The Immovable Rock — What Holly Thinks

An unnamed U.S. diplomat’s choice of words fascinated me.

A Jerusalem Post article, published Monday, reported that U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell plans to return to the Middle East this week to pressure Israel and the Palestinian Authority to resume negotiations. The article quoted one diplomatic official who said the intended purpose of Mitchell’s visit is to continue “pushing the rock.” (Note his use of the word “rock.”) The article goes on to cite the official, who said that the United States plans to keep applying pressure until it achieves its goal:

The US, he said, has made clear that it will do so until — perhaps because of a change of conditions — the rock actually moves. (Read the article here.)

The official’s use of the metaphor of a heavy rock — used to describe the stalled peace process — fascinated me because it reminded me of an ancient Bible prophecy. Zechariah chapter 12 records the following words spoken by God, where He also used the metaphor of a heavy rock:

Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around; and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah. It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it. … And in that day I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:2-3, 9).

In other words, God said that, in the last days, all the nations of the earth would gather against Israel to take its land. But Israel would be like a “heavy stone” they couldn’t budge.

This is what we are seeing today — all the nations pushing Israel to relocate its borders. Reading this ancient prophecy is like reading today’s news headlines.

Yet, it’s also like reading tomorrow’s headlines. What do I mean? Well, God not only said that the nations will gather against Israel, but he also warned that those nations that do gather against Israel will themselves be destroyed in the process. But George Mitchell probably isn’t familiar with this prophecy.

So, while he heads off to the Middle East this week to attempt to move the “rock,” we already know the outcome. Though negotiations may resume, this rock — Israel — isn’t going to roll. That’s because when nations mess with Israel they’re messing with Israel’s God, who, interestingly, is also described as a “Rock” in Scripture (Deuteronomy 32:3-4, 32:15, 32:18; 2 Samuel 23:3; Psalm 31:3; Isaiah 26:4; 1 Corinthians 10:4 and others). And this Rock is immovable.

— Holly Pivec
10/27/09