Summary: An account of how demonic angel-princes came to control the nations of the earth. The story of Yahweh's formation of Israel, its rebellious decline into idol worship, its separation from God and it's ultimate restoration.
Israel under attack
In our previous messages, we discussed the origins of Satan, the fallen Lucifer, and the war he's been waging on God and on the human race ever since he was summarily ejected from Heaven as a result of his hubris and vaulting ambition.
We saw that this fall from Heaven was, in essence, a rebellion against truth - with the result that the onceglorious cherub became the degraded and ignominious father of lies!
We considered the fact that, as a consequence, his main weapon against humanity has been deception and lies.
We saw how - after the great flood – Nimrod, son of Cush and grandson of Ham, established a one-world godless empire - the dynasty of Uruk - in defiance of God's edict that man spread over the earth.
This empire was dedicated to the worship of Satan in the form of Enki, the Lord of the Abyss, who dwelt in Eridu, the oldest city on record.
The Lord God, as we know, brought this godless enterprise to an abrupt halt by confusing the languages at Babel - which many believe was this original city of Eridu.
As Genesis 11:9 says:
the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.
In this message we’re going to discuss another aspect of the on-going conflict between Satan and God; specifically: Satan's war against Israel.
Antisemitism, which we can define generally as an attitude of hostility towards the Jews, is rampant in the world today. According to the Anti-Defamation League - in 2015 at least - a total of about 1.09 billion people - that's one billion and 90 million people in the world, harbour antisemitic attitudes.
This total includes 14% of Australians and ranges to 74% of people in the Middle East and North Africa.
Western Europe is at 24% with 22% in Asia and so on.
But why such irrational hatred? It’s understandable (to and extent) in the Arab world: the Arabs believe that the land of Israel is rightfully theirs; they believe that they have a legitimate claim to the promises made to Abraham, to the land of Israel, and to the holy city of Jerusalem in particular!
But why the present-day virulent and often apparently irrational hostility displayed towards Israel on the part of what appears to be the majority of the nations? Even those who have little (or even no) contact with Israel?
When we consider the relentless persecution of Israel, two factors emerge as clear reasons for its occurrence.
Firstly, even a cursory reading of Ezekiel and Hosea makes it abundantly clear that Israel's sufferings are connected with God's judgment on this nation. The curses for disobedience, pronounced on Mt Ebal in Deuteronomy 11, have been summarily inflicted on a people that has, at times, stubbornly persisted in rebellion and unbelief; on a wife that has been divorced from her husband (as Ezekiel 3 explains) .
But this doesn't explain the attitude of the nations towards this little country - and it’s that aspect that we're going to discuss in this message.
So let's lift the lid a little and get a glimpse from Scripture into this aspect of the spiritual war that has actually been raging for well over 3000 years or so!
It all really began with the dispersion of the nations after the incident of the Tower of Babel. This, according to the Septuagint, would have taken place in approximately 2100 B.C. – possibly about 450 years after the flood - although it must be said that much of mainstream opinion has placed the flood itself at roughly 2300 B.C.
Nimrod's godless one-world empire (which we discussed in our third message on spiritual warfare) had been forcibly disbanded by the confusion of the languages at Babel and so Satan was now forced to adopt a different strategy.
Genesis chapter 10 tells the story of the development of seventy language or ethnic groups from the three sons of Noah: Shem, Ham and Japheth.
These groups spread over the world - taking with them the memories, stories and unfortunately, the mythology of Nimrod's empire.
So it wasn't a one-world empire this time. Instead, the Bible seems to suggest that God then permitted the spiritual government of these seventy nation groups to be divided up between powerful, fallen angels – or spiritual world-rulers (as we'll see in a moment).
Now exactly why God permitted this to happen, we don't really know for sure!
Perhaps Satan claimed that he and his minions could do a better job than God at handling human affairs.
Perhaps God was simply allowing mankind to have its way - respecting human free will - even if it was a will prone to Satanic deception!
Perhaps - as he did with the various so-called dispensations, God was permitting evil to play its hand out so that its character and inevitable out-working could be clearly seen for what they really were.