Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.This is an amazing prophecy not only that Jerusalem, which was then in ruins, would become a burden to the whole world, but that all of Israel’s neighbors would be united against her. They have fought one another in the past. Yet today, for the first time in history, “all the people round about” are united by Islam to destroy Israel.
For more than 50 years, Israel’s neighbors have launched surprise attacks against her and she has proved too strong militarily, even though they outnumber her forty to one. God said, “I [will] make...Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood…and they shall devour all the people round about…” (Zech 12:6). Soundly defeated every time, her Muslim neighbors feign a desire for peace, hoping to deceive and ultimately destroy her—a strategy established by Muhammad.
The real battle is not between Arabs and Jews, but between Allah and Yahweh. There is no question of the outcome, but it will be costly for both sides: Israel will be severely punished for rebellion, and her enemies will be destroyed.
Exactly as foretold, Jerusalem is a burden to all people of the world. More than 60,000 individual votes have been cast in the UN against Israel. This tiny nation with one 1,000th of the world’s population has occupied one-third of the United Nations’ time—a burden indeed!
Skeptics accuse Christians of trying to fit current events to the Bible, claiming that no one recognized such prophecies until Israel was formed in 1948. On the contrary, for centuries most evangelical Christians have preached from the Bible the return of the Jews to their own land. Even John Owen, a leading Calvinist, wrote in the 17th century: “The Jews shall be gathered...into their homeland.” 1 This was also the opinion of the poet John Milton, of John Bunyan, Roger Williams, Oliver Cromwell, and many others.
Martin Luther wrote: “If the Jews are Abraham’s descendants…[they should be] back in their own land [with] a state of their own. But…[they are] scattered and despised.” 2 He therefore wrote off the Jews as God’s chosen people and persecuted them. But today the Jews are back in their own land after 2,500 years of being scattered worldwide, speaking Hebrew just as King David did 3,000 years ago. No other people have returned to reestablish their own nation and language after being cast out of their land for such a period of time.
Some prophecies applicable only to our day are frightening, foretelling God’s judgment. The language is often graphic:
If I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to mine enemies...my sword shall devour flesh… (Deut 32:41-42). For, behold, the LORD will come…to render his anger with fury...by his sword...(Isa 66:15,16). And the slain of the LORD shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other…they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried.... (Jer 25:33)
The question is often asked as to whether the United States (or Canada, Australia, et al.) is in Bible prophecy. Of course! Scripture declares that every nation in the world will join together to invade Israel in the last days and be destroyed in the battle of Armageddon: “I will gather all nations [surely all includes America] against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken….Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations…” (Zech 12:9; 14:2-4).
But wouldn’t the United States be spared for being Israel’s friend? In fact, the U.S. State Department has often been against Israel. This was true in the Yom Kippur War. In a sneak attack (October 1973), 80,000 Egyptians overwhelmed 500 Israeli defenders along the Suez and 1,400 Syrian tanks swept down the Golan with only one Israeli tank in service to oppose them. Israel was taken by surprise. Most of her armed forces were on holiday. The initial success of the attackers so electrified the Arab world that nine other Arab states rushed to get in on the slaughter.
Historian David A. Rausch writes: “Jordan’s King Hussein sent two of his best armored brigades to Syria. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait financially underwrote the huge cost while sending thousands of troops to fight the Israelis. Kuwait lent her British-made Lightning jets to Egypt. Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi turned over forty French-made Mirage III fighters and 100 tanks. Iraqi MiG fighter jets as well as tank and infantry divisions fought on the Golan Heights, while a squadron of Iraqi Hunter jets were utilized by Egypt. Arabs predicted the extermination of the Jewish state and the ‘liberation’ of Palestine....” 3
The Soviet Union blocked any UN attempt at a cease-fire and refortified the Arab forces with armaments and supplies by sea and air. It was the closest Israel ever came to being defeated. But when the war ended, the Israeli tank columns were on the outskirts of Damascus and Cairo and could have taken those cities had they not turned back. Tragically, Israel suffered about 3,000 dead—which would be comparable to the U.S. losing 150,000. Except for a series of miracles from God, Israel would not have survived.
Where was her friend, the United States? Dozens of notices were sent to the Nixon White House by America’s National Security Administration (NSA) that an Arab Pearl Harbor was about to be launched against Israel. Nixon sat on them. Kissinger hid at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York the day of the attack and waited another three days before convening the UN Security Council. Declining to rush desperately needed military supplies to Israel, the White House said it had to be careful not to upset the Arabs and cause an oil crisis.
Six years earlier, on June 8, 1967, the fourth morning of the “Six-day War,” the USS Liberty, an electronics eavesdropping vessel, arrived off the Sinai coast and began to suck in every Israeli military communication, relaying it all to the British Secret Service’s giant computer installation on Cyprus. From there, complete maps of every Israeli military move were transmitted in advance to the Arab armed forces. With that help, the Arabs might have been able to use their overwhelming numerical superiority to turn the tide of the war. Israel had no choice except to sink the Liberty. Of course the media screamed about this “cold-blooded attack.” No one believed Israel’s public excuse that the Liberty had been mistaken for a hostile Egyptian ship—and neither the U.S. nor Israel has publicly told the truth.
