That His name may be declared in all the earth
Jews prepared this week to celebrate their forefathers’ escape from forced submission to an ancient superpower that was once their friend and ally.
As they did, reports from Washington warned of the imminent mounting of an extraordinary effort to coerce Israel into compliance with the dictate of the modern superpower the Jewish state has long regarded as its friend and ally.
US officials say President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are determined to fight any effort by the new Netanyahu government to back away from the process that demands the surrender of the historic heartland of the Jewish people for the creation of an Arab state.
“In an unprecedented move,” Ha’aretz reported Tuesday, “the Obama administration is readying for a possible confrontation with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by briefing Democratic congressmen on the peace process and the positions of the new government in Israel regarding a two-state solution.
Washington “is expecting a clash with Netanyahu over his refusal to support the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.”
Like some perversion of John the Baptist, US Special envoy Senator George Mitchell is heading for Jerusalem next week to prepare the way that will “advance the goal of the two state solution.”
While Mitchell’s two previous visits were characterized by a “willingness” to hear what Israel had to say, now he is coming “to do some talking himself.”
He is to be followed by Obama, the man accorded messianic status by hundreds of millions of people around the world, and who Tuesday spelled out his intentions in this matter:
“Let me be clear,” he told the Turkish parliament, “the United States strongly supports the goal of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security.”
Israel should not try to get out of it now. A two state solution “is a goal that the parties agreed to in the road map and at Annapolis” and is “a goal that I will actively pursue as president.”
The White House followed through with the announcement that Obama will head here in June.
Things could snowball.
These rapid-fire developments came after Israel’s just-inaugurated government revealed serious reservations about pursuing this “solution” any further.
In his first speech April 1 after becoming Israel’s Foreign Minister, (before Mitchell and Obama announced their intended visits) Avigdor Lieberman denied Israel was bound by the two-state solution established by the Annapolis process.
More concessions to Palestinians would only lead to further war, he said.
Then, following the outraged American response, Lieberman stated that after 16 years of failed efforts to reach peace by surrendering land, Israel was working on forming a new diplomatic program.
“We intend to work with determination on the diplomatic plane and formulate a detailed and up-to-date assessment. This will not happen overnight, and [the world] should not stand over us with a stopwatch in hand. We will formulate the policy compatible with our world view and as the voters wanted in the elections,” he emphasized.
But Obama is unwilling to brook objection or delay. State Department spokesman Robert Wood shot back that what is important is what America thinks, rather than what the Israelis want:
“The important objective for us is to get this process back on track so that we can get to this two-state solution that we think is in the best interests of not only the Israelis and the Palestinians, but the United States and the rest of the world.”
Yes, Washington’s warnings signal massive imminent pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to agree to tow the line.
And while many Americans hate what their government wants to do to Israel, many support the Obama approach.
The Philadelphia Inquirer slammed Netanyahu’s approach to peacemaking as “a Middle East Mirage” and called on Obama to “make tough decisions” about “how hard to push if the Israeli leader resists” his demands.
“The new US president needs to show,” concluded the paper, “that, besides being a close ally of Israel, he is committed to a stable Middle East.”
European nations, which have just hosted Obama in a love fest from London to Prague, also recently let Israel know that the EU and the US are finally on the same page. Europe’s message was wrapped in threats.
How starkly the lines are being drawn. And how vital has the need become for Christians those who truly worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to identify and take their place, amidst this surfacing new world order, alongside the hated and targeted nation of Israel.
Our allegiance, more than to King and Country, Stars and Stripes is first and foremost to the LORD and to His declared will and purpose.
We are poised to see Him act to drive this home.
As millions of Jews and a not inconsiderable number of Christians have been remembering today, it was approximately 3500 years ago that God rolled up His sleeves and prepared to pour His terrible judgments upon the land, leaders and nation of Egypt “with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm.”
It had taken 400 years, but the cries of His Chosen People finally reached His ears. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them. (Exodus 2:25)
When God commissioned Moses to go and deliver the Israelites, He was engaging Egypt on behalf of His Chosen People. His actions were certainly designed, to no small extent, to break the Egyptian yoke from their neck.
But His intervention on Israel’s behalf had one, over-arching purpose:
That all the earth would hear of Him; that all mankind would learn of His great power.
God had three audiences in mind: the mighty Pharaoh who protested, “I do not know the LORD” (Exodus 5:2); the Nation of Israel who did not yet know Him by His name (Exodus 3:13-14); and the idol-worshipping nations of the world.
As God told Pharaoh through Moses:
“But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.” (Exodus 9:16)
As God told Moses to say to the Israelites:
“Therefore say to the children of Israel: ‘I am the LORD; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I am the LORD your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. And I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and I will give it to you as a heritage: I am the LORD.’” (Exodus 6:6-9)
And as He foretold the outcome of His act of deliverance on the Egyptians:
“But Pharaoh will not heed you, so that I may lay My hand on Egypt and bring My armies and My people, the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch out My hand on Egypt and bring out the children of Israel from among them.” (Exodus 7:4-5)
Pharaoh was determined to show Moses and the Israelites that HE was god on earth. But God was more determined to show that there is only one God I AM WHO I WILL BE, the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Egypt’s efforts to confound and prevent the outworking of God’s plan led to the destruction of that land as a power. Pharaoh was unable to see it, but his administration officials did:
“How long shall this man be a snare to us? Let the men go, that they may serve the LORD their God. Do you not yet know that Egypt is destroyed?” they asked him.
Egypt was only the first nation removed from the pinnacle of world power by God for its abuse of the people of Israel.
Many others followed: Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, Byzantium, Crusaders, Turkish Empire, and Great Britain.
For this is what the LORD God also said to Israel:
But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.
For I am the LORD your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I gave Egypt for your ransom,
Ethiopia and Seba in your place.
Since you were precious in My sight,
You have been honored,
And I have loved you;
Therefore I will give men for you,
And people for your life.
He who intervened on behalf of Israel to deliver her from Egypt will intervene on behalf of Israel to deliver her from the whole “Quartet.”
Watch as it went with Egypt, so it may well go with the United States and all the nations that deliberately and purposefully gamble with Israel’s existence in order to shore up their own.
We are going to see Him reveal Himself. And as He did at that first Passover, He will again act and indeed is already acting to ensure that His fame and His name will be known throughout all the earth.
It’s all about HIS NAME!