I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land. And they have cast lots for my people; and have given a boy for an harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might drink.(Joel 3:2-3)
Joel had a high-definition vision of the last days, which looks an awful lot like the very time in which we live. As we established in the previous post, God will gather all nations into a conflict in the Middle East, as the Judge of all of the nations, in order to bring a lawsuit against them, containing four specific indictments.
First of all, He will charge the world with the crime of scattering his people among the nations. We know that Babylon scattered the chosen nation, taking the Jews into Babylon for 70 years according to the prophecies of Jeremiah. And again in 70 AD the Romans truly scattered the Jews from one end of the world to the other, but that also was according to the Word of the Lord, and as a judgment for her sins. Moses warned them from the beginning,
And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone. And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the Lord shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind:(Deuteronomy 28:63-64)
But how is it that the modern nations are guilty of the sin of “Scattering God’s heritage… His people Israel” among the nations of the world?
We have to turn to Zechariah for the answer ,
And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction.(Zechariah 1:15)
God is bringing suit against the nations because though He used them to scatter the children of Israel, and to afflict them, they have taken it further than He wanted.
The nations were “at ease” when holocausts and pogroms were occurring, it didn’t bother them. In the 1930’s, Hitler was offering shiploads of German Jews to any nation that would shelter them, but He found were no takers. Hitler then knew that his ‘final solution’ was possible to undertake without international interference.
Great Britain resisted the return of Holocaust survivors to what was then called Palestine, at times even resisting shiploads of refugees with gunboats. The entire Arab world erupted in fury when the new nation of Israel was born in May 1948. Very few western nations would give the nascent Israel weapons or ammunition, when she was attacked by five Arab armies shortly after her Independence.
The united Arab army was soundly routed by a ragtag army of holocaust survivors armed with a few rusty cast off World War 2 rifles and Jeeps smuggled in from Czechoslovakia. The Arabs have attempted to overpower Israel 5 times, and failed each time in spite of the elements of surprise, overwhelming numerical and weapon superiority.
Eventually , shortly after the Yom Kippur war, the humiliated Arabs began to use oil as a leverage, to turn the nations of the world against Israel. OPEC was formed, and the craven accommodation of the nations began, tripping over themselves to appease Arab Sheiks, ignoring the bloody spectacle of Islamic terrorism, and pretending that retrograde nations which still practice chattel slavery, such as Saudi Arabia, have equivalence to modern, democratic nations such as Israel.
All through the 1970’s into the 1990’s and beyond, the word of the nations to Israel, in the midst of intifada and terror campaigns was “don’t rock the boat” and inflame the Arabs, give them “land for peace”so that oil prices would be stable.Islamic terrorism was “their problem, not ours”.
The nations could overlook the Palestinian bombing and murder campaigns, the slaughter of children, women, Olympic athletes, etc., for they themselves were ‘at ease’. This is what is bringing upon the world the final judgment.
Now the whole world knows what Islamic terrorism feels like, not just Israel.
Recent examples of the nations scattering Israel and incurring divine judgment, come from my own nation, the United States.
In August,2005 , George W. Bush pressured Ariel Sharon to force all Jewish families out of the Gaza strip, which is Land that God gave to the children of Abraham,Isaac and Jacob. Much has been made of the fact that the very week which he did this, Hurricane Katrina came into New Orleans and effectively ruined Bush’s presidency.
The Obama administration has spent time and effort trying to impose a “No natural growth” policy on the area the Bible calls Judea, but which the world considers, to be the “West Bank”, or “the occupied territory”, or even “Palestine”. The “No Natural Growth policy” involved putting a cap on the number of Jews allowed to live in Judea.
Finally , just this week, Secretary of State John Kerry stated that only Muslims should be allowed to pray on the Temple mount, Judaism’s holiest site.
For this and three other specific charges, God is angry and will Judge the nations of the world!
The other indictments will be discussed next…