When history is written, it will show that American’s interest in Bible prophecy during the last half of the 20th century will have played a real role in strengthening interest and support for Israel. In many ways, the two go hand in hand. A love for Scripture, the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament), and God’s promises drove an interest in Israel that greatly intensified after the Six-Day War.
In the Bible prophecy community, a handful of speakers and writers have contributed greatly to this reality, perhaps chief among them Hal Lindsey.
But two of the “go-to guys” have always been Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson. Frankly, LaHaye has become a marketing phenomenon and one of the best-selling authors of all time. Hindson is without peer when it comes to a combination of research, writing and speaking. The guy is just gold.
Now, those of us who love such topics are being treated to a new book by the duo, “Target Israel: Caught in the Crosshairs of the End Times.”
I like that the authors start right off the bat with basic information, which is absolutely needed in this culture: they explain that Jesus is a Jew, etc. After generations of faulty Bible teaching in churches, people in the pews are lacking in real understanding of Scripture. The authors make this statement early on, in explaining their book:
Today, America faces a new and growing crisis with regard to its historic relationship with Israel. The Jewish nation is surrounded by many hostile neighbors who both fail to recognize its existence and vow to wipe it off the map. Further, many of these neighbors are growing an alliance of nations that stand opposed to Israel and its sovereignty. Amidst these rising tensions, Western nations increasingly speak of peace, yet show little action to support Israel. These “inactions” leave the Jewish people in a vulnerable position that ultimately shows the protection of a loving God who watches over the nation’s borders.
Truly, there is a crisis looming in the West, with regard to support for Israel. A night-and-day transition of power in Canada late last year is typical. This makes “Target Israel” all the more important; in fact, LaHaye’s legions of fans should share this book far and wide.
(Here, I’d like to applaud the publisher, Harvest House, long a friend of Israel and one of the few evangelical publishers left that will take on such projects. They take them on and do a deluxe job promoting them. That’s critical at a time when most CBA publishers are going the other way.)
In explaining upfront the perils facing Israel, the authors note that the Iranians have taken to social media (incredibly!) to outline specific ways they hope to destroy Israel. This is mind boggling, given the fact that we live in the 21st century. Yet, with overt enemies like Hamas and Iran facing down Israel, we also have to deal with less-obvious ones like the U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has recently justified Palestinian terrorism, and so we see a whole range of threats facing the Jewish state. In “Target Israel,” LaHaye and Hindson do a terrific job explaining all this, and why we should care.
One of the key features of “Target Israel” is the authors’ ability to distill dense information, so that “regular folks” can understand it. For example, note how they explain the basic “family” of Islam: “Two main branches of Islam exist today – Sunni and Shia (a third group, Sufi Islam, also exists as a mystical form of Islam.).” I’ve read many volumes and articles about Islam, and usually such a description takes several paragraphs. Kudos to LaHaye and Hindson for boiling it down.
Chapter 4, “Israel’s Divine Purpose” is one of the best of the book, especially given the fact that this is usually a missing piece of Israel advocacy. I even learned new things, such as the reason the Roman 10th Legion actually burned and utterly destroyed the Jewish Temple in A.D. 70.
Elsewhere, LaHaye offers compelling first-hand history of one of the defining moments of our era: the Holocaust. As a member of the Air Corps in 1945, LaHaye had an opportunity to visit the notorious Dachau extermination camp; it obviously left an indelible mark on him, and he could see with great clarity that prophetic passages like Ezekiel 37 were being literally fulfilled. Such detail adds tremendously to an already tremendous book.
“Target Israel” will prove to be one of the best new books of the year (and the foreseeable future) that outlines why Israel is important. Please share it widely.