Weekly Update: Dedication
11 December 2020
This week is Hanukkah – the festival of lights. This festival reminds us that God’s covenants are not to be broken. His name alone is to be glorified. This requires dedication to Him alone.
On Thursday President Trump announced that Israel and Morocco have agreed to reestablish diplomatic relations. At the same time he announced that the US would recognize Moroccan sovereignty over the Western Sahara.
This is the fourth Arab-Israel cooperation agreement in four months. These so-called “Abraham” agreements reflect an apparently growing acceptance by people in the region that the Jewish state is no longer just surviving; it is here to stay, it is an active player in the region and it is becoming a hub for development, advancement and growth. That is, in and of itself, a very positive development.
It is too early to tell what the political implications of this agreement will be. It is very unusual for a tripartite “deal” of this nature to be made. And the fact that the agreement includes recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over the Western Sahara is remarkable, to say the least.
It is also important to observe that, immediately following announcement of the agreement with Israel, the King of Morocco took pains to reaffirm to the Palestinian leaders his commitment to Palestinian claims to Jerusalem and Muslim control over the Temple Mount.
As Rev. Glashouwer has commented in a recent article about the Abraham Accords: “These peace accords in no way imply that these Islamic states recognize that Israel has the right and is entitled to be an independent Jewish State. They only accept the fact that this is momentarily only the political reality. The same goes for the peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan. … The Old Testament prophets warn Israel time and again not to seek refuge in political alliances with the surrounding powers of their days, like Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia, et cetera. The prophet Jeremiah says in chapter 6:14 and 8:11 ‘Peace, peace, they say, when there is no peace.’ Similarly, Ezekiel 13:10 when he warns against the false prophets.”
This is, admittedly, a difficult message. While the renewed friendship between Israeli and Morocco is to be celebrated, the message of Hanukkah should also remind us that “normalization” agreements between Israel and other powers cannot – in and of themselves – bring the peace and security that God promises.
In this Hanukkah season, let us pray that God’s covenant purposes will be fulfilled, and that His name alone will be glorified on His holy mountain. Only then can real peace come.
This requires all of us – Jews and Gentiles – to re-dedicate ourselves to Him.
The Editorial team
Israel & Christians Today