Trump, God and Israel
Donald Trump on the campaign trail with his family. Left front: Son-in-law and daughter, Jared and Ivanka Kushner. Jared comes from an observant Jewish family. Ivanka converted to Judaism. Right: Wife Melania Trump.
By Shira Sorko-Ram
I remember sitting with a group of about 12 Israeli Messianic leaders in Jerusalem at the invitation of CBN’s Pat Robertson in 2003.
Pat had invited us to give him our perspective concerning the state of the Messianic Jewish body in Israel – its progress and challenges in that still nascent stage of bringing the Good News to our Israeli people.
Afterward, Pat asked us our opinion of George W. Bush’s presidency. We answered in general terms that we were happy to have a U.S. president who professed to be a Christian and who seemed to have some understanding of the importance and needs of the Jewish state.
Pat responded that he felt Bush was in for a great fall because he was the first president to advocate a division of the Land of Israel with the Arabs.
I remember I was stunned. True, the Book of Joel says that God will enter in judgment “on behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel” with those who “have divided up My land.” (Joel 3:2) And everybody who reads the Bible knows God promised the land of Israel to the people of Israel multiple times. That’s why both the people and the land are called Israel in the Bible.
But, on June 25, 2002, President George W. Bush declared “…the United States of America will support the creation of a Palestinian state…”
There is no doubt in my mind that when God said, “I will bless those who bless you” (i.e., Abraham and his descendants), He meant it. It is clear to me that one of the principle reasons America is still the number one superpower in the world and is a nation where people all over the world dream of living, is the American people’s unique relationship with the people of Israel. And the backbone of this alliance has been the Bible-believing Christians together with the Jewish American community.
But as today’s younger generation becomes ever more secular (pagan), the love for the people who gave the world the Bible is weakening. Furthermore, as American Jews become more secular, their love for the state of Israel is also waning.
There is no other nation in the world that could take America’s place in its support for Israel emotionally and financially. If America’s support dwindles, Israel will still survive because the Bible says so. But at what cost? The Israeli media continually discusses the threat of Hezbollah’s 100,000 missiles trained on this tiny nation. Israeli military leaders are all preparing for the next war against Iran via Hezbollah.
And all Israel is waiting with baited breath to see what the new President Donald Trump will do.
THE HOLY LAND AWAITS PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP
Unknown to most of the world, the Bible reveals that God chose Israel to be a light to the nations. According to this plan, He called Abraham 4,000 years ago to migrate to the place we call the Holy Land. God promised this piece of real estate over and over again to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (renamed Israel) and their descendants forever.
Because most of the world’s populations are under the domination of the god of this world, they care nothing about God’s promise to Israel. The majority of the world is mainly made up of Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Confucianists, pagans, atheists and nominal Christians; they have no interest in seeing God’s Word fulfilled nor do most even know it exists.
All that to say there will never be a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. Those familiar with Middle East history know that before the Jews began to return to their ancient homeland, there were transient tribes of Bedouins and Arabs roaming in and out of the area of the Holy Land. Ottoman and British officials and travelers from different nations all record the dearth of man and beast in the Land.
It was a desolate land, with few inhabitants, and little water. Where there was water, the land was infested with malaria. Miraculously, there was always a remnant of Jews, poor but present, in small communities from Jerusalem to Galilee. What is an absolute historical fact is there was never a “Palestinian nation” anywhere in the Middle East or any other place.
Around the 1880’s Jews began to trickle back into the forsaken land of Israel. It was God’s timing. At the turn of the century the aliyah (Jewish immigration) began to pick up momentum as Jews fled from persecution in Europe and Russia, and returned to rebuild their ancient homeland.
In 1947, a miracle happened. The newly formed United Nations voted to recognize “a Jewish state in the area called Palestine” – the name the Roman Emperor Hadrian gave to the Biblical lands belonging to the Jews in the second century in an attempt to minimize Jewish identification with Judea, Samaria and Galilee.
