Good morning friends! There is a bit of excitement in the air as I contemplate what we know so far from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s White House visit with President Trump. To my knowledge, no news outlets or any other public sources have released details beyond the opening press conference held yesterday. If you have not seen the 27-minute press conference (including Q&A), here it is:
Though I saw a brief 2-minute clip soon after the press conference ended yesterday, I was unable to view the entire thing until late last night. In my mind, there was a potential bombshell that may have huge implications upon the future of peace talks in the Middle East. But, because we have no further details, I am purely speculating…with a Biblical viewpoint and a bit of creative license. Not to say this is exactly how things will turn out, but interesting musings nonetheless, so stick with me!
Here is the potential bombshell: During the press conference, President Trump was asked whether or not he was committed to a two-state solution (as all American presidents have been for many, many years). Here is the president’s reply:
I’m looking at two-state and one-state and I like the one that both parties like. I’m very happy with the one that both parties like. I can live with either one. I thought for a while the two-state looked like it may be the easier of the two but honestly, if Bibi and if the Palestinians — if Israel and the Palestinians are happy, I’m happy with the one they like the best.
Here is what I believe is significant in that statement: First, President Trump is apparently open to other thoughts and ideas beyond a two-state solution. That is critical because Biblically speaking, it is difficult to see how ownership of parts of the land of Israel would fit with Scripture. The Bible tells us that, though Israel may not always LIVE in the land, the land was given to them as an everlasting POSSESSION. (For example: Genesis 17:8 and Genesis 48:4) In other words, they own it…whether they live there or not! Thus, none of it can be ceded to the Palestinians (though they might live there). (If you are wondering about the Gaza Strip…it technically belongs to Israel, though the Palestinians occupy it.)
Secondly, that statement also seems to indicate President Trump’s willingness to allow the parties involved to come to a negotiated solution themselves, rather than bullying Israel into a “peace deal” that is detrimental to her security. America should absolutely lend its influence to make the Middle East a more peaceful place…but should not dictate how that should be done.
Then, in a separate statement, the Prime Minister tipped his hand slightly when he indicated a regional peace deal, as opposed to a deal simply between Israel and the Palestinians. Both men are known to be “deal makers,” and this could have a very far-reaching impact…along with Biblical significance.
Perhaps some things are coming into view now. For example, it has been known for some time now that Israelis have conducted secret talks with certain Sunni allied countries such as Egypt and Jordan (with whom they have peace treaties), as well as Saudi Arabia and other gulf states. That could very well be the foundation that has been laid for potential regional peace talks.
But why would Arab states be in cahoots with a traditional enemy? Simple. Some are as threatened by radical Islam as Israel is. Keep in mind that Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims are bitter rivals who, historically, only tolerate each other, if necessary, against Israel. (Otherwise, they are bitter rivals!) However, radicals are threatening even other Arab states. For example, Saudi Arabia is the “motherland” of Sunni Islam, while Iran is the “motherland” of Shi’ite Islam. Hence, Saudi Arabia fears Iran becoming nuclear-capable because they may very well become a target!
So, the Middle East is changing!
Now, consider the US embassy. During his campaign, Donald Trump was adamant about moving the embassy to Jerusalem immediately after taking office. Once in the White House, however, he has definitely backed off that promise and even discussed it with great caution in yesterday’s press conference. But alas…the backing off makes sense in light of a regional peace negotiation! If the objective is to gain the cooperation of Sunni allied states, why antagonize them at this point by moving the embassy? The timing is not right. If a peace deal is struck, or if peace plans fall through, perhaps moving the embassy makes more sense at that time.
One final thought about a regional peace plan. Obviously, Israel is at the center of it all. If some semblance of peace is struck, could it be that Israel enters a time of “dwelling securely,” as prophesied in Ezekiel 38:14? Remember, this is the chapter that tells us of an invasion from the north, led by Russia and Iran (joined by Turkey, Libya and Sudan). Could this regional peace deal drive a greater wedge between Israel and that coalition?
I can hardly contain the excitement I feel as we watch the stage being set for the final act of our time on earth! No, I don’t know if this will play out exactly this way or not. But what I do know is that we have never in the history of the world seen world events line up as they are right now! (We haven’t even talked about Isaiah 17:1 and the fall of Damascus!)
Now is the time to be ready. Our Bridegroom is coming!
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.
Keep looking for the Blessed Hope, my friends!