The Word on the Week

The state of Palestine

Next Tuesday a formal application is to be made to the United Nations Assembly to recognise Palestine as a State. Emboldened by the relative success of the Arab Spring and with both Egypt and Turkey now threatening Israel the Hamas led Palestinians see their opportunity to seize the high ground in their ongoing campaign to exterminate Israel by Jihad. The press this week has contained many articles voicing support for their application which would increase their standing in the world of Nation States. Every advance in Arab territory gives her rockets better range on Israeli cities causing the Prime Minister to say that if the boundaries were altered Israel would be indefensible.  It does not auger well for future relationships when the Arab leadership has stated publically it would not allow even one Jew to live within its borders. On the other hand Israel accepts the fact that one-fifth of its population is Arab (both Muslim and Christian). So will Palestine become the 194th UN State next week and will it make any difference? Those of us who read their Bibles will recognise the déjà vue nature of the problem. This struggle has been with us ever since God gave the “promised land” to His people Israel approaching 4,000 years ago. There was a period when Israel was in exile for 70 years in Old Testament times and again for many centuries since the sacking of Jerusalem in AD 70 her peoples have been scattered around the globe. Their ability to cling to their customs, language and help each other has enabled them to create wealth wherever they settled, usually incurring the wrath of the locals who found it hard to compete against them. Incredibly their Hebrew language has been retained as have their religious customs. At the annual Feast of the Unleavened Bread (Passover) there remains a vacant chair for Elijah who has to return before the Messiah comes. Sadly for them Elijah has already come in the form of John the Baptist (St Matthew chapter 17 verse 12) as the forerunner of the Messiah – Jesus. But just as their failure to recognise Jesus as Messiah resulted in the Good News coming to the Gentile Nations, St Paul predicts a turning of Israel to place their faith in Jesus (Romans chapter 11 verse 15) as one of the marks of the end times. Then their wailing wall of the Temple will become a praising wall! Will the UN recognition make any difference? Only if it is part of God’s plan. Will the fact of Jesus being the Messiah make a difference to you? Only if you trust Him.