Prayer Targets: Israel, National Day of Prayer
April 24, 2014
Now the LORD... said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country...unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation... 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. Genesis 12:1-3
I am writing you from Jerusalem, Israel, where I am participating in a unique leadership program jointly sponsored by Yad Vashem, The Museum of the Bible, and the International Christian Embassy, Israel. The small circle of participants will meet with survivors of the Holocaust, Israeli leaders, and absorb lectures by mature scholars. These advocates are deeply concerned that despite efforts to assure that the world "never forgets" the Holocaust, evidence shows a shocking global resurgence of anti-Semitism, including in the United States.
U.S. negotiations and agreements with Iran, laced with economic aid, have only encouraged Iran to continue its nuclear expansion. In fact, Iranian leaders deny that the Holocaust ever occurred, have repeatedly pledged to destroy Israel, and openly mock the U.S. for its submission to Iran's will. Designated a terrorist state by the U.S. State Department in 1984, Iran is only one of four countries so labeled. Moreover, despite soothing rhetoric, current American policy and behavior reflects an abandonment of our longtime commitment to our Israeli allies, and exposes Israel (and other moderate Middle East nations) to Iran's hegemony. Those who read FRC's Prayer Team Targets or Tony Perkins' Washington Update know that while foreign relations may not be among FRC's core policy issues, our friendship with Israel is critically important to us. Without God's blessing upon our nation, there is little hope for the noble goals for which we pray and labor to be achieved. America has been uniquely blessed, partly because of our historic faithfulness to God's covenant people, with whom we share historic and spiritual ties (Gen 12:1-3). However this has been changing rapidly.
In 1991 the U.S. departed from its official policy not to negotiate with terrorists. We began both to engage in such negotiations ourselves and to put pressure on Israel to engage in such negotiations with terrorist Yasser Arafat and the PLO (Fatah), but also to come to terms - terms radically detrimental to Israel (e.g., release of convicted terrorists). Later Hamas (an even more radical terrorist group than Fatah, birthed from the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood) was elected by the Palestinian people to lead the Palestinian government. Fatah, unwilling to hand over power to the supra-radical group, took charge of the Jordan River's West Bank (immediately north and east of Jerusalem) and let Hamas rule Gaza. Hamas has been behind intermittent rocket barrages against Israeli civilian targets and repeated suicide bombings intended to kill the maximum number of civilians inside Israel. These are the groups that the U.S. is pressuring Israel to come to terms with. Increased hostility toward Israel and support for Palestinian Statehood has been growing, feverishly in some countries.
While God has deemed the Jews as His chosen people, there is no such thing as "Israeli infallibility." The government of Israel is not perfect and has made what some deem as unreasonable concessions due to U.S. pressure. Giving Gaza and the West Bank over to the Palestinians to govern was one of them. Like every nation, Israel has a God-given responsibility to protect its borders and its people. Yet God's covenant people have been given a unique land grant from God himself, and He warns that the nations who trouble Israel and seek to divide up the land will suffer consequences (Joel 3:1-2; Zech 12:3). Even if God's word allowed for the dividing of the land, Israel would be unwise to consent to deeding their land to disorganized, factious, terrorist regimes. These regimes are dedicated to Israel's destruction and refuse even to recognize Israel's right to exist. Thus Israel now finds the government of its closest friend, the United States -- along with other world powers -- pushing Israel to divide their land, which would reduce Israel's land mass and so reshape Israel as to render it nearly militarily indefensible. Despite America's history of support and friendship with Israel, by its increased pressure on Israel, its concessions and economic aid to nuclear Iran, the U.S. government has become part of the problem. And the world sees it.
Amid the many failures of the Obama Administration, this behavior is near the top of the list. This, like other matters of American government that challenge God's eternal moral laws -- abortion, immoral sexual license, anti-Christian persecution, class and racial warfare, are not just political and policy issues, they are deeply spiritual matters that offend Almighty God and defy His plain commands and natural and moral order. They have to do with good and evil. Our State Department's Office of International Religious Freedom has done little of substance during the Obama Administration to defend either Jews or Christians, except when it has come under such tremendous public pressure it had to do something. And as I have previously reported, Americans, including some Evangelicals, are pulling back from their support for Israel - and Evangelicals have truly been Israel's best friends.
While I am in Jerusalem, Secretary of State John Kerry's deadline for Israel to submit to U.S. pressure will come to an end. Will the Obama administration pull even more support from Israel than it already has, as President Obama suggested before his last meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu? Not only Israel's but America's destiny will be impacted by that answer. (see Obama Warns Netanyahu; Anti-Israel Evangelicals?; Where do Americans Stand?; U.S., Israel, Iran; European Anti-Semitism Disturbing; Hungary Sliding; Norwegians most Anti-Semitic; Spain; Top Ten Nations, Anti-Semite Leaders, Shooting sprees in America, If I forget you, Oh Jerusalem; Tony Perkins on Iran Policy; Perkins: Israel, Defend Yourselves and Us; Jimmy Carter Libels Israel; Resurgence of Global Anti-Semitism - a Global Perspective.
- May the American people, especially believing Christians, stand up for the Jewish people in Israel and around the world. May Christians call upon our government to reverse the attitudes it is displaying toward Israel, especially those that contradict Scripture. May God intervene to bring American Foreign policy in line with His will and purposes. May God intervene to grant America repentance, faith and obedience! May we be among the nations that arise and shine and are lights to the nations, even when the whole earth is covered in darkness. (Gen 12:1-3; 2 Chr 7:14; Neh 1:5 ff; Ps 122: all; Pr 17:17; 24:11-12; Is 60:1-4; Eph 6:10-20; )
Finally, 1) Please pray for the seminarians (mostly American pastors) arriving at Yad Vashem: the world's preeminent Holocaust Museum, research and education center, and Living Memorial to the 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators. Pray that we will return to the U.S. better equipped to serve. 2) We are just one week away from the all-important National Day of Prayer, Thursday, May 1st. Please visit NDP's Website and find an NDP event near you. Rejoice with us that the Pentagon refused to stop the observing the NDP, as it did, caving in to anti-Christian activists a couple years ago (see Army Stands). 3) The IRS has revoked the tax exemption of pro-family Patrick Henry Center for Liberty led by our friend, Mike Farris, yet another in its targeting of Christians and conservatives. May God Help Congress obtain justice for all who have had their civil rights violated! FRC's Watchmen on the Wall Pastors' Briefing, May 21-23, has resumed registering pastors who were on our waiting list, thanks to you who responded to my letter last week. Thank you for praying!