Yes, the United States, too, will attack Israel and will be punished at Armageddon. God declares plainly that He will bring all nations against Israel to destroy them:
In the latter days...I will bring thee against my land…my fury shall come up in my face…there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel…the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things [on] the earth, and all the men [on] the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence…[all nations] shall know that I am the Lord. (Eze 38:16-23)
This is terrifying language! What causes this “great shaking” of the entire planet and every living creature upon it? God is personally coming to earth as He did at Mount Sinai when He gave the Law—and He is going to take vengeance upon the enemies of Israel!
There are two specific reasons for God’s judgment: “I will also gather all nations ...into the valley of Jehoshaphat [between Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives, where God miraculously destroyed invading nations without Israel lifting a finger (2 Chr 21:10-25)], and will plead with [punish] them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have  scattered among the nations, and  parted my land” (Joel 3:2).
Of course, all nations have participated in persecuting and scattering the Jews from country to country for 2,500 years. The second reason for God’s judgment falling on all nations, however, is something that has only occurred within our generation: “they have…parted [divided] my land.”
Israel has been overrun by invaders many times—but never did any conqueror divide the land. The victor does not share its spoils with others. Since World War I, however, all nations have joined to divide the land of Israel.
The 1917 Balfour Declaration, the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, and the 1922 Declaration of Principles by the League of Nations all recognized that the land that had become known as “Palestine” (since the Romans renamed Israel in A.D. 135) belonged to the Jews. It was set aside to become the national homeland of the Jewish people “internationally guaranteed, and…formally recognized to rest upon ancient historic connection.” Of course, history ties Israel to all of “Palestine.”
Britain was given the mandate to see that the Jews were safely settled there. The discovery of huge reservoirs of oil under Arab lands caused Britain to keep Jewish immigrants out and let in tens of thousands of Arabs. Just when millions of Jews desperately needed a haven to which they could flee from Nazi Germany, Britain’s 1939 White Paper limited Jewish immigrants to 10,000 per year for a maximum of five years, plus an additional 25,000 “refugees” during that period—then the door to Palestine would be shut entirely to the Jews. Since the Nazis had marked for extinction 11 million Jews in Europe, the quota of 25,000 defied God and conscience.
A year earlier, President Roosevelt had gathered delegates from 32 countries in Evian, France, to discuss the worsening plight of the Jews. Roosevelt made it clear that the United States would do nothing. Britain said there was no room in Palestine and it was not to be discussed. Professing their great sympathy for Europe’s Jews that everyone knew were to be exterminated, the nations offered various excuses why they could do nothing to intervene.
Hitler shrewdly declared, “We...are ready to put all these criminals at the disposal of these countries...even on luxury ships.” When the conference ended with the Jews completely abandoned, Hitler mocked the participants: “It was recently regarded as wholly incomprehensible why Germany did not wish to preserve in its population...the Jews…[yet these] countries seem in no way anxious to [receive them] now that the opportunity offers.” The entire world was Hitler’s partner in destroying the Jews!
In 1944, Hitler offered to sell to the allies 500,000 Hungarian Jews for $2 each—and no one would take them! England said there was “no room” in Palestine for them! In 1943, Britain and America had agreed to say and do nothing about the Holocaust, fearful that if pressed, Hitler would dump the Jews on his critics. The Allies steadfastly refused the repeated urgent appeals from Jewish organizations to bomb the rail lines going in and out of the extermination camps. God will judge all nations!
After the war, a trickle of emaciated survivors of Hitler’s death machines sought to reach “Palestine” in half-sinking ships. Some who got within sight of the land God had given to them as an everlasting inheritance (1 Chr 16:15-18) were driven back by the British navy and put into internment camps on Cyprus. Many who did manage to find shelter within what would become the new Jewish State of Israel were rounded up by the British and removed to those camps. Britain created Jordan out of most of the Promised Land. The demise of the British Empire, upon which “the sun never sank,” can be counted from the time Britain betrayed the Jews—one more fulfillment of the prophecy, “I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee…” (Gen 12:3).
When the UN finally voted to partition Palestine on November 29, 1947 (UN Res. 181), God’s “chosen people” received about 13 percent of the land that had once belonged to them! Thus Joel’s prophecy was fulfilled that all nations would join to divide Israel. The only part of that prophecy remaining to be fulfilled is the judgment on the nations for having “parted” God’s land: “The land shall not be sold [partitioned] for ever; for the land is mine” (Lev 25:23).
God’s anger is growing hotter against the nations of this world for robbing Israel of what He gave to her. Yet in continued defiance of God, every peace proposal that the West has imposed upon Israel has involved further dividing of God's land. President Bush, a professing Christian, originated the so-called “road map to peace,” which calls for a further dividing of the land of Israel. He ought to tremble and repent, as should President Putin, the EU, and the UN, who have joined Bush to make up the “quartet” sponsoring this plan.
On her part, Israel has been willing to give away more and more land in exchange for promises of “peace” from the PLO in spite of the fact that its charter calls for the destruction of Israel and that its maps and those of the entire Arab world do not even acknowledge Israel’s existence. The fact that Israel has been forced to do so by the West is no excuse. For this she will be punished severely in what is called “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer 30:7). Yes, God will deliver her, but only after two-thirds of all Jews on earth have been killed (Zec 13:8,9).
There is no more appropriate place and way to destroy the nations that have abused Israel than when they, in the spirit of Satan, come to effect once and for all what Hitler called the “final solution to the Jewish problem.” Believers are to meet together to encourage and exhort one another from Scripture, “so much the more, as ye see the day [of judgment] approaching” (Heb 10:25). Fulfilled prophecies are heralding that day as never before.