How could I hope in one week to grasp the full complexity of a situation that keeps almost the whole world on edge? Set in the midst of the nations, the Lord repeatedly speaks of “His” people and the land as being “His.” (e.g. (Ezek 25:3, 36:5, 38:16). Some people claim indeed that the history of Israel and of the Jewish people is so remarkable that the land itself speaks as a “fifth gospel”!
Israel is about the size of Wales – or one nineteenth the size of California(!). It faces hostility and danger on all sides – and none more so than from the North, whence it has come so often in the past.
It is sobering to reflect that Hezbollah is now targeting something like 100,000 missiles directly at Israel – and even Israel’s wonderful Iron Dome defence system has its limitations. Firstly it is very expensive to operate and secondly that it can only strike so many missiles at once in the face of multiple attack. Priority decisions have to be made in split seconds by the operators. This system is so integral to Israel’s defence system that I have dedicated a button to it in its own right in this edition, which I hope you will find interesting.
The plane of Meggiddo with all its associations with Armageddon was in full view from the balcony I was staying in, as were the Golan Heights. I spent some time too talking with one young paratrooper who had been involved in the tunnels warfare in Gaza.
He struck me as embodying much of Golda Meyer’s ethos – amongst whose more memorable quotes were:
- Many accuse me of conducting public affairs with my heart instead of my head. Well, what if I do? … Those who don’t know how to weep with their whole heart don’t know how to laugh either.
- We don’t thrive on military acts. We do them because we have to, and thank God we are efficient. Vogue (July 1969) It is true we have won all our wars, but we have paid for them. We don’t want victories anymore. We hate war. We do not rejoice in victories. We rejoice when a new kind of cotton is grown, and when strawberries bloom in Israel.
- I have always said that in our wars we had a secret weapon — no alternative. The only place we could run was into the sea, and before we did that we might as well fight.
- Peace will come to the Middle East when the Arabs love their children more than they hate us.
One thing we should rightly be concerned about is the great turning away from Israel that we are seeing in the Obama administration.
The simple reality is that we are in times of extreme turbulence – so much so that whether or not we are speaking of the ultimate Great Tribulation the world is undoubtedly experiencing a time of great tribulation.
This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says:
“Look! Disaster will fall upon nation after nation!
A great whirlwind of fury is rising
from the most distant corners of the earth!” (Jer. 25:32)
I had a sense that Israel is in a state in a lull at the moment. The Jerusalem Post is calling it a war between wars, as it tries to address major security risks from Hezbollah in the meantime.
Canon Andrew White
We have mentioned the vicar of Baghdad before. What some people may not have realised is how passionately committed Andrew is to loving and serving the people of Israel, as well as Iraq. In one of his latest missives he mentions an important short book that he has written earlier this year (I received a copy of it on the day I set out for Israel!). The older and younger brother is an important attempt to set the record straight on many fronts concerning the way in which the world perceives Israel. Copies can be purchased for £5 pounds from http://frrme.org/canon-andrews-blog/
Amazingly, Andrew was able to fly out of Baghdad a few days ago to speak both in Jerusalem, and at the prayer centre of Mount Carmel that I visited just a few days previously.
We requested prayer for Andrew’s health some weeks ago and the Lord has clearly been working. We also passed on his urgent request for Baghdad to be protected from ISIL. As you will have heard on the news, one attack was beaten back, but the threat is clearly ongoing. May the Lord continue to use this passionate and anointed man of God greatly.
As long ago as 3 July the Washington Times was reporting that Isis has made to taking a Baghdad one of its primary targets, and that it has something like 1500 people inside the city in sleeper cells ready to launch attacks.
Baghdad is again under imminent threat as Sunni-led ISIL direct their hostility against the Shia controlled administration. May the Lord be especially with communities in intense distress such as Baghdad and Kobani.