The Fires of Israel in Perspective
For the past eight years, Israel has endured uncommonly dry winters. Until December 1st, not a drop of rain had fallen in Northern Israel for eight months. Although most of the 1,773 fires that ravaged Northern Israel in late November had already been extinguished by thousands of firefighters with logistical assistance from the IDF and Israeli police, the rains brought a soothing soaking that doused smoldering embers.
A few weeks before that, heavy rains fell in central and southern Israel, but not in the north. Which is another reminder that the true and living God (that Scripture also calls the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and the God of Israel) ultimately determines when it rains, where it rains, and how much rain will fall.
Moreover, the Biblical paradigm of rainfall as a physical source and symbolic expression of God’s blessing is still applicable to Israel; a nation reborn from the floods of dispersion that began 2,000 years ago to and through the fires of Nazi death camps that, as horribly tragic as they were, signaled the end of God’s chastisement of Israel through Gentile nations. However, God’s withholding of rain can still be a means of getting Israel’s attention (indeed, the whole world) through the discipline of drought that may result in natural wildfires.
Whether the natural wildfires in northern Israel were directly from the Lord or not, one thing is excruciatingly evident: they were spitefully exacerbated by the intentional setting of dozens more fires by Palestinians and even Israeli Arabs who are citizens of Israel.
(One of Hundreds of Fires in Israel … This One Very Well Could Have Been Arson)
*Note: Later in today’s article, we’ll look at a something phenomenal that took place during these fires in Israel, under the heading of The Rest of the Story.
Here is quote from another chapter in the book of Deuteronomy (Chapter 11 was quoted in last week’s article):
“If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully keep all his commands that I am giving you today, the Lord your God will set you up high above all the nations of the world. You will experience all these blessings if you obey the Lord your God:
“Your towns and your fields will be blessed. Your children and your crops will be blessed … Your fruit baskets and breadboards will be blessed. Wherever you go and whatever you do, you will be blessed” (Deuteronomy 28:1-6).
“The Lord will give you prosperity in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you, blessing you with many children, numerous livestock, and abundant crops. The Lord will send rain at the proper time from his rich treasury in the heavens and will bless all the work you do…” (Verses 11-12).
Conversely, if the people refused to listen to the Lord your God (verse 15), then, “The skies above will be as unyielding as bronze, and the earth beneath will be as hard as iron. The Lord will change the rain that falls on your land into powder… The Lord will cause you to be defeated by your enemies… (Verses 23-25).
Are Nature’s Disasters Natural or Supernatural?
Here is an excerpt from last week’s Part I, Eye of Prophecy article:
One of the most perplexing dilemmas that people have encountered from time immemorial is whether or not natural disasters are just that, natural. Or are they supernatural in origin, i.e. the wrath of God?
Followed by a presupposition:
I believe the evidence in Scripture, both stated and implied (as experienced throughout history) is compellingly strong to propose this premise: The vast majority of disasters—hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, plagues of locusts, plagues of disease, floods, droughts, and wildfires—occur “naturally.”
Webster’s Dictionary defines naturally: “by nature; by natural character or ability; according to the usual course of things; as might be expected.”
I went on to say:
Which begs the question of whether or not God is directly involved in “natural disasters.” Putting it another way: Does he ever use the forces of nature to judge the ungodly and discipline his people? Does he occasionally cause or allow natural disasters to get our attention, to remind us that the Lord IS God. Or does he sometimes prevent natural catastrophes or limit the damage and casualties from them?
According to the Bible, the answer is a resounding, yes to all of these tough questions. But whatever reason applies to whatever calamity that occurs, the all-in-all answer is that God is ultimately sovereign over his creation. Because of the Lord’s grace, patience, and mercy, Scripture and practical experience show us that God only sparingly uses nature to get our attention. There are several examples, but only two will be cited. Both pertain to one of the main elements of God’s providential intrusion into the affairs of the human race. Which is: RAIN. Or the lack thereof.
First example: God’s stunning display of supernatural power by fire, followed immediately by rain that had not fallen at all for 3 ½ years in Israel. These exceptional events were accomplished through the prophet Elijah.
Second example: The Lord’s future withholding of rain on nations ( Zechariah 14) that refuse to attend the Festival of Shelters during the Millennial Reign Messiah Jesus, which begins after the Great Tribulation that follows the soon to come Rapture.
