Why Won�t Netanyahu Listen...
The Trumpet (Link) - Brad Macdonald (April 29, 2010)
�to the words of those he loves, admires and never stops talking about?
It appears the Bible is enjoying a renaissance in Israel. In a speech at the annual International Bible Contest last week (in which his 15-year-old son placed third), Israel�s prime minister said he was pleased to see that the Bible is �again becoming the Book of books of all the people of Israel.� Of course, Benjamin Netanyahu has never been one to shy away from invoking the words and deeds of the ancient prophets. In major speeches in the last month alone, Netanyahu has referred to the Jews as the �seed of Abraham,� quoted the prophets Isaiah and Amos directly, and spoken freely of his own heritage with King David.
He�s right, too. Beyond the Old Testament and the secular historical record, stunning archeological discoveries are increasingly revealing the Jews� vast and glorious history with God, His prophets, and with Judea and Samaria, and especially Jerusalem.
With this in mind, consider the following statement Netanyahu made to the Knesset on April 19: �Don�t rely on help from strangers. Don�t trust even the charitable and don�t wish for stones to grow soft �. A nation that wishes to stand tall must place all its trust in itself only� (emphasis mine throughout).
The context and intent of Netanyahu�s admonition is obvious. The Obama administration�s policy of systematically undermining the U.S.-Israel relationship is proving fruitful. Israel, as Haaretz observed last week, �finds it[self] in a kind of diplomatic, security and moral limbo that is certainly no cause for celebration. It is isolated globally and embroiled in a conflict with the superpower whose friendship and support are vital to its very existence.� With his nation encompassed by enemies and abandoned by friends, it seems Mr. Netanyahu is preparing the Jewish state for a grim and lonely future.
But there�s more to it than that: Mr. Netanyahu�s admonition to the Knesset and his people for the nation to �place all its trust in itself only� exposes the heart and core of Israel�s problems.
Truth is, the Old Testament�which Mr. Netanyahu knows well and loves to invoke�tells us that the number-one reason the Jewish state is in such a perilous state today is because for far too long it has trusted in itself!
From beginning to end, the Old Testament is filled with instruction about trusting in God and refraining from trusting in self. This lesson to one degree or another is embodied within the lives of every single Old Testament prophet. Take King David for example. Prime Minister Netanyahu and other Jewish leaders trot around the globe eloquently reciting the awesome history of King David of Judah. They revel in the knowledge that David defeated the Philistines, claimed vast tracts of strategically important territory and then secured and expanded Jerusalem as the dominant city in the Levant. (Indeed, it truly is history to be proud of.)
But how many Jews are prepared to explore the source of King David�s accomplishments?
�O Lord my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me,� wrote David in Psalm 7:1. Elsewhere he wrote, �The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth �� (Psalm 28:7). What a beautiful lesson from one of the Jews� greatest figures: When King David trusted in God, his kingdom was secure and his life was happy!
Meanwhile, Israel�s prime minister says nothing about trusting in God and tells his people that Israel �must place all of its trust in itself.�
Israel�s leaders are prone to quoting other Old Testament prophets too. But notice what some of these men had to say about trust. �Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid,� stated the Prophet Isaiah, �for the Lord God is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation� (Isaiah 12:2). Isaiah�s instruction in chapter 57 is incredibly relevant in light of Israel�s ongoing fight to hold fast to its territorial possessions. �He that putteth his trust in [God] shall possess the land, and shall inherit my holy mountain� (verse 13).
Beyond the admonition to trust implicitly in God, the Old Testament prophets warned explicitly against trusting in the human heart. �Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man,� wrote the Prophet Jeremiah. �Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is� (Jeremiah 17:5, 7). Amos delivered a similar warning: �Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria �� (Amos 6:1). Micah too: �Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide� (Micah 7:5). Nahum also: �The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him� (Nahum 1:7).
Could the lesson be any more explicit?
The ultimate solution to Israel�s retinue of problems is not obscure or hard to grasp. It does not lie in complex negotiations and peace agreements, in bombs and bullets, or even in a strong relationship with the United States. And it absolutely does not lie in placing �all its trust in itself.�
Ultimately, the solution to Israel�s problem lies in trusting in God!
The tragic irony of Israel�s predicament is that many Jews come into contact with the solution nearly every single day. It literally surrounds them. It�s in what Netanyahu last week termed the �Book of books,� which is apparently making a comeback. It�s in the bullae and pottery being routinely uncovered from beneath their feet, in Jerusalem and elsewhere. It�s in the lives of the ancient kings and prophets whom Israel�s leaders respect and admire, and hardly ever stop talking about!
The Old Testament and the ancient prophets are speaking�if only Mr. Netanyahu and the Jews would heed!
It is my opinion that Israel is largely a secular nation currently and as the President of America would likely upset a large vocal portion of the population by guiding the people back to the Bible, so too would Netanyahu. This modern American generation, unfortunately much removed from our forefathers character and beliefs, is conditioned to pull away from the Bible whether because of outright dislike of the moral code presented by their Creator or because of the conditioning to not offend an easily offended people full of pride.
However in the case of Israel, unlike America and the rest of the world, I believe that general attitude will change given the ingrained nature of the Old Testament in the deep roots of the nation of Israel and the prophesied events that are foretold in it when God will intervene to save Israel as foretold in Ezekiel 38,39. And "Thus will I [God] magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD."
And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them. So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day and forward. And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity: because they trespassed against me, therefore hid I my face from them, and gave them into the hand of their enemies: so fell they all by the sword. According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions have I done unto them, and hid my face from them. Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name; after that they have borne their shame, and all their trespasses whereby they have trespassed against me, when they dwelt safely in their land, and none made them afraid. When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies' lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations; then shall they know that I am the LORD their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there. Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.