The New Factor
The Signs of Nature
God began to afflict our nation with remedial judgments in the 1960s when the Sexual Revolution began in our nation and we started thumbing our nose at God’s moral laws. But what I think we may have failed to realize is that since 1991, many of the judgments we have experienced have been directly related to a new factor — namely, our mistreatment of Israel.
The Bible says that God will bless those who bless Israel, and He will curse those who curse Israel (Genesis 12:3). The Bible also says that he who touches Israel touches “the apple of God’s eye” (Zechariah 2:8).
History attests to the truth of these statements. Spain was at the height of its power as a world empire in the 15th Century when it launched the Inquisition and drove its Jewish population out of the country. Within a short time thereafter, the empire no longer existed. Hitler was well on his way to conquering all of Europe when he launched the Holocaust. His Third Reich soon ended up in ashes.
Likewise, ancient history is littered with the corpses of nations that have mistreated the Jewish people. In the Bible we read about great empires like the Babylonian, Egyptian and Medo-Persian — all of which persecuted the Jewish people. Where are they today? Where are the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Moabites and the Philistines? They are all in the dustbin of history, whereas the Jewish people have been regathered back to their homeland from the four corners of the earth.
I believe that many of our blessings as a nation have been due to the fact that we have historically been a safe haven for the Jewish people. Also, we have been Israel’s best friend ever since the nation came back into being in 1948.
But the Bible says that in the end times all the nations of the world will come together against Israel over the issue of Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:3). And in the early 1990s, we began to turn against Israel in our determination to maintain access to Arab oil.
The Decisive Year
The turning point was in 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed and Russian Jews began flooding into Israel at the rate of 2,000 to 3,000 a day for one year. The tiny nation of Israel was overwhelmed by the refugees. The Israeli government appealed to the World Bank for a $5 billion loan. The bank said it would grant the loan only if the U. S. guaranteed it. The Bush Administration agreed to underwrite the loan on one condition: the Israelis had to go to the bargaining table and start trading land for peace.
Yes, we were the ones who forced Israel into adopting the suicidal policy of appeasement, and we have been twisting their arm ever since, pressuring them to divide up the land which God gave them as an everlasting possession. Keep in mind that we can apply enormous pressure because our veto in the United Nations Security Council is the only thing standing between Israel and economic sanctions that could easily and quickly destroy the Israeli economy.
A Prophetic Book
In 2006, a White House correspondent (one of 250 in the world) named William Koenig wrote a book entitled, Eye to Eye. It was subtitled, “Facing the Consequences of Dividing Israel.” The thesis of the book was that many of the natural calamities, economic setbacks and political crises experienced by the United States since 1991 have been directly related to actions we have taken to force Israel to surrender territory to the Arabs.
For example, on May 4th of 2003, Secretary of State Colin Powell met with terrorist leader Hafez Assad of Syria and made a commitment to him to include the surrender of the Golan Heights in the President’s peace plan. That day a swarm of tornados began tearing apart the Central United States. Over the next seven days, there was a total of 412 tornados — the largest cluster ever observed by NOAA since it began its record keeping in 1950. The previous record had been 177 in 1999.1 After presenting many other examples of natural calamities in our nation that were directly related to our mistreatment of Israel, Koenig presented the following summary of natural disasters between October 1991 and November 2004:2
- Nine of the 10 largest insurance events in U.S. history.
- Nine of the 10 greatest natural disasters as ranked by FEMA relief costs.
- Five of the costliest hurricanes in U.S. history.
- Three of the four largest tornado swarms in U.S. history.
Koenig shows how all of these calamities were linked to our attempts to pressure Israel into either dividing up its land or surrendering part of its capital city of Jerusalem.
The world would laugh and call these coincidences, but I don’t believe in coincidence. I believe only in God-incidences. God is sovereign. He is in control.
The Gaza Withdrawal
One of the most chaotic events in the modern history of Israel was the forced withdrawal of all Jews from Gaza in the summer of 2005. It began on August 7th and continued through the 22nd, as nearly 9,000 Israelis were uprooted from their land and homes.
Many had been in the area for as long as 35 years. Their withdrawal was made at the insistence of the U.S. government as part of the appeasement policy of “trading land for peace.”
It was a heart-wrenching event to watch women and children manhandled, synagogues violated, torah scrolls desecrated, houses bulldozed, graves dug up and farms destroyed. Entire Jewish communities were forcibly removed from land which God had given to the Jewish people as an everlasting possession (Psalm 105:8-11).
The economic impact on the Israeli economy was overwhelming. The farms in Gaza represented 70% of Israel’s organic produce, 60% of the nation’s exported herbs, 15% of its total agricultural exports, 60% of its exported cherry tomato crop and $120 million of its flower exports.
