JOURNEY TO JERUSALEM
A tale by Johny Noer
"I will bless them that bless thee and curse him that curseth thee" (Genesis 12:3).
During the days of World War II a Melbourne newspaper published a cartoon in which the artist had drawn a vast graveyard filled with tombstones with the names of the nations, not people engraved upon them. The cartoon also depicted a burly Nazi standing over a pathetic figure labelled ‘European Jewry’ which was forced to dig its own grave. Lying by the graveside was a tombstone with no name on it, and the captain said, "Who will be the next?"
Five years later this question was answered and Nazi-Germany joined other anti-Semitic empires and kingdoms in the graveyard of the nations.
The well learned pastor and leader of David House and Press ministry, Australia, Joseph H. Hunting introduces his small pamphlet ‘Israel – a modern miracle, volume 2’ with these words and adds, "Was this the result of a divinely given curse? Or was it merely coincidence?" I had to find an answer to this question. That’s why I started my own little research:
3500 years ago Israel was delivered out of bondage in Egypt. The Red Sea parted – according to the historical report in the Bible – for Israel, but closed in upon the Egyptian army, which persecuted the Hebrews. Approximately 2,7 million Jews were, on that occasion brought out of slavery, while Egypt, which was the very first nation to introduce a program of race-extermination, also was the first people to have its tombstone erected on the vast historical highway, along which the elected people of God escaped.
The survival of Israel down the centuries defies natural explanation and logic; mighty nations and empires that persecuted the Jews have been overthrown and it seems as if they all have been hit by the same serious curse, which was included in a sevenfold promise to Abraham 4000 years ago.
God said to this man, who was the father of the Jewish People: I will make thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great and thou shalt be a blessing, and I will bless them that bless thee, AND CURSE HIM THAT CURSETH THEE, and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed (Gen.12:3).
History reveals that this word has now actually been accomplished.
In the desert the Amalekites harassed the Israelites in a form of hit and run guerrilla warfare, but these persecutors of the Jews were later wiped out by King Saul. The same happened with the Canaanites, who also fought against Israel in the wilderness. These people have long since disappeared. Their tombstones are erected on the graveyard of the nations, while Israel still lives! The same happened with the Ammonites, the Midianites and the Philistines. The only evidence of these nations that tried to do away with the Hebrews is the ruins of their cities and a few broken pieces of pottery being excavated by Israel…
And all the time new tombstones have been prepared: Who will be the next to lay hand upon God’s elected people and thus disappear from the pages of history?
The crushing downfall of Babylonia and Syria was the answer: 2500 years ago the defenders of the Holy City experiences how the mighty armies of Babylon battered down the walls of Jerusalem. 100 years later this great Babylonian empire crumbled and passed into oblivion.
About 400 years later in the year 175 B.C. Antiochus IV, the Syrian dictator, plumbed the depth of cruelty and degradation, when he made an offering to Zeus in the Holy of Holies in the Jewish Temple where he mingled the blood of the priest of the Lord with the blood of a sow. Soon after however the Syrian army with its masses of chariots and elephants fled in panic before 3000 Jewish men, who were singing Psalm 135, "O give thanks unto the Lord, for His mercy endureth forever…" and the proud Syrian nation joined Egypt, the Amalekites, the Philistines and the Babylonians in the vast graveyard of the nations.
Who would be the next to dare to lay hand upon God’s people?
Rome gave a solid answer to this question.
In the year 70 A.D. the Roman general Titus threw his assault troops against the Holy City. Soon flames began to envelop its temple.
What strange destiny has overshadowed Jerusalem. This city destroyed by Babylonian armies on the 9th of Av (July) 586 B.C. was again rebuilt but Babylon disappeared forever. Now the Roman armies battered down the gates of Jerusalem on exactly the same date, the 9th of Av (July) in the year 70 A.D.; the might and the glory of the Roman Empire disappeared – but Jerusalem lives again!
From the ruins of the Roman Empire we may follow the spotlight of history on the Jewish People through a thousand years of homelessness and wandering until it illuminates Spain at the turn of the sixteenth century. For several generations the Jewish communities in Spain had enjoyed peace and prosperity – and the country was at the peak of its power, when a great number of elegant Spanish warships – the greatest fleet the world had ever seen up to that time – were assembled at Cadiz for the invasion of England.
At the same period, however, Spain was plunged into the darkest era in its history: the Spanish Inquisition! Jews were everywhere commanded to embrace ‘Christianity’ – and finally – they were banished from Spain…
The great Armada however – the beautiful Spanish fleet – was wrecked in a fierce storm that lashed the English Channel and the mighty Spanish empire soon crumbled and was buried in the graveyard of the nations.
