“O Sleeper, Arise, Call…”
Unrest in the Middle East — the Cause, the Solution
“The reason” for all of the unrest in the Middle East, which has spilled over into the world at large, is singular.
And “the solution” for what appears to be an intractable problem existing in that part of the world, though seen to some extent worldwide, is singular as well.
Then, there is something else. This unrest, with all which it creates and fosters (fear, destruction, death, etc.) is not going to somehow go away over time. In fact, exactly the opposite will occur. Because of the reason that this unrest exists, it can only continue to get worse with time.
Then, beyond the preceding there is something else. No one can do anything about the existing unrest, except possibly make it worse by trying to do something.
All of man’s best efforts (e.g., present peace efforts of the U.S. Secretary of State) can only go for naught, possibly even worsening the existing situation (something which will become evident when one understands what is really happening in the Middle East and the world at large today).
Though the preceding is true, there is a solution to the problem. And that solution was given during a storm by the person in charge of a ship out on the Mediterranean Sea 2,800 years ago, recorded in the Book of Jonah.
The solution — echoed by this mariner to a Jewish prophet, Jonah, after being awakened from his sleep down in the hold of the ship — is made up of ten words in the English text (KJV), seven words in the Hebrew text: “What Meanest thou, O Sleeper? Arise, Call upon thy God!” (1:6b).
History, Non-Understanding of All the Unrest
The complete history of all the unrest centered in the Middle East and extending out from there into the world at large — extending through past centuries into millenniums and continuing down to the present time — was told in a very succinct manner 2,800 years ago by Jonah in the opening five verses of the small four-chapter book bearing his name.
But, who pays attention to a Jewish prophet who lived and wrote almost three millenniums ago?
The world at large, of course, couldn’t be expected to read and understand the Book of Jonah, for this book has not been written to or for them. Scripture has been structured in a particular manner; and, because of its origin and the manner in which it was given, Scripture is spiritually discerned, written to and for those capable of understanding it.
But, shouldn’t those capable of spiritual understanding, particularly the Bible teachers, be seeing the truth about the matter and at least be calling attention to what is really happening in the world today?
They should, but, almost without exception, they’re not doing so. And the reason that they are not doing so is very simple. Because of an existing problem, they, in reality, know little more about what is actually happening than the world knows about it.
In fact, many of today’s Bible teachers often, unknowingly, teach things militating against any type correct understanding of the existing problem by some of their false teachings in this realm.
This would particularly be true concerning their teachings about present-day Zionism and the Jewish people in the Middle East — proclaiming that this Zionistic movement has to do with God presently restoring the Jewish people to a restored land in accordance with Old Testament prophecy.
Possibly no other teaching militates against and destroys the truth about the matter more so than does this one false teaching, for it places the Jewish people in a completely wrong light. And when this is done, one might as well forget about correctly understanding numerous things having to do with Israel and the nations in end-time Biblical prophecy.
And there is a reason why the situation exists in the preceding manner. Numerous Bible teachers today have little to no understanding of the different ways God has structured His Word, particularly the Old Testament.
Old Testament history, for example, is highly typical. And this structure of Old Testament history is often not understood at all, leaving one disdaining or ignoring the types.
And disdaining or ignoring this central way in which God has structured His Word — revealing innumerable things concerning His plans and purposes through this means — leaves one, in actuality, disdaining or ignoring large parts of God’s revelation to man.
And any Bible teacher following suit does so not only to his own detriment but to the detriment of any and all sitting under his ministry.
“Oh what blessed truths people deny unto themselves by their refusal to study the types of the Bible.”
p; — A. Edwin Wilson
A Case in Point
Note the book at hand, the Book of Jonah, as a case in point. This book, among certain other books such as Ruth and Esther, is often used only as a source from which to draw spiritual lessons. Drawing spiritual lessons from Old Testament history is all good and well, for Old Testament history lends itself to this type usage. But the problem is that drawing spiritual lessons from these parts of Scripture is often as far as one takes the matter, missing the real Meat of the Word in the way God has structured His revelation to man.
With the preceding in mind, the remainder of this article will be taken up mainly with the typology of parts of the Book of Jonah, noting particularly what the previously mentioned words involve: “What meanest thou, O Sleeper? Arise, call upon they God!” (1:6b).
And, within this account, it will be a simple matter to note that anyone properly understanding the typology of this book (along with related types) couldn’t possibly be confused by the false teaching concerning Zionism and the Jewish people which is rampant in Christian circles today.
