Israel — What Does the Future Hold?
By Arlen L. Chitwood
The Turbulent Middle East (2)
Unrest in the Middle East – to One Day Cease
So the captain came to him [to Jonah, asleep in the hold of the ship], and said to him, “What do you mean, sleeper? Arise, call on your God; perhaps your God will consider us, so that we may not perish.”
And they said to one another, “Come, let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this trouble [the raging sea, about to destroy the ship and crew] has come upon us.” So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah.
Then they said to him, “Please tell us! For whose cause is this trouble upon us? What is your occupation? And where do you come from? What is your country? And of what people are you?”
So he said to them, “I am a Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.”
Then the men were exceedingly afraid, and said to him, “Why have you done this?” For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them.
Then they said to him, “What shall we do to you that the sea may be calm for us? - for the sea was growing more tempestuous.
And he said to them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea; then the sea will become calm for you. For I know that this great tempest is because of me.” . . .
So they picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. (Jonah 1:6-12, 15).
As seen in Chapter 4 of this book, the small four-chapter book of Jonah, written by a Jewish prophet over 2,800 years ago, outlines in exact detail not only the reason for the current unrest among the nations in the Middle East, extending out into the world at large, but also the solution to the existing problem.
In the type, there is a disobedient Jewish prophet on board a ship headed west toward Tarshish when he should have been back on the land headed east toward Nineveh. Since Jonah is seen on the ship rather than in the sea, he is seen, from a typical standpoint, as being in the land of Israel (“the sea” is used in Scripture as a metaphor for the nations, along with the place of death [Revelation 13:1; 17:1, 15]).
The land of Israel is the only place that could possibly be in view and still see the place where Jonah was as separate from the nations (i.e., he was out of the sea, on the ship, not in the sea).
Then, viewing the matter from the standpoint of the antitype, Israel is on board the ship, out of the sea (i.e., a segment of the Jewish people, over time, has returned to the land of Israel [under a Zionistic movement]; those comprising this segment have removed themselves from the sea rather than remaining where God had previously placed them — out among the nations).
And those presently comprising the nation of Israel (some 6,000,000) are in the land, in exactly the condition and state seen in the account of Jonah on board the ship. The Jewish people are in the land in a disobedient and unrepentant state, with their actions seen to be the same as Jonah’s — asleep to their calling, seeking to flee from the Lord’s presence.
(Any type of action on Jonah’s part in the type or Israel’s part in the antitype, seeking to flee from the Lord’s presence, was/is futile. Regardless of circumstances, the Lord is always seen residing in Israel’s midst, dating back to the inception of the nation during Moses’ day.
Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell [‘Sheol’], behold, You are there.” (Psalm 139:7, 8)
For additional information in this respect, refer to Chapter 1, “The Pupil of God’s Eye,” in the author’s book Distant Hoofbeats.)
And exactly the same thing as seen in the type has occurred relative to Israel and the nations. It has to, for the antitype must follow the type in exact detail.
God has sent a great storm out on the sea; God has caused great turmoil to exist among the Gentile nations. And it is all because of Israel’s presence in the land (present in the land before the time) and their condition in the land (a disobedient and unrepentant people). Israel, as Jonah, is asleep to the true nature of what is happening; and the nations, alienated from God and His Word, have no means to ascertain or understand what is happening.
And the entire matter will continue unchecked and only becoming worse and worse with time, until . . . . The unrest among the nations, particularly in the Middle East, can only continue until the Jewish people have been removed from their land and driven back out among the nations, exactly as seen in the type (Jonah cast from the ship into the sea). Only then will God allow the present unrest among the nations, for the reason that it presently exists, to cease.
(God had previously uprooted His people from their land and driven them out among the nations to effect repentance through continuous mistreatment at the hands of the nations. This is not only where but how God had previously decreed that He would deal with His people in this respect, which is the primary reason why the 6,000,000 Jews presently in the land must be uprooted and driven back out among the nations. And the time when this will occur cannot be far removed.
An interesting thing about the present unrest among the numerous nations fighting in the Middle East is that the center of activity is in the exact place from where the first beast out of Revelation 13, the Antichrist, will arise. This man will arise from someplace in parts of northern Iraq, Syria, Iran, or Turkey [Daniel 8:8, 9].
And all of that occurring, under God’s sovereign direction and control — because of Israel’s presence in the land — may very well be setting the stage for this man to emerge on the scene. This is the man whom God will use in the middle of the coming Tribulation, in the middle of Daniel’s Seventieth Week, to uproot His people from their land and drive them back out among the nations. Then He will further use the actions of this man to bring Israel to the place of repentance.
