“The tail wagging the dog!”
This clever quip appeared sometime in the 19th century.
It’s a funny picture. The tail is in high gear and seems to wag the rest of the dog. As if the tail is telling the head what to do.
It’s one of many idioms that reduces what can sometimes be a complicated issue into an image that simplifies the situation and enhances our understanding.
From the Free Dictionary, one of the meanings of the tail wagging the dog: “The smallest or least important part of something in control of the larger or more important elements, a reversal of typical roles or dynamics of power.”
Occasionally, individuals, businesses, communities, cities, states, and entire nations could be or have been accused of being the tail wagging the dog. And others have viewed themselves as either heads or tails (or both) depending upon certain conditions, including what is occasionally perceived as chance, i.e. the proverbial flip of the coin—heads or tails. Meaning circumstances and (historical) developments beyond their control.
Modern-Day Israel … Head or Tail?
I pose this question in the context of Israel’s 71-year contemporary history. For much of that time geopolitical experts, heads of state, the common person, and entire nations have been fixated on the Middle East in general and Israel in particular. Rarely is anyone or any government neutral about Israel.
Most people and nations have judged Israel and/or Jews throughout the rest of the world to be the tail wagging the dog. That considering Israel’s small size and population, she exerts a disproportionate influence over world affairs. But then whose problem is that? Israel’s? Diaspora Jews? Or could it be the attitude of those who incessantly and unreasonably find fault with a people who swore, “Never again.”
A people of whom six million were slaughtered by Hitler’s Third Reich. From the floods of dispersion and the fires of Nazi death camps, Israel was reborn as a sovereign nation in May 1948. Consequently, they began to return in great numbers to a small slice of land on this planet as promised by the true and living God of the Bible. This time they would never be driven from the Promised Land again. Those who doubt and even despise that fact are in denial of reality (facts on the ground) and of the astounding accuracy of Biblical prophecy.
In just one generation (70 years), Israel has flourished beyond anyone’s wildest dreams—agriculturally, commercially, geopolitically, and militarily. Just as God said would happen in the last days of the end times. And would only get better during the soon-to-come majestic Millennial reign of Messiah Jesus (upon his return).
“The time will come, says the Lord, when the grain and grapes will grow faster than they can be harvested. Then the terraced vineyards on the hills of Israel will drip with sweet wine! I will bring my exiled people of Israel back from distant lands, and they will rebuild their ruined cities and live in them again. They will plant vineyards and gardens; they will eat their crops and drink their wine. I will firmly plant them there in their own land. They will never again be uprooted from the land I have given them, says the Lord your God” (Amos 9:13-15, emphasis added).
(One of many vineyards in Israel)
Yes, the world has been mesmerized with and by Israel for decades. It has been a progressive preoccupation, getting stronger by the year.
The following is an excerpt from the beginning of Eye of Prophecy article, Global Obsession with Israel … In Biblical Proportions! (posted 1-6-18), in italics:
The World’s OCD over Israel
Obsession: “a persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often-unreasonable idea or feeling” (Webster’s Dictionary).
The persistent unreasonable idea or feeling harbored by Israel’s enemies and even by her (few and far between) friends is whether Israel and especially Israel’s capital Jerusalem truly belongs to the Jews. Or are the Jews “occupying” Jerusalem and other parts of Israel?
Obsessive: “excessive often to an abnormal degree … need for quick solutions.”
The entire planet is demanding urgent resolution to Israel’s problems, even though the core of these issues is at least three thousand years in the making.
Compulsion: “an irresistible impulse to perform an irrational act.” The compulsive agenda of many world leaders is to impulsively (bordering on the irrational) fix Israel. Their faulty premise: If they can fix Israel and solve Jerusalem’s status, then the entire Middle East can be fixed in some fashion or another.
As the first Eye of Prophecy article for a new year, there is no more fitting topic than the world’s fanatical focus on the tiny state of Israel, smaller in population than many cities on earth. It is political, racial, religious, and social OCD (Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder) on steroids and on a truly global scale. Since her rebirth as a sovereign state in 1948, no nation on earth has received more world-wide attention as has Israel. It is mind-boggling.
…Even within nations there is a growing polarity between such things as globalism and populism.
However, when it comes to Israel, the vast majority of otherwise disunited nations of the world have set aside their differences in a common cause that is glaringly and transparently anti-Israel. It is a unified agenda against the one and only Jewish state in the world, with only a handful of nations showing overt support for Israel. In both form and substance, it is a global conspiracy that defies all that is logical, reasonable, and moral. It is peer pressure at its worst. It is so very wrong.
Consequently, the Psalmist pleaded with the Lord:
“O God do not be silent! Do not be deaf. Do not be quiet, O God. Don’t you hear the uproar of your enemies? Don’t you see that your arrogant enemies are rising up? They devise crafty schemes against your people; they conspire against your precious ones. ‘Come,’ they say, ‘let us wipe out Israel as a nation. We will destroy the very memory of its existence’” (Psalm 83:1-4).
You can count on it! The Lord has heard the incessant threats of the nations against Israel. He has seen the dozens of UN Resolutions against Israel that are shamefully unfounded (based on ignorance or deliberate denial of Israel’s true historical right to the Promised Land), far outnumbering those against truly rogue nations like North Korea, Iran, Yemen, and Syria.
As indicated, that article was the first of a new year (2018). However, regarding the disposition of many nations toward Israel, things have changed dramatically in the last two years.
Since then, President Trump on behalf of the United States has recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights and more recently, Judea Samaria—also known as the West Bank. (See Eye of Prophecy article: Jewish Settlements in Judea/Samaria … Are They Illegal? Posted 11-23-19. Also, Palestine or Israel? Which Is It? Your Answer May Be in Jeopardy! Posted 1-18-20).
Just last week, another global geopolitical earthquake (event) prophetically shook the status quo and will shape the remaining (short) time before the Rapture takes place. As well as what happens not long after the Rapture … the Gog/Magog invasion of Israel.
On January 27th & 28th, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu along with his main political rival, Benny Gantz of the Blue and White party of Israel met with U.S. President Donald Trump. Key executive staff members, heads of state from three Arab nations, and other diplomats attended this historic session in the White House, at which time President Trump unveiled the political phase of his “Deal of the Century.”
(US President Trump and Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu during the Deal of the Century meeting in the White House)
Shortly we’ll examine some of the extraordinary elements and repercussions of this plan. One that is a dramatic departure from the roadmaps for peace paradigms of the past.
Though there were other factors, each of these peace plans of the past had two basic things in common: (1) Demand for Israel’s return to pre-1967 Six Day War armistice lines (not borders). (2) Israel’s exchange (relinquishing) of land for peace. A peace that the Palestinians don’t want in the first place because they want the entire state of Israel as their own. Preferably all at once but would settle for one piece of Israel at a time, and because they still refuse to recognize the sovereign Jewish State of Israel.
The Head and Not the Tail
Did you know that the God of the Bible referred to Israel in terms of “head and tail?” A word picture that would portray Israel throughout her mostly troubled past but also her triumphant present and glorious future.
Listen to God’s Word given through Moses. The setting is the Hebrews (2nd generation) camped on the east bank of the Jordan River, poised to enter the Promised Land and if/when necessary do battle with their enemies.
“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. You will lend to many nations, but you will never need to borrow from them” (Deuteronomy 28:11-12).
Several times before and after this passage, Moses emphasized the conditions required of God’s chosen people in order to prosper in the land that would be called Israel. In fact, their very presence (remaining) in the Promised Land, as opposed to defeat and eventual exile at the hands of their enemies, was predicated on trusting and obeying the Lord.
For example: “If you listen to these regulations and faithfully obey them, the Lord your God will keep his covenant of unfailing love with you, as he promised with an oath to your ancestors. He will love you and bless you, and he will give you many children. He will give fertility to your land and your animals … You will be blessed above all the nations of the earth…” (Deuteronomy 7:12-14a).
The Lord also reminded Israel why they were the chosen people and why he had given them the region known as Canaan: To dwell in the Promised Land in perpetuity from where and through whom (the Jews) Messiah would come … as later expounded by the prophets. As follows:
“…don’t say in your hearts, ‘The Lord has given us this land because we are such good people! No, it is because of the wickedness of the other nations that he is pushing them out of your way. It is not because you are so good or have such integrity that you are about to occupy their land. The Lord your God will drive these nations out ahead of you only because of their wickedness, and to fulfill the oath he swore to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. You must recognize that the Lord your God is not giving you this good land because you are good, for you are not—you are a stubborn people” (Deuteronomy 9:4-6).
However, in other passages God told his people that he loved them with an everlasting love—an unconditional love that would eventually result in complete fulfillment of his covenant with Abraham, i.e. the Jews forever possessing the Promised Land of Israel.
ALL OF ISRAEL!
Including Judea and Samaria!!
For example: “For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon you or destroy you (meaning permanently, though both of these occurred as a means of God’s discipline of Israel) or forget the solemn covenant he made with your ancestors (Abrahamic Covenant)” (Deuteronomy 4:31, parenthesis mine).
Now let’s read about the head and the tail.
“If you listen to these commands of the Lord your God that I am giving to today, and if you carefully obey them, the Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you will always be on top and never at the bottom. You must not turn away from any of the commands I am giving you today, nor follow after other gods and worship them” (Deuteronomy 28:13-14).
During the next 300 years or so, aptly called the time of the Judges, Israel was alternately the head and the tail. Sometimes at the top, sometimes beneath other nations. When Israel fell into complacency or outright sin (worshipping those man-made gods), their enemies defeated and ruled them. When Israel sincerely repented and seriously sought the Lord, he raised up judges to deliver his people … like Deborah, Gideon, and Samson.
Not until the reigns of King David and King Solomon did Israel become the most powerful nation on earth. Israel was not the tail wagging the dog; indeed, they were not even the tail. They were the head. Moreover, the peoples and nations that favored Israel were themselves successful and blessed.
A God-given principle that has been relevant to this very day.
Sadly, Israel as a nation eventually abandoned her God-given heritage and faith; to the extent that most kings, prophets, and priests (and many of the common people) fell into rampant immorality, corruption, and idolatry. What happened to Israel is exactly what God said would happen, beginning with Moses’ prophecies and continuing with Isaiah, Jeremiah, and other prophets, though the Lord was patient with Israel for hundreds of years.
The residual result was God withdrawing his protection and allowing Assyria to conquer the ten northern tribes (722 B.C.). Then Babylon vanquishing the two southern tribes, Judah and Benjamin, in 586 B.C. The remnant in Israel remained a nation, albeit a shattered one.
Israel—A Modern Prototype
First, let me state with a great deal (pun intended) of confidence and authority (directly from Scripture) that Israel of the 21st century is once again a head and not a (the) tail. Nor is it—other than in the perception of Muslim countries and western nations that blindly support the Palestinian narrative—the tail wagging the dog. In the sense that Israel intentionally tries to exert far more influence that it should on the rest of the world. Rather, it is nations all over the globe that focus undue attention on Israel, mostly because they have had an (unrealistic) agenda against Israel. And, frankly, because many are jealous of Israel’s success.
Despite the inexplicable and even irrational animosity of so many people and nations (anti-Semitism and BDS), Israel’s stature among the family of nations has gradually improved over the past 50 years. But not until the recent Deal of the Century has Israel’s position been so prominent, even among a few Arab nations which not that long ago would have emphatically denounced such a deal. To the point of dismissing it out-of-hand as the Palestinians (and two Muslim nations that are not Arabic—Turkey and Iran) did both before and after the plan was released in full.
A few days before and in anticipation of U.S. President Trump’s Deal of the Century, well-known author Caroline Glick posted an article in the online news source Israel Hayom, entitled Sovereign or beggar—it’s Israel’s choice to make.
In the article, she contrasted Israel’s heretofore foreign policy “beggar” paradigm (status) which was a direct result of several Israeli leaders succumbing to world opinion that Israel was a “pariah state.” That Israel must make whatever concessions necessary to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians. This mindset was due to the United States and most European nations endorsing the Palestinian assertions that Israelis were “occupying Palestinian territories” which has no basis whatsoever in reality. I’ve written about this extensively, with much documentation to demonstrate that there is no such thing as “Palestine” or “Palestinian territories” or Israeli “occupation” of land that has belonged to the Jews for over 3,000 years.
The ill-fated Oslo Accord of 1993-1995 was a direct derivative of this belief that the Israelis were in the wrong, especially concerning Judea and Samaria. Which is why this “beggar” mentality (to appease the Palestinians and flawed world-opinion) also led to former Israeli Prime Ministers Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert making outrageous offers for Palestinian control of 97% of Judea/Samaria (West Bank) in 2000 and 2008 respectively, which would have created a serious security problem for Israelis Jews. Fortunately for Israel, the Palestinians rejected both offers which could have led to a Palestinian State with the eastern part of Jerusalem as their capital.
Caroline Glick offered this astute comparison: “The beggar paradigm was the basis for Israel’s foreign policy from 1992 until 2009, when it was exchanged for another one. That alternative paradigm should rightly be called the Sovereignty paradigm. The Sovereignty paradigm is the model championed by (Israeli Prime Minister) Netanyahu. At its core is the assumption that Israel’s strength is the key to its success. The Sovereignty paradigm asserts that Israeli strength is what attracts foreign powers to work with it in ways that advance its economic, diplomatic and military interests…”
No longer will the Jews need to make unnecessary concessions of “land for peace.” What kind of deal is that in the first place? Offering land that belongs to Israel just so the Palestinians will stop murdering Jews is, indeed, negotiating or operating from a “beggarly” position. That all ended with Trump’s Deal of the Century—whether the Palestinians accept it or not.
If considered in proportional terms—Israel’s miniscule land mass and population compared to many countries—Israel is head and shoulders above most nations. There’s no arrogance or exaggeration in that statement; it’s what’s been happening in Israel for the past several decades.
Israeli/Jewish inventions and stunning advancements in water conservation, scientific research, state of the art technology, agricultural accomplishments, achievement in the arts (particularly movie and T.V. actors, directors and producers), business and industry, and medicine; exponentially exceed the proportional Jewish population in Israel (6.9 million) or world-wide (15 million).
Do you have a cell/smart phone in your hand? An irrigation drip system for your lawn? Delicious cherry tomatoes on your plate? You can thank the Jews for those and many more inventions and improvements. Nobel peace prizes awarded to Jews far outnumber proportionately any other peoples on the planet.
(Over 900 Nobel peace prizes awarded internationally of which 20% went to Jews, who comprise just 0.2% of world’s population)
Deal of the Century
Since Donald Trump’s time in office, he has made some dramatic decisions that have profoundly impacted the Middle East and Israel. Each of them generated predictable reactions both for and against, depending on whether you’re an Arab or a Jew; your point of view concerning Israeli sovereignty over all or just part of Israel; and your knowledge of Israel’s real history, both ancient and contemporary.
He reaffirmed the obvious: Jerusalem always has been and still is the eternal capital of the nation-state of Israel. Then he ordered the U.S. Embassy moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He officially supported Israel’s autonomous rights to the Golan Heights as a matter of national security, having several times been attacked from that region by her enemies. Likewise, that the Israelis have ultimate sovereign rights in Judea and Samaria—the very heartland of Israel—with the understanding that Arab Palestinians also have jurisdiction over designated areas (A & B) of that region.
Each of these official declarations by President Trump on behalf of the United States of America is hugely significant. They meet standards set forth by God himself regarding Israel’s position in the family of nations. With a composite conclusion that Israel is (as she was in King David’s time) once again the head and not the tail. It is a Biblical principle that when individuals, groups, and nations bless Israel (support, promote, befriend, defend), they, too, will be blessed (acknowledged, rewarded) by the true and living God (Genesis 12:1-3).
And now, we have the Deal of the Century, which provides proposals that can benefit Israelis and Palestinians alike. Although it’s highly unlikely that the Palestinians will agree to even one, let alone all the points of this deal, the plan itself is prophetically pertinent and powerful.
In the greater context of God’s two-fold plan for humanity (first, the Promised Land of Israel as a perpetual possession of his chosen people; second, the New Covenant of Redemptive Grace through the Messiah—the very Son of God), the Jewish Apostle Paul writes under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit:
“Did God’s people stumble and fall beyond recovery? Of course not! They were disobedient, so God made salvation available to the Gentiles. But he wanted his own people to become jealous and claim it for themselves. Now if the Gentiles were enriched because the people of Israel turned down God’s offer of salvation (by nationally rejecting their Messiah, Jesus, although many in the first century and many more in the 20th & 21st century have accepted him), think how much greater a blessing the world will share when they finally accept it” (Romans 11:11-12, emphasis added, parenthesis mine).
Personal Note: I sometimes cringe at President’s Trump’s off-the-wall comments (mostly through tweets) that are often rude and crude. By now, however, it’s clear that he’s not your typical politician. I’ve voted for Presidents since 1964 and studied other presidents who served throughout our nation’s history. I cannot recall a single U.S. President who has kept his candidacy promises (plus more) like President Trump. No matter what you think of him, he has boldly stood with Israel in direct opposition to most of the world. Whether he fully understands or even believes the Biblical prophecies is not all that relevant; the fact remains that God is providentially using him to accomplish those promises. Just like God used King Cyrus and King Artaxerxes in ancient times to rebuild the Jewish Temple and the Walls of Jerusalem.
Here are (most of) the key points of the Deal of the Century:
- Although all Judea and Samaria (aka West Bank) belong to Israel, the proposal recognizes Israel’s prerogative to officially annex about 30% of this region, which comprises about 50% of Area C where most of the nearly 500,000 Jews already reside.
- Israel maintains complete control of an undivided Jerusalem.
- No settlements, either Israeli or Palestinian, would be uprooted anywhere in Judea and Samaria. However, Israelis would not be permitted to develop new communities in Judea/Samaria for four years—the same amount of time allotted to Palestinians to meet conditions required of them.
- Those conditions are primarily: final recognition of Israel’s right to exist; disarming of Hamas in the Gaza Strip; cessation of inciting (through textbooks and rhetoric in general) Palestinian terrorism; stop rewarding (paying) terrorists and/or their families for acts of terrorism against Israeli Jews.
- If, after four years, a Palestinian State is formed, its capital can be located on the perimeter of East Jerusalem, outside the Israeli security force. A US Embassy would be placed there.
- In a previous partial release of the Deal of the Century (June 2019), 50 billion dollars of aid would be provided (from several sources) for the Palestinians to create vital infrastructure necessary to support a Palestinian state.
- Israel would maintain protective control of the Jordan Valley including areas of Palestinian settlements. In fact, this security would extend across Israel to the Mediterranean.
- Some Israeli land in southwest Israel (Negev) along the Mediterranean coast would be given to Palestinians to equal the land mass had the pre-1967 armistice lines been used for the boundaries of a Palestinian State.
- The document includes actual maps with the fine points of the land division to be worked out later.
(“Conceptual” or proposed map of Deal of the Century, with more details to come later)
Previous peace plans were arranged with Israel mostly on the defensive … requiring the Jews to give up much more than they got. The Deal of the Century has changed all that—no matter the outcome.
One of the big differences is that Israel won’t need to depend upon Palestinian compliance for Israel’s part of the deal to be implemented. And, unlike prior proposals, the Palestinians could and probably would lose forever their opportunity to create their own state, if they do not comply with the conditions imposed by the plan. In the past, all the Palestinians need do was to hold out for their unrealistic demands.
No longer do they have the luxury of “the tail wagging the dog.”
Conversely, if the Palestinians accept this Deal of the Century, they could very well be their own head, not a tail at all. But they won’t agree to it, because they still cannot tolerate an Israeli head along side theirs. In fact, they won’t even accept an Israeli “tail” nearby. They want no Jewish head or tail at all in Israel—which is simply not going to happen. Because Israel is, in fact, a Jewish nation-state. However, one in which there are nearly 2 million Israeli Arab citizens with civil rights equal to the Jews, including holding office in various levels of government. The nearly four million Palestinians of Judea/Samaria and Gaza have chosen not to apply for citizenship for the reasons listed above.
In the truly big picture, this Deal of the Century is another significant milestone that has propelled Israel and the whole world that much closer to the return of Messiah Jesus. Beginning with the Rapture of all believers that will soon be followed by the Gog/Magog invasion of Israel.
Notable Reactions (Commentaries) to the Deal of the Century
Said Israeli Major General (res.) Gershon Hacohen: “The greatness of the Trump plan lies in the fact that unlike preceding American peace initiatives, it recognizes Israel’s right to retain territories beyond the 1967 lines as a matter of historical right and not solely as a measure to be taken for security purposes…”
From an article by columnist Batya Jerenberg posted in World Israel News: “Europe, which the Palestinians normally can count on to protect their interests, has responded positively to the Trump proposals as well with Britain, France, Austria and the European Union blessing the effort…. For decades, a majority of the world has parroted the Palestinian line demanding a state on the entire area Israel liberated in 1967’s Six Day War and the return of millions of descendants of refugees from Israel’s War of Independence. (Palestinian Authority President) Abbas has now discovered that support for this maximalist position has withered in almost every country, with the notable exceptions of Iran and Turkey, both of which condemned the American plan in the strongest of terms.”
Although we would expect Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to express strong support for the Deal of the Century, it doesn’t change the Biblical, historical, and contemporary facts on the ground truth of what he said last week to President Trump and the press when the plan was fully released:
“For too long, the heart of Israel has been outrageously branded as illegally occupied territory. Today, Mr. President, you are puncturing this big lie. You are recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over all Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria—large and small alike.”
In an article first in Jewish News Syndicate, reposted in Israel Hayom, well-known author and expert on Middle East/ Israel, Melanie Phillips wrote on 1-31-20:
“US President Donald Trump’s ‘deal of the century’ offers the Palestinians a state. They have rejected it and threatened instead to ramp up violence against Israel. No one can be surprised. They have rejected every offer of a state previously made to them in 1937, 1947, 2000, 2008 and 2014. So is this latest deal anything more than Groundhog Day for the Middle East all over again? Yes, because this isn’t a deal. It’s an ultimatum….
“That’s because this isn’t a ‘peace process’ in which both sides must progress in tandem with each other—a process that gave the Palestinians an effective veto even while they continued to wage their war of extermination against Israel. For the first time, here’s an American plan that puts the security of Israel first and foremost. It’s, therefore, the first time that the United States has unequivocally supported Israel’s future existence.
“…Now the Palestinians’ bluff has been called. Once again, they are responding with threats of more violence, because there are no circumstances in which they will ever accept the right of the Jews to their own ancestral homeland.”
She concludes her article by stating: “The Trump plan won’t bring peace; however, it restores the truth and justice that are essential prerequisites of peace…. It replaces illusions by reality. That’s no small achievement. Now it’s up to the rest of the world.”
Note: As far as I know, Melanie Phillips is not a Messianic Jew (believer in Jesus as her Messiah and Savior); however, she is a student of the Hebrew Bible. How much she has read regarding the numerous Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament, I don’t know. But she’s on track by concluding that the Deal of the Century will not bring peace in the Middle East. The Bible says the same thing. Not that is, until the Prince of Peace, Messiah Jesus, returns to make all things right.
Oh, there will be a seven-year treaty (of peace!) immediately after the Rapture takes place and Antichrist (Nero) returns from the Abyss to a world in shock from the Rapture. It will turn out to be the most anti-peace peace treaty ever orchestrated.
(See Eye of Prophecy articles: The Peace Treaty That Will Guarantee War, posted 9-3-16; Peace Between Israel & Judah … Then World Peace! 12-18-18; Two-State Solution & The Seven-Year Treaty … Impossible? 1-26-19)
The Head/Tail Paradigm Under the Old Covenant vs. New Covenant
Earlier we read that God would bless his chosen people and keep them in the Promised Land of Israel, but with conditions attached. The conditions were not at all difficult—trust and obey the Lord and not jeopardize their relationship with Him by turning to man-made pagan gods. Keep in mind, however, that these conditions were part of the Mosaic Covenant of Law—which the people progressively failed to keep, ending with their conquest and exile from Israel.
So, the Lord announced a breath-taking new covenant through Jeremiah (Chapter 31). Which would come to Israel (and the whole world) at God’s appointed time, i.e. when Messiah came—which he did as Jesus of Nazareth.
Still, while under the Mosaic Covenant, the Lord kept his promise to bring them back to the land and return to them if they returned to him. Which they did, first under Ezra’s leadership, then Nehemiah’s. Alas, that was temporary. They couldn’t and wouldn’t continue to obey the Lord, as poignantly portrayed in the last book of the Old Testament, Malachi.
Subsequently, the Jews were conquered again by the Romans in 70 A.D. and exiled for a period that would last some 1,900 years. Why did this happen? Why would God allow such a devastating 2nd exile? Especially since they weren’t worshipping false gods and the religious among them were as religious as ever—Pharisees. Only one historical explanation; they had rejected their Messiah and then God’s New Covenant purchased by Messiah’s blood (death on the Cross).
However, the prophetic promises of Israel’s final return were no longer contingent on their obedience to the law. They were part and parcel of the New Covenant. Messiah introduced the far better Covenant of Grace, not conditioned upon obeying the law, but of simply trusting (believing and receiving) Christ as Savior. This included the blessings God promised eternally to Abraham and his descendants.
Thus, God took the initiative to unconditionally resume (keep) his everlasting covenant with Abraham and begin the providential return of the Jews to Israel, which took place in large numbers after Israel was reborn as a nation in 1948. Then God’s discipline (through Gentile domination of Israel and the Jews) of his people ended with Israel’s stunning victory in the Six-Day War. On paper and in principle and partly, at that time, in practice, Israel reclaimed the entire land of Israel.
Under the Old Covenant of the Law, Israel was the head, but more often the tail. Not even the tail wagging the dog. All that began to change in 1948, then more so in 1967 and 1973. With the Deal of the Century, Israel is the head that God promised they would be after Israel had run its course of head/tail patterns.
One of the most timely, pertinent, and amazing results of this deal is that Israel is, in fact, more of a sovereign … no longer a beggar. But in a respectful, humble manner. With deep gratitude for the astonishing turnabout not only by the United States (which had long supported Israel, yet with many reservations, not the least of which was the settlements issue) but by many nations heretofore antagonistic toward Israel. And the most unlikely scenario that even some Arab nations are supporting at least in principle Israel’s sovereign right to be the only Jewish nation on earth. For example, dignitaries from three Arab Gulf States attended the Deal of the Century meeting last week … Oman, Bahrain, and United Arab Emirates. Including positive reactions from Saudi Arabia and Egypt. That would have been unheard of only a few years ago.
And it’s absolutely no coincidence that the nations vehemently opposed to Israel (Turkey, Iran, and other smaller Muslim countries) continue to view Israel in the light of the Gog/Magog prophecy of Ezekiel. Which makes that prophecy even more imminent in its fulfillment.
In closing, let’s read part of that prophecy as pertains to this incredible development in these last days, i.e. the Deal of the Century—officially entitled “Peace to Prosperity.”
God is speaking through Ezekiel to Gog and his Magog allies, followed by Gog’s boast:
“…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).
Iran has repeatedly threatened to wipe Israel from the face of the map. Turkey has become increasingly hostile toward Israel even to the point of supporting Hamas in Gaza. Russia has and will continue to feign favor toward Israel until suddenly turning on her just before Gog/Magog invades Israel. They continue to disdain Israel’s growing confidence as a global power that is no longer the tail … forced to one concession after another by misguided peace plans of the past.
However, that is only their perception. And it is based mostly on envy by these nations concerning Israel’s achievements. It is not what modern-day Israel is really like. Her people simply want to live in peace but also want to live sovereignly in all the land promised to them by God. Israel and her leaders/people are proud of their accomplishments. The Deal of the Century gives them more confidence than ever, but they are not conceited. Nor is there any sense of superiority.
This will be Israel’s condition when that attack takes place. Effectively, this is Israel’s position as we speak. Which brings us that much closer to the Rapture.
When it comes to God’s sovereign plan for Israel in particular and humanity in general, there will be no flipping of a coin to determine by chance whether it (Israel) is heads or tails. Hundreds of Biblical prophecies have already come to pass and those yet to be fulfilled will surely happen.
What God says he will do, he always does. What he says will happen, always happens. Period.
End of story.
Things to Ponder
The Deal of the Century is NOT Middle East peace in our time.
Rather, it has and will continue to strengthen Israeli sovereignty in their own land at just the right time for last day’s prophecy to unfold in rapid-fire fashion. That’s exactly what’s taking place before the eyes of the watching world.
It is a giant leap toward establishing the specific setting of and in Israel just prior to the Rapture and the subsequent horrific seven-year tribulation—the early part of which will be the Gog/Magog attack against what soon could be an overconfident Israel.
Israel is undergoing a transformation that is preparing her to once again be the head of nations, just like God said would happen. Furthermore, Scripture is abundantly clear that the Messiah will rule and reign from Jerusalem, Israel.
Once again, God has delivered his people from the bondage of exile as he did through Moses long ago. “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt so you would no longer be their slaves. I broke the yoke of slavery from your neck so you can walk with your heads held high” (Leviticus 26:13).
In no way does that passage state or even imply that the Jews as individuals or Israel as a nation are condescending towards other people or countries. We’ve already read that God didn’t choose Abraham’s descendants to become a nation because they were exceptionally good or special. Instead, they became special, because he chose and blessed them. And, after hundreds of years of divine discipline to make them ready for the return of Messiah Jesus and their national redemption, they are again being blessed by the Lord as the head.
Later in that same chapter of Leviticus we read:
“But despite all this (God’s seven-times over discipline of Israel, which ended in 1967), I will not utterly reject or despise them while they are in exile in the land of their enemies. I will not cancel my covenant (referring to the Abrahamic covenant of the Promised Land not the Mosaic covenant of law) with them by wiping them out, for I am the Lord their God. For their sakes I will remember my ancient covenant with their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of all the nations, that I might be their God. I am the Lord” (Leviticus 26:44-45, parenthesis mine).
Regarding the New Covenant that replaced the Mosaic Covenant of Law, we read: “But now Jesus, our High Priest, has been given a ministry that is far superior to the old priesthood, for he is the one who mediates for us a far better covenant with God, based on better promises.
“If the first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no need for a second covenant to replace it. But when God found fault with the people, he said: ‘…They did not remain faithful to my covenant, so I turned my back on them…. But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel… I will put my laws in their minds, and I will write them on their hearts (instead of stone tablets). I will be their God, and they will be my people” (Hebrews 8:6-10, parenthesis mine).
That New Covenant (of Grace) began with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
And it won’t be long before:
“All Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:26).