Also, a clarification mentioned last week:
Here we must characterize what is natural in terms and context of the how devastatingly significant man’s fall has had on nature. Since Adam and Eve’s fateful decision to disobey God followed by their expulsion from the perfect (natural) paradise of the Garden of Eden and especially since the Great Flood of Noah’s time, the earth has never been the same. This violent planet on which we live is under God’s curse, awaiting its final redemption (extreme makeover) along with the culmination of salvation for believers in Messiah Jesus … brand new eternal bodies.
Then toward the end of that article in the context of God getting Israel’s attention through natural disasters:
Am I saying that the tragic fires in Israel were directly from the Lord for that reason? No, I am not saying or even implying that. God is now protecting the Jews and Israel as never before, with allowance made that evil still exists and wicked people will do malicious things as graphically seen in the despicable acts of arson to make Israel burn even more.
Whether the Lord was in the fires or “not in the fires” by allowing nature to “run its course” is not necessarily ours to know. However, he certainly was not in or with the Palestinians to cause or condone their atrocious acts of arson.
What is of paramount importance is that Israel contemplates a possible correlation between the current drought and ensuing fires to realize that God does care about Israel and wants to, like never before, draw their attention to the coming Messiah. With an open-mind, open-heart realization that Messiah arrived two thousand years ago as the Lamb of God to give them God’s New Covenant of Grace through Jesus’s substitutionary death on the cross for sin. That his Second Coming will be that of the Lion from the Tribe of Judah to reign over and through Israel and the entire world from Jerusalem. That the earth will be purified by fire (II Peter 3).
The United States or any country would do well to take a hard look at natural disasters that strike areas of the country for possible correlation between recent or soon to be decisions of government, especially in the greater context of supporting Israel and the Jews or denigrating and delegitimizing them.
(Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Which Struck in Late August, 2005, During the Time That Nearly 10,000 Jews Were Evicted from the Gaza Strip at the Orders Of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Under Immense Pressure from the United States to Undertake the Eviction)
God’s Discipline of Israel
One more quote from last week’s article:
Through Biblical and post-Biblical times, God used Gentile nations to discipline his chosen people, the Jews and his special possession Israel even to the point of total conquest and exile, e.g. Assyria and Babylon, then the massive Diaspora at the hands of the Roman Empire after the Jews and Judaism had rejected their Messiah.
When that tragic destruction of Jerusalem, the Temple, and much of Israel took place in 70 A.D., the Jews were left without a country and without a national identity, although their racial and religious identity has miraculously survived against all odds. Yet one of the most heart-rending results of no Jewish homeland since Roman times is that six million Jews were mercilessly slaughtered by those who brazenly believed the Jews had no right to even exist on this earth. Because it was not yet time for God’s prophetic disciplinary affliction to run its full course, Jews (especially European Jews) were still under Gentile domination; and, for that reason, victimized like never before in their history.
Just three years later, Israel was triumphantly reborn as a sovereign nation, which signaled the beginning of the end of Gentile suppression of the Jews; culminating in the IDF’s resounding victory during the Six-Day War and recapture of their beloved city Jerusalem.
The tragedy of the second Temple’s destruction, followed by expulsion of the Jews from Israel (some six hundred years after their return from Babylonian exile) in 70 A.D. was prophesied by Messiah, Jesus himself … forty years before the Romans sacked Jerusalem.
“As Jesus was leaving the Temple grounds, his disciples pointed out to him the various Temple buildings. But he responded, ‘Do you see all these buildings? I tell you the truth, they will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another’” (Matthew 24:1-2).
Luke records the rest of this prophecy from Jesus: “Before long your enemies will build ramparts against your walls and encircle you and close in on you from every side. They will crush you into the ground, and your children with you. Your enemies will not leave a single stone in place, because you did not accept your opportunity for salvation” (Luke 19:43-44, italics for emphasis).