And while this travesty was taking place, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice began applying more pressure with the following statement: “Everyone empathizes with what the Israelis are facing…but it cannot be Gaza only.”3
The Supernatural Response
The withdrawal from Gaza ended on August 22, 2005, and on the very next day, the government of Bermuda announced that a tropical depression had formed off its coast. Dubbed “Katrina,” the storm quickly developed into the most powerful hurricane in modern history. It slammed into New Orleans and the Mississippi coast four days later on the 27th. The hurricane disrupted 25% of our crude oil production and destroyed our nation’s largest port (the fifth largest in the world in terms of tonnage).
I think it is interesting to note that the hurricane hit just three days before New Orleans, a city which often refers to itself proudly as “Sin City USA,” was scheduled to host an ungodly event that had come to be called “The Gay Mardi Gras.” The theme that year was to be “Jazz and Jezebels.” The previous year the event had drawn 125,000 revelers who proudly flaunted their perversion publicly in a parade that featured the bizarre. Incredibly, this event was sponsored by a group that called itself “Southern Decadence.”
Nonetheless, I do not believe the storm was meant primarily as a judgment upon the city of New Orleans. Rather, I consider it to have been a judgment on our entire nation for our mistreatment of Israel.
The consequences of the storm were national in scope. It resulted in higher fuel prices which led to higher prices for all goods. It disrupted indefinitely the flow of goods into and out of our country. It resulted in a significant increase in our national debt. It shamed us before the world as we mishandled the aftermath. And it deeply scarred the Bush Administration.
During the Obama Administration, Israel was treated with contempt. Obama launched his presidency by traveling to the Middle East where he apologized to the Arab world for our support of Israel and made it plain that our nation’s policies regarding the Middle East would be changed. And he wasted no time in following up on that promise as he began to manhandle the Israelis and their leader, Prime Minister Netanyahu.
By the time Obama left office, he was treating Israel like some Third World banana republic. He expressed open contempt for the nation’s leaders and condemned their possession of the highlands of Judea and Samaria (what the world calls “The West Bank”). One of his last efforts in office was to engineer a United Nations resolution of condemnation of Israel. Is it any wonder that his designated successor, Hillary Clinton, lost the election?
The Trump Reversal
President Trump put a halt to our mistreatment of Israel. He reversed all of Obama’s negative Middle East policies, and he stopped the land-for-peace appeasement policy that had been forced upon Israel by the Bush and Clinton Administrations. Most significantly, he recognized Jerusalem as the legitimate capital of Israel.
But he has since started peddling a “peace plan” that would result in the creation of a Palestinian state in the heartland of Israel.4 He does not understand that the problem is not a political one that can be solved by a “deal.” It is a spiritual problem that will be resolved only when the Prince of Peace returns.
Further, the president does not seem to understand that the Palestinians will never agree to a “two-state” solution, unless they view it as giving them a better launching pad for their final assault against the Jewish state. The bottom line is that the Arabs really do not want another Palestinian state (the first being the nation of Jordan). What they want is the annihilation of the Jewish state.
President Trump also needs to proceed very cautiously because the Bible says in Joel 3:1-2 that any nations involved in the end times in dividing up the land of Israel will suffer the wrath of God.
Another thing end time prophecy makes very clear is that the favorable policies of Trump toward Israel will not last, because the Bible says point blank that all the nations of the world will come against Israel (Zechariah 12:3). As it stands now, there is no doubt that our nation will flip in its support of Israel the moment that the Democrats regain the White House. The New York Post recently asserted that mainline Democrats have “rolled over” so far to the left, so quickly, on Israel “that it’s hard to imagine them returning to a sane place.” The Post added, “Jews, who vote for Democrats in overwhelming numbers, need to finally wake up to the reality that their party despises the world’s sole Jewish state.”5
The Message of Katrina
I believe the message of Katrina and similar natural disasters is that God is on His throne. He is in control. He cannot be mocked. He will not tolerate the division of His Holy Land. Nor will He tolerate gross immorality that mocks everything that is moral and decent.
God loves our nation. He has blessed us more than any other nation. His Word says that to those to whom much is given, much is expected (Luke 12:47-48). His Word also says He disciplines those whom He loves (Hebrews 12:7).
Another thing His Word makes clear is that when He sends discipline, the fundamental purpose is never to punish. Instead, the purpose is to call people to repentance so that they might be saved. Here’s how the prophet Isaiah expressed it: “When the earth experiences Your judgments, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness” (Isaiah 26:9b).