The UN also offered the local Arabs a state, but they refused because they would settle for nothing less than all of the Holy Land.
But just as it was in the 5th century BC when Ezra and Nehemiah brought groups of Jews back to this land, there were enemies living in God’s promised land who fought both physically and diplomatically against the return of Jacob’s children.
A MODERN-DAY HAMAN
Yasser Arafat, father of modern terrorism and inventor of the “Palestinian Nation.”
In 1964, one Egyptian, Yasser Arafat, emboldened by his religious heritage, proclaimed that the Holy Land belongs only to Islam. According to his religion, Jews are cursed. But Arafat went further than even the Koran: Arafat declared that the Jews never ever lived in this area of the world. Instead, it had been the ancient Palestinian people who lived in the ancient land of Palestine for thousands of years.
He and his operatives made it their lifelong mission to rid the Middle East of the Jews by both terrorism and diplomacy in the U.N. and around the world. Indeed, Yasser Arafat holds the title of the father of modern terrorism. He was the first to make bombing planes and dispatching suicide bombers his brand. His present successor, Mahmoud Abbas, together with the leaders of Hamas, and Iran through its surrogate Hezbollah, continue their life-long ambition to destroy the state of Israel.
SHAPING A CREATED PEOPLE
Arafat and his terrorists have had great success in one area. They actually created a Palestinian people that did not exist 53 years ago. All of the Arab countries have worked together to bottle up this invented people group who had fled to Judea and Samaria during wars the Arab nations had perpetrated against Israel.
What do I mean by “bottle up?” The Arab nations did not allow this newly-created people to migrate and integrate into any one of the sparsely populated Islamic nations around them – even though the “Palestinian” Arabs spoke the same language, had the same religion, ate the same food and enjoyed the same culture. The Arab nations could have solved the “Palestinian refugee” problem overnight. In fact, most originally came from other Arab states and regions.
But the Palestinians had been created by Arafat to destroy Israel. To execute this objective, the refugees had to remain in Judea and Samaria. To make sure that Palestinians didn’t backslide into making peace with Israel, Arafat and the Islamic nations created a narrative of hate that Arab children until today are taught from birth – that Israel stole their Palestinian land, and the Palestinians’ destiny is to fight as long as it takes until they throw the Jews into the sea. Islam has patience.
This cradle-to-grave education and culture that glorifies killers of Jews permeates the entire Palestinian society. It is the insurance policy against ever making peace with Israel.
Of course the overriding reason for this conflict is spiritual. God gave this land to the Jewish people, and the god of this world simply doesn’t like prophecy from the Bible being fulfilled. The Jewish people’s return to the land of Israel was prophesied by virtually all the Old Testament prophets. They declared this return would be a signal that the end of time as we know it is near.
To anyone who has eyes to see and ears to hear, the re-birth of Israel is an unprecedented phenomenon in human history. That a people should go into exile, be dispersed, and yet survive for 2,000 years, that they should be a nation without a national homeland and come back again, that they should re-establish that homeland and revive their ancient language is a miraculous, singular event. No one ever did such a thing. (goo.gl/YS8cc5)
Relevant to all God’s people today, from all nations, the Scripture is still true:
“I will bless those who bless you And the one who curses you I will curse.” Genesis 12:3
WATCHING AN AMERICAN RITUAL
I moved to Israel in 1967 when Lyndon Johnson was president. Since then I have watched Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama perform a ritual. All eight American presidents following the more or less same routine.
Each began with great excitement, confident he would solve the thorny ongoing issue of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Each believed he had the solution. Over the years, his officials debated and negotiated with the Palestinian people, presenting Israel’s red lines:
- Recognize the Jews have a right to their own nation, Israel.
- Stop once and for all the terror attacks and declare an end to war with Israel.