I realize it’s a source of angst and controversy to correlate the Jewish Diaspora—that led to massive persecution of the Jews through the diabolically distorted “Christian” (not true Christianity, but in name only) Crusades, Inquisitions, Pogroms, and finally the devastating Holocaust of the 20th century—to God’s withdrawal of protection from his people. Yet even many Rabbis have made that connection down through the years. The main difference of opinion is the cause. Whereas Jewish scholars and rabbis attribute Israel’s ruin in 70 A.D. to several factors, none of them acknowledge the Biblical fact that they rejected God’s New Covenant for them in general and the heart and soul of that Covenant of Grace, Jesus of Nazareth, specifically as their Messiah.
Read with me (aloud) this marvelous message about Messiah Jesus:
“In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it” (John 1:1-5).
Then a few verses later:
“He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God” (John 1:10-13).
Listen to Jesus’s passionate love for Israel, an unrequited love that grieved him greatly. But because he is the Son of God and God the Son, his is an everlasting love; one that will express itself yet again toward Jews individually and Israel nationally when he returns to save them from annihilation during the Great Tribulation. Jesus spoke these poignant words just before his prophesy about the Temple’s destruction, and he alluded to the Diaspora that would follow.
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me. And now, look, your home is abandoned and desolate. For I tell you this, you will never see me again until you say, ‘Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!’” (Matthew 23:37-39, italics to reference the expulsion of Jews from Israel beginning in 70 AD).
The Lord’s Punishment of Peoples and Nations Hostile Toward Israel
God also punished peoples and nations who went way too far in their extreme brutality and excessive cruelty while carrying out God’s plan to correct his chosen people and special possession, Israel. Which is the main reason that the mighty Assyrian, Babylonian, and Roman Empires came crashing down.
So also with the nation of Moab beginning with King Balak paying the prophet Balaam to curse Israel, only for God to intervene and providentially cause Balaam to bless Israel and curse Moab and Edom. In doing so, Balaam—though he didn’t really understand what he was doing or saying or the repercussions of it—uttered an astonishing prophecy of the coming Messiah:
“I see him, but not here and now. I perceive him, but far in the distant future. A star will rise from Jacob; a scepter will emerge from Israel. It will crush the foreheads of Moab’ people … while Israel marches on in triumph” (Numbers 24:17-18).
The Bible is clear that the Lord has and will continue to harshly judge those nations that bash Israel physically and verbally, that celebrate her calamities even if they don’t directly participate in harmful exploits against Israel.
For example, the ancient nation of Edom whose people were descendants of Jacob’s twin brother Esau; a nation that was emblematic of all countries that seek Israel’s destruction.
“Because of the violence you did to your close relatives in Israel, you will be filled with shame and destroyed forever. When they were invaded, you stood aloof, refusing to help them. Foreign invaders carried off their wealth and cast lots to divide up Jerusalem, but you acted like one of Israel’s enemies. You should not have gloated when they exiled your relatives to distant lands. You should not have rejoiced when the people of Judah suffered such misfortune. You should not have spoken arrogantly in that terrible time of trouble” (Obadiah 1:10-12).
Then a message to all nations of the earth concerning Israel:
“The day is near when I, the Lord, will judge all godless nations! As you have done to Israel, so it will be done to you. All your evil deeds will fall back on your own heads. Just as you swallowed up my people on my holy mountain, so you and the surrounding nations will swallow the punishment I pour out on you. Yes, all you nations will drink and stagger and disappear from history” (Obadiah 1:15-16).
Regarding the theme of last week’s and this week’s Eye of Prophecy articles, let’s read on in Obadiah:
“But Jerusalem will become a refuge for those who escape; it will be a holy place. And the people of Israel will come back to reclaim their inheritance. The people of Israel will be a raging fire, and Edom a field of dry stubble. The descendants of Joseph will be a flame roaring across the field, devouring everything…” (Verse 17-18).
“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: My jealous anger burns against these nations, especially Edom, because they have shown utter contempt for me by gleefully taking my land for themselves as plunder” (Ezekiel 36:5).
In the context of the recent fires and their cause and effect, much more could be said about this divine principle of Gentile blessing and cursing Israel (as has been said in some previous Eye of Prophecy articles), but I’ll limit commentary to the following precautionary warning:
Beware you who would seek Israel’s demise by burning the very land on which the Lord has allowed you to live, through occupation of Judea and Samaria which are clearly part of the Promised Land (Israel) given by God’s divine title deed to his people. Think again before you vainly attempt to enforce your false god Allah’s commands to subjugate and kill the Jews. The (fire) pit you dig will be the pit in which you will fall. The flames of the fires you ignite to burn Jewish houses, businesses, orchards, farms, and fields (that otherwise would not have burned) will blow back to your dwellings. This divine principle is a matter of Biblical truth and historical reality evidenced time after time by the fall of peoples, nations, and empires who sought Israel’s annihilation and elimination of the Jewish people from the face of the earth.
