To the victors go the spoils was never more true than following World War 1. In fact, the spoils were divided up well before the outcome of WW1 was even known. In a secret meeting held in 1916, Great Britain and France met and forged the Sykes-Picot Agreement dividing up the then Ottoman Empire (what we’d call the Middle East) into their respective spheres of influence. Israel, Palestine, Jordan and southern Iraq went to the British. This was affirmed in the 1922 League of Nations. Interestingly, Emir Faisal, British-appointed head of the Arabs, wrote a letter to the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, “wishing the Jews a most hearty welcome home.” https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/feisal-frankfurter-correspondence-march-1919
One would think that the British, in light of the Balfour Declaration, would do as their government had promised and facilitate the founding of the Jewish homeland. But nope, just the opposite happened. It is well documented that the British rulers of the Palestine Mandate disliked the Jews and favored the Arabs. Even during World War II, when millions of Jews were being murdered in the Holocaust, Great Britain tightened the borders to keep Jews out. After WWII Jewish survivors of Hitler’s madness were turned away from land and ships were turned back to Europe.
Jews and Arab skirmishes had continued for decades with atrocities committed by both sides. Finally, in February of 1947, the British threw up their hands in exasperation and turned the problem over to the United Nations, probably not expecting the results they got. Long story short, in November of 1947, Great Britain was completely relieved of their mandate responsibilities and the UN General Assembly Resolution 181 divided Palestine into two independent parts: Arab and Jewish. Britain announced it would leave Palestine at midnight, May 14, 1948.
“Before she goes into labor, she gives birth; before the pains come upon her, she delivers a son. Who has ever heard of such a thing? Who has ever seen such things? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children.” (Is 66:7-8)
And so, with the stroke of a pen God’s plan took a giant step forward when David Ben-Gurion signed the Israeli Declaration of Independence declaring itself a nation. The United States was the very first country to formally acknowledge Israel.
Personal opinion: I have often wondered if this is why the United States was shown so much favor from God in those post-war decades. I also wonder if one of the reasons the United States is losing God’s favor lies in our treatment of Israel in the last several decades. Remember God’s everlasting promise to Abraham? “I will bless those who bless you and whoever curses you I will curse.” (Gen 12:3) I think it’s wise to remember this when praying for America.
That very next day, the Arab League: Lebanon, Syria, Transjordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Egypt attacked newly born Israel by land and air. Although Transjordan took the West Bank from the Arabs and claimed it as their own, changing their country name to Jordan, Israel successfully defended their country against overwhelming Arab military superiority and was able to claim additional land originally allocated for an Arab state.
In 1967, what’s now referred to as the Six Day war, Israel again successfully defended itself against the armies of Egypt, Syria and Jordan. Egypt had announced it would again close the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping; it kicked the UN out of the Sinai Peninsula; it gathered its military forces along its border with Israel. Knowing that an Egyptian attack would happen at any moment, Israel made a preemptive attack against the Egyptian airbases and caught them completely off guard. Jordan jumps into the fight, thinking victory was pretty much assured and ended up losing the West Bank (taken from the Palestinian Arabs in 1948) and East Jerusalem (taken from Israel in 1948).
The biggest prize of all: a united Jerusalem under the control of Israel. Scholars of Biblical prophecy REALLY perked up their ears at this news. It meant that prophecies concerning Jerusalem could now advance. The countdown to the Second Coming could commence. Messiah was on His way.
“Do I bring a moment of birth and not give delivery?” says the Lord….As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.” (Is 66:9)
Now that Israel has Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, building the third Temple is a strong probability. Jesus references this Temple when He warns about the Abomination of Desolation that will be standing in the holy place. (Mt 24:15-16, Mark 13:14) Next time we will look at what scripture says about the role this coming Temple plays in the return of Jesus Christ. So exciting!!!
Please, neither offhandedly accept nor reject what is said in this blog. Check it out. Look it up for yourself in the Bible. If you are a child of God you are in good hands and there is the most wonderful eternity waiting for you. If you are not a Christ follower, now is a really good time to honestly explore the truth claims of the Bible.