What is God doing in the Middle East … Are you sure?
by Joseph Franks
Do you understand what God is doing in the Middle East? Can you read the divine tea leaves? Do you know what Scripture says regarding God’s plan for Israel, Syria, and Egypt?
Friends, please read the following passage taken from Scripture:
In that day there will be five cities in Israel that speak the language of Hebrew and swear allegiance to the Lord of hosts. One of these will be called the City of Destruction. In that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Israel, and a pillar to the Lord at its border. It will be a sign and a witness to the Lord of hosts in the land of Israel. When they cry to the Lord because of oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and deliver them. And the Lord will make himself known to the Israelites, and the Israelites will know the Lord in that day and worship with sacrifice and offering, and they will make vows to the Lord and perform them. And the Lord will strike Israel, striking and healing, and they will return to the Lord, and he will listen to their pleas for mercy and heal them. In that day there will be a highway throughout Israel and all the Israelites will worship together. In that day Israel will be the first over Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed be Israel my people, and Israel the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance.”
Isn’t this great. Aren’t you excited to see that which God is going to do for his chosen people? Israel is going to be preferred and elevated while all the other nations are going to be judged and dethroned. Aren’t you hungry to see this in your lifetime? Is this that for which you are praying?
However, there is a problem, and it is a huge problem! The passage of Scripture presented above has been completely altered. The words and the meaning have been totally changed. And though you may wish it to be true, it is not that which God presented through his inspired Hebrew prophet.
I now present to you the unadulterated passage of Scripture from Isaiah 19:18-25. This is the inspired and inerrant Word of God:
In that day there will be five cities in the land of Egypt that speak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the Lord of hosts. One of these will be called the City of Destruction. In that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the Lord at its border. It will be a sign and a witness to the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt. When they cry to the Lord because of oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and deliver them. And the Lord will make himself known to the Egyptians, and the Egyptians will know the Lord in that day and worship with sacrifice and offering, and they will make vows to the Lord and perform them. And the Lord will strike Egypt, striking and healing, and they will return to the Lord, and he will listen to their pleas for mercy and heal them. In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and Assyria will come into Egypt, and Egypt into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians. In that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance.”
Friends, in God’s eternal plan, he has chosen to share his Gospel to the Jew first (Romans 2:9), but he has not chosen to keep the Jew first. Perhaps Paul — the Hebrew, Christian, inspired, scholar — knew what he was talking about when he said, “In Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek.” (Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:11) God has one plan, one covenant people, one tree, one vine, one family, one kingdom, one priesthood, one army, one bride, and one church. National and ethnic distinctions hold no value in the eye of the Father.
So you may ask, “So what is happening in the Middle East today; what is God doing?” I think the best answer might be, “Who knows?” The King of kings causes nations to rise and fall according to his divine plan. As we look back in history, we see God has sovereignly predestined and providential cause the the United States to thrive and dominate. Therefore, understanding the sovereign omnipotence of God, we must surmise he sovereignly blessed Israel with statehood again in 1948. But will God allow Israel to dominate? Perhaps, God has allowed her to do so before; he could allow her to reign supreme again. However, the Almighty God has also decimated Israel due to her failure to worship him properly, and this too may be right around the corner since she refuses to acknowledge the Son. Bottom line, you cannot know that which God has in store for the nations; this includes the United States, Israel, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Libya, North Korea, Russia, and China.
But this you can know: God’s eternal plan is to build his kingdom with elect citizens from every tribe, nation, and tongue. The Kingdom of God is built amongst the kingdoms of men. With equal love, God adopts and adores the Assyrian worshiper, the Egyptian disciple, and the Messianic israelite who bows the knee and submits himself to Jesus Christ.
And this too you can know: According to scripture, all those from every tribe and nation who will not bow and kiss Jesus Christ, they are all in danger of God’s earthly and eternal wrath. (Psalm 2) The Father is angry with them every day (Psalm 7:11), and judgment is around the corner. And in the case of Israel, their location and ethnicity will not be of any assistance before the holy throne of God.
Therefore brothers and sisters, be careful in your promotion of the United States. The United States of America is not synonymous with God’s chosen people.
In addition, be careful in your promotion of Israel. He hates those who hate his Son, and right now they are characterized by such a religious position. Instead, let us promote the “true Israel” of God — (Galatians 6;16); those who are found in Christ Jesus.
Finally, be careful in swallowing all that is coming from your favorite television minister, book series, or study Bible. God has a plan for Israel, but according to Isaiah and Paul it is not that different than his plan for Assyrian and Egypt. Multi-ethnic worship is God’s intention, and he always gets that which he desires. Some day, you will be worshiping in paradise with Jew, Greek, and Arab brothers and sisters.