Why There will never be peace in Israel
until the Messiah returns

Map of the Arab World and its size vs the size of Israel

I believe that the rebirth of the modern nation of Israel is a fulfillment of a prophecy that God gave to one of His prophets in the Old Testament. In the Book of Amos God declared, "13 Behold, the days are coming," says the LORD, "when the plowman shall overtake the reaper and the treader of grapes him who sows the seed; the mountains shall drip sweet wine, and all the hills shall flow with it. 14 I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel, and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine, and they shall make gardens and eat their fruit. 15 I will plant them upon their land, and they shall never again be plucked up out of the land which I have given them," says the LORD your God." (Amos 9:13-15) God says that in the future the Jews will return to the physical land of Israel and the will never be plucked out or removed from the land ever again. The Jews were removed from the land after the 132-135 A.D. war against the Roman Empire. For the next 1800 years they were dispersed throughout the world.

The Political birth of modern Israel

In 1894 the French government arrested a Jewish military officer named Alfred Dreyfus for spying for Germany. He was convicted of treason and sentenced to life imprisonment on the notorious Devil's Island. Anti-Semitism fueled this affair and it wouldn't be until 1906 that Dreyfus was exonerated. This trial led a French newspaper correspondent, Theodore Herzl, to the conclusion that the Jews needed to leave Europe and create their own state. He became a leading spokesman for the Zionist movement and in 1897 convened the First Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland. From this beginning the desire of Jews to have their own homeland grew. In 1917, during WWI, the British army defeated the Turkish Ottoman Empire and took control in Palestine. The British government declared that they would help to create a homeland for the Jews in Palestine (see Balfour Declaration), their historical home. However, this policy was never implemented and the Jews remained dispersed throughout the world. With the rise of National Socialism in Germany in the 1930s the Jews became desperate to leave Europe. Many tried to escape to Palestine but in 1939 the British government issued the White Paper. This document declared that there were enough Jews living in Palestine to fulfill the Balfour Declaration requirement for a Jewish home and that within the next ten years Palestine would be governed jointly by an Arab-Jewish ruling authority. It also limited Jewish immigration to 75,000 persons a year. This restriction along with the other nations of the world not allowing Jews to immigrate to their countries meant that Europe's Jewish population had to remain in a quickly disintegrating situation under the Nazi regime. This eventually allowed the German government to exterminate six million Jews during WWII. After thirty years of ruling the often volatile situation in Palestine, the British announced their intention to withdraw their forces and turned the matter over to the United Nations for a solution. In 1947 the United Nations decided to implement a two-state partition plan which would create a Jewish state and an Arab state side by side in Palestine. This of course created a new set of problems for that area of the world.

The Spiritual birth of modern Israel

I have read that the Holocaust did not create the State of Israel, but the absence of the State of Israel did create the Holocaust. From a secular point of view truth can be found in this statement. However, from a theological point of view I believe if the holocaust didn't result in the creation of the modern state of Israel it is at least related to it. I will discuss this in the next section. As I stated above, God promised one day to bring the Jews back to their land nevermore to be forced to leave it. God created the universe and therefore is sovereign over the earth. The prophet Daniel declares that it is God who sets up kings and thereby countries for them to rule over: "20 Daniel said: "Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever. to whom belong wisdom and might. 21 He changes times and seasons; He removes kings and sets up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; 22 He reveals deep and mysterious things; He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him." (Daniel 2:20-22) Thus, it was God's will for the modern state of Israel to be created. In the Old Testament God declared that it is His decision when the Jews live in the promised land and when they don't. In Genesis God promised the land of Israel to Abraham and his descendants:

"1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. 4 So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. 5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came. 6 And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land. 7 And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him." (Genesis 12:1-7)

Later on, He tells Moses to warn the Israelites that if they obey Him they will be blessed in the land of Israel. However, if they disobey Him, He will remove them from the land:

"1 And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: 2 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God. 3 Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field...63 And it shall come to pass, that as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it. 64 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. 65 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 28:1-3,63-65)

Notice in this passage that it is the LORD who scatters the Jews from the land. Later in Israel's history, God removed the Jews from the land for their disobedience. He used the Babylonian Empire to perform His judgment. However, He tells them that He will return them to the land after seventy years:

"4 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, unto all that are carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem unto Babylon...10 For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." (Jeremiah 29:4,10-11)

Again God states that He is the one who caused the Jews to be carried away to Babylon and He will be the one to cause them to return to Israel. Jesus told the Jews that their Temple would be destroyed and their house left desolate. In 70 A.D. the Romans did destroy the Temple and in 135 A.D. they put down a Jewish uprising and dispersed the Jews throughout the Roman Empire. However, in the book of the prophet Amos God promised to bring the Jews back to the land forever:

"13 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt. 14 And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. 15 And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God." (Amos 9:13-15)

God declares that He is always watching Israel:

"11 But the land, whither ye go to possess it, is a land of hills and valleys, and drinketh water of the rain of heaven: 12 A land which the LORD thy God careth for: the eyes of the LORD thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year." (Deuteronomy 11:11-12)

Since God emphasizes throughout His word that He is always interested in what is going on in the land of Israel and that He determines when the Jews live in the land, I have to believe that on May 14, 1948 God fulfilled His promise to bring the Jews back to the land forever. They were dispersed throughout the world for 1800 years yet they maintained their Jewish identity. One would have to be blind not to see the hand of God in the rebirth of the modern state of Israel.

