The citizen of Israel stares out his window at his nation, a tear in his eye and a knot in his stomach. He knows Israel is in trouble.
It is true that for the whole of its mere half-century of existence, the country has existed without peace. But as this Jewish citizen watches Palestinian teenagers and Israeli soldiers tussling in the streets, as the multilingual shouting and popping of gunfire fills his ears, he knows that today the situation is worse than it has ever been. He fears Israel is changed forever.
Let’s look back at Israel’s recent history.
When World War ii ended, there were many Jewish refugees with no place to call home. Most of the world became sympathetic to these Jews.
After a bitter struggle in the United Nations, the land of Israel was declared a nation. In 1948, when Israel (biblical Judah—the name Jew is just a shortened version of Judah) was declared a nation, the Arabs attacked immediately.
The Jews had no real army. They were losing the war after three weeks. Then the Arabs strangely called for a temporary truce. This is exactly what Israel needed to re-arm and train their weary troops—many of them civilians who carried guns.
Shortly thereafter the Arabs started fighting again. This time the Jews were well prepared and soon won the war.
It was a miracle from God. Many of the Jews acknowledged that. They experienced many miracles in the following years.
The Jews were prophesied to have a nation in this end time. So it had to happen!
The Jews were determined fighters. This was their first sovereign nation in 2,000 years. Only death could make them surrender their new and only homeland.
Will to Fight
There continued to be many problems between the Jews and Arabs. The problems became so intense in 1967 that almost every nation in the world believed the Arabs were about to attack Israel again.
The Soviet Union was strongly urging Egypt to attack. Egyptian troops poured into the Sinai and ordered the UN forces out. War seemed imminent.
Egypt, Jordan and Syria were allied to start a war. So the Jews felt compelled to strike first. Jewish war planes flew into Egypt and destroyed 300 Egyptian combat fighters in three hours. The Jews then captured all of the Sinai, the Suez Canal, East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Golan Heights in just six days.
Again, a series of miracles by God saved the Jewish nation.
Tourists began to pour into Israel. The state became prosperous and complacent. The Jews were lulled into a false sense of security.
In late 1973, the Jewish military ignored serious intelligence reports that the Arabs were again going to attack. The attack occurred on October 6—during the solemn Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.
The Jews won the war in three weeks, with much aid from the Americans. Egypt was beaten, but not humiliated. Once again biblical Judah had been miraculously saved.
But soon after, something dramatic changed in Israel.
Menachem Begin was elected prime minister in 1977. President Carter persuaded him to give the Sinai back to Egypt in the late 1970s.
This was the beginning of the Israeli-Arab peace process. The Jews gave up land for a piece of paper.
When the Jews gave the Sinai back to Egypt, that probably included Mount Sinai, where God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses. This fiery mountain spectacle gave birth to the nation of Israel! The Sinai area was where the children of Israel wandered for 40 years as they rebelled against God’s law.
Again, the biblical name for the modern nation called Israel is Judah. But the modern descendants of the ancient Israelites include many nations—primarily the U.S. (biblical Manasseh) and Britain (biblical Ephraim). In other words, biblical Judah is only a small part of Israel today. America and the British people are also Israel. The prophecies about end-time Israel are primarily focused on those three nations. (For proof, write for our free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy.)
The United States and Britain were both instrumental in pressuring Judah to give the Sinai back to Egypt, even though our ancestry was also a part of Israel when God’s law was given on Mount Sinai.
Prophecy states that those three nations, Israel, the U.S. and Britain, will be conquered together just before Christ returns, unless they repent (Hosea 5:5). The Jewish nation had to be established by God for that prophecy to be fulfilled. A miracle by God had to be performed.
Those three nations are looking to men for peace and not to the great God of Mount Sinai. Their history with God is virtually meaningless!
No other nation on Earth was ever chosen as God’s people—chosen not as a favorite people, but to lead the world to God. Israel has failed God miserably—anciently and today. Soon God will punish nations as never before. The people of biblical Israel talk a lot about God but don’t believe and obey Him. That is the real source of all our problems today. The nations of Israel will fall because of that faithlessness.
The Jewish nation was born and sustained by godly miracles. But it still refuses to trust God!
Today, in spite of the fact that the Jews gave the Sinai back to Egypt—an unparalleled gift—Egypt is fast becoming one of Israel’s most hostile neighbors. That should give us some idea of how giving land away does not buy peace.
