I watched one day as a news reporter interviewed a Muslim student in the lecture hall of one of America’s most prestigious schools. The young man was adorned with a silk headpiece and appeared to come from a very wealthy Arab family I supposed. When asked whether Israel had a right to live in peace in the land that they now held as their homeland he became flustered and indignant. He said, «Who is Israel and what history do they have, who ever heard of Israel before now.»
His ignorance of Israel’s long history in the land they now possess together with the poor reflection he gave of his schools academics left me in amazement. Yet this is more typical than anyone might suspect. The average American other than those who have attended Bible College or seminary has little or no knowledge of Middle Eastern history.
Israeli and Arab history is inexplicably linked to the history and well being of all other nations around the globe. History and Bible prophecy are together both a look into the past and a far reaching view of the future. When in 1948 Israel returned to its former ancient homeland and then took back Jerusalem in 1967 from its enemies who outnumbered them twenty to one she broke every record in the history of our world. No nation has returned to its former geographical boundaries after being subject to another nation or dispersed for more than fifty years and become a free and independent nation again, except Israel.
From the days of Abraham and down through the Golden Era of Israel and up to the present time the message of the prophets and now the historical record have spoken with one voice to warn the world and to bring to fruition every major prophecy in the Bible. So what is that message?
Put simply, the Bible says that when Israel occupies her original homeland and Jerusalem that there is but one generation left to man before the Lord Jesus Christ returns. Starting after the six day war after which Israel took Jerusalem back the clock has begun ticking. Sadly, this is not a promise of peace for Israel or any of the nations. Rather it is the signal of several more events that will rock the world.
At about the same time Israel regains nationhood the Bible says that a great world power will begin forming within the same geographical boundaries as the old Roman Empire. The EU or European Union began forming about 1955 and unknown to the average person today is becoming the greatest block of nations ever seen in the history of the world. It presently controls almost half the worlds shipping, has a gross national product three times greater than the United States and when military might is finally melded together will without doubt be the most powerful entity in the modern era.
It is from that new power that the fiercest and most successful dictator the world has ever known will emerge. He is a political and military genius that swoops upon the entire world with an economic system that will draw in every nation, tongue and tribe of the earth. He will make Hitler look like a choir boy and he will succeed with such speed that no one will form any resistance at all before he has the world reeling. The Bible does not specifically name this final dictator but he is well known worldwide as the Antichrist.
What does all that mean to the Middle East…plenty? When Israel missed the time of her visitation (first coming of Christ) her prophets had already foretold that she would be dispersed throughout the world and hunted and killed as outcasts. History has already told us that part of the story. Approaching the last generation her prophets told that she would be drawn and gathered from all over the world back to her homeland although still hated and harassed by all her neighbors and enemies.
The wars and skirmishes will continue and for a short time with the help of the Antichrist Israel will know a few years of relative peace. Finally the Antichrist will show his true colors to the world and Israel will not escape. She will be taken over and other nations will trample through Jerusalem for three and one half years. When the final push comes Israel will be defended and delivered by the Saviour she rejected.
Peace in the Middle East? Yes but not until all the history has run its course and the prophecy which is after all only pre-written history is fulfilled.