These remain interesting days in the Middle East, as tensions stir and factions plot their next move.
Earlier this week, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas gave an impassioned speech denouncing Israel, following confirmation of parameters of the US peace plan provided by Saudi officials.
The plan allegedly calls for something less than statehood for the Palestinians, Israeli control over security measures, permanent IDF presence in the Jordan Valley, no settlement evacuations and final status of Jerusalem delayed until later negotiations.
Abbas blasted President Trump, stating:
“We told Trump we will not accept his project, the ‘deal of the century,’ which has become the ‘slap of the century.’ But we will slap back.”
The White House responded, calling it “regrettable that the Palestinian leadership is looking to create a false impression against an unfinished plan they have not even seen,”
Meanwhile, as tempers flare surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Turkey is cozying up to the pope. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is scheduled to visit the Vatican February 5 to discuss US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Both Pope Francis and President Erdogan have strongly opposed the US announcement.
So, what are we to make of these current events? I’m sure we could draw from many Scriptural passages and principles, but let’s focus on a few simple things. First, the fight for Jerusalem is just beginning! Remember, the Bible tells us that Jerusalem will eventually become a heavy stone that will injury those who try to move it. Both Mahmoud Abbas and the Israelis have stated that the status of Jerusalem is a key. Each want it, so the Lord will one day intervene to settle the dispute!
Secondly, we know that Turkey has turned its back on Israel. Once allies, Israel and Turkey are far from it now, as Turkey has gained renewed energy in its push to restore the Sunni caliphate to the status of the Ottoman Empire (and beyond). Erdogan seeks control of that “empire.”
Meanwhile, we have examined the ultimate role of the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church during the last days. It will become the haven for the False Prophet and give rise to One World Religion.
I hope your seat backs and tray tables are in their upright and locked positions, as it won’t be long before this plane leaves the gate!
But we have hope, dear friends! The Blessed Hope…the rapture of believers. That moment is imminent (could happen any moment). Let’s live with urgency as we keep looking for the Blessed Hope! (Titus 2:11-13)