Nevertheless, Israel has taken on the same mentality of weakness and trusting in men in its dealings with the Palestinians living in Israel. The Jews continue to give land for empty promises of peace. It started in 1993 on the White House lawn with a handshake between the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. There Israel surrendered bits of that hard-won, strategically important land in hope that the Arabs could be simply bargained into giving up their goal of destroying Israel.
The Jews have also given Gaza, Jericho, Bethlehem and other West Bank areas back to the Palestinians. It seems the world has forgotten that those areas were won in a war where the Arabs were trying to annihilate the Jews. This land-for-peace process is almost unheard of in history, except perhaps what has recently happened in South Africa.
God gave Bethlehem to the Jews. Through the “peace” process, they gave it to the Palestinians.
The Jews have given back many other biblical sites to the Arabs. America and Britain have strongly urged them to do so. We fail to realize that such a lack of faith is why all the adults of ancient Israel had to die in the Sinai wilderness.
Throughout this terribly misnamed “peace” process—involving giving up land and seeing no appreciable drop in violence—Palestinian leaders have consistently told politicians and media that they want peaceful coexistence with Israel while simultaneously promising to their people Israel’s destruction.
Now, after years of gambling with its own soil, Israel finds itself depleted of property and will, sapped and bloodied by a policy that has publicized, for all to see, the fatal weariness of this tiny nation.
The book of Hosea was written as prophecy for the end time. Again, the nation called Israel today is really biblical Judah. There are some specific prophecies about Judah in this book. “When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw his wound, then went Ephraim to the Assyrian, and sent to king Jareb: yet could he not heal you, nor cure you of your wound” (Hosea 5:13). Studying this verse in the original Hebrew reveals that both Ephraim (Britain) and Judah (called “Israel” today) go to Assyria (or Germany—to prove that fact, write for our free booklet Germany and the Holy Roman Empire).
Why do the Jews go to Germany, and what is Judah’s wound? The word wound is number 4205 in Strong’s Concordance. It means “in the sense of binding up: a bondage, i.e. remedy.” Gesenius’ Lexicon defines it this way: “the pressing together, binding up of a wound; here used figuratively of a remedy applied to the wounds of the state.” In other words, the remedy is the wound!
Another word for wound is also mentioned in Obadiah 1:7: “All the men of thy confederacy have brought thee even to the border: the men that were at peace with thee have deceived thee, and prevailed against thee; they that eat thy bread have laid a wound under thee: there is none understanding in him.” This wound is number 4204 in Strong’s. Gesenius defines it as “falsehood; hence, fraud, insidious dealing … net, or snare.” It has the same root word as the word used in Hosea 5:13. In Obadiah the wound is directly related to being deceived by a peace pact!
Trusting Their Enemies
Is the peace pact with the Arabs the Israeli wound that God refers to in Hosea 5:13? There would have been no peace pact if Judah would have trusted God instead of men.
The word wound doesn’t necessarily itself refer to some violent act, but it will undoubtedly lead to violence.
“Therefore will I be unto Ephraim as a moth, and to the house of Judah as rottenness” (Hosea 5:12). The word rottenness should read worm. The Anchor Bible Commentary states that the word usually describes the rottenness in wood or bones (Habakkuk 3:16; Proverbs 12:4; 14:30; Job 13:28; Isaiah 40:20). This wound reaches into their bones like cancer.
The worm is “like maggots infesting open wounds and then begins to devour the flesh.” This is a sickness unto death. The only cure is God.
The word wound in verse 13 means bandage. It’s as if a bandage is hopelessly applied to an open, running sore. From the beginning of the peace process, the Jews have looked to men, often their enemies, for help—not God. That is the unseen wound.
So little trust in God—so much trust in their enemies!
The real wound is spiritual—a lack of faith in God. The Jews keep trying to heal themselves by making peace pacts. They were strong when they trusted God. Even recent history proves that truth. Just a few years ago they were a terror to the Arabs. Now the Arabs are a terror to the Jews. A complete reversal in such a short time! Why?
The Israelis will finally see that their peace pact with the Palestinians has failed. The Jews really only see the effect of their wound. They don’t see the cause. That is why they turn to Germany for another peace pact! This time they place their trust in an even greater enemy! Once again they fail to trust God. It will lead to the worst disaster in the Jews’ long history of suffering.
