This year from January ‘til the end of April, our life revolved around politics. The legislature was in session. For four months, we ate, slept and dreamt politics. We lived at the Capitol; we helped draft bills; we testified; we lobbied for and against; and we did our best to keep you informed. By the time the legislature adjourned, we were ready to get back to our families and resume a normal life.
My wife and I hit the reset button by leading a three-week trip to Israel and Jordan. It’s purely cultural, no politics involved. We visit historic sites, climb mountains, explore underground tunnels and participate in archaeological digs. It’s our chance to introduce people to two countries and to peoples that we’ve grown to love.
This time our effort to escape politics was a failure, as the President of the United States decided to visit right in the middle of our trip. Although it was a little inconvenient, it was good, first of all, to see a sitting U.S. President visit the Wailing Wall; and second, to see a U.S. President dealing fairly with BOTH sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Both sides want peace. The question is, what will that peace look like, and will it be fair to everyone involved?
As we stood on top of the Golan Heights and watched a civil war unfold in Syria, I couldn’t believe that the previous administration seriously tried to get Israel to give that ground to Syria. Syria can’t even control the ground it’s got, and the result would be ISIS forces on the high ground looking down into Israel. It would have been a disaster. Thankfully, Israel stood up to U.S. pressure.
Trips to Israel, and Jordan, for that matter, are always extremely complex. Everyone does their best to carry on as though everything’s normal, but in the back of their minds, they know that war could break out at any moment. Israel is so many things: It’s 6,000 years of history; it’s Ground Zero for three of the world’s major religions; it’s a country that blesses the world with cutting-edge technology in the areas of medicine, agriculture, and out of necessity, defense; it’s a teeny country whose neighbors have repeatedly not just promised, but have tried to destroy. Yet the Israelis persist, and their country still exists, some would say miraculously.
For Jews and Christians alike, it all makes perfect sense. The Bible clearly describes the history of Israel, a history that’s being proven correct every day in archaeological digs across the nation. It also talks about the reconstitution of a nation that didn’t exist for over 2,000 years. That prophecy came true on May 14, 1948. And finally, the Bible clearly describes how Israel will be center stage and play a central role in the geopolitics of the region leading up to a huge battle called Armageddon.
Eighteen Israels could fit inside the borders of Montana, yet this teeny country finds itself in the news almost every day. Could it be that the prophecies about Israel are coming true? I, for one, believe they are, and I look forward to our next trip two years from now.