Acts of God: America's Warning Not to Divide Israel
By Jennifer James
CBN News Producer
CBN.com - Since its modern establishment, the state of Israel has been a hotbed of controversy. Jews and Palestinians have long battled over who should rightfully inhabit the land of Israel, a land promised to the Jews 4,000 years ago. In the Bible, the book of Genesis details the covenant God made with the descendants of Abraham.
"On that day, the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, 'to your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river of Euphrates.'" - Genesis 15:18.
For more than a decade, America has led attempts to settle that dispute, each time encouraging Israel to bring its covenant lands to the bargaining table, this time with the "Road Map" peace plan. Bible scholars say that may be a costly decision for the U.S. as America again stands at odds with God's covenant promise.
U.S. Consul General Jeffrey Feltman said, "What we need to do now is implement and focus on how we get the two sides back to a political process and towards the vision of a two-state solution: Israel and Palestine living side by side."
On April 30, 2003, America was positioned as the catalyst to jump-start the so-called "solution" to the Middle East crisis. As U.S.-backed Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas was sworn in, the "Road Map" peace plan was set in motion.
The very next day began the worst month of tornadoes in American history, more than 500 in a single month. Normally, 1,000 tornadoes hit the United States each year, but this year, in just eight days in May, 375 twisters ripped across the heartland of America.
While in Israel, Assistant Secretary of State William Burns told a group of left-wing activists that "common sense" would override the conservative and Christian viewpoints concerning the road map.
May 9, 2003, President Bush addressed students at the University of South Carolina. Bush called on the Palestinians to embrace the road to peace, and see the flag of Palestine raised over a free nation.
Hours later, tornadoes returned and Oklahoma City again became the bulls-eye for deadly twisters, reducing what was left of businesses and homes to splinters and bricks. The tornadoes of May devastated the Midwest with the third worst property damage in American history. Since then, the Road Map has endured a rocky road to June, coinciding with what may be America's most rain-drenched spring in history.
On the East Coast there have been less than 10 rainless weekends the entire year. And in the West, certain crop-eating pests are having their best year in six decades amid dry conditions.
In the early stages of the Road Map peace process, weather catastrophe and recent violence in Israel have competed for the headlines. That violence coupled with America's own battles at home are leading some to question the Road Map. Is there a connection between dividing the Holy Land and utter disruption? Some Bible scholars think so.
In the book of Joel, God warns against dividing the land of Israel. Joel 3:1-2 says, "...I will enter into judgment with them there on behalf of my people and my inheritance, Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; and they have divided up my land."
Bill Koenig, author of Israel: The Blessing or the Curse, said, "We know for a fact that God gave this land, through the Abrahamic covenant, He gave the land of Israel to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their descendants, and this land is God's land."
Koenig said the U.S. should not consider such chaos a coincidence. "These are warning signals, these are warning judgements to America that this is My covenant land and it's not to be traded for promises of peace and security. This land is not to be parceled," he said.
In the last 12 years, the U.S. has stepped up its efforts to pressure Israel to give up her covenant lands, several times sharing the spotlight with major storms.
On October 30, 1991, in a meeting scheduled by the first President Bush, Israelis and Palestinians discussed ways to achieve peace in the Middle East. Opening talks focused on trading the lands of Israel for a peace agreement.
That same day, thousands of miles away, a powerful storm was brewing off the coast of Nova Scotia. On October 31st, what would be called "The Perfect Storm" smashed into New England, pummeling the President's Kennebunkport, Maine home with waves 30 feet high. It was a storm so rare that the weather patterns required to create it only happen once every 100 years.
August 23, 1992, Middle East peace talks resumed in Washington, D.C. The issue remained surrendering the biblical lands of Judea and Samaria in exchange for peace. Hundreds of miles south, Florida was the target of the worst natural disaster in American history. Hurricane Andrew tore through with an eye more than 30 miles wide and winds up to 178 miles per hour leaving a $32 billion disaster.
Koenig said, "The world leaders have attempted to parcel the covenant land, so as Israel's property and land is at risk, so is the property of the nation that's promoting the peace process. And I might add that the greater the pressure on Israel to give up this property, the greater the repercussions and the greater the following events that take place afterwards."
In the Bible, the prophet Zechariah warned the nations that would come against Jerusalem. "On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves," says Zechariah 12:3.
Koenig said, "We have the nations of the world right now siding with the Arabs and the Muslims that are focused on the covenant land, but we know God is standing with the nation of Israel."
Is America playing a dangerous game? As the Road Map peace process encounters resistance, the Bush administration's determination to see it through has escalated.
Secretary of State Colin Powell said, "We have a plan, we have the commitment of leaders and now we have to execute that plan, keep moving forward and not allow ourselves to be distracted or thrown off point, from the promise that's out there with the Road Map, by this surge of violence. We've got to punch our way through it."
But, up against biblical prophecies, Koenig said America is standing against the very Word of God and should expect major obstacles.
"I believe the Lord will allow these events to happen that disrupt the peace process," he said. "As long as you are going to have a terrorist infrastructure that's allowed to co-exist in the nation Israel, we're going to have a problem."
And with those same terrorist groups opposed to America's brand of peace, the future of the Road Map is dim. Israelis maintain they will be relentless to protect their country while all plans to split up the tiny nation may be curbed.
Koenig said, "God loves the nation of Israel. He still, to this day, loves this nation. He is in hot pursuit of the people of Israel. Through these events, we look at the tragedies and we look at the trials, but God's trying to wake up the world."
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