The Bible reveals that the unique blessings God promised to bestow on His chosen people would be withdrawn if they despised His laws and instructions. Those prophecies are coming alive today!
One of the great prophetic promises that God made to Abraham was that "your descendants shall possess the gates of their enemies" (Genesis 22:17). This same promise was repeated to Rebecca when she agreed to marry Abraham's son Isaac: "May your descendants possess the gates of those who hate them" (Genesis 24:60). The Hebrew word translated "gates" is shaar, which can also mean gateway, city or port (Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, #8179). These ancient prophecies were fulfilled in the last two centuries when control of the world's major sea gates came into the hands of the United States and Britain, also fulfilling other prophecies that the descendants of Abraham's grandsons Manasseh and Ephraim would become a great nation and a great company of nations (Genesis 48:14–22).
However, these unique national blessings were given to His chosen people (Deuteronomy 7:6) with specific conditions. Through Moses, God clearly warned the Israelite nations—which would inherit the birthright promises (Genesis 25:31–34; 1 Chronicles 5:1–2)—that disobedience would bring severe consequences: "If you do not obey Me, and do not observe all these commandments, and if you despise My statutes… I will set My face against you, and you shall be defeated by your enemies. Those that hate you will reign over you… I will break the pride of your power… I will lay your cities waste" (Leviticus 26:14–19, 31). God further warned: "Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and gladness of heart… therefore you shall serve your enemies… they shall besiege you at all your gates throughout all your land which the Lord your God has given you… your enemy shall distress you at all your gates" (Deuteronomy 28:47–55). The Bible reveals that the unique blessings God promised to bestow on His chosen people would be withdrawn if they despised His laws and instructions. Those prophecies are coming alive today!
History reveals how the important sea gates of the world came into the hands of the U.S. and Britain, and how those gates are being taken away. In 1774, Britain gained possession of Gibraltar, on the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula, at the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea. From the early 1800s, Britain held oversight of the Strait of Hormuz—the vital entrance to the Persian Gulf. In 1814, Britain established the Cape Colony that controlled passage around the tip of South Africa. The British founded Singapore in the 1820s, controlling the Straits of Malacca. In the 1830s, Britain gained control of the Falkland Islands, guarding the Atlantic approach to the tip of South America. In 1839, Britain acquired the port of Aden in Yemen, thus gaining control of the entrance to the Red Sea. Although it was the French who built the Suez Canal in the 1850s, Britain gained control of the canal in the 1880s, and held that control until the 1950s.
Finally, one cannot overstate the importance of the U.S.' most valuable sea gate, the Panama Canal, which opened under U.S. control in 1914, and which the U.S. held for more than 80 years.
Secular historians attribute these territorial acquisitions to the rising power of America and the British Empire. Yet it was by no accident or mere coincidence that Britain and the U.S. gained control of virtually all of the world's major sea gates during the last 200 years. The Bible reveals that God was rewarding His chosen people with the birthright blessings that had been withheld for nearly 2,520 years. The ancient Israelites were told if they disobeyed God, He would punish them "seven times" for their sins (Leviticus 26:18). The prophetic "day for a year" principle indicates that this meant a punishment lasting 7 x 360 years—2,520 years (see Ezekiel 4:6; Daniel 4:25; Revelation 12:14; 13:5). The nation of ancient Israel went into captivity around 720bc because of its national sins. A punishment lasting 2,520 years brings us to 1800ad—the time when these territorial acquisitions began to occur—fulfilling the ancient promises to Abraham's descendants.
However, about 50 years ago the picture started to change. History records how Britain and America began to lose control of the strategic gates that God had given them. In the 1950s, Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal and expelled the British. In the 1960s, Yemen expelled the British from the port of Aden. In the 1980s, Argentina went to war with Britain over claims to the oil-reserve rich Falkland Islands. Since the 1960s, Britain has faced steady pressure to return Gibraltar to Spanish control. In the 1970s, Britain began pulling out of Singapore. In subsequent years, China has provided considerable economic assistance to nearby Burma—a country with timber resources, natural gas, and a strategic location on the Indian Ocean near the Straits of Malacca—gateway for 80 percent of China's oil imports. In 1999, the U.S. turned control of the Panama Canal over to Panama—and a large Chinese corporation quickly set up shop on both ends of the Canal Zone. In the last 50 years, the control of major sea gates of the world slipped out of the hands of Britain and the U.S.—just as ancient Bible prophecies predicted!
The U.S. is not only losing its sea gates to foreign adversaries. In 2005, two major hurricanes hit America's Gulf Coast, devastating the port facilities around New Orleans and causing widespread damage to gas and oil production facilities in the region. The Port of South Louisiana extends some 50 miles up the Mississippi River from New Orleans. It is the largest port in the United States, and is the fifth largest in the world. More than 60 percent of America's trade passes through this port—including the bulk of the nation's grain exports. In the early 1800s, Andrew Jackson fought the British for control of New Orleans because he understood the strategic importance of this "sea gate" for the future of the American nation. Meanwhile, as port facilities around New Orleans are being restored after the hurricanes, the U.S Army Corps of Engineers is concerned that the Mississippi River could change its course in the future, rendering the Port of South Louisiana useless!
The U.S. and Britain are also finding their key ports threatened from another direction. In recent months, Americans were surprised to learn that their government had approved transferring control of several major ports to a foreign-owned company headquartered in a country with links to terrorists. This deal was halted when issues of national security were raised, though some remain concerned that foreign companies continue to manage several U.S. Navy facilities overseas. The British government has also turned important government-owned "trust ports" over to private owners, which could pose a considerable risk to the national security of Britain.
The U.S. and Britain became world powers as they gained control of the world's strategic sea gates, just as was prophesied in Scripture. The loss of control over these geopolitically important locations in the last 50 years coincides with the growing secularization and open rejection of the laws of God by large segments of the population in both countries. Long ago, God warned His people that they would be "besieged in all their gates" if they disobeyed. Those sobering prophecies are coming alive today!