It seems as if a thousand voices are shouting from every tombstone of that enormous graveyard. "Haven’t we learned from history? Who will be the next ones? Take your hands off the Jews, or you will end up here with us!"
1933 showed that man does not learn from history. In that year Adolf Hitler swept the Nazi party into power in a bewildered Germany, and within six years the world was to be hustled into the greatest bloodbath of all time. In May 1945 Nazi Germany toppled into the grave that had been dug for European Jewry.
On my way as a ‘Pilgrim to Jerusalem’ I had to find an answer to this question:
Was it curse, or coincidence that the Allied land and air forces systematically reduced the Nazi madness empire into a heap of smouldering rubble? Was it curse, or coincidence that this same mad man, whose dream had been to build a super race upon the graveyard of 18 million Jews, should die by his own hand in the flames of his own folly? Was it curse or coincidence that Hitler’s architect of genocide, Adolph Eichmann followed in the steps of Haman (the Bible’s hater of the Jews) and perished on the gallows by the hands of the very nation he had planned to exterminate?
History however goes on and today questions may be raised whether Great Britain, the nation once exalted because it befriended the Jews, begun to decline as a major world power following the decision to abandon completely the promises made under the so called Balfour Declaration. In this declaration which was issued in November 1917 the British Government approved with favour the establishment in Palestine as a national home for the Jewish People and promised to use ‘their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object…
In spite of this promise Britain turned out to be Israel’s enemy number one in the very birth pangs of the new state. In the hour, when the world stood aghast at the shocking atrocities perpetrated by Nazis, Britain stopped Jewish immigration to Palestine altogether. Since then Britain has been in serious problems and is not any longer counted amongst the superpowers of the world.
A series of Middle East wars in the last decades all leading up to a future decisive Middle East conflict (about which the Bible speaks) are all solemn warnings from the huge graveyard of the nations. Powerful dictators – all enemies of Israel and the Jews – have since then had their decorated tombstones placed at this graveyard. What about Iran, Iraq, Syria and the so called ‘Palestinian State’?
The Jewish prophet Isaiah speaks about these men and says, "You persecuted my people with increasing blows of rage… the demons of hell crowd to meet you as you enter their domain. World leaders and earth’s mightiest kings, long dead, are there to see you, with one voice they all cry out, "Now you are as weak as we are! Your might and power are gone; they are buried with you. All the pleasant music in your palace has ceased; now maggots are your sheet, worms your blanket! (Is.14:6 and 9-11, Living Bible).
The great question in this hour of history is only one, "Who is going to be the next? Which nation upon the earth will dare to attack the Holy Hill?"
The Bible gives an answer, and as it is not evident that the nation, which is pointed out by prophets to be the next victim in the graveyard, will find out by itself; those who understand Scripture, ought to warn that people!
This is in fact happening.
A song, which I wrote in the beginning of the 1980’s, seems to be such a warning. The three small verses, which are inspired by King David’s second psalm and some chapters in the prophet Ezekiel says,
"Ye rulers of the earth take fear, ye judges of the earth come near. The God of Zion is to speak, hear his warnings and instructions, come and hear:
The coming King, the coming King, our God has set His King in Zion! The coming King, the coming King! Who dares attack the Holy Hill?
The world again shall hold its breath, and time shall stop the moon stand still, when Gog and Gomer are to die on the mountains, in the valleys, on the hills!
The burning torch of Persia’s faith, the fiery star of Magog’s fame, shall soon be crushed before the gates of the city with the towers and the wall!"
Some strange words and names are being mentioned in this hymn. ‘Gog’ and ‘Gomer’ and ‘the fiery star of ‘Magog’s’ fame. What’s behind these peculiar expressions? What’s the name of the nation that is going to be ‘crushed’ before the gates of the city, which evidently is Jerusalem?
Only the Holy Book can tell. And it does: A mighty superpower of our days is warned by some 2500 old prophecies. "Take care", the prophets say, "don’t touch the people of the Lord, and don’t attack the Holy City, and if you do it, it’s going to be the last thing you do!" I believe another great exodus of the Jewish People is at hand! But these ones are coming home with a changed heart and a broken spirit (Ez.11:17-20). That’s why I wrote these lines:
"See the waves of Hebrew pilgrims, coming from the north; as a mighty congregation are they pouring forth:
Signs of tribes in air are waving; Judah’s coming first. Rocks are giving living water, meeting Jacob’s thirst.
See the thousands, tens of thousands from the lands of chains, bursting through the wired fences, while the manna rains.
See the hosts of Zion’s daughters, breaking through the bars; see the hand of praise and worship, countless as the stars.
See the eyes of liberated children of the King, see their dances to Messiah, and hear them when they sing:
See the joy of Joseph’s children: hopes of Israel! When they bid forever, ever, Pharaoh Farewell!