About Jesus  -  Steve Sweetman

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Indefensible Borders


As I type these words in March, 2015, the president of the United States, Barack Obama, has emphatically reiterated his position.  "Israel must return to its pre 1967 borders."  With matching conviction, the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, confirmed his position to the United States Congress.  "Israel will not return to its pre 1967 indefensible borders."    


I doubt if any of us living within secure borders, including President Obama, can comprehend how it feels to live in a small nation surrounded by those who have historically aspired to annihilate you.  I'm sure every president has taken this issue seriously, but it has to be easier to formulate foreign policy from the secure comfort of the White House than from the Prime Minister's office located close enough to rocket launchers that can kill him in a matter of minutes.       


Israeli border issues are rooted in God's
promises to Abraham, which includes an inheritance of a specific portion of land for Abraham's descendents.  Genesis 15 records the ceremony that confirmed these promises in traditional blood covenant fashion.  It should be noted, however, that only one of these promises, the promise of land, was stated in the ceremony.  "To your descendents I give this land, from the Wadi (river) of Egypt to the great river - the Euphrates (verse 18 NIV).  This promised land encompasses present day Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, and part of Egypt.  Despite how some view 1 Kings 4:24 and 2 Chronicles 9:26, this promise has yet to be realized.  King Solomon's rule over the tribal peoples from the Mediterranean Sea to the Euphrates River doesn't fulfill the eternal nature of this land promise as seen in Genesis 13:15.  


Israel has had border problems since its civil war in 922 B C.  Its present struggle stems from the 1920's when England was authorized by the League of Nations to establish a Jewish state in Palestine.  For the record, the designation of this part of the world as Palestine goes back to the Roman Emperor Hadrian (76-138 A D).  He renamed the Jewish province of Judea, Palestine (from the word Philistine) the perennial enemy of the Jews.  Naming the Jewish province Palestine (Philistine) and the Jews Palestinians (Philistines) was an intentional act of anti-Semitism.  It would be like President Obama renaming Washington D C, Moscow.  Thus, throughout the centuries Jews living in Palestine have always been considered Palestinians.  PLO chairman, Yasser Arafat, popularized the notion that only Arabs living in Palestine were Palestinians.  The west picked up on Arafat's assertion and sided with a terrorist instead of history by disregarding Jews as being Palestinians.   


In 1939 the Peel Commission in England issued
the McDonald White Paper.  It limited immigration to 
Palestine and redefined the borders of the soon to be Jewish state that was stipulated in the Balfour Declaration and by the League of Nations in 1924.  In 1947 the United Nations adopted these redefined borders, something the surrounding Arab nations totally rejected.  From day one Israel's borders have been in doubt and in constant flux due to wars and peace deals.  Most of us living within secure borders would find this to be unacceptable.     


President Obama now leads much of the western world in promoting a two state solution with a return to pre 1967 borders in the hope of lasting peace.  Exchanging land for peace hasn't worked, and it's unlikely to work now.  If you look at a map, reverting to pre 1967 borders would make movement within Israel difficult, leave Israel vulnerable to attack, and, make part of northern Israel only 9 miles wide, which in 1980, I could have run across in less than 45 minutes. 


Imagine if Barack Obama was president of the United States in 1860.  With the tension between north and south, and civil war looming, his two state solution would have divided America into two distinct nations.  There'd be no United States of America as we know it today.  So, in light of Genesis 15:18, allow me to suggest that President Obama isn't only on the wrong side of this issue; he's on the wrong side of God. 


Not everyone holds to this view of Israel's eternal place in prophetic history.  In his book entitled "Our Endangered Values", we learn that former U. S. President Jimmy Carter believes Israel has no future prophetic significance.  This was evident in the Camp David Accords he successfully negotiated between Israel and Egypt in 1978.  I certainly don't know him personally, but I do like Carter as a person.  Unlike some presidents who have claimed to be Christians, I believe he is a real Christian.  I just can't support his political and theological views.  I not only disagree with his eschatology, I believe he misunderstands and thus misrepresents the Futurist view of prophetic history. 


Genesis 13:15 states that God's promise of land to Israel is eternal.  If "eternal" means "eternal", this promise will be realized.  Isaiah 11:11 predicts that the Lord will reach out His hand to reclaim the surviving remnant of Israel a second time.  The first 
reclamation of the Jews was during Jesus' 3
year earthly ministry.  The second reclamation
will take place when Jesus returns to Jerusalem.  Amos 9:15 states that once Israelis are back in their land, as they are now, they will never leave or lose their land again.  Israel is here to stay.  The day will come when there will be no talk of land for peace, no talk of a two state solution, and no talk of pre 1967 borders.  Israel's borders will be secure and defensible.  They will stretch from the River of Egypt to the Euphrates River as promised by God in the Abrahamic Covenant and as confirmed throughout the Old Testament prophets.    

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