A Personal Experience
I know the truth of this statement firsthand. In May of 1953 when I was 15 years old, an F5 tornado hit my hometown of Waco, Texas. To this day it is the most deadly tornado in Texas history. It killed 114 people and injured 597. It ripped through the center of the downtown area and leveled five-story buildings with ease. When it was over, the city looked like it had been hit with an atomic bomb.
For three months thereafter, the churches of Waco were packed with standing room only crowds as people sought to cope with the tragedy. People were forced to think about eternity. But gradually the pain subsided, people returned to their old ways and church attendance fell off.
Our God is truly a God of amazing grace. Even when He pours out His wrath, He does so hoping that it will provoke repentance so that people can be saved.
Attempts to Respond Spiritually
With regard to Hurricane Katrina, the Governor of Louisiana, Kathleen Blanco, called for a statewide day of prayer: “As we face the devastation wrought by Katrina, as we search for those in need, as we comfort those in pain, and as we begin the long task of rebuilding, we turn to God for strength, hope, and comfort.”6
Noble words. But notice, there was no call to repentance.
In like manner, President Bush called for a national day of prayer. He asked the nation to pray for the victims and to reach out to them in compassion. Again, noble words, but no expression of repentance.7
New Orleans City Council President Oliver Thomas came the closest of all public officials in recognizing that Katrina had a spiritual message. Referring to Sodom and Gomorrah, he said, “Maybe God is cleansing us.”8
But cleansing requires a response of repentance, something God is calling for from the whole nation, and not just the citizens of New Orleans.
The Proper Response
No public official in our nation has yet seen the spiritual implications of a disaster as clearly as did Abraham Lincoln when he evaluated the cause of the Civil War. In a proclamation dated March 30, 1863, the President called for “a national day of prayer and humiliation.”9
He began the proclamation by observing: “It is the duty of nations as well as men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon.”
The heart of the proclamation read as follows:
And, insomuch as we know that, by His divine law, nations like individuals are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war, which now desolates the land, may be but a punishment, inflicted upon us, for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people?
We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth, and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.
Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!
It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.
How we need such a proclamation today! The sad thing is that we have become so secular and pagan that if our President were to issue such a statement, members of Congress would probably bring impeachment proceedings against him for “violation of the separation of church and state.”
We as a nation have set our jaw against God. We are tempting Him to move us from judgment to destruction. Our God is so merciful. He is patiently sending us one wake-up call after another because He never pours out His wrath without warning.
God has provided us a temporary window of grace through the election of President Trump. Pray for him to stand strong in his support of Israel. Pray for him to come to an understanding of the nature of the Middle East crisis — that it is a spiritual one that cannot be solved by political negotiations and agreements.
Pray that he will not be deceived into demanding that Israel surrender its heartland. Pray too that both Americans and their leaders will open their eyes and hearts to the significance of the natural disasters that are relentlessly afflicting our nation. Pray that pastors will awaken to the fact that all the end time signs are converging and that it is urgent for them to start proclaiming the soon return of Jesus.
Pray too that people around the world will be awakened to the reality that God is proclaiming through the Signs of Nature that His Son is about to return and that we are living on borrowed time.
1) William Koenig, Eye to Eye: Facing the Consequences of Dividing Israel (Washington, D.C.: About Him Publishers, 2006). Revised and updated edition, 2008, pages 114-115.
2) Robert Longley, “FEMA’s List of Top 10 U.S. Natural Disasters,” http://usgovinfo.about.com.
3) International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, “In Brief: Rice says it cannot be ‘Gaza Only,'” http://nir.icej.org/news/headlines/brief-rice-says-it-cannot-be-%C2%B4gaza-only%C2%B4.
4) The white House, “Peace to Prosperity: A Vision to Improve the Lives of the Palestinian and Israeli People,” January 2020, www.whitehouse.gov/peacetoprosperity.
5) Karol Markowicz, “Democrats to Israel: Go to Hell,” https://nypost.com/2019/11/17/democratsto-israel-go-to-hell, page 2.
6) LifeSiteNews.com, “Maybe God is Going to Cleanse Us,” http:// www.blowthetrumpet.org/KillerKatrinaGodsJudgement.htm.
7) Linda Feldmann, “Another side to disaster relief: prayer,” The Christian Science Monitor, http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0919/p03s01-ussc.html.
8) LifeSiteNews.com, “New Orleans City Council President: ‘Maybe God’s Going To Cleanse Us,'” September 1, 2005, www.lifesitenews.com/news/archive//ldn/2005/sep/05090111.
9) Abraham Lincoln, “Proclamation — Fasting Humiliation Prayer —1863,” www.wallbuilders.com/LIBissuesArticles.asp?id=131332.