As we move further into the End Times the question arises of Israel. I have been telling my children for years to watch the Middle East because what happens in the Middle East is central to everything else & more than any other sign I can think of is a good indication of where we are in God's time~line.
We are commanded to read the times. Ignorance is neither bliss nor what Christ meant when He told us no~one would know the day nor the hour of His return. That there even is an Israel is a miracle of sorts because for 2000 years there wasn't. The area was Palestine & not only did the Arabs hold it they were loath to give it up & had the idea, shortly after Israel's inauguration as a Nation to push Israel bodily into the sea ~ resulting in the 6 Day War which the Arab nations lost & Israel won. The Arabs have neither forgotten nor forgiven.
As I read my scriptures I have a problem. I am told to pray for the peace of Israel ~ when I know there will be no peace until Christ returns. Guess that is what I am meant to pray for. Israel is a vexed thorn in the Nations' flesh. As far as I can work out none of the promises given to Israel have ever been rescinded. They are still in effect & God will keep His promises in regard to Israel. It is something we should pay heed to because whatever Israel's apostasy & whatever price they will pay for that apostasy they are still God's chosen people & the apple of His eye.
As I understand that Jesus was an observant Jew, so I understand that the bible is a Middle Eastern text. Unfortunately for me the bible has been taken over by western scholars who have put a western slant on much of the context & inadvertently obscured what is plain & unmistakable from a Middle Eastern viewpoint. I have found Walid Shoebat interesting & helpful in this regard. As an Arab Christian he has a unique understanding of scripture.
At present I am busily working through the prophets replacing all the Ancient names for the countries around Israel with their modern equivalent so that the scriptures make better sense in context. There is no Tyre & Edom but we still have Lebanon & Jordan ~ & the hatred of Ishmael for the son of promise has not abated through all the centuries.
I was deeply distressed a while ago by an acquaintance who took the opportunity of being confined on the boat with me for 20 minutes to give me her insights on the Middle East ~ all of which she has from liberal journalistic friends though as a professing Christian she had no idea of anything the bible itself has to say in regards to Israel. I could only stand so much & eventually began quoting scripture at her.
I'm not the brightest spark in the tinder box & I don't have the scholarship to argue the case for Israel in any depth but I know that God keeps His promises & He has promised to restore Israel. The Israelites have never been anything else but His stiff~necked, stubborn & wayward children who are His chosen people. Where we stand in regard to Israel at the end of time is one of the defining moments.