Reggie Kellie has defined the “controversy of Zion” as follows:
The controversy of Zion is the last day’s extension of the age-old contention that has raged in the heavens and on earth concerning “the holy covenant.” Jerusalem represents the place of God’s name, the locus of the divine rule over the earth. This is why “the nations rage, and the people imagine a vain thing.” At issue will be the final outworking of the quarrel that began in the tents of Abraham, and that must continue to divide the descendants of Abraham and Isaac until these ancient brothers will be gloriously reunited with the coming of the messianic peace, so graphically portrayed in Isaiah 19:18-25. It is the issue of the covenant that leads unavoidably to the question of God’s election and sovereign rule, His divine right to choose as he will choose. And this most troublesome of questions presents itself forcibly over the issue of Jerusalem and ’the land.’ Read more.
The “controversy of Zion” began with the controversy of Sarah and Hagar and their descendants, Isaac and Ishmael, respectively (Genesis 16:5-6). Isaac, the promised son, was the elected of God (Genesis 21:12). Ishmael, the son of the bondwoman, was the elder son, cast out. The choosing of Isaac over Ishmael is the root of the controversy of election that continued in the tents of Isaac and Rebekah as twin sons are born to the barren one, Rebekah. Esau, the first-born, and Jacob, the second, are the sons most exemplifying the sovereign choice of God– for even before they were born, God chose Jacob. The sovereign choice of God could not be more clearly stated than in the Old Testament passage of Malachi below:
I have loved you,” says the LORD. But you say, “How hast Thou loved us?” “Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” declares the LORD. “Yet I have loved Jacob; 3 but I have hated Esau, and I have made his mountains a desolation, and appointed his inheritance for the jackals of the wilderness.” 4 Though Edom says, “We have been beaten down, but we will return and build up the ruins”; thus says the LORD of hosts, “They may build, but I will tear down; and men will call them the wicked territory, and the people toward whom the LORD is indignant forever.” (Mal. 1:2-4 NAS) (Romans 9:13, Isaiah 41:8)
The controