With Friends Like These ...
Summary ... While it is hard to stand alone among the nations, that is exactly what Israel is called to do: To stand alone, with God, in the midst of the nations, as a light to the Gentiles.
On Wednesday, June 23, 2004, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bi-partisan resolution in support for Israel's eviction of 7,500 Jews from their home in Gaza. The resolution was sponsored by Republican Tom DeLay of Texas, the Majority Leader, and Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the Democrat's House Whip. 407 out of 435 congressmen voted in favor of the measure. The resolution, which will now be introduced in the U.S. Senate, is not binding and does not represent official U.S. administration policy.
For some strange reason, the passage of this resolution has been viewed by many as a positive thing for Israel. But what exactly did these men, many of them Christians, vote for? The resolution supports the letter sent by U.S. President George W. Bush to Israeli Prime Minister Sharon on April 14, 2004. Bush's stance supports the removal of most of the settlements in Judea and Samaria. Now, it seems that most of the U.S. House of Representatives also supports that evacuation.
Tom DeLay has been touted as being a strong supporter of Israel and the Jewish people. He has spoke at numerous events in support of the nation. During one of those speaking engagements ("A Night to Honor Israel", Cornerstone Church, San Antonio, Texas, November 24, 2002), Delay made the statement, ""As a Christian, I'm acutely aware of the need to defend Israel from those who seek her destruction." He went on to say, "We can't support terms that undercut Israel's ability to defend herself.... The people of Israel can't be expected to make territorial concessions that render their State inherently indefensible". Yet the complete removal of all Jews from Gaza does exactly that ... "renders the State inherently indefensible". Even the military establishment, both Israeli and American, agree that a complete withdrawal from Gaza puts Israel in grave danger.
During his visit last year to Israel, Delay addressed the Israeli Knesset on July 30, 2003. In that speech, he stated, "And we know Israel's survival depends on the willingness of free nations especially our own to stand by all endangered democracies in their time of need". He went on to say, "The American people stand with you, and so does our President. George W. Bush is a man of integrity and honesty. He is a man committed to the security of Israel and its destiny among the great nations of the earth."
I am sure that, as a Christian, Tom DeLay has read the Bible. I am not sure, however, that he has read it in its entirety. Scripture clearly shows that Israel's "destiny" is to be separate from the nations, "As I see him from the top of the rocks, and I look at him from the hills; Behold, a people who dwells apart, and will not be reckoned among the nations." (Numbers 23:9). (Interesting word for a Christian to use. The word "destiny" means "fate, fortune, luck". Israel's future is determined by God, not luck.)
But, back to the U.S. resolution. The basic idea of the resolution is to show support for Israel. It makes it clear that the U.S. House of Representatives fully supports President Bush's 'commitment' to Israel. Yet Bush has repeatedly stated that his support for Israel is to divide the land and give the most precious part of it -- the very heartland, the place where Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob met God -- to Israel's sworn enemies. Bush has proudly proclaimed several times, "I was the first President ever to have advocated a Palestinian state" (i.e., Jerusalem Post, October 29, 2003). However, God has declared that the land belongs to Israel, and no one else. He clearly states that He will enter into judgment against the nations for dividing up His land (Joel 3.2).
While it is hard to stand alone among the nations, that is exactly what Israel is called to do: To stand alone, with God, in the midst of the nations, as a light to the Gentiles. How does one show their support for Israel when they are asking her to put herself in harm's way and, in the process, violate the commandment of God? How does one, who professes to worship that same God, fight against God's own plans? Supporting the evacuation of 7,500 Jews from their homes - and eventually 250,000+ more - is not the kind of support that Israel needs.
[ Published: June 27, 2004 ]
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