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. Their hatred for Israel makes their response quite predictable. 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?” It is hard to spot any peace process. 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 perhaps could actually force the Palestinian Authority et. al. to reconsider its position (not likely, but stranger things have happened). Whether you like everything President Trump does or not, it ought to be acknowledged that this action of his was courageous and long overdue. He did something that our recent past presidents have been afraid to do. 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 far 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.” Donald Trump’s decision 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. There are several basic truths related to the covenant with Abraham in which this statement of God is found.
First, this covenant with Abraham is unconditional. The fulfillment of the promises and principles of this covenant depend on God alone for their completion. The promises have not yet been fulfilled which means that the covenant is still in force and God will fulfill them. God does not lie.
Second, this covenant has been ratified by God. In Genesis 15, God made it clear that the covenant was legally in place and binding. Once ratified, a covenant cannot be altered or adjusted in any way. In the Genesis 15 account, God went alone between the pieces of the sacrifice which shows that He alone will fulfill the contents of this covenant, which includes the “blessing” and “cursing” aspect concerning the nations of the world.
Third, this covenant is an everlasting covenant. God declared that as long as the universe in is existence, all parts of this covenant remain in force. Since the universe still exists, the blessing and cursing aspect of the covenant also exists.
Across the ocean, in the Middle East, is a nation about the size of the state of New Jersey. God is bringing back to the ancient land of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, His people Israel. He has sworn that He Himself will bring them back and that He will do what He said He would do. He will fulfill His covenant with Abraham. Nations that “bless” Israel will be blessed by God, but those who “curse” Israel will face His “curse.”
This guarantee given to Abraham has proven to be 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 and others no longer exist.
President Donald Trump and Father Abraham have crossed paths, and we will in some ways benefit nationally. Trump has “blessed” Israel and God, in His own way and His own time, will bless in response. We do not know what this may have to do with end time events, but Trump has put us in a better position nationally.