- Revoke the Palestinian demand for “Palestinian refugees’” and their children, their children’s children, and their great great grandchildren – some 5,000,000 Arabs – to have the “right of return” to live in Israel (the purpose being to have enough Muslim votes to destroy the Jewish state through elections).
- Give up their demand to make Jerusalem an Islamic capital, including the Western Wall and the many Jewish neighborhoods in the Jerusalem area. (Note that Jerusalem has never been the capital of an Arab country in all history.)
In return, Israel would give to the Arabs the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) for their state. (Gaza and Hamas is a whole other story.)
The Palestinians have never agreed to even one of these requirements, because these very “weapons” (war, diplomacy or economic strangulation) are the ones with which the Palestinians plan to destroy Israel – one way or another.
So what did the emissaries of the eight American presidents do? Turn to Israel, of course. By this time, these presidents were weary and annoyed. They just wanted to get this war over. So…if only Israel would allow the Palestinians to have a sovereign state in Judea and Samaria, all would turn out OK. So eight different Secretaries of State advised, cajoled, threatened, warned and demanded that Israel agree to divide the land of Israel into two – giving Palestinians their own land as a jumpstart to “a just and lasting peace” for the “Palestinian Refugees.” Of course, the Palestinians reminded the world that having their own state must include having their own army and weapons, etc., etc., etc.
But Israel understands Islam. The Israeli government understands their real goal is to keep fighting against Israel until the Jews are outnumbered and defeated. So Israel explains they can’t give the Palestinians part of the Israeli homeland until the Palestinians agree to recognize the right of the Jewish people to have their own country, and agree to stop fighting Israel. And there it ends.
Today the dangers facing Israel are mind-numbing. Israel faces Iran, which has supplied its surrogate Hezbollah with 100,000 missiles and battle training. Syria is the highway through which Iran sends its weapons to Hezbollah. Their mullahs absolutely believe they will be the champions to win the favor of the Islamic world because it is they who will destroy Israel. In less than a decade, maximum, Iran will be creating its own UN-approved nuclear weapons. Only because of the God of Israel, they will not be able to destroy the Jewish people.
In its immediate neighborhood, Israel faces the eternal hatred of the Arab citizens in the West Bank and Gaza – all ready to give their lives to defeat the Jewish enemy. Europe has turned its back on Israel in almost every forum – time and again, even threatening to arrest Israeli government and military officials who took part in protecting Israel from Hamas’ attempt to destroy the Jewish state.
We must note that there is one new bold pro-Israel Western leader on the horizon. British Prime Minister Theresa May has pledged to stand by Israel which she describes as “a thriving democracy, a beacon of tolerance, an engine of enterprise and an example to the rest of the world for overcoming adversity and defying disadvantage.” May God bless Great Britain!
Nevertheless Israel faces an Islamic-dominated UN and its massive engine fighting the existence of Israel through hate speech, constant worldwide propaganda, BDS efforts to choke Israel’s economy, and endless resolutions against Israel. Up until now, only the U.S. in the Security Council has protected Israel from being an outlawed pariah state.
What can Israel do? Fight for her life, every minute, every hour, every day. Send its army into Palestinian areas to hunt down terrorists preparing to strike. And last but not least, Israel’s non-lethal option: fill Judea and Samaria with Jewish homes.
I repeat, spiritually speaking, the god of this world hates to see the fulfillment of Scripture take place before its very eyes. And so the rulers and “world forces of darkness” through the UN and the West have zeroed in on the building of Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria as the gravest, most unlawful action in the whole wide world. Worse than any of the 100-odd wars going on in the world right now – which nearly all involve Muslims.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict draws more UN anger than the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of men, women, children and babies in Syria or the terrorist activities of Iran across the Middle East. The UN doesn’t have time to consider human rights abuses in Russia or North Korea, Iran, Pakistan or Turkey because it must concern itself with Israel.
