The burden of the word of the Lord for Israel, saith the Lord, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him. 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.(Zechariah 12:1-3)
We come now to the final vision of Zechariah, bypassing the 2000 year gap since the fulfillment of his previous prophecy. Zechariah sees the events around the final conflict and deliverance of Israel at the end of the Age, and in the day of the LORD.
Jerusalem is of such importance to the world, she has literally become a “cup of trembling” to all of the nations round about, Jordan,Egypt, Lebanon, Syria,Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Libya, Iraq, and the remainder of the Arab Sunni Muslim world, as well as the Shiite and Alawite sections of Syria, and Southern Lebanon. All of these nations tremble and rage over the issue of Jerusalem, it’s status, and growing Israeli population, her borders, and security policies which are an affront and an offense to the Muslim.
Recent events have put these nations in various stages of flux, formerly secure governments are toppling, or in danger of overthrow, restive parties are openly vying for control in bloody revolutions, super-powers are taking sides in proxy wars, and millions of Arabs have been displaced, and nearly a million killed in the tumultuous events since January 2011, the so called “Arab Spring”.
Much of the problem today springs from the fact of the Islamic resurgence; Esau has grown restive and sees to throw the yoke of the Judea Christian West off of his shoulders.The combination of factors, such as Western need for oil, enriching the Arab nations, Western demographic winters weakening once stable Western nations, (having bought into the death loving humanistic values of abortion, birth control, and love of pleasure), at the same time Western medicine has allowed Islamic populations to grow, and expand into the West.
Another problem is that the restoration of Israel in May 1948, which Christians and Jews consider to be a miracle and fulfillment of prophecy, is called “Al Naqba” in the Arab Muslim world. The Arab word, “Al Naqba” means ‘the disaster’.
The Muslim faith insists that “the last day cannot come until the Muslims overthrow and slaughter the Jews. On that day even the rocks and trees will co-operate, for they will cry out,’Oh Muslim there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and slay him…”.
The barren and demographically depleted European nations especially have opened their borders to millions of Arab and North African Islamic immigrants, in the hopes of replenishing a depleted work force to maintain their Socialist economies. These hordes of Arabs have deepened the latent anti-semitic attitudes in Europe, Britain and even America.
Hence we are seeing the beginnings of what Zechariah called “The Siege against Judah and Jerusalem”.
How else but by the Spirit of the LORD could the prophet understand that the issue of Judah and Jerusalem is now considered a two-fold issue and a major topic of discussion at the United Nations?
We have discussed some of the issues with Jerusalem earlier and how already “the city of the great King” has become a humanly unresolvable controversy, being claimed by the Muslim world, the Jewish world, the formal (Catholic) Christian world, the UN, the POPE, and is passionately argued over, debated and voted on in the United Nations nearly a third of the time.
What is Judah? One could be excused for not understanding what Judah is, because in most modern discussion, Judah is not the term used when the region is being discussed. Instead it is called “The West Bank”, the “Occupied Territories” and even “the Palestinian State”.
But Biblically speaking , God calls the region Judea and has much to say about Judea. It has become a major world controversy in the last days of this present order. The land along the West bank of the Jordan river which has been designated as the Palestinian State to come, by the United Nations, is actually the heart of Biblical Israel, Judea.
All of the Jewish Holy sites in Judea, have been co-opted by UNESCO,(United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization) ;The tomb of the Patriarchs Abraham,Isaac and Jacob,(Leah, Rebbecah and Sarah also) has been designated a “Muslim Shrine” on the grounds that the UN wants to cede Judea to the Palestinians. So also Rachel’s Tomb, outside of Bethlehem, and the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. By the logic of UNESCO the Wailing Wall itself should belong to the Palestinian Arab state also!
The Jewish people are being ostracized, alienated, surrounded and marginalized by the UN, as well as by a good many in Europe. All over the Western world the BDS movement has taken on a momentum, especially at Universities around the Western World. BDS stands for Boycott, Divest, and Sanction, tactics which were once employed by the “do gooders” to bring another western ally, South Africa, to her knees. Such sanctioning was also used against Serbia, forcing her out of Kosovo and imposing upon Europe the first Muslim country on its own soil.
Now it is considered trendy for politicians, vapid “celebrities” and misguided university students to stand against Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, a place where Muslims have more personal freedom than in most of the Muslim world, and an ally of the West,standing against the worldwide Jihad. Zechariah saw that the Siege would tighten until Judea and Jerusalem stand alone.
The Prophet Zechariah wasn’t the only one to see it, so also did Ezekiel. Ezekiel 36 is a prophecy to the “Mountains of Israel”, the same region we call Judea and Samaria and the world calls the West Bank. It is uncanny , almost as if He is directly addressing the discussions in the UN, the “talkers” who apportion to themselves or their patrons “the Holy Places”.
Also, thou son of man, prophesy unto the mountains of Israel, and say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord: Thus saith the Lord God; Because the enemy hath said against you, Aha, even the ancient high places are ours in possession: Therefore prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Because they have made you desolate, and swallowed you up on every side, that ye might be a possession unto the residue of the heathen, and ye are taken up in the lips of talkers, and are an infamy of the people: Therefore, ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God; Thus saith the Lord God to the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys, to the desolate wastes, and to the cities that are forsaken, which became a prey and derision to the residue of the heathen that are round about; Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Surely in the fire of my jealousy have I spoken against the residue of the heathen, and against all Idumea, which have appointed my land into their possession with the joy of all their heart, with despiteful minds, to cast it out for a prey.(Ezekiel 36:1-5)
Idumea, another name for Esau, Jacob’s twin, is once again filing a complaint for Jacob’s birthright! They have appointed the land of Israel as their own possession and are seeking to leverage the entire United Nations to do their bidding and wrest it from the Jews.
Jesus also predicted trouble in this region, trouble which would ultimately engulf the entire world into the controversy, for neutrality will soon be impossible.
In the definitive chapter of the teaching of Jesus on the end times, everything Jesus warns of id universe; famine, flood, war, plague, false teachers and false Christs, where? EveryWhere!
But suddenly in verse 15 Jesus gets local,
When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.(Matthew 24:15-21)
Something happens to Judea so terrible, the warning of Jesus is necessitated, people will have to flee and the events lead to “great tribulation, such as the world has never seen before or will ever see again…”
Consider this, Jesus never used hyperbole, or exaggeration…in fact he was quoting Daniel the Prophet.
And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.(Daniel 12:1)