Since French President Emanuel Macron came to power as a Eurocentric change agent, he has passionately advocated for a stronger Europe and consistently pushed for a greater centralization of European power. In a recent interview, Mr. Macron claimed that lack of U.S. leadership is causing “the ‘brain death’ of NATO” (Deutsche Welle, November 7, 2019). In Germany, both Chancellor Merkel and Foreign Affairs Minister Heiko Maas have responded negatively to Mr. Macron’s comments, arguing instead for a strong NATO to play a continuing role in European defense.
However, Mr. Macron’s comments and his efforts to advance a European superstate are pushing the Europeans to view the European Union as a world leader, less dependent on the United States (Financial Times, November 10, 2019). Mr. Macron’s aggressive comments—certainly not embraced by all Europeans—are intended to bring about a response from his counterparts (European Council on Foreign Relations, November 8, 2019).
It is both interesting and significant that the two world leaders putting the greatest pressure on Europe to centralize, militarize, and become a more unified force are U.S. President Donald Trump and French President Macron— leaders from nations the Bible shows to be intimately connected to biblical Israel.
In September of last year, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited Luxembourg to discuss Brexit strategy with his European counterparts. While there, he canceled a press conference in order to avoid the jeers of an angry crowd. Luxembourg’s prime minister carried on the press conference anyway, with Johnson’s chair left empty in a clear attempt to discredit the British leader (The Guardian, September 17, 2019). In response to the fiasco, U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom Woody Johnson publicly proclaimed America’s support for the British Prime Minister and for Brexit, commenting, “We stand with the people of the UK and we always will” (The Telegraph, September 17, 2019).
In the last few years, the United States has also shown a great deal of support for the nation of Israel and its president. While many nations frequently stand in public opposition to Israel, the U.S. has moved its embassy to Jerusalem and has made many other public overtures in support of the beleaguered nation—often over the objections of diplomats from other countries. Israeli news sources have even declared that “Trump is a friend of Zion” (New York Times, May 13, 2018).
Why have the United States, Britain, and Israel possessed such consistently close ties over the years? Is this just a coincidence, or is there more to the story? Bible prophecy reveals the reasons why these three nations have a special relationship, despite the criticism they receive from the rest of the world. History and the Bible indicate these three nations are really “brothers” who have fulfilled important prophecies of the past—and who will stand in the center of numerous end-time prophecies that will be fulfilled in the days ahead. To learn more about coming world events that involve these nations, watch our telecast “America and Britain—A Special Relationship.”
In the face of NATO’s uncertain future, many nations of Europe are preparing their own defenses. As the United States signals that it will not be around to provide military support for Europe, and with Russia increasing its military presence on Europe’s borders, many European nations are taking greater action to re-arm. As the Guardian reported last year, “Sweden’s navy HQ is returning to a vast underground cold war fortress designed to withstand a nuclear attack, in what has been seen as a defensive move against a resurgent Russia” (September 30, 2019).
The massive underground fortress, which has been closed for 25 years, contains large docks, a hospital, and miles of tunnels. The Swedish government fears that Russia might use some of its advanced weaponry against them and sees this underground fortress as the only location safe enough to withstand such an attack. “Sweden’s army and airforce commands are also moving out of the capital and into more fortified locations, spreading their headquarters geographically to make them less vulnerable to attack.”
Meanwhile, Josep Borrell Fontelles, the European Union’s “Commissioner-designate for a Stronger Europe in the World” and incoming foreign policy chief, publicly shared his personal concern that if the EU does not “speak with one voice” and develop a “military capacity to act,” it may soon be seen as irrelevant on the world stage (Reuters, October 7, 2019). Several EU nations have already begun increasing their military spending, and the EU has created a central command location.
Many are aware that reading to young children is beneficial for their development. A host of recent research studies have further highlighted the positive impact that conversation with young children has on their learning and their developing brain (BBC, October 1, 2019).
It is not enough for children just to hear conversation occurring around them, and it is not the number of words they hear that matters most. Rather, it is direct conversation with their caregivers—conversation that involves the child’s participation—that makes an impact. Children whose parents and other caregivers involve them the most develop much stronger verbal skills, placing them at a great advantage over children who are not regularly involved in such conversations.
In today’s fast-paced society, some parents spend as little as 15-minutes a day interacting with their children, placing their sons and daughters under the burden of a great learning disadvantage. God makes it clear that His earnest desire is for “the hearts of the fathers” to be turned to their children (Malachi 4:6). He also directed parents to talk throughout the day with their children about the things of God and His way of life (Deuteronomy 6:7). This new understanding of the developmental significance of conversation between children and parents highlights that obedience to such commands may have a greater impact on a child’s growth than anyone has expected.
For more information on the divine wisdom God makes available to parents for the task of childrearing, consider requesting our free booklet Successful Parenting: God’s Way.
Towns in northern New South Wales and southern Queensland are in the midst of one of Australia’s most devastating droughts. Many towns are now counting down to “day zero”—the day each town will completely run out of water. For most, this terminal date will fall in mid- to late-2020.
Many towns are trucking in water from other locations, and several are digging deep wells, searching for new underground water sources. Many farmers are feeling the pressure of the drought. Warragamba Dam, the largest in Sydney, “has dropped to 50%, after almost being at capacity less than three years ago” (Reuters, September 27, 2019). Australia’s central bank estimates the drought will soon begin affecting the nation’s economic growth.
Severe drought understandably generates fear and worry. Bible prophecies have long warned that Israelite nations, including Australia, would experience severe droughts at the end of the age because they have turned against God and rejected His ways, proclaiming that “your heavens which are over your head shall be bronze, and the earth which is under you shall be iron. The Lord will change the rain of your land to powder and dust; from the heaven it shall come down on you until you are destroyed” (Deuteronomy 28:23–24). The drought in eastern Australia should stir us to consider the difficult times prophesied to lie ahead not only for Australia, but for all British-descended nations. However, the encouraging truth is that Christ is going to return, these nations will repent, and droughts will become a thing of the past.