For the first time in his presidency, President Obama recently went to Israel. For weeks before his trip we were told that there wouldn’t be any talk of forcing Israel into a two state solution and there would be just limited attempts to restart peace talks.
The ISSUES and the purpose of this trip was to deal with:
- Iran and nuclear weapons and Netanyahu’s “red line”
- Syria and the threat of biological and chemical weapons
What will be the outcome, the fruit of this visit? We probably won’t really know for several weeks. I will do a follow up as we see how this all plays out. However there is a red flag, a warning to what could transpire from this trip. Our leadership could eventually take, desire, maybe even ask for, undue honor. What is “undue honor”? Taking credit for what God is doing!
Here’s a biblical example…
“In Lystra there sat a man who was lame. He had been that way from birth and had never walked. 9 He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed 10 and called out, “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.”
Notice Paul didn’t say “In Jesus name”? Why not?
Jesus was already present. Paul saw Jesus in this man’s eyes!
“When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!” 12 Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker. 13 The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to them.”
The temptation Paul & Barnabas faced was to receive this praise being offered them. HOWEVER – look at how Paul and Barnabas responded…
“they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting: 15 “Friends, why are you doing this? We too are only human, like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them.”
After this event, Paul is stoned and left for dead.
- In other cities he had been plotted against, persecuted, abandoned, attacked…
- In all those occasions, Paul just picked himself up and moved on.
Here however, he tears his clothing and shouts out against their actions. Why such a strong reaction to what the people in Lystra were doing versus what people in other cities did?
Because what the people in Lystra were trying to do was to bring “undue honor” onto Paul and he was not about to take credit for what God had done and was doing!
Here’s the danger with President Obama’s 1st trip to Israel: our leadership taking credit for what God is doing and is going to allow to happen in the Middle East.
How close is Iran to nuclear weapons? Do they already have them?
Is Israel going to strike Iran?
Where does Syria play in all of this?
Is their leadership going to fall?
How many more deaths will that civil war cause?
Where do countries like Jordan end up in all this?
What about Egypt and its leadership which is taking a stance against Israel?
Our president and American leadership will be somewhat involved in all of this. My only hope is that they do so with humble hearts and do not expect or receive “Undue Honor” for what God is doing.
That would not bring blessing to America!