The lesson still has not been learned. God is going to teach them emphatically about what their wound is and what the real solution is.
Today the Jews only see their wound humanly. But even that understanding comes painfully slow. Before this is over, they will see their wound spiritually—through God’s eyes. Then their wound will be healed and they will have peace forever.
But before that happens, they have to learn the most terrifying lesson of their national life!
The Israelis are trying to negotiate peace with the Palestinians. The Israelis have given control of Gaza and areas in the West Bank to the Palestinians. The terrorists often operate from these Palestinian-controlled areas.
That means the Israelis are no longer free to declare war on the terrorist base of operations.
Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s former prime minister, once said: “I think the central problem of the terrorism that we see today is that we have created a situation where we rely on Arafat and the Palestinian Authority to be our subcontractors to fight terrorism.”
The Jews are deeply divided over the peace agreement. This makes any democracy extremely vulnerable. It paralyzes the decision-making process, and hard decisions need to be made!
Why is the peace process a wound? Intelligence Digest, September 27, 1996, wrote: “There were always two fundamental problems with the Madrid peace process. The first was that if it ‘succeeded’ it would leave Israel physically vulnerable without having removed all the causes for war between the Jewish state and its Arab neighbor—thus making war more not less likely.
“On the other hand, if it ‘failed’ it would have heightened Palestinian expectations only to dash them later, thus making the general atmosphere in the Middle East worse not better” (emphasis mine throughout).
If the peace process makes violence and war “more not less likely,” then it is a wound for Israel. That means by trusting men, instead of God, Israel is a loser either way!
A later issue of Intelligence Digest, October 4, 1996, said this: “Both prospects are appalling: but they are the inevitable result of the principal delusion underpinning the Middle East peace process, namely that all problems can be solved by negotiation.”
The deadly delusion that “all problems can be solved by negotiation” is going to lead Israel and the U.S. to disaster!
Such a philosophy destroys nations. No great nation has ever been built or sustained by such a belief! Any good history book should teach us that. Bible prophecy certainly does. It is a philosophy based on weakness. Any powerful nation that reasons from such weakness is plummeting to disaster!
Through weakness and a lack of faith in God, the Jews have created their own wound! Because of the land they have already given the Palestinians, the Jews can no longer even pursue their enemy. And you would think the Palestinians would be grateful to the Jews for the land they have already been given. Instead, they use that gift to intensify their hatred!
A little psychology ought to convince any honest person that a peace pact will never work! But the Jews cling to their illusions because of weakness.
The Jews are afraid to get tough even in the Arab areas which they control. They don’t want the “peace” process to break down. But what most of them don’t know is that the peace process is a deadly delusion! It is a wound that will cause death, if they don’t repent. It is like terminal cancer!
The number-one Arab leader in the peace process for many years was Yasser Arafat. Before the peace negotiations, he was the leading terrorist in the Middle East! This is not a good foundation for peace.
Why would the Israelis have trusted the greatest terrorist in the Middle East to protect them from terrorism? They have more than enough power to protect themselves. But they lack the will to use it! That is because God has broken their will—and that includes America’s and Britain’s. And here is why.
The Law of Moses
We need to read an end-time prophecy specifically directed to America, Britain and Israel about their security. “Neither have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him. And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem” (Daniel 9:10-12). Evil is going to be done upon Jerusalem (and Israel) that has never been done “under the whole heaven”! God has “set before us” His message.
God is “bringing upon us a great evil.” These words ought to strike terror in our minds! No people can prevail against their enemies when God is against them. “The curse is poured upon us”! However, the curses have not caused us to pray to the true God. Many people have prayed, but we have not prayed to “turn from our iniquities” (verses 13-14). This is what God commands. We have not repented. That means our prayers are of little or no value.
The only way Israel can achieve security is through repentance. God has promised to destroy us unless we learn that lesson! How can we not take careful note of these prophecies?
Daniel is an end-time book (Daniel 12:4, 9). According to Daniel, there are many prophecies in the books of Moses that are also for this end time (Daniel 9:11).
Let’s look at one of these prophecies. “But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments …. And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you …. And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass” (Leviticus 26:14, 17, 19). Because we have not hearkened to God, curses are upon us. God prophesied, “I will set my face against you.” If we truly understood this prophecy, each one of our people would tremble in fear!