Note how God has used and will use men and nations in this respect. God used the past Assyrian and his armed forces ruling Egypt during Moses’ day in this respect, and He will use the future Assyrian and his armed forces ruling the world in this same respect [typified by the past Assyrian in Egypt]:
. . . for this purpose I have raised you up [the Assyrian Pharaoh ruling Egypt during Moses’ day], that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth. [Exodus 9:16b]
And the ten horns which you saw on the beast [the beast’s ten-kingdom confederacy], these will hate the harlot [Israel], make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire [setting forth in figurative language an end to Israel’s harlotry].
For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. [Revelation 17:16, 17; cf. Revelation 19:2, 3].)
In the Sea, Then…
One part of the complete story concerning Israel and the nations is seen at this point in the book of Jonah. Once Jonah had been cast into the sea, the sea ceased raging; and once Israel has been removed from the land and driven back out among the nations in the middle of the coming Tribulation — in exact accord with the type — unrest among the nations, relative to the reason that it exists, will cease (this unrest will cease because the catalyst for the unrest will have been removed). Divine power, controlling the matter, was seen in the type; and exactly the same divine power and circumstances must be seen in the antitype.
But, as previously shown (ref. Chapter 4 in this book), when Israel is driven back out among the nations, things not dealt with in the first chapter of Jonah but dealt with in the second chapter (e.g., vv. 2, 3), along with other prophets, will then come into play. Though unrest among the nations will cease because Israel will no longer be present in the land, unrest among the nations will then begin on an unprecedented scale because of something else — anti-Semitism on a scale never before seen in the 3,500-year history of the nation.
The beast, empowered by Satan and seated on his throne (Revelation 13:2), will seek to destroy Israel from off the face of the earth. God though, as previously stated, will use this man’s actions to effect His own revealed purposes — bringing Israel to the place of repentance after 2,600 years of Gentile persecution.
And Scripture reveals that it will take the type of persecution that will be manifested under the future Assyrian, the beast, to bring about Israel’s repentance. The Third Reich, under Hitler and Eichmann, slaying some 6,000,000 Jews during the World War II years couldn’t bring about repentance. But the true beast, about to appear, will either slay or otherwise cause the death of some 9,000,000 Jews in half the time. And, by his actions, as God uses this man’s actions, Israel will be brought to the place where they will have no recourse other than to call upon the God of their fathers. In this respect, God will use this latter-day Assyrian exactly as He used his Assyrian predecessor during Moses’ day (Exodus 2:23ff).
Once Jonah had been cast into the sea at the end of chapter one (Jonah 1:15), the events of chapter two relate the account of Jonah being brought to the place of repentance. And this, of course, foreshadows Israel being brought to the place of repentance once the Jewish people have been driven back out among the nations.
Jonah was brought to this place through circumstances that God had brought to pass. Then, once this had occurred and Jonah finally acknowledged, “Salvation is of the Lord,” the Lord commanded the fish to spit him out on dry land (the land of Israel).
Jonah was driven to the place of repentance while in the sea, he acknowledged the only place from which salvation exists while still in the sea, and he was then restored to the land (Jonah 1:15-2:10). In complete accord with the book of Jonah, any of the other types, the Jewish festivals of Leviticus chapter twenty-three, or the Prophets, Israel’s restoration to the land will occur at a particular time yet future.
Israel’s restoration will occur following the nation’s repentance, following Messiah’s return at the end of the Tribulation, following the nation’s national conversion when they look upon the One whom they pierced, and following the resurrection of Old Testament saints (the dead will be resurrected and restored with the living, exactly as seen in the type in Exodus during Moses’ day [Moses took the bones of Joseph with him when he led the Israelites out of Egypt]).
(For additional information on the preceding, refer to the author’s book, Israel – From Death to Life. Also, see “Anti-Semitism,” Appendix 1, in the author’s book, Prophecy on Mount Olivet.)
Then, in the type, continuing in Jonah chapter three, Jonah did that which the Lord had commanded him to do in the first place. He went to Nineveh with God’s message, resulting in the repentance of the entire city (Jonah 3:1ff).
And Israel, following their repentance, national conversion, and restoration to the land, will then do that which God had commanded them to do in the first place.
Exactly as seen in the type, they will go to the Gentiles with God’s message. And, as seen in the type, the Gentiles will hear and respond (Isaiah 2:1-4; Zechariah 8:13, 20-23).
This is what the future holds for Israel and the nations, as foretold over 2,800 years ago in the book of Jonah.