I just returned from Israel where I went to the future site of the United States embassy in the Arnona neighborhood of Jerusalem. In a nice, but unspectacular setting, just south of center Jerusalem, the USA will establish its official diplomatic presence in May, 2018. (Though a permanent embassy will be built in the months ahead). When I went, it was a sunny, quiet day there, with the breeze blowing gently. Very pleasant. But, in contrast to that tranquil setting, the diplomatic storm that rages around this site, and the action taken by Donald Trump, is anything but tranquil.
This decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem has been met with threats of violence and dire warnings of terrible events that will take place, from rioting to World War III. We would expect nothing less from groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, the Palestinian Authority and nations like Iran. But a little less expected (though not much) are voices in the US media which say this action by Donald Trump will set back the “peace process”. This, of course, immediately raises the question of “what peace process is being referenced?” When one side of the table refuses to even allow for the existence of the nation of Israel, and insists that the Jews must forever be pushed into the sea and removed from the land, then there can be no peace, and there certainly is no ongoing process. The move of the US embassy does not impact the present “peace process”, but could actually force the Palestinian Authority et. al. to reconsider its position. Whether you like everything President Trump does or not, it ought to be acknowledged that this action of his was courageous and long overdue. And, it was a powerful statement of support for the nation of Israel, our one real ally in the Middle East. (Incidentally, just on the western edge of Jerusalem, I also saw Israel’s memorial to the victims of the 9/11 attack on America. Israel is the only nation in the world, aside from our own, that has such a memorial to what happened to us on September 11, 2001).
But there is something that is of great significance beyond the political issue of the embassy move. In essence, President Trump was “blessing” Israel; doing something to support, defend and encourage that nation. There is a powerful, ongoing principle found in the Bible about this kind of thing. Long ago, God said to Abraham, in Genesis 12:3: “I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse.” This is good for America. God does not specify how He will “bless” or “curse”, but He doesn’t lie and He does what He says He will do. This guarantee given to Abraham has proven true time and again over the centuries as God has indeed dealt with nations according to their blessing or cursing of Israel. Once powerful nations who “cursed” the Jews (like Great Britain who dealt deceptively with the people of Abraham during World War II), are shadows of their formers selves. Trump and Abraham have crossed paths, and we may benefit nationally. “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.”