Think of this: In November 2015, the UN passed a resolution that Israel must give the Golan Heights back to Syria. The UN voted this way, I guess, so that not just the 50,000 Jews living there but also the Druze would be slaughtered by ISIS which is just on the Israel-Syrian border fighting whoever comes near them. If this doesn’t make sense, it’s because it doesn’t.
Israel’s defense is to fill the land with Jewish families throughout the ancient hills just as the Bible says it would.
“But you, O mountains of Israel, [Judea and Samaria and Galilee and Golan Heights] you will put forth your branches and bear your fruit for My people Israel: for they will soon come.” Ezekiel 26:8
“Behold I will gather them out of all the lands to which I have driven them….And I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will faithfully plant them in this land with all My heart and with all My soul.” Jeremiah 32:37, 41
WHAT WILL DONALD TRUMP DO?
Now enter Donald Trump. Will he dive in with conviction that he will negotiate the greatest deal ever? He has publicly confessed he would love to do such a deal. But these words send shivers down the spines of the Israeli government and most Israelis. After all, we have been through this routine before. Pressure on Palestinians. No results. OK. Pressure on Israel – with all the world cheering.
With Donald Trump, there is one true statement everyone agrees with: no one really knows what he will do. On the one hand, the parents of his beloved Jewish son-in-law Jared Kushner who is married to Trump’s daughter Ivanka, have contributed generously to “settlements” in Judea and Samaria. Wow!
Extreme leftists, even in Israel are horrified, because they, like leftists everywhere, believe that all Israel needs to do is to give the Palestinians their own state in Judea and Samaria and voilà! Peace in our time!
The Palestinians deserve their own state, say the left, even if they refuse to recognize the right of the Jewish state to exist and refuse to stop fighting against Israel. They confidentially declare their mission to continue their war until the Jews are thrown into the sea.
ISRAEL NEEDS AMERICA; AMERICA NEEDS ISRAEL
Knowing that God is Israel’s source, we still say wholeheartedly that Israel needs strong U.S. backing – for Israel’s sake and for America’s sake. God has given America the privilege and honor to be Israel’s only friend with the ability to help financially and politically.
Yes, astoundingly we are gaining friends in Africa. But they need Israel’s help in agriculture and technology. And even more astoundingly, we are gaining secret friends among Arab rulers because of their dread of Iran’s terror-driven policies and nuclear ambitions. But these same Arab rulers will never publicly confront Palestinian terror. That’s just something Muslims don’t do.
If Trump’s secretary of state truly understands the conflict, and has a basic Judeo-Christian outlook concerning the return of the Jews to their homeland, Israel will be blessed, and what’s more, America will be blessed.
The dream of the Jewish nation would be for the secretary of state to be a true friend of this nation. The miracle that Israelis long for is that Trump would bring the American embassy to Jerusalem, thereby affirming that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. The U.S. Congress and Senate voted in 1995 for this to happen, but no president has yet had the guts to follow through. Will Trump be the man?
WHAT WILL YOU DO?
There have been various prophetic voices that prophesied Donald Trump would be the next president and that he would be like King Cyrus who in 535 BC actually fulfilled Jeremiah’s prophecy that the Temple would begin to be rebuilt after 70 years of Jewish exile. Sure enough, right on time, Cyrus gave the command that began the return of Jews to the Land of Israel.
But Cyrus was simply God’s servant to open the door for the people of God to begin to build God’s Dwelling Place. Because of godly priests, prophets and leaders, a few thousand Jews began the grueling work of rebuilding Jerusalem from its ashes. Against all odds, with tools in one hand and a sword in the other, they fought pagan enemies, manipulators, double-crossers and bureaucratic confusion. It took 80 long years to finish the task.
Today there is no magic wand to heal the hurts and sins of America. No super hero.
Trump is not Moses. He is not the one who will “save” America. Who then, is he? He is a miraculous answer to the prayers of God’s people. He pushed open the chained door and stuck his foot inside.
But Trump cannot do what the people of God must do. The job of believers is to win the lost and pray for the nation, especially its leaders.
