Israel and the Middle East are constantly in the news. As we discussed in last month’s blog about Syria, it is because this is where Jesus will return to the earth. In that article we discussed how the current conflict shows how the nations of the world are squaring up for that event.
However there is another prophecy about Israel that appears to contradict this. In Ezekiel 38 we read of a prophecy about a nation that will invade Israel, Gog (which most people think is modern day Russian and her allies. See the previous Blog about the limitations and hazards of interpreting prophecy). It states:
“Thus says the Lord God: On that day, thoughts will come into your mind, and you will devise an evil scheme and say, ‘I will go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will fall upon the quiet people who dwell securely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having no bars or gates’,”
Now that doesn’t sound like the Israel that we know does it? When we think of Israel we usually think about the imposing wall between itself and Palestine, or the “iron dome” defence system. Yet even with (or perhaps because of) these defence schemes, Israel is thriving. In the last couple of months articles have appeared in lifestyle magazines about Israel’s flourishing economy and tourists industries.
In the November UK edition of Esquire magazine there was an article about Tel Aviv as a tourist resort. It included the following line:
“Sadly, since the Arab Spring proved no more than an unseasonal heat wave and Egypt, Turkey Libya, Lebanon and Syria have turned, or are turning ugly, Israel is thriving, if wary.”
Esquire, Nov 2013, page 75
In September’s Easyjet magazine (the budget airline’s inflight magazine) there was an article about the entrepreneurial nature of Tel Aviv:
“Not only has the city become an oasis of international hedonism – the Miami of the Med, they say – but it has also, more recently, made a name for itself as an emerging tech powerhouse. Today, there are over 1,000 start-ups in the centre of town alone. Ranging from fashion websites to all manner of app developers, they are proof of a seriously diverse scene that’s tapping into the city’s biggest resource today: a stream of young, switched-on entrepreneurs
The fact that a budget airline now flies from the UK to Tel Aviv, taking holiday makers and city break lovers to the Holy land and that lifestyle magazine are listing the top 10 bars, restaurants and hotels to visit, shows how confident and secure this country now is. As well as tourism, high tech industries are changing the way Israel is seen on the world’s stage:
“Israel has been dubbed “The Startup Nation” because it has the highest density of startups per capita in the world—one for every 1,844 citizens (or 2.5 times the U.S. rate). More Israeli companies are listed on the NASDAQ than from all European companies combined. Israel ranks third in the world for venture capital availability and second in the world in the availability of qualified scientists and engineers. :
Even with war raging on its borders, as far as Israel is concerned, it’s “business is usual”. Maybe not “unwalled” or “secure” in the conventional sense, but Israel is considerably more settled than many of her neighbours. So if you think that Jesus will not return until there is total peace in the Middle East, then think again. Jesus can return at any time. We know he will come like a thief in the night and we know that we should watch, but are you ready to meet him?
To find out more what you should be doing now, visit our “What we Believe” page.