America reset?

President Donald Trump (Photo: Facebook)

The election of Donald Trump as President of the United States has turned, and is turning, the world upside down. While the impact on Israel is yet to become clear, some initial signs are encouraging. Is God resetting the clock?

Twelve years ago I wrote the following:

“I believe the main reason the United States was founded 250 years ago was so that our great country would be in a position to stand with the restored nation of Israel in these days.”

This astonishing point of view was expressed by a North Carolinian Conservative candidate for the US Congress in conversation with an American pastor friend early in 2004. Apparently, David Huffman believed that when, in the early 17th century, God moved on the hearts of men to leave England and make their way west, it was in His mind to plant a new nation to which He would bequeath a special honor and spectacular destiny. When God brought about the independence of the United States in 1776, He was supervising the founding of a nation He purposed to have in place about two centuries later as the world’s mightiest superpower. And His reason for elevating America to this position was so that she would ally herself with the surviving remnant of the Jewish people, help them take root again in their national homeland, and support them in their struggle against a hostile world.

So America exists for Israel’s sake? What an absurd thought!

By such reckoning, all the major events that shaped the United States – from the days of early settlement [to] the Space Race – took place ultimately so that the United States could be positioned to stand with the Jewish nation in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Surely a ridiculous idea! Israel is one of the smallest nations on earth, just 26,990 square miles or 43,436 square kilometers in total surface area. It is home to 6.8 million Israelis, nearly 80 percent of them Jewish. The daily lives of its people revolve around the basic issues of survival against military onslaught, preserving Israel as a Jewish state and yet a democracy, absorbing hundreds of thousands of new immigrants, building a prosperous economy for its citizens, and battling for acceptance in a world that has never had much time for Jews.

Events happening almost everywhere on the globe impact Israel in one way or the other.

By contrast, the United States could swallow this scrap of Jewish homeland 130 times. The 3.5 million square miles (5.6million sq. km) of that mammoth country are home to 300 million people, 98 percent of them non-Jews. It is the wealthiest, most powerful military and industrial nation in the world.

For the majority of its citizens, America is the center of the world. For some it is the world. There is so much going on somewhere in the US at any given moment of every day that events outside its borders often don’t penetrate the daily news bulletins.

The United States lies half-a-world away from the State of Israel. Politically, it is largely consumed with issues affecting its relations with the other great nations [sponsoring numerous global initiatives] with a finger in almost every political pie on the planet. And this giant’s purpose, its primary raison d’être, is to be allied with Israel against the rest of the international community?

How could any serious-minded person accept such a notion? Well, David Huffman and his pastor friend believe this to be true. For that matter, so do I. As a non-American, however, perhaps it is easier for me to see things this way. For most American Christians, raised to be deeply patriotic and fiercely loyal to their country, and enjoying the sense of near-invulnerability offered by such a powerful motherland, reaching a conclusion like this would require a revolutionary paradigm shift.

To fathom this and ultimately embrace it means to recognize that little Israel and no other nation – no matter how large and mighty – is at the center of God’s plan for mankind.

But God had not abandoned Jacob “whom He foreknew.” Although humanity had now entered the Christian epoch, Israel – the desolate land and the scattered people – outlived or survived in spite of every major kingdom and empire that existed from the time of Christ until today, including Rome, the Byzantium and Islamic states, the Crusaders, the British Empire, Nazi Germany, and the USSR.

Unlike all other Gentile nations in history, America had the distinction of being built on biblical bedrock. Dig down to her foundations, and you’ll find the Scriptures there. George Washington: “It is impossible to govern the world without God and the ­Bible.” His successor, John Adams, expressed it this way: “Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” In 1923, President Calvin Coolidge wrote: “The foundations of our society and our government rest so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings would cease to be practically universal in our country.”

It is this belief which holds the key to America’s victorious survival against the forces that want to see her go the way of all the powers before her. The Bible contains all the answers, and all the plans, that God has for individuals and for nations. And the nation central to its subject and present on all its pages is Israel.

I believe God has always had a special destiny laid out for America. And, tall order though it may be at this late hour in our era, I believe that America can yet rediscover and pursue that destiny.

It will require that God’s people in that land exchange their perspective – which has their great country at the center of the world – for God’s perspective, which has little Israel in that place, at the hub of His still unfolding redemption plan.

This article originally appeared on Jerusalem Watchman, January 27, 2017, and reposted with permission.

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Stan has lived in Israel for half of his life even though he was born to a Gentile couple serving on the mission field in the small kingdom of Swaziland. Following three years volunteering on Israeli collective farms in the 1980s, he worked as a political reporter for the South African newspaper, The Daily Dispatch – where his pen had its training during apartheid’s waning years. He has traveled to various nations, speaking to Christians about developments in Israel. In 2011 he was accredited by the Israel Ministry of Tourism as a tour guide, and takes individuals, small groups, families, busloads and helicopter-loads of Christians around God’s Land.