A New Vision or A Last Chance?
Today, Donald John Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. In his speech at the swearing-in ceremony, he didn’t read from notes and he didn’t use a teleprompter. Like most people, I was anticipating that he would again shoot from the hip and come out with off-the-track statements that punctuated his campaign. But, he didn’t. He talked about America, the people of America, the needs of America and the dreams to once again become the America that stood out in the world and had the respect of the world community.
President Trump spoke at length about the problems of the American industry and economy, of the shrinking middle class, of border problems and military problems, of racial problems and lack of unity. He said that America would “reinforce old alliances and form new ones – and unite the civilised world against radical, Islamic terrorism (two words together that never found expression during the eight years of the Obama administration)”, which he vowed to “eradicate completely from the face of the earth”.
No doubt, when his inauguration speech is analyzed by the political pundits, they will accuse him of using political cliches, catch phrases and of making promises that he will not be able to keep. Others will find his speech encouraging, a breath of fresh air and a ray of new hope for a great country whose fabric had been slowly, but surely, unraveled during the past eight years of the Obama administration.
He has been accused of being politically inexperienced and unprepared for the job; of being offensive, a braggart, disrespectful of women, a demagogue, unwilling to listen to critics and on a giant ego trip, among other things. Although he made his fortune in real estate, still, his climb to success in business, despite economic difficulties, was said to be less than complimentary, coming at the expense of others. When he first announced his candidacy, nobody really took him seriously. His slogan, “make America great again”, didn’t seem to really stir the heartstrings of mainstream America. He crossed “red lines” that most politicians would shy away from. But, in doing so, he did not shy away from referring to things the way they are. Little by little, he gained in popularity, as one by one the rivals from his own political party dropped out of the presidential race. Then it was just him against Hillary Clinton. America was faced with deciding between those two candidates for the highest office in the land. If that was the best that America had to offer, then its condition was far worse than what we could have ever expected.
But, the people chose and they elected Donald J. Trump as the President of the United States. According to one news report, when Clinton discovered that she lost the election, she started to scream obscenities and throw objects. Is that the kind of person half of America really wanted to be president? If she had won the election, in all likelihood, her presidency would have been a continuation of the Obama agenda, only worse. Be that as it may, the people chose and Trump is now the President. This is a fact and a new day is dawning. It is time to move on, to try to repair, renew and improve domestic and foreign policies.
His inauguration speech was not brash, as so many of his campaign speeches had been. It contained numerous references to “the people” – to them not being ignored and to Washington being the place where the citizens will rule. But, in reality, they don’t and they won’t. On the one hand, they are the ultimate decision makers, in that they determine who will rule, similar to shareholders of a company who choose the directors who will lead them to accomplish their stated goals. But, having voted and made that decision, the people transfer their decision-making authority and give it to the politicians they choose to put in power. From that point on, the office holders make the decisions, without permission from the people … and, without asking their advice. Nevertheless, the people in a true democracy retain the right to criticize and take action when those in power abuse their authority.
America is split over the Trump presidency, half approving and half disapproving and some even demonstrating against it. To the extent that those demonstrations are peaceful and do not infringe upon the rights of others, they reveal the freedoms and privileges that really made America great, the freedom to gather together and the freedom to speak. The citizens of many countries don’t allow for such open expressions of dissent.
Much can be said by way of speculation about the future. Only God knows what tomorrow will bring. Yet, we do know that He brings tomorrow. Much damage had been done to America over the past eight years, both internally and internationally. The next four years can be a time of healing and restoration, or a continued deterioration of a country that once had truly achieved worldly greatness in many respects. God still rules the nations, including kings (Proverbs 21:1) and can make even secular rules fulfill His purposes (Isaiah 44:28).
He mis-quoted from Psalm 133:1 (“How good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity”), adding that under his administration, “There should be no fear – we are protected, and we will always be protected. We will be protected by the great men and women of our military and law enforcement and, most importantly, we will be protected by God.” This is a bold presumption on Trump’s part. God’s protection is a blessing for a nation, as well as for individuals. America could once sing a prayer, “God Bless America”. But, why would He want to do so? Slowly, but surely, America removed God from its Pledge of Allegiance, from its school rooms, from its public life and even from its court rooms. God had been relegated to the position of not even a second-class citizen. Why should He want to bless America? He cannot be ordered to do so and to presume that he will is to start off on the wrong foot. Yet, God has always preserved a faithful remnant for Himself and they continue to exist in America today, faithfully praying for the country and its leadership, that they would humble themselves and pray and seek His face and turn from their wicked ways, that He would hear from heaven, would forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)
God is giving America one more chance to get its act together. I believe that the success or failure of America, and the Trump presidency, will depend upon how it ultimately deals with and blesses Israel. (Gen. 12:3) Moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, as promised, would be a step in the right direction. But, the head of the “Palestinian” Authority said if the U.S. moved the embassy, it would be a declaration of war on the “Palestinians”. The King of Jordan, our peaceful neighbour to the East, said that this would be crossing “a red line … and inflame the Islamic and Arab streets”. There were other comments by known public figures along the same lines. Donald Trump is no stranger to crossing “red lines” and, if we are honest with ourselves, we recognise that at some point, another war will soon take place. The only questions are when and what will trigger it? Having a pro-Israel position in the U.N. would be another positive step. In line with this, America needs to take another step and remove the pressure off of Israel and allow the long-dead “two state solution” to finally be buried. Maybe if the U.S. stops talking about a dead process, our government will stop as well. But, this doesn’t look as though it is part of the Trump agenda for the Middle East.
