Welcome back friends! As you know, President Trump has pulled the US out of the Iranian nuclear deal. However, that’s only one of the many newsworthy events expected in the next few days.
Certainly, there is fall-out from Trump’s announcement yesterday. Netanyahu, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, European leaders, as well as some Arab states have all responded to the news in one way or another. (See various comments here.)
Also, the Israeli Air Force took care of business by destroying Iranian missiles aimed at Israel. (See this morning’s post.)
Big news for sure, but other “newsy” days are ahead. Here is a recap of what is on tap:
- Today – Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, met with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss the situation in the Middle East. (See yesterday’s post for more info about that meeting.) Information is just coming out about that meeting, where Netanyahu is said to have thanked Putin for engaging in a conversation about regional issues, and warned the Russian premier that Iran’s ambition is another Holocaust. Putin’s response: “We remember the tragedies of the two world wars, about the lessons of history which do not allow us to become blind. The same old ugly traits are appearing along with new threats: egoism, intolerance, aggressive nationalism and claims to exceptionalism. We understand the full seriousness of those threats.” Time will tell!
- Sunday, May 13 – Jerusalem Day (Hebrew: יום ירושלים, Yom Yerushalayim) is the day Israel celebrates the reunification of Jerusalem following the 1967 Six-Day War. Though Israel was victorious in the War of Independence (1948) and the Suez War (1956), in which they legally took control of their land, part of Jerusalem (and what is known as the West Bank today) fell under control of the Jordanians. When Israel was threatened again in 1967, they were again victorious, reuniting Jerusalem. Obviously, that is much disputed to this day, as there continues to be argument over the “pre-1967” borders.
- Monday, May 14 – Israel will celebrate her 70th anniversary and the US will officially open its embassy in Jerusalem. Many protests are expected, particularly from the Palestinians who continue their “March of Return” protests along the Israeli security fence. Hamas if fueling the riots there, and they are expected to grow in intensity.
- Tuesday, May 15 – Palestinian observance of nakba (“catastrophe” in Arabic), marking the establishment of the state of Israel. Again, protests in Gaza and the West Bank are expected to reach a fever pitch during these days.
- Wednesday, May 16 – Guatemala will officially open their embassy in Jerusalem.
As you can imagine, opportunities for conflict over the next few days abound. Pray for peace, and pray for wisdom of world leaders. Things are boiling beneath the surface and the eruption is bound to occur at some point.
As believers, we know these to be “birth pangs” Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24:1-8 and Mark 13:1-8. Never in the history of the world have we seen the stage so fully set for end time prophecies. Not to set dates or predict when the rapture (next thing on the prophetic calendar) will happen, but to simply say:
You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.
But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.
Our Lord could tarry, but our duty is to be ready, and to be about our Father’s business as we wait. Keep that in mind as we navigate the days ahead!
PS: Stick with me, as I hope to report from the ICEJ/ACLI Conference and a celebration in a few days at the Israeli Embassy in Washington DC.