You would do well not to defy the God of Israel, who is the Father of Messiah Yeshua; the one whose soon return will be to right all wrongs against his people. His people are the descendants of Abraham, and God’s covenant with Abraham will be honored and forever fulfilled (already in progress), which is: “For I will gather you up from all the nations and bring you home again to your land” (Ezekiel 36:24).
His people are also those who have been redeemed (Jew and Gentile alike) through the New Covenant of Grace.
“For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us … He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups” (Ephesians 2:14-15).
*Note: To reinforce the above three paragraphs, Psalm 2 will be quoted at the end of this article under the heading that concludes all Eye of Prophecy articles, Things to Ponder.
Rain and Fire
Here is one more excerpt from last week’s post that was under the caption of Rain is Life:
No rain; no water or replenishing of water. No water; no crops or fewer crops. No crops; no food for people and animals. No food for animals; no meat for people. Our life and existence on this planet depend on adequate rainfall.
Lack of rain can lead to abnormally dry conditions or debilitating drought. Which can result in something even worse: famine. Drought can also contribute to massive wildfires.
Whether it’s through steady global warming or through natural earthly cycles, the tender-dry environment that exist on much of this globe—some temporary, others permanent or showing signs of perpetual parchedness—we need to keep one thing in mind. God universally judged mankind the first time by water. The second and final time will be through fire.
“Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. They will say, ‘What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.’
“They deliberately forget that God made the heavens by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water. Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood. And by the same word, the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed” (II Peter 3:5-7).
And, “…On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames. But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness” (Verses 12-13).
Does that mean that every wild fire—whether in Israel or the United States or elsewhere in the world—comes from the hand of God for the purpose of judgment or discipline? Of course not, for the reasons we’ve covered in these two articles. In fact, just the right amount of fire in a forest is a good thing … it purifies the land and makes the land more fertile for future growth.
The Rest of the Story
There is more to this sad story of the massive damage caused by the fires in Israel; made wretchedly worse by dozens of fires deliberately started by those who hate Jews and Israel so much they would even risk the flames spreading to their own homes and shops.
The rest of the story is both incredible and prophetic in its application to the imminent return of Messiah. I’m referring to the outpouring of both sentiment and assistance from many nations … that amazingly included those who have been enemies or critics of Israel.
As anticipated, the United States sent help in the form of a giant airplane specially designed with a huge tank for dumping water and fire retardants on fires. Also men and material were dispatched from other friendly countries (to Israel) such as: Spain, the United Kingdom, Canada, Cyprus, Azerbaijan, Greece, and the Ukraine.
But most unlikely of all: those who have been antagonistic toward Israel and Jews for decades including, but not limited to, support of United Nations sanctions against Israel. Yes, even the following nations sent personnel and/or equipment to Israel to combat the fires: Russia, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Croatia, and Italy.
That’s not all. Are you sitting down, so as not to fall from shock and disbelief? Good, then I’ll tell you who else provided assistance to Israel.
The Palestinians through the Palestinian Authority as ordered by their President Mahmoud Abbas sent eight fire trucks and personnel alongside Jewish men, women, and equipment to fight the fires!
Why on earth would Abbas do such a thing? Before giving you the apparent motives on a cynical, but nevertheless historically accurate level, I would be the first to thank the Palestinians for doing something they’ve never done in the past nor probably ever will again this side of eternity.
I believe there were two reasons for this extraordinarily unexpected gesture: (1) The Palestinian Authority’s desire to placate international concern over arson used as a form of terrorism. The gruesome fact that fire knows no boundaries and doesn’t distinguish between its victims is something the whole world understands. (2) For the second part of reason number one, Mahmoud Abbas didn’t want the fires spreading into the West Bank. Given his persistent incitement of his own people to terrorize Israelis, I’m sure he would have preferred they continue with the knife, shooting, and car-ramming intifada tactics.