There is a reason why everything seems to go wrong in America, Britain and Judah. But our people never seem to fear enough to “turn from our iniquities”—our sins! And that does not mean to repent of what we call sin, but what God calls sin—God’s definition.
So God states, “I will break the pride of your power.” That means we have power, but lack the will to use it. America has more military power than any other nation on Earth. But we are afraid to use it. Britain probably has more nuclear power and conventional military might than any nation in Europe. However, they too fear using it. The Jews have more military power than any other nation in the Middle East. A few years ago they struck fear in all of their enemies. But today, they have been in a long retreat called the “peace process.” Why?
When Benjamin Netanyahu was elected in 1996, the New York Times wrote, “Mr. Netanyahu also indicated what he meant by negotiating with Arabs during his debate with Prime Minister Shimon Peres. The Arabs, he said, were ‘realistic’—‘when they see a weak government like Mr. Peres,’ they demand everything, they get everything, and they demand more.’”
This is true of government in America, Britain and Israel (biblical Judah). We just don’t understand that God has broken the pride of our power because of our sins. But our enemies inside and outside our nations know that the pride of our power has been broken—that we are pitifully weak. And as Mr. Netanyahu said of the Arabs, our enemies will keep demanding more and more—until we collapse.
Just a little understanding of history reveals that such an American-sponsored “peace process” can only lead to destruction.
Henry Kissinger said that Yitzhak Rabin, the assassinated prime minister, had “no other choice than the peace process.” That was not true a few years earlier, because the Israeli people had a much stronger will.
Such a statement is made out of weakness! We are weak because God has broken our will to fight and win. We now want to trust others to protect us, because we cringe in fear before our enemies. We no longer trust God! Our sins are destroying us.
We must understand this terrifying reality. God said, “I will set my face against you.” Do we grasp what this means? The mighty, all-powerful God is against us! The punishment will increase until we repent or die!
We must learn to have faith in God, or we will be totally destroyed. Read all of Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28. Those chapters are part of the woeful prophecies Daniel said would come upon us in the end time.
Why won’t we turn to God in repentance? Only He can save us. If we don’t, then notice the end result for our nations. “Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins. And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat” (Leviticus 26:28-29). God says, “I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins.” He is emphasizing “I, even I.” This is God talking—the omnipotent God who created man and the universe! These are not the words of weak men. Do we really know what this means?
It gets even worse. “And upon them that are left alive of you I will send a faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies; and the sound of a shaken leaf shall chase them; and they shall flee, as fleeing from a sword; and they shall fall when none pursueth. And they shall fall one upon another, as it were before a sword, when none pursueth: and ye shall have no power to stand before your enemies. And ye shall perish among the heathen, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up” (verses 36‑38). This is a horrifying prophecy. Our enemies will devour us!
Read verses 1-13 and see the wonderful rewards and blessings that will come if we turn to God. We have never experienced such peace and prosperity. “And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land” (verse 6). God promised peace to the nations of Israel. Nobody would make them afraid—nobody! The sword would never enter their land.
This is the way we should be living today. All we have to do is obey God. “And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people” (verse 12). If only we would let God rule us. What glorious examples we could be to this sick world.
There is good news. Even if we do not repent now, God is still going to usher in this paradise. We should never have to experience what is happening in Judah today. It is totally unnecessary.
Security is coming to Israel very soon, when the Messiah comes. But our repentance must precede that event. Then we shall have unparalleled prosperity and security. The only reason we don’t have it now is our refusal to repent. The sooner we learn that lesson, the quicker the security will come.
Apparently our nations won’t repent until they are in captivity. Still, God promises safety to any individual who truly repents.
Voting for a certain man will never give us security. Repenting of our sins will give us security forever.
Middle East Explosion Soon
Many intelligence sources see that there will not be peace in Israel. Here is what the March 1, 1996, Intelligence Digest stated in its article, “Listen to Arafat!”: “The propensity of people to ignore unpalatable truths is one of the most damaging of human traits. Unfortunately it is in full evidence over the Middle East peace process.”
The editor went on to quote Yasser Arafat from a secret speech he gave in May 1994 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Arafat called for a holy war in order to liberate Jerusalem. And concerning the Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, he said, “This agreement, I am not considering it more than the agreement which had been signed between our Prophet Mohammed and the Quraysh.”
Continuing from Intelligence Digest: “This was a reference to the non-belligerency agreement Mohammed signed with the Quraysh tribe which controlled Mecca. Two years later, Mohammed violated the agreement, conquered Mecca and killed the leaders of the tribe.”
