If you knew ahead of time which opponent would win, just think how easy it would be to place your bet.
Likewise, if G_d had pre-warned us how certain events would come down, imagine what a no-brainer life would be. We could position ourselves just so – make sure we’re in the right place at the right time, on the winner’s side of the ring, all our money riding on the champ.
Believe it or not, this scenario is possible right now. World events are boiling around us, tensions between superpowers building to breaking point, and you and I are watching it all happen. Heavyweights flex in their corners, warming up for the ultimate fighting match. Any minute now the bell will ring … And we’ve been told which side to bet on.
The L_rd promised way in advance that He’ll make Jerusalem (Israel) a “bowl of reeling for the peoples all around,” or a “cup of trembling” as another version puts it. G_d said He would make her a “stone for all the peoples to lift.” And He guaranteed that “all who lift it (loosely paraphrased – try to push Israel around) shall injure themselves.” He even specified exactly when this will happen: “When all the nations of the earth gather against her.” (1)
So have you seen anything remotely similar to this description lately? Caught any news about turbulent uprisings in or around Israel? Heard rumors of nations wanting to destroy her or force her to give away the land she needs for basic self-defense?
Quoted some time back by Jeff Jacoby of Israel & Christians Today, “The French ambassador…told guests at a London dinner that the world’s troubles were the fault of ‘that *#@! little country, Israel.” (Jacoby also noted that the ambassador was not sacked nor did he bother apologizing for his words.)
With the alarming increase of anti-semitic activities around the world lately, we see this isn’t just one isolated opinion. It’s all happening according to plan. Nations are more and more shifting into a hostilely anti-Israel stance. Just like G_d said.
So where does that leave you and me?
In a great deal of danger, actually. Unless we get search out the “inside scoop” on upcoming events that is, to find out G_d’s perspective as stated in His Word. Otherwise we run the serious risk of finding ourselves in extremely precarious positions. On exactly the wrong side of the ring, with G_d in the opposite corner.
But did He really warn us about any of this? You decide.
And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem, And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications … They shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The L_rd is my G_d. (2)
Or, as He put it elsewhere:
I will send a fire (on the nations) … and they shall know that I am the L_rd. So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more; and the heathen shall know that I am the L_rd, the Holy One in Israel … Then shall they know that I am the L_rd their G_d, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there. Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the L_rd G_d. (3)
So we do know how the story ends. We know Who the Champion is in the end, and He has given us a heads up on who He will stand beside in the final battle. We have the L_rd’s word that He will defend Israel and even position Himself against those that hate her.
… for the sake of the house of Judah I will keep my eyes open, when I strike … Then the clans of Judah shall say to themselves, ‘The inhabitants of Jerusalem have strength through the L_RD of hosts, their G_d.’ On that day I wilol make the clans of Judah like a blazing pot in the midst of wood, like a flaming torch among sheaves. And they shall devour to the right and to the left all the surrounding peoples, while Jerusalem shall again be inhabited in its place, in Jerusalem. (4)
IT MAKES PLACING BETS A LOT EASIER, DOESN’T IT?
(1) Zechariah 12:2-4, New JPS Translation
(2) Zechariah 12:10; 13:9, KJV
(3) Ezekiel 39:6,7,28,29, KJV
(4) Zechariah 12:4-6, ESV