Joel C. Rosenberg
(Tucson, Arizona, March 6, 2012) — All the signs to me look like Israel is going to war with Iran, and soon. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu strikes me as a man who has made his peace with the task ahead of him, a man who now believes his nation is capable of winning a war with Iran and has made all of the preparations necessary to strike if need be. I’m not saying he’s made a final decision. But he’s talking like a leader ready to make that final decision in the not too distant future.
Today, Netanyahu will address Joint Session of Congress. The PM’s message to Congess is expected to be similar to the address he gave last night to the AIPAC conference and to President Obama in the Oval Office, a clear, powerful and sobering message: When it comes to stopping Iran from getting the Bomb, he said, “none of us can afford to wait any longer.” I’m in Tucson today, preparing to speak to over 1,000 pastors and ministry leaders about Israel, Iran and Bible prophecy. I’ll also be speaking tonight about Revelation 3:1-6 and Jesus’ message to the Church at Sardis and what lessons we can draw for the American church as we face the growing possibility of an implosion in our own country, as well as an explosion in the Middle East. Will post more analysis of the Netanyahu visit and it’s significance over the next few days.
That said, what I appreciated most about the speech was Mr. Netanyahu drawing the AIPAC audience’s attention to the Biblical story of the Jewish Queen Esther, whose prayers and fasting moved the Lord to intervene to save the Jewish people from a Persian tyrant in ages past. Earlier in the day, Mr. Netanyahu gave a decorated copy of an Esther scroll as a gift to President Obama during their Oval Office meeting, and discussed the significance of the story with the President. What is not clear is whether the Prime Minister explained the ending of the story: Yes, Esther did her part, praying, fasting and intervening before the Persian king on behalf of the Jewish people. And yes, the Lord did his part in changing Ahasuerus’ heart, and putting the evil Haman on the gallows, and dramatically changing the dynamic in favor of the Jews. But it must be remembered that in the end, the Jewish people did have to fight against the Persian forces hell bent on their destruction, and with the Lord’s help the Jews miraculously prevailed. “[T]he king granted the Jews who were in each and every city the right to assemble and to defend their lives, to destroy, to kill and to annihilate the entire army of any people or province which might attack them…..The Jews assembled in their cities throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus to lay hands on those who sought their harm; and no one could stand before them, for the dread of them had fallen on all the peoples.” (Esther 8:11 and 9:2)
What encourages me about Netanyahu giving the scroll to the President is that it further reveals the Prime Minister’s growing interest in the Bible and even his desire to make the Scriptures part of his Oval Office discussion. You may recall that a few months ago, Mr. Netanyahu announced that he was starting a Bible study in his personal residence. Please continue praying for each of these world leaders and their advisors that they would turn to the God of Israel and the Bible for wisdom, discernment and courage during these critical times.