The prophetic significance of the Holocaust

I believe that the Holocaust has prophetic significance in the creation of the modern Israel. In Book of Ezekiel, God reveals the future in the latter days concerning the nation of Israel. The prophet Ezekiel sees a vision of very dry bones coming to life. (Ezekiel ch.37) God tells him these bones represent the nation of Israel coming to life through a process. They first come out of their graves, the bones come together to form a skeleton, sinews and then flesh are added, and lastly God breathes His Spirit into them in order to give them life. (Please go to Chapter 18 - God's Timepiece for a fuller discussion of this prophecy) Satan has a general if not specific knowledge of prophecy according to the Bible. The Book of Revelation states, "12 Rejoice then, O heaven and you that dwell therein! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!" (Revelation 12:12) This event happens during the Tribulation Period and the Devil knows that his time is up. I believe that he tried to stop God's plans for the deliverance of the Jews from Egyptian bondage by trying to kill Moses. I believe that He tried to stop God's plans for the deliverance of mankind from its bondage to sin by killing Jesus. I also believe he knew that once Israel became a nation never to be removed again his time would be almost up. Therefore he tried to stop the Jews from becoming a nation again by using the willing Nazi regime to wipe them out to keep that from happening. He failed and Israel became a nation again on May 14, 1948.

The history of modern Israel

Even though Satan failed to kill both Moses and Jesus as babies he continued to harass them throughout their ministries. So too, just as he failed to stop the birth of modern Israel he has found willing servants to continue to fight and harass Israel throughout its life. Like Jesus and Moses he tried to destroy Israel at its birth. On May 15, 1948 the Arab armies of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq attacked Israel. They had previously told the Arab residents to leave their homes until they drove the Jews into the sea at which time they could return. However, Israel won many battles and by July of 1949 an armistice was signed ending the fighting. Israel maintained control of their land yet Jerusalem remained under Arab control. In 1956 Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal. Great Britain, France, and Israel attacked and successfully took control of the canal in order to keep it open for military and economic reasons. Under U.S. pressure the hostilities ended and the canal was turned over to the control of United Nations peacekeeping forces. In 1967, Nasser of Egypt along with the Syrians and Jordanians were poised to attack Israel. Israel attacked the armies of these three countries and within six days had captured the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip on the Egyptian border, the Golan Heights on the Syrian border, and all of Jerusalem. In 1972 Palestinian terrorists abducted and killed 11 Israelis at the Munich Olympics. In 1973 on the holiest Jewish day of the year, Yom Kippur, the Egyptians under President Anwar Sadat attacked Israel. They caught Israel by surprise and had significant victories in the early part of the war. After three weeks the Israelis had successfully repelled the attack. The Arabs had felt like they saved face from their humiliating defeat of 1967 and eventually felt they could negotiate with Israel from a position of strength. This led to the Camp David Peace Accords in 1977 after which Egypt became the first Arab country to recognize the state of Israel. Tragically this eventually led to the assassination of President Sadat by Muslim extremists. In 1976, a group of Palestinian terrorists hijacked a French commercial jet and rerouted it to a Ugandan airport called Entebbe. They released the non-Jewish passengers and kept the 105 Jewish passengers hostage at the airport. The Israelis launched an commando raid on July 4 and rescued the captives with very few casualties. In 1982 the terrorist group called the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) was based in southern Lebanon. Violence erupted between the PLO forces and Israeli forces and led to an invasion of Lebanon by Israel. Their goal was to drive the PLO further from the border and hopefully out of Lebanon altogether. By September of 1982 the PLO had withdrawn most of its forces from Lebanon and by June of 1985 Israel had withdrawn its army from Lebanon. In 1987, Arabs in Israel started the first intifada or uprising against Israel in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Jerusalem. This involved the use of thousands of Molotov cocktails and hundreds of grenade and gun attacks against the Israeli army. The PLO under Yasser Arafat's control played a significant role in this insurrection. It lasted for five years and caused 1000 Palestinians their lives. In late 2000 Arafat rejected a peace agreement that would have led to Israeli withdrawal from parts of Israel, settlement evacuation, sharing of Jerusalem and establishment of a Palestinian state. Several weeks later the second intifada began and has claimed the lives of over 5000 Palestinians and 1000 Israelis. In 2005 Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip leaving it in the control of the Palestinian Authority. In 2006 the Palestinian people elected members of the terrorist group Hamas to govern in Gaza. In 2007 fighting broke out between Hamas and its fellow governing party Fatah. Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas who removed himself to the West Bank. This led to the launching of Qassam rockets into Israel by Hamas. In late 2008 Israeli troops moved into Gaza trying to end the rocket attacks.

Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb means no peace in Israel

There are two concepts in Islam that will never allow Israel to have peace until the Messiah returns. The first is Dar al-Islam which means House of Islam or House of Submission. Its adherents are made up of Muslim extremists. Dar al-Islam refers to countries where the law of Islam prevails and an Islamic government rules. Non-Muslims may live there under subjugation. Dar al-Harb means House of War and refers to those countries that are not under Islamic rule. It also refers to those lands which were once Islamic but were conquered by non-Muslims. The lands that are not Muslim are not legitimate because they are not under the authority of Allah. In the case of Israel those Muslims who subscribe to Dar al-Harb believe that the Jews are living on land that Allah gave to Islam. Therefore it is a disgrace to Islam and can only be rectified by Israel returning to Islamic rule. The Muslims riot over cartoons depicting their prophet Muhammad because it is a dishonor to him. How much more will they fight to regain Israel since it is a dishonor to Allah. No matter how many moderate Muslims may want peace with Israel the Islamic hardliners can never allow Israel to exist. Under Dar al-Harb treaties and truces may be made but only with the goal of eventually retaking the land that once was under Islamic rule. Since Israeli soldiers swear an oath declaring "Never again" will they be brought under the power of another government, they will never stop fighting to keep Israel.

Palestine Liberation Organization and the Recognition of Israel

One of the main requirements of any peace treaty between the Arabs and Israel is that the Arabs have to recognize that the state of Israel has a right to exist on their land. The problem is that for Muslim extremists to declare that Israel has a right to live on their land it would lead to a couple of unacceptable ramifications for them. Either Allah made a mistake in giving the land to Islam in the first place or they are willing to allow Allah to remain dishonored by not regaining the land he gave them. Thus, the Muslim extremists will never be able to truly recognize Israel even if they return to the pre-1967 borders. The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was formed in 1964, three years before the 1967 Six Day War. At that time the Arabs controlled the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. This then begs the question, "What part of Palestine were they trying to liberate" in 1964? The only part they didn't control was the land ceded to Israel by the United Nations in 1947 and the armistice agreement of 1949. In 1978 Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat made a separate peace agreement with Israel. This led to his assassination in 1981 by a Muslim extremist group known as Islamic Jihad. Yasser Arafat, who became the head of the PLO in 1969, during the late 1980s and 1990s declared that he would recognize Israel if a two state solution was created. However, in 2000 he rejected a peace offer that a lot of observers thought was an excellent deal in that it gave the Palestinians almost 97 percent of the land they requested. Since then there has been much conflict between the two sides. As long as there are Muslim extremists who subscribe to the concept of Dar al-Harb true peace will not exist in Israel until Jesus Christ returns to govern the world from Jerusalem.

"blessed are the peacemakers"

Does this mean that I am opposed to any peacemaking efforts that may reduce the violence and conflict between the Arabs and the Jews? Absolutely not. I posted my belief that there would not be peace in Israel until Jesus Christ returned again on a liberal Christian web site. One responder stated that I was a fatalist for believing this. On the contrary, I maintain that I am a realist. When a woman anointed Jesus' head with a very expensive oil His disciples became indignant at what they perceived as a waste of money. Jesus responded, "ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always." (Mark 14:7) With this statement Jesus declared that there would always be poverty in the current age. Notice He also said that this meant we would always have an opportunity to help the poor. However, poverty will continue to be part of the human condition, at least until Jesus comes again. Therefore, we are to help the poor but let us have no unrealistic expectations that one day we can eradicate poverty. Does this mean that Jesus was being fatalistic when He made this declaration? No, He was being realistic because He knows that we live in a fallen world. Likewise Jesus said "blessed are the peacemakers". (Matthew 5:9) Christians are called to try to make peace, first with God then with others. However, this will not always result in peaceful coexistence especially with those outside the faith. By all means, just because there won't be peace between Israel and the Muslim extremists does not mean that peacemakers shouldn't try to at least reduce the violence on both sides. But again, let us have no unrealistic expectations that true and lasting peace can occur before the second coming of Jesus Christ.

I posted this article on my blog. If you wish to comment on it please go to Why There will never be peace in Israel until the Messiah returns
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