Notice also what Arafat said in early 1996 to a group of Arab diplomats in Sweden: “[Israeli Prime Minister Shimon] Peres and [Israeli negotiator Yossi] Beilin have already promised us half of Jerusalem [but] we Palestinians will take over everything, including all of Jerusalem …. Within five years we will have 6 to 7 million Arabs living on the West Bank and in Jerusalem …. If the Jews can import all kinds of Ethiopians, Uzbekis and Ukrainians as Jews, we can import all kinds of Arabs …. We plan to eliminate the State of Israel and establish a Palestinian state …. We will make life unbearable for the Jews by psychological warfare and population explosion. Jews will not want to live among Arabs.”
In March 2001, after months of clashes between Arabs and Jews, Arafat was quoted as saying, “Our people will continue the Aksa intifada until we raise the Palestinian flag in every mosque and church and on the walls of Jerusalem.”
The Palestinians are clearly not interested in making peace with Israel! But Israel is so war-weary and blinded by wishful thinking that it won’t face reality! Their naiveté is leading them into a disaster of untold magnitude. It is easy to see why God calls the peace process a “deadly wound.”
The situation has changed little since Arafat died. His successor as Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, whatever his intentions, simply cannot maintain a leadership role unless he accommodates the spirit of the overwhelming majority of Palestinians who reject Israel’s existence.
As it turns out, evidence suggests that, despite his moderate persona, this is really not too hard for Abbas. “Abu Mazen [the popular name for Abbas among Palestinians] was an Arafat crony and comes from the Palestinian elite. He has consistently held the hardline anti-Israel agenda since his years as a student. His doctoral dissertation was a full-blown foray into Holocaust denial and aimed to prove that Zionism and Nazism are branches of the same tree. … Abu Mazen may wear a suit while Arafat wore fatigues but much of their world view is still the same—the destruction of Israel remains on the ‘to-do’ list” (Philadelphia Daily News, January 8, 2005).
Far from denouncing his terrorist predecessor, Abbas actually draws on Arafat’s legacy to gain extra authority. In his pre-election campaign speeches, he called for the same “right of return” that Arafat espoused, which, as the New York Sun termed it, is “code for the destruction of the Jewish state” (December 31, 2004).
Abbas has received kudos for his attempts to coerce terrorist groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad into curbing their lethal violence. Many have been willing to dismiss his public anti-Israel rhetoric and expressions of solidarity with terrorists as mere politics.
Of this, Charles Krauthammer asked, “What of Abbas’s vaunted opposition to violence? On January 2  he tells Hamas terrorists firing rockets that maim and kill Jewish villagers within Israel, ‘This is not the time for this kind of act.’ This is an interesting ‘renunciation’ of terrorism: Not today, boys; perhaps later, when the time is right” (Washington Post, January 7, 2005).
Daniel Pipes commented, “Mr. Abbas shows tactical flexibility. Unlike Arafat, who could never let go of the terrorist tool that had brought him wealth, power and glory, Mr. Abbas sees the situation more cogently. If stopping the violence against Israel best serves his goal of eliminating the sovereign Jewish state, that is his program. He no more accepts what he so charmingly the other day called the ‘Zionist enemy’ than Arafat did (or Hamas, or Palestinian Islamic Jihad), but he is open to a multiplicity of means to destroy it” (New York Sun, January 11, 2005).
Is that assessment really true? Time will certainly tell. But a clue as to the answer has come in the method Abbas has taken to rein in the terrorists—not by cracking down on them, but by tempting them to become politicians.
On February 16, 2005, Abbas announced that, in the words of Stratfor, “he supports sharing national leadership with Hamas, jihad organizations, and public and democratic fronts ….”
Hamas and other jihad groups openly base their existence on war against Israel. They are precisely the source of the problem.
It appears Abbas is sympathetic to their views.
The bottom line is, there will be no peace in the Middle East as long as there are groups agitating for Israel’s destruction.
Going to Germany
Let’s look again at Hosea 5:13. “When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw his wound, then went Ephraim to the Assyrian, and sent to king Jareb: yet could he not heal you, nor cure you of your wound.” Lange’s Commentary states that the word Jareb, the German leader, means “warlike monarch.” The Soncino Commentary translates it as “King Contentious.” He will be far more dangerous than Hitler was.