As well, it will be a simple matter to note that the converse of that is equally true. Anyone failing to properly understand the typology of this book (along with related types) will find himself quite open to deception concerning the previously mentioned false teaching.
Reason for All the Unrest
“So the shipmaster came to him [to Jonah, asleep in the hold of the ship], and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? Arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not…
Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us; what is thine occupation? And whence comest thou? What is thy country? And of what people art thou?
And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven…
I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you” (Jonah 1:6, 8, 9a, 12b).
The Book of Jonah forms a dual type of God’s two firstborn Sons (Israel and Christ [Ex. 4:22; Heb. 1:6]). As Jonah, so Israel; and as Jonah, so Christ. Jonah, Israel, and Christ are all seen being raised after two days, on the third day (cf. Hosea 6:1-3; Jonah 1:17; Matt. 12:40; Luke 24:7, 21), for purposes having to do with the point toward which all Scripture moves, the Messianic Era.
Jonah though, in its overall scope, has to do more centrally with Israel, with Jonah’s experiences throughout foreshadowing those of Israel in not only history but in present and future time as well.
Thus, to read Jonah is to read the complete history of Israel — from God’s viewpoint, not man’s — from the time of the nation’s inception to that yet future time in the Messianic Era when Israel fully realizes the reason God called the nation into existence.
One reason God called Israel into existence was to be His witness to the nations. Israel was to take the message of the one true and living God to all of the nations of the earth.
But Israel refused to go to these nations, and, instead, went in an opposite direction. And, through continued disobedience over centuries of time — reaching an apex through unlawful affiliations with the nations (harlotry) instead of proclaiming God’s message to the nations — God eventually drove Israel out among these same nations to effect repentance through persecution by the nations.
The preceding is what the first chapter of Jonah is about. Jonah, a Jewish prophet, typifying the entire nation, was commanded to go to a Gentile city with God’s message. Jonah refused, went in an opposite direction, and unlawfully affiliated himself with the Gentiles (harlotry) rather than proclaiming God’s message to them. And Jonah eventually ended up in the sea (“the sea,” used in Scripture as a metaphor for the nations), with a view to repentance.
And with Jonah moving in this contrary direction — on board a ship out on the Mediterranean Sea, headed in an opposite direction to where God had commanded him to go — God sent a great storm on the sea, so tumultuous that it was about to destroy the ship.
Then, it is plain from Jonah’s statement after he had been awakened — “I am an Hebrew…I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you” — that he knew exactly why this storm existed and why it was so tumultuous.
Jonah, was a disobedient prophet, fleeing from the Lord’s face, and asleep to his calling in the hold of the ship. He was out of the sea, on the ship (which could only typify Israel, out of the nations, in the land — the only place on earth where the Jewish people can go and be removed from the sea, from the nations).
Thus, here is the picture of Israel in the land today, in unbelief, apart from repentance, and asleep to their calling.
The sea is tumultuous in the type, the nations are raging today in the antitype; and all of this is occurring for one reason alone — because of a disobedient Jewish nation which has taken it upon herself to reenter a house left desolate (Matt. 12:43-45; 23:37-39).
Solution to All the Unrest
The solution to the existing problem is seen in the Book of Jonah as well, a solution provided by a Jewish prophet (cf. Ps. 147:19, 20). As long as Jonah remained on the ship in a disobedient and unrepentant state, the tumultuous storm on the sea would continue. And as long as Israel remains in the land in a disobedient and unrepentant state, the tumultuous state among the nations will continue.
As Jonah was cast from the ship into the sea, Israel must be removed from the land and driven back out among the nations. And as God then dealt with Jonah in the sea, He will then deal with Israel out among the nations, as clearly delineated in His Word.
And, to bring the latter to pass, God is going to use the man of sin in the middle of the coming Tribulation to effect His purpose in this respect.
Until that time, the tumultuous state among the nations, centered in the Middle East and extending out into the world at large, is going to continue. And it all has to do with Israel being back in the land, in an unbelieving and unrepentant state, before the time.
Since God is the One Who has “torn,” He is the only One Who can “heal.” God clearly states in His Word, “I will take away, and NONE shall rescue him.” GOD ALONE will rescue Israel, as he did Jonah, from the sea, “after two days…in the third day” (Hosea 5:13-6:2).
And Israel, while out among the nations, MUST heed the words of and do EXACTLY as the shipmaster told Jonah 2,800 years ago: “What Meanest thou, O Sleeper? ARISE, CALL upon thy God!” (cf. Jonah 2:1-9).
(For additional information on the typology of Jonah, Zionism, and related teachings, note the author’s book, ISRAEL — WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?)