In her confirmation hearing this past Wednesday, South Carolina Governon Nikki Haley, Trump’s pick for U.N. Ambassador, had some good news and some bad news. The good news was that she would make clear to the international community that the United States firmly stands by Israel as an ally – a message that was a slap in the face to the back-stabbing of Israel when the U.S. chose to abstain from vetoing U.N. Security Council Resolution 2334. That Resolution gave backing and support to the “Palestinian” and Islamic, anti-Israel narrative that effectively undid both Biblical and modern history, by declaring that all of the territory captured by Israel in the Six-Day War in 1967 is “Occupied ‘Palestinian’ Territory”. But, it added insult to injury by including the Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem and the Western Wall of the Second Temple, as well, saying that the presence of the Jewish people in all of those areas was a “flagrant violation of international law.” Yet, while saying that she would “not go to New York and abstain when the UN seeks to create an international environment that encourages boycotts of Israel”, nevertheless, she added that she would continue to support a two-state solution to the Israeli-“Palestinian” conflict. Enter Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who is slated to be his special envoy to the Middle East.
On the eve of his inauguration, Trump spoke to his supporters and made reference to the role that Kushner would have in his administration, saying [to Kushner]: “If you can’t produce peace in the Middle East, nobody can.” Then he added: “All my life I’ve been hearing that’s the toughest deal to make, but I have a feeling Jared is going to do a great job.” This is serious business, as Trump apparently plans to approach the Middle East conflict as a business deal. It is time for all of us to get our houses in order. If a 7-year deal is signed during his administration, the world will be facing an unprecedented time of judgment. More about this in a future blog.
In short, Trump made a lot of promises that are tall orders for one man to fill, even if he has a good team working with him. Time will tell and we should keep him and his administration in our prayers that they would repent (Acts 11:18). God doesn’t change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever and nothing, not even politicians, can prevent Him from doing what will give Him the greatest honor and glory.
Causing our enemies to be at peace with us
The “Golden Rule”, or the “Rule of Reciprocity” contains the principle that we should treat others as we would want to be treated. It is based on a number of passages from the Tenach, particularly Leviticus 19:34: “The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God.” The Lord Yeshua referred to this principle in His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:12; Luke 6:31). Israel goes one step further and treats the stranger, who stands on the other side of our border – the side of an enemy country. This is a minute part of the Israel that doesn’t make it into the MSM, nor onto the desks of the members of the United Nations.
The war in Syria continues unabated for more than five years, with hardly a word of condemnation from the world community. Instead, the United Nations focuses its attention and condemnation on the building of residential units in different parts of Israel and finally passes a resolution against Israel that flies in the face of Biblical history and world history regarding Jerusalem and parts of Israel and denies Jewish connections to this land.
In the midst of the obsession to condemn Israel, which the “Palestinians” and Islamic countries celebrate as a victory, a 29-year-old pregnant Syrian woman courageously made her way to the Israeli border, because all of the hospitals and clinics surrounding her village had been destroyed. Once at the border, the Israel Defense Forces brought her to Ziv Medical Center, in Safed, where she gave birth, by Caesarian Section to a healthy baby girl. The woman said, “When my husband heard I insisted on going to the border to give birth in a hospital, he asked that if she was born healthy, to give her a Jewish name in gratitude to Israel”, so she named her daughter Sarah, saying “I’ll never forget what you did here for my daughter Sarah and for me…When Sarah grows up enough to understand, I’ll tell her where she was born and why, out of all the names in the world, we chose to call her Sarah.”
If more countries acted like Israel in dealing with its neighbors, we wouldn’t have need for any of the perverted and prejudicial humanitarian institutions in the United Nations.
And that ends the week that was.
“Those who honor Me, I will honor, but those who despise Me will be lightly esteemed” (1 Sam. 2:30)
“‘Fear not, O Jacob My servant,’ declares the LORD, ‘And do not be dismayed, O Israel; For behold, I will save you from afar And your offspring from the land of their captivity. And Jacob will return and will be quiet and at ease, And no one will make him afraid”. (Jer. 30:10)
Bless, be blessed and be a blessing,