There’s already talk whether or not Abbas will extend his policy of monthly stipends to the families of Palestinian terrorists incarcerated in Israeli prisons, to Palestinians convicted of arson in these recent fires.
And what about nations such as Russia, Turkey, Egypt, and Jordan that are still, to a large extent in terms of their majority populace, hostile toward Jews in general and Israel in particular? At one time or another, these nations have directly caused or indirectly contributed (through funding terrorist groups or supporting nations that host terrorist cells) to the death and injury of Israelis particularly since Israel became a state again in 1948.
This fire-fighting aid to Israel is part of the broader context of what has recently taken place between Israel and a few nations of the world, including former adversaries like the nations listed and others like Saudi Arabia and several African nations. One glaring exception is, of course, Iran; whose hatred of Israel will never cease or change.
At face value, this recent restoration to some extent or another of diplomatic relations between Israel and nations normally antagonistic towards her doesn’t track with end time’s Biblical prophecy of the Gog/Magog assault against Israel, followed by the massive campaign of Antichrist Nero and his ten-nation confederation march on Israel. Nonetheless, many nations are beginning to recognize Israel’s ascendancy in the global arena of politics, industry, science, medicine, agriculture, and computer and cellular technology … but first and foremost, Israel’s military capability.
Then, when we remember the conditions that will be in place when these monstrous attacks on Israel take place, we can only marvel at the amazing accuracy of the Bible. For you see, before the Gog/Magog (involving principally Russia, Iran, and Turkey) invasion of Israel begins, there will be a (false) sense of peace and security in Israel. This is made possible primarily through the seven-year treaty that Antichrist Nero will orchestrate between Israel and mostly Arab nations. Preceded by the current conditions of the aforementioned nations cozying up to Israel, but with ulterior motives
See Eye of Prophecy article, The Peace Treaty That Will Guarantee War (Posted 9-3-16).
First Russia and her cohorts will seek to destroy Israel, only to be vanquished by God himself. Then Antichrist Nero will break the treaty after 3 ½ years; he, too, will launch a massive assault against other nations with his main objective of conquering Israel. That is when Messiah Jesus will return physically to earth and rescue Israel from obliteration. However, this time the Jews will fight alongside Messiah.
These campaigns will take place when Israel thinks she is the most secure, especially after God soundly defeats the Gog/Magog horde of nations. That attack will surprise the Jews, but not as much as Antichrist breaking the treaty and suddenly turning on Israel halfway through the Tribulation.
Here is an excerpt from Eye of Prophecy article, The Gog Magog Countdown Has Begun! (Published 9-10-16); preceded by a detailed account of the remarkable diplomatic relations recently advanced between Russia and Iran, Russia and Turkey, Turkey and Iran, and most startling of all: Israel’s increasingly close ties with Russia and Turkey (in italics):
The remarkable reality that Israel has suddenly and dramatically improved her standing with a diverse array of nations, most of which were (and still are to varying degrees) staunch opponents to the existence of a Jewish State, fits precisely into our prophecy of the day … the Gog/Magog attack against Israel. These maneuvers for peace between Israel and adversarial Islamic nations will pave the way for The Treaty to End All Treaties!
That treaty effected by Antichrist Nero soon after the Rapture will not only bring together two ancient enemies (Jews and Arabs); it will also defuse hostilities of other nations toward Israel … even Iran.
But only for a short time!
Because at that time, which is just around the corner, Russia, Turkey, Iran and other lesser nations will, “swoop down on the land of Israel … You (Gog) and all your allies—a vast and awesome army—will roll down on them like a storm and cover the land like a cloud” (Ezekiel 38:8-9).
This massive Gog/Magog invasion of Israel will be a direct “shock and awe” aftermath of: The Rapture disappearance of hundreds of millions from planet Earth (shock). Then the spectacular reappearance of Nero Caesar from the Abyss and his impressive treaty with Israel and the nations (awe).
