While we watched with bated breath, Israel’s leadership decided to capitulate over the Temple Mount’s security, relinquishing a golden opportunity to reassert authority and take control of a situation that has quickly spiraled out of control.
For the first time in too long, Jews had been able to openly pray at the Temple Mount (Har HaBayit), and for one shining moment, it seemed likely, and possible, for the Jewish state to once again reclaim the former site of our temples (the Beit HaMikdash).
What’s ironic about the conversations all over the internet and the articles plastered all over the mainstream media is that while labeling it the “Temple Mount,” they simultaneously declare that it belongs to Palestine, and that Jews have no business owning it or exercising any control over it. For the first time in my life, I am now hearing remarks made to the effect of, “Jerusalem was NEVER owned by the Jews” and, “Jerusalem is OCCUPIED.” I’ve heard the occupation story, of course, but what I am hearing more and more in the last two tumultuous weeks are blatant denials of historical and archaeological evidence. Even the early anti-Zionists, back when Israel was merely an idea, could not deny the historical and religious ties the Jews maintained to Israel, Jerusalem, and the Temple Mount.
I would like to pose this question to the world: Why on earth is it called the “Temple Mount”? Do you think that has to do with al-Aqsa? Not at all! The very name harks back to the days when the two Jewish temples stood there.
What on earth did the Western Wall surround, anyway? Can deniers of history dispute that the Wall has been there for centuries? Or will they say, “Palestinians built it”?
I have noted that people tend to rebel the hardest against the truth. If you inherently know something to be untrue, it is much easier to dismiss it and shrug it off. However, if there is truth to it, it evokes a strong reaction from within, usually a sense that is felt subconsciously. During the last two weeks, Jews and supporters of Israel have witnessed the evil, Nazi-era rhetoric of the anti-Israel left. I am now reading, mainly through my Twitter run-ins, that many pro-Palestine types have even reached the point of denying history. They deny the following archaeologically verified truths:
- That Jews ever owned the land.
- That Jews had any significant presence in the land prior to 1948.
- That Jews have any historical or religious ties to Jerusalem.
Most mainstream media sites are carefully tiptoeing around making such outrageous claims, and yet Jerusalem is constantly referred to as “occupied,” and somehow the idea that the Jewish people have very little to do with Jerusalem and, at large, Israel, is being disseminated widely among anti-Zionists.
I am sure this is not a new line of thinking, and yet it is interesting to witness how strongly people rebel against the idea of Israel having any sort of control over the Temple Mount. We’ve seen it time and time again: the world reeling at the very idea of Jewish ownership of the land, and now the uproar about the Jewish state’s initiatives to manage the security of the Temple Mount. Could they be rebelling at the prophecies which they inherently know will be fulfilled? Do they subconsciously struggle to prevent the ultimate redemption which we know is coming swiftly?
Are they attempting to obstruct the building of the Third Temple?
People rebel the hardest against truth. Yet the words of God will, ultimately, prevail:
In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established
as the highest of the mountains;
it will be exalted above the hills,
and peoples will stream to it.
Many nations will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the temple of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us his ways,
so that we may walk in his paths.”
The law will go out from Zion,
the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
Despite their endeavors to thwart God’s salvation, an important description of the End Days reminds us that before peace comes, first there must be war. We may, in fact, be seeing the beginning of Zechariah’s prophecy:
A day of the Lord is coming, Jerusalem, when your possessions will be plundered and divided up within your very walls.
I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city. Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights on a day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.
On that day there will be neither sunlight nor cold, frosty darkness. It will be a unique day—a day known only to the Lord—with no distinction between day and night. When evening comes, there will be light.
The violent rioters, protesters, and haters of Israel may be unwitting aids to the fulfillment of God’s word. Despite their scrambling to prevent salvation, they are, in fact, enabling it. Zechariah continues:
On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half of it east to the Dead Sea and half of it west to the Mediterranean Sea, in summer and in winter.
The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name.
Those who witness the fury of these bloodthirsty terrorists and rioters may be praying for vengeance, and yet the majority of Israeli Jewry wouldn’t dare to exact it themselves. For we know what awaits those who fight Jerusalem:
This is the plague with which the Lord will strike all the nations that fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths. On that day people will be stricken by the Lord with great panic. They will seize each other by the hand and attack one another. Judah too will fight at Jerusalem. The wealth of all the surrounding nations will be collected—great quantities of gold and silver and clothing. A similar plague will strike the horses and mules, the camels and donkeys, and all the animals in those camps.
Some religious Muslims, less subconsciously, are trying to bring about the end of the world. A conversation for another day, but the End Days are certainly well within their radar.
Initially, I reacted to the news of Netanyahu giving in to demands with anger and frustration. We were so close to reclaiming the Temple Mount, so close to fulfilling God’s word. But I remembered that no matter what, the prophecies will be fulfilled, and we are still closer than we can imagine. God’s promises do not change.
Knowing this, we are assured of our ultimate redemption. We are assured that Israel’s pain and suffering will not be eternal. When God’s will is done, we will no longer ask, “How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?” (Psalm 13:1). God consoles us:
As for you, watchtower of the flock,
stronghold of Daughter Zion,
the former dominion will be restored to you;
kingship will come to Daughter Jerusalem.