Thursday, January 7, 2010

Opposing Israel

I recently read a paper titled, “Strategic Implications of American Millennialism” which makes the case that the pervasiveness of those looking forward to the Rapture have adversely influenced US policy. The paper seeks to educate policy makers on this influence so that they would be better equipped to counter its impact.

The biggest policy errors that the author, U.S. Army Major Brian L. Stuckert, says the U.S. has made and is susceptible to are related to the support of Israel. He wrote, “if Israel were removed before the rapture, then the pre-millennialists’ theory of imminent escape from death would be falsified.” Well, I’m a pre-millennialist and that thought has never occurred to me because Ezekiel 37:21-25 says, “Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land… and they shall dwell there, they, their children, and their children's children, forever’” (NKJV). Israel being established back in their land is God’s doing and His very reputation is at stake in maintaining his promises.

Major Stuckert must not have had the briefing I had when I was in the Army. In 1980, the officers in my field artillery battalion had a session with an Israeli armor brigade commander to learn about his experiences going against Soviet weapons during the Yom Kippur War. I guess most would have written off his story of finding multiple Sagger missile guide wires draped over his tank following a battle as the result of incompetent Egyptian operators. But even as an unsaved junior officer, I recognized this as the providence of God; I had witnessed multiple firings of TOW missiles, the U.S. equivalent to the Soviet Sagger, and I had never seen one fail to hit the target. Wire-guided anti-tank missiles are always lethal.

There are multiple reasons I support Israel. But probably the most pragmatic reason is due to the promise God made to Abraham, the father of Israel: “I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:2-3, NKJ). I certainly don’t want to be counted among the cursed of God.

Major Stuckert’s fear of pre-millennialists influence policy is a theme I’ve heard before but labeled self-fulfilling prophecy. As if we can bring about the return of the Messiah by precipitating certain events. Jihadists actually believe that but not Bible-believers. There is no prophetic event that must precede the Rapture of the Church. Jesus said, “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming” (Matthew 25:13, NKJ).

The idea that we can cause the Messiah to return reveals a lack of understanding of the nature of God who is in ultimate control. What is dangerous are those with the attitude of Major Stuckert who feels the need to counter-balance the influence of pre-millennialists. This will lead us down the path of no longer supporting Israel. Indeed the day is coming when this will be the case… “It shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it (Zechariah 12:3, NKJV).

The implication of Major Stuckert’s attitude is chilling. If you consider what he is advocating, you will find yourself more in league with the Jihadists who want to see Israel eliminated than with Bible-believers who fear the wrath of God for failing to support Israel. An anti-Israel attitude is growing in our government today and it is this very dynamic that will entice secularized government leaders to yield sovereignty to the coming charismatic leader of Islam. Indeed, the Antichrist will be loved by all who seek worldly solutions to their salvation… “All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life” (Revelation 13:8, NKJ).

Major Stuckert’s scholarly work was really well written but it was clear that he did not have a love for God. This brings 2 Timothy 3:7 to mind, “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (NKJ). I am praying that Major Stuckert will have a change of heart.

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