World Opinion is Volatile
People all over the world, particularly those in “populist movements” (which is who and what got Donald Trump elected) are slowly but surely beginning to realize that Palestinian terrorism against Jews in Israel is born out of ancient hatred, not so-called Israeli occupation of or a few settlements in the West Bank. They are growing tired of the incessant Muslim rhetoric against Israel, especially the absurd Palestinian allegations that Temple Mount belongs to the Arabs with the equally inane assertion that the Jewish temples never existed on Temple Mount. Or that other Jewish sacred sites such as the Cave (Tomb) of the Patriarchs belong to Arabs. There is also rising international criticism against the pernicious BDS movement designed to disenfranchise and degrade Israel economically.
Make no mistake: the end time’s prophecies that many nations will march against Israel will certainly come to pass. Such as one of the most well-known Biblical passages tells us:
“This message concerning the fate of Israel came from the Lord: ‘This message is from the Lord, who stretched out the heavens, laid the foundations of the earth, and formed the human spirit. I will make Jerusalem like an intoxicating drink that makes the nearby nations stagger when they send their armies to besiege Jerusalem and Judah. On that day I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock. All the nations will gather against it to try to move it, but they will only hurt themselves’” (Zechariah 12:1-3).
(The World’s Attention is On Israel … But They Don’t Know What To Do About Israel!)
But first there will be a semblance of peace in Israel and between Israel and several nations, even those that deplore the Jews. This treaty orchestrated by Antichrist Nero shortly after the Rapture will lead to the rebuilding of the Third Temple. It will cement cooperation between Israel and her enemies that has recently taken place through the remarkable diplomatic relations fostered between Israel and Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Russia, India, Greece, Cyprus, and several African nations.
The astonishingly unforeseen assistance given by these nations to fight the fires in Israel is another remarkable fulfillment of Biblical prophecy. For it is a prelude to the Gog Magog invasion of Israel that will occur in the first year or so of the seven-year treaty (The Tribulation period).
The enticement for Russia, Turkey, Iran, and other smaller nations to invade Israel—followed by the breaking of the treaty and even more massive assault against Israel led by the ten-nation coalition of Antichrist—will be conciliatory conditions created by this sudden reversal of animosity toward Israel to that of tolerance and even cooperation with Israel. This climate of collaboration has taken place recently and rapidly. As have many other developments that convincingly demonstrate we are so very close to the Day of the Lord.
“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: At that time evil thoughts will come to your mind, and you will devise a wicked scheme. You will say, ‘Israel is an unprotected land filled with unwalled villages! I will march against her and destroy these people who live in such confidence! I will go to those formerly desolate cities that are now filled with people who have returned from exile in many nations. I will capture vast amounts of plunder, for the people are rich with livestock and other possessions now. They think the whole world revolves around them!’” (Ezekiel 38:10-12).
“Therefore, son of man, prophesy against Gog. Give him this message from the Sovereign Lord: When my people are living in peace in their land, then you will rouse yourself. You will come from your homeland in the distant north…” (Verses 14-15).
Things to Ponder
As indicated earlier in the context of people and rulers of nations who would defy God and seek to destroy the Jews through whom the Lord has brought salvation to the entire world, listen to these words of warning from King David:
“Why are the nations so angry? Why do they waste their time with futile plans? The kings of the earth prepare for battle; the rulers plot together against the Lord and against his anointed one. ‘Let us break their chains,’ they cry, ‘and free ourselves from slavery to God.’
“But the one who rules in heaven laughs. The Lord scoffs at them. Then in anger he rebukes them, terrifying them with his fierce fury. For the Lord declares, ‘I have placed my chosen king on the throne in Jerusalem, on my holy mountain.’
“The king proclaims the Lord’s decree: The Lord said to me: ‘You are my son. Today I have become your Father. Only ask, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the whole earth as your possession. You will break them with an iron rod and smash them like clay pots.’
“Now then, you kings, acts wisely! Be warned, you rulers of the earth! Serve the Lord with reverent fear, and rejoice with trembling. Submit to God’s royal son, or he will become angry, and you will be destroyed in the midst of all your activities—for his anger flares up in an instant. But what joy for all who take refuge in him!” (Psalm 2:1-12).
Regarding God’s Royal Son:
“… Jesus Christ. He is the faithful witness to these things, the first to rise from the dead, and the ruler of all the kings of the world. All glory to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for us. He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.
“Look! He comes with the clouds of heaven. And everyone will see him—even those who pierced him. And all the nations of the world will mourn for him. Yes! Amen!” (Revelation 1:5-7).