Weekly Update: Why do the nations rage?

editor - 22 May 2020

Dear friends,

Sometimes pictures speak a thousand words.

Three pictures this week say a lot about the miracle that defines our generation: the return of the Jewish people to their land. And how that miracle provokes the anger of the nations.

The first is the image of two Israeli leaders welcoming a group of new Ethiopian immigrants to Israel. One of those leaders is Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Hertzog – son of Israeli president Chaim Herzog and grandson of Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel Yitzhak HaLevi Herzog. The Herzogs are of eastern European descent, and suffered through the pogroms of the 18th and 19th centuries. The other leader is incoming Minister for Immigration Pnina Tamano-Shata, who herself made the long journey as a child from Ethiopia. Now aged 39, she was born in the village of Wuzaba near Gondar in Ethiopia, and came to Israel when she was three, as part of the evacuation of Ethiopian Jews from Sudan under Operation Moses in 1984. Together, Herzog and Tamano-Shata are pictured this week welcoming 119 new olim from Ethiopia.

The arrival of these new olim coincided with the annual day of remembrance for Ethiopian Jews who died on the way to Israel, as well as with Jerusalem Day (Yom Yerushalayim), on which the Jewish people celebrate the reunification of Jerusalem. This one picture tells the miraculous story of the modern miracle of Jews returning over the last century from the four corners of the earth, and being formed into one nation. The personal stories of each person in the picture, just like the experience of their people as a whole, is one of suffering, courage and persistence in the face of great adversity.

The second image is Iranian leader Ayatollah Khamenei defending a poster published this week in Iran advocating the “liberation” of Jerusalem. Calling for the destruction of the Jewish State of Israel, Khomeini refers to the Jewish state as a creation of “Westerners and Jewish corporation owners”, and Zionism as “a virus that must be eliminated”.

The third photo is of EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell expressing “grave concern” at Israel’s proposed “annexation” in the West Bank and warning Israel not to take unilateral action. Foremer Spanish Foreign Minister Borrell is a known supporter of the Iranian regime, and fierce critic of Zionism.

These pictures represent three diametrically opposed – and apparently irreconcilable – world views.

The nations rage and plot in vain, because the Lord is re-establishing Zion.

Shabbat shalom,

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


Aliyah continues despite Corona  

“It’s a huge privilege to welcome these 119 wonderful olim from Ethiopia just as I begin my position as aliyah and integration minister. They have been waiting a long time to fulfill the dream of aliyah. Now they’ve made it home and I’m extremely moved. I will make sure we do all we can to assist them as they start to build their life in Israel.” Read more..

EU condemns Bibi’s planned “annexation”

The European Union’s top diplomat on Monday warned Israel against annexing parts of the West Bank, saying the bloc would not recognize any changes to the 1967 lines not agreed upon in a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians. Read more..

Iran calls for elimination of Zionism

Ali Khamenei claims Jewish state is a ‘creation of Westerners and Jewish corporation owners,’ asserts it is growing ‘hopeless and powerless’ as regional resistance expands. Read more..

Israel and the region

Emil Avdaliani at BESA Centre: Geopolitical trends of the last two decades show that pivotal states in Eurasia are working to recreate their zones of influence. In so doing, they are challenging the US, which implies a corresponding challenge to the existing world order. Though Washington will be able to limit some powers’ ambitions, it has few tools with which to hamper the ambitions of Russia, China, and Iran. Read more..


“God’s Covenant” – Video teaching by Johannes Gerloff

Episode 24 in the series of teachings by Israeli-based Bible teacher and journalist Johannes Gerloff:

God “cuts” a covenant with Abram. Thus, He commits Himself to Abram and his descendants in a unique way. God’s covenant with Abram is indissoluble.


“Signs of the Times” – 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.

Episode 4: Three Questions.
The people didn’t understand Jesus when He told them they knew how to predict the weather, but apparently didn’t understand the ‘signs of the times’. Even His friends, the disciples had a hard time understanding what was happening. They ask Him the following three questions: ‘When will this happen?’, ‘What will be the sign of Your coming?’ and ‘What will be the sign of the end of the age?’

Scripture for the week: Psalm 2

Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed, saying,
“Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.”

The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them.
He rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
“I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.”

I will proclaim the Lord’s decree:

He said to me, “You are my son; today I have become your father.
Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.
You will break them with a rod of iron; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”

10 Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling.
12 Kiss his son, or he will be angry and your way will lead to your destruction,
for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.


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