of their sin, past, present, and future.

Salvation and God – Obadiah 15-18

Jacob Will Be Saved, and Esau Will Be Destroyed

15 “The day of the Lord is near
for all nations.
As you have done, it will be done to you;
your deeds will return upon your own head.
16 Just as you drank on my holy hill,
so all the nations will drink continually;
they will drink and drink
and be as if they had never been.
17 But on Mount Zion will be deliverance;
it will be holy,
and Jacob will possess his inheritance.
18 Jacob will be a fire
and Joseph a flame;
Esau will be stubble,
and they will set him on fire and destroy him.
There will be no survivors
from Esau.”
The Lord has spoken.

Coming Calamity

The great and terrible day of the Lord is coming quickly.  It will overtake us with great speed and we will be unaware of its exact arrivalGod will redeem Israel, and destroy all whose names are not written in the Book of Life.

One of the most interesting things is that any whose name is not found in the book of Life will worship the beast.

Woeful Wrath

The nations will drink and drink as if they have never been.  The wrath of God will come upon all of them.  The justice of God is tempered by His love.  Eventually, God must mete out justice in accordance with His Holiness.  He will destroy everyone who refused to believe Him; for if they believed Him, it would be counted to them as righteousness.

Delightful Deliverance

God will bring about a mighty work on that day.  Israel will be redeemed!  The seed of Abraham will have the scales removed from their eyes, and they will worship and follow the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!  Israel in that day will finally receive their inheritance promised to them through Abraham by God.

Esau Eradicated

The interesting side note in this is that the seed of Esau will be destroyed.  And who might the seed of Esau be?  Those who rejected their inheritance.  Both Jacob and Esau came from Jacob, but Jacob’s line received the inheritance.  Remember what God has given to you, and stand fast in His love.  Do not deny Him, and He will not deny you.

A Qualifying Question

Let’s ask a question:  Am I ready for the return of Jesus Christ (and if not, why not)?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, You have shown me Your love and compassion in revealing Your Son to me.  Help me to be prepared and be the faithful servant whom the master finds has everything in order when he returns.  Guard my heart against unrighteousness, and help me to walk ever closer with Jesus.  Thank You Father, for You keep every promise that You make.  And bless Your people Israel.  Provide for them, protect them, and save them.  This I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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Restoration by God – Amos 9:14-15

God Does Everything He Promises To Do

14 and I will bring my people Israel back from exile.

“They will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them.
They will plant vineyards and drink their wine;
they will make gardens and eat their fruit.
15 I will plant Israel in their own land,
never again to be uprooted
from the land I have given them,”

says the Lord your God.

Prophesy Provided

There are many who believe in replacement theology – that God has abandoned Israel in favor of the church.  While there are some areas where the church is being used the way Israel was supposed to be used, God is not done with Israel.  This particular prophesy is evidence of it.

God not only provided this prophesy, but others as well, showing that His had is upon His people.  God is far from being done with Israel.  And the blessings and curses for those that bless or curse her are still binding and occurring.  The last two nations on Earth that were Israel’s friends – The United Kingdom and The United States of America – have turned their backs on Israel.

The United Kingdom is now being plagued with descendants of Ishmael who follow the teachings of the one who declared that his god was the greatest of all deceivers. Talking of the one that they follow, Jesus said:

You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

The United States of America, whose President has turned away from Israel, and is even now welcoming and transplanting the very same people that are plaguing the United Kingdom and all of Europe into its country, will soon suffer the same fate.

God Gathers

Not only is this prophesy evidence that God still loves and has great plans for the Israelites, but many in this generation have seen it come to pass with their very own eyes.  In 1948, the dry bones became as flesh, and Israel, the only nation ever to have been scattered to the four winds, was once again a nation, and her people repatriated to her.  What had become a desert began to flourish.

But although God gathered them, they were still under Gentile control.  On June 6, 1967, after the Six Day War, God delivered them from their oppressors and Israel once again, the only nation ever to have done so, became completely sovereign over its land after millenia of being scattered.  God doesn’t mess around, and He does EVERYTHING He says He is going to do.  Even if it takes more than TWO MILLENNIA. And He ALWAYS does it at the exact right time.

Verdant Ventures

Have you ever took a look at what Israel looks like from space?  It is a verdant, lush country.  What was once desert has been terraformed by Israel with the help of Almighty God.  At the Eastern edge of Israel, it looks as if God had used his finger to outline the edges of the country from other land.  On one side, it is green and lush.  On the other, it is dry and desert.  God is blessing Israel and protecting it.  They are able to grow their own food, and drink their own wine, because God promised this to them more than TWO THOUSAND YEARS AGO.

Is God slow in answering His promises?  Absolutely not!  God has perfect timing.  Why now, you might ask?  Because He foretold it in Daniel over 2500 years ago, and then gave Daniel the time for it to occur and only defining the time after the death of Christ.  We often find that we must wait for a while in order to come through our issues.  But God is faithful, and no matter how long it takes, He will always fulfill all that He has declared.  The Israelites have personally experienced this.  In 2 Peter 3:8, in the Greek, a hEmera is as a thousand years.  While hEmera has been translated as the word “day” here, it can also be translated as a time.

Permanent Planting

The formation of Israel as a nation and the repatriation of its people is not just some random event, or temporary situation.  God has promised that He would not allow them to NEVER be uprooted from their land again.  Since God keeps all of His promises, any efforts at removing the Israelites from Israel will result in great backlash from God.  Nations who try to do so should soberly consider the consequences of their actions should they try to take from Israel what God has now given to them through His promise and give it to anyone else.

Ask any nation who oppressed God’s people what happened to them after God finished using them as His tool of punishment.  It might be hard to ask; all have fallen.

A Qualifying Question

Let’s ask a question:  Do we love Israel, the people AND the nation, the same way that God does?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, You are perfect in all of Your ways.  You have shown me in Your word how much You love Israel.  Help me to love Your people as You do.  Give me a desire to show them Your love so that they would desire You in a greater way.  Show me how to pray for Your people that they would be blessed, protected, enriched, and turn their hearts to You.  Open their hearts that they may see Your Son for who He really is.  Restore Your people to Yourself, and help me to be prepared for what is next to come.  This I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Want more?  Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?