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Weekly Update: The time of the Lord’s favor

Andrew Tucker - 24 January 2020

Through the prophet Isaiah, the Lord promised long ago that “in the time of my favor” He would help His covenant people by restoring them to the land, and delivering them from their enemies.

This week the world commemorates the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz in January 1945. The Jewish people have truly been brought back from the dead – restored to their land, and delivered from their enemies.

While many enemies of Israel continue to plot and plan its demise, and anti-Semitism is on the rise, the nation of Israel (despite a political crisis!) continues to blossom and grow.

It is nothing less than a miracle. Truly, this is the time of the Lord’s favor. He is redeeming Israel.


World leaders meet in Jerusalem to commemorate Auschwitz liberation

In the largest diplomatic event in Israel’s history, leaders of over 50 nations met in Jerusalem this week to commemorate the 75thanniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camps in January 1945.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reminded the world that Israel will no longer rely on others for its survival: “Israel is eternally grateful for the sacrifice made by the Allies. Without that sacrifice there would be no survivors today. But we also remember that some 80 years ago, when the Jewish people faced annihilation, the world turned its back on us,” Netanyahu said. “The Jewish people have learned the lessons of the Holocaust: that we cannot take threats to annihilate us lightly; to confront threats when they are small; and above all, even though we greatly appreciate the help of our friends, to defend ourselves by ourselves,” Netanyahu said.
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At a state dinner in Jerusalem for the World Holocaust Forum, Prof. Yehuda Bauer tells dignitaries that ‘Anti-Semitism is not a Jewish illness, but a non-Jewish one; it is a cancer that kills and destroys your nations and your countries.’
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Turmoil continues as Israel gears up for third elections in one year

Our correspondent in Israel, Yochanan Visser writes: For the third time in one year Israel is gearing up for parliamentary elections. This is the first time in the history of the Jewish state new repeat-elections will be hold after the previous rounds resulted in a deadlock whereby neither the left-wing bloc (which includes the Arab parties) nor the right-wing bloc led by Likud succeeded in forming a majority government.

If we are to believe the polls – take in account that in Israel polls are often wildly of the mark – the upcoming elections on March 2 will not change the situation.
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Jordan Valley, Trump, annexation and Israeli settlements: the saga continues 

In the lead-up to the Israeli elections in March, both PM Netanyahu and opponent Benny Gantz have declared their support for “extension of Israeli sovereignty” over the Jordan Valley. Netanyahu has even stated his government would “immediately” extend Israeli sovereignty over all West Bank settlements “without exception.”
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This comes at a time that the US has announced its intention to release its long-promised Peace Plan. The White House opposes Israel applying sovereignty over the Jordan Valley before the release of its Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, but there are indications the US administration may not take issue with such a move down the road. The US Administration has previously indicated it considers Israel has a “right” to apply its sovereignty over parts of the West Bank.
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“Palestine”, “settlements” and the International Criminal Court

In the meantime, the International Criminal Court (ICC) remains seized of the “Palestine situation”. On 20 December 2019, the Prosecutor announced her decision that “Palestine” is a “state”, and Israeli “settlement policies” (ie. policies enabling Jews to live in the East Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria) is a war crime.
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The Prosecutor asked the Chamber to make a ruling confirming her view that “Palestine” is a state. In the latest development, a Pre-Trial Chamber of the Court has publicly humiliated the Prosecutor by saying her 112-page Request was too long, and demanding she re-write it (which she has since done).
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All signs point, however, towards the Court deciding that it has the jurisdiction to prosecute Israeli political and military leaders for Israel’s policies in the establishment of settlements in the “West Bank including East Jerusalem” since 2014. The Prosecutor considers that “Palestine” is a state under international law, and that Israeli policies enabling settlements to be built in “Palestine” amount to war crimes under the ICC Rome Statute. Israel vigorously opposes this view of international law, and has submitted detailed submissions to the court explaining why. Israel says that “Palestine” does not satisfy the normal criteria of statehood and should not be treated as such. Further, a Court ruling would undermine the Oslo Accords and the peace process based on the principles of UN Security Council resolution 242 (1967). We highly recommend reading the well-written and persuasive submissions of the Israeli Attorney-General and the Legal Adviser to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

Submission of the Israeli Attorney General
> Submission of the Legal Adviser of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Here are some commentaries on the case:

– Of Temporal Jurisdiction and Power Struggles in the ICC’s Palestine Investigation
– Israel at the ICC – Judges tell Prosecutor: Your brief was too long



“Focus on the future” – Video teachings by Rev. Willem J.J. Glashouwer

Rev. Willem Glashouwer helps us understand God’s prophetic word, and how prophecy is being fulfilled in our generation.

Volume 2 episode 9: Why end times? Because the Bible speaks about it. God knows the history of this world. He knows what is going to happen to planet earth. He leads the history of this world towards His goal. And His goal is the coming of His Kingdom and the coming of Jesus in glory! Imagine it for a minute that the clouds open up, that the Shekinah Glory of God covering the Holiness of God will bring Jesus back to planet earth. That is going to happen, but before that happens there will be a dark period. The end times on planet earth.



“The Election” 
– Video teachings by Johannes Gerloff

Watch this series of teachings by Israeli-based Bible teacher and journalist Johannes Gerloff:

Episode 9: Throughout history Christianity envied the Jewish people and tried to prove that we are also chosen. However, whenever God chooses someone, He does so for a purpose. Every election is bound to a duty and focuses on a mission.

 

Shabbat shalom,

Andrew Tucker
Editor-in-Chief – Israel & Christians Today

 


Scripture for the week: Isaiah 49:1-9

Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations: Before I was born the Lord called me; from my mother’s womb he has spoken my name.
He made my mouth like a sharpened sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me into a polished arrow and concealed me in his quiver.
He said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will display my splendor.”
But I said, “I have labored in vain; I have spent my strength for nothing at all.
Yet what is due me is in the Lord’s hand, and my reward is with my God.”

And now the Lord says—he who formed me in the womb to be his servant
to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel to himself,
for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord and my God has been my strength—
he says: “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”

This is what the Lord says—the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel—
to him who was despised and abhorred by the nation, to the servant of rulers:
“Kings will see you and stand up, princes will see and bow down,
because of the Lord, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”

This is what the Lord says: “In the time of my favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you; I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people,
to restore the land and to reassign its desolate inheritances,
to say to the captives, ‘Come out,’ and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!’

 

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The goal of Israel & Christians Today is to help Christians to take God’s Word seriously, and study current events in the world in the context of the Bible.
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