The speeches given in 2016 by the presidential candidate, Donald Trump, coined these words: “We will be winning so much that we will get tired of winning.”
Trump proved to be right. In his first three years as our nation’s leader, we witnessed a steady diet of winning. To name a few: the stock market was stronger than ever, unemployment rates have never been lower, Illegal immigration was coming into a manageable range, race relations were improving, Christians were becoming respected once again; winning became the norm.
Success (winning) often leads to arrogance when one does not give the credit of victory to God. God’s favor is a result of following what He has spoken.
Joshua experienced a similar trajectory. After 400 years of defeat, He was appointed leader of a difficult people who had experienced major setbacks. “Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you: I will not fail you nor forsake you” (Joshua 1:5). Under his direction, Israel began to win again. One of the amazing victories was the parting of the waters of the Jordan, which allowed 40,000 footmen to cross over on dry land.
Joshua was directed to circumcise all the warriors in order to qualify them as Jews, which was required before entrance into their inheritance. Then, Joshua instructed the soldiers to not take any of the spoils from their first conquest. As a result, Israel saw one of history’s greatest miracles: the entire city of Jericho was swallowed into the earth (except for Rahab’s tower).
Human nature often gets caught up in the fast track of success and overlooks the basics of obedience to God. God claimed Jericho, the entrance city of Canaan Land promised to Israel, for himself (Joshua 6:19). Despite the victory of Jericho, sin was uncovered in Achan’s tent, who hid coveted items. One man’s sin caused defeat at Ai for the whole nation (Joshua 7).
For three years, President Trump had blessed Israel. He validated Israel by recognizing its true capitol. He proclaimed “occupied territories” as Israel’s rightful settlements. He recognized the Golan Heights as part of Israel. His accomplishments were remarkable. Even the Palestinians were showing President Trump a measure of respect.
He then tackled a situation that had been mishandled for over seventy years. Trump was determined to draw lines of peace that would be good for both Jews and Palestinians. He relied upon the advice from his Jewish son-in-law that has a heritage of Jewish orthodoxy.
President Trump offered the same land strategy that others before him had unsuccessfully offered. This time, it received the official green light from many Arab Israeli and other world leaders. However, rejection from Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, made it seem like everything was back to status quo with no peace between Jews and Arabs achieved.
In reality, an offense against God’s covenant was set into action from a world leader who bartered with the prized possession, Israel.
This is no time to cause further division by blaming our leader. But it is time to ask for forgiveness.
President Trump never claimed to be a theologian. We ask God to forgive us for not sounding the alarm. The president has called on Christian churches to pray for him. I think we owe it to him to also instruct him about the severity of touching the “Apple of God’s eye,” by changing the biblical borders.
On January 28, 2020, the president announced the Deal of the Century, and Prime Minister Netanyahu, various Arab leaders, as well as church officials praised his decision. On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization announced a global health emergency.
Our desire to keep winning blinded our sensitivity to the Word of God.
We missed a timely opportunity to explain that God gave a small area he called “Beulah,” which means wife, to Israel forever (Isaiah 62:4). This area serves the world as the headquarter of the Kingdom from where the Word of the Lord originates (Isaiah 2:3).
Joel 3:1-2 is a revelation of God’s wrath upon anyone that divides the Promised Land. We must not feel helpless but turn this around…and learn a lesson.
Rather than have a theological debate to determine whether or not this plague was sent by God or the Devil, I prefer to simply recognize that there will always be diseases, plagues, and curses in our land. However, the more we walk in covenant, greater will be our divine covering from such problems. At the time of this writing, I already see signs of this plague releasing its grip.
There will be many more opportunities to honor God by keeping His property as sacred—not sellable nor negotiable.