If you read our literature on Germany, you will see that this leader will be ruled by Satan! And Britain and the Jews will go to him for mercy and aid!
Already the European Union has stepped up its efforts to help the Middle East peace process as the U.S. pulls out of the region and grows weaker. German-led Europe has been publicly mentioned as being a protector to Israel.
Can anyone miss the cruel irony of this situation? One Hungarian-born Holocaust survivor who lives in Israel said, “If there is anything that frightens Israelis more than Syrian troops on the Golan, it is German troops on the Golan.”
It seems the Israelis can trust their worst enemy, but they can’t trust God to protect them! And God is their only source of help.
Israel will become “lovers” with the Germans. This move will lead to their destruction. It is not the Arabs who will destroy them. The friendship between Germany and Israel will lead to one of the biggest double-crosses in the history of man! We will study this more in the next chapter.
“I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early” (verse 15). God will not stop punishing Judah (and all Israel—mainly America and Britain) until they “acknowledge their offense,” or repent of their sins and seek God. But how can they know what their sins are and how to repent?
“Blow ye the cornet in Gibeah, and the trumpet in Ramah: cry aloud at Beth-aven, after thee, O Benjamin. Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke: among the tribes of Israel have I made known that which shall surely be” (verses 8‑9). God has made their sins known to them through Herbert W. Armstrong and our Church today. You are reading that trumpet message now! Hosea is specifically about our work today (write for our booklet on Hosea). The Jews are going to suffer at the hands of the Arabs and Germans until they awaken! They must acknowledge our message from God! If they don’t hear the alarm of war through this message, they must experience being conquered!
“For I will be unto Ephraim as a lion, and as a young lion to the house of Judah: I, even I, will tear and go away; I will take away, and none shall rescue him” (verse 14). The lion is king of the beasts—the most fearsome predator. It is the strongest metaphor of destruction!
Why is God so angry? The prophets always had scathing messages when Israel went to and trusted the heathen.
The Way of Peace They Know Not
America, Britain and Judah must understand that they are being punished for their sins. Jeremiah is also a book written for the end time (Jeremiah 23:20). Prophecy clearly reveals why our problems are overwhelming us. “Why then is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a perpetual backsliding? they hold fast deceit, they refuse to return” (Jeremiah 8:5). Jerusalem is a type of all the nations of Israel. They all “hold fast deceit” and continue in their ugly sins.
“I hearkened and heard, but they spake not aright: no man repented him of his wickedness, saying, What have I done? every one turned to his course, as the horse rusheth into the battle” (verse 6). “No man” repents when they hear God’s word.
“Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the Lord” (verse 7). The animals understand their purpose better than America, Britain and Judah!
“How do ye say, We are wise, and the law of the Lord is with us? Lo, certainly in vain made he it; the pen of the scribes is in vain. The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the Lord; and what wisdom is in them?” (verses 8‑9). They have heard God’s word and rejected it. They abhor God’s law and government. They have no judgment or wisdom.
A terrible penalty is coming unless we wake up. “Therefore will I give their wives unto others, and their fields to them that shall inherit them: for every one from the least even unto the greatest is given to covetousness, from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely” (verse 10). The enemy is going to take Israel’s wives for themselves! Why? Because they are so blatantly rebellious!
Our physical and spiritual leaders have deceived the people. “For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace” (verse 11). Our leaders have gotten the people to accept peace pacts like the one with Judah and the Palestinians. The leaders continually talk of peace, peace, when there is no peace.
Look around. Do you see peace? The more violence we see, the more they talk about peace! They don’t know how to have peace. “The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace” (Isaiah 59:8).
Our peoples boast of all the Bibles we print. But we don’t believe what is in them! We don’t believe God! We talk about Him much of the time. But we don’t believe Him—His Word!
All this suffering could be eliminated. Because of our sinful attitude, our people refuse to obey God. So we must suffer until we change that attitude.
Through the peace process, Judah has become vulnerable to the enemy, with very little freedom to strike back. Just a few years ago, they would have retaliated with far greater force! But not today.
Soon the whole world will see what the Arabs saw all along—that the peace process is a wound from which the Jews will never recover!
Unless they repent, their future is extremely bleak. The good news is, this present crisis will soon culminate in the coming of the Messiah. What a glorious future that lies just ahead! But immediately before that event, the worst time of suffering ever on Earth is upon us.