But the spiritual leaders of America must also boldly stand up against the sins that Paul warns against: “immorality, impurity, evil desire and greed which is idolatry. For it is on account of these things that the wrath of God will come.” Colossians 3:5-6
TAKE HOLD OF THAT SECOND CHANCE
Looking at America from across the ocean here in Israel, it appeared that no one was going to be able to stop the U.S. from literally sliding down into a dark abyss – of atheism, politically correct authoritarianism, hatred, gross pornography, murder and violence, with a barrage of laws that would attack religious freedoms from every direction. That, together with a steadily growing influence of Islam, which, by its own mouth declares its goal to conquer America and the world, made America look irretrievable.
But now, the Lord has allowed Donald Trump and America to push the evil day back. Now there’s a second chance. There is a stay of execution. Christians and Messianic Jews must go into battle and really fight the good fight of faith as never before. Not just a few here and there. But God is calling for a mighty army to take America back.
But don’t think for a second that the godless leftist activists who are filled with rage, are not plotting at this moment to take America back down that dark abyss.
As one minister said, “If we blow this… expect disaster.”
- Pray that Trump will stand firm for family values, as per the Scriptures.
- Pray that Trump will stand firm in an accurate assessment of Islam and its goals.
- Pray that Trump will stand firm in saving the lives of babies yet to be born.
- Pray that Trump will continue to surround himself with and listen to godly men and women of wisdom, skill and experience.
- Pray that Trump will truly understand God’s purposes for the people of Israel.
- Pray that Trump will receive a growing understanding of godliness in character and behavior.
- Pray that Trump will not be enticed into attempting to divide His Land into two.
- Pray that Trump will allow Jews to build on their ancient land of Judea and Samaria,as the prophets foretold and recognize Jerusalem as the City of the Great King.
THE GOD OF SECOND CHANCES
In every way, I see the nature of God in Trump’s election. God is the God of second chances. For Trump and for America. Only a year and a half ago, Trump asked, “Why do I have to repent or ask for forgiveness if I am not making mistakes?”
I may be really far off, but I wonder if God didn’t allow that abhorrent recording of Trump which exposed his inner thoughts and his vile language to be shouted from the housetops. He was shamed and humiliated before his wife, his daughter, his family, the nation and literally the whole world.
After that exposure, his tone was different: “I’ve never said I’m a perfect person, nor pretended to be someone that I’m not. I’ve said and done things I regret, and the words released today on this more than a decade-old video are one of them. Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect who I am. I said it, I was wrong and I apologize.”
In the days after, the Trump arrogance and narcissism appeared to slacken. He seemed to focus on people outside himself and express genuine care for others: “I have traveled the country talking about change for America, but my travels have also changed me. I’ve spent time with grieving mothers who’ve lost their children, laid-off workers whose jobs have gone to other countries, and people from all walks of life who just want a better future. I have gotten to know the great people of our country and I’ve been humbled by the faith they’ve placed in me. I pledge to be a better man tomorrow, and will never, ever let you down.”
According to Yahoo News reports, on October 10, 2016, Ben Carson, a man known to be a solid Christian and a man of integrity, told journalists that Trump prayed with evangelist James Robison, and that Trump had “absolutely” asked for forgiveness in those prayers.
When pressed for further details about the content of those prayers, Carson replied that Trump “is coming ever closer to the Lord.”
The fact that Trump has surrounded himself with a large number of Christian men and women advisors is pretty amazing, and even astonishing. A person normally surrounds himself with those of like mind. In conclusion, there is a lot about Donald Trump that we don’t know.
There is one clear command for this situation:
“First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” I Timothy 2:1-4
So we see there is a connection between praying for our leaders and getting the Gospel out to our nations. If the Lord has asked us to pray, He means to answer our prayers. Let us pray for Donald Trump’s spiritual life, to let his Savior cleanse him from all unrighteousness and give him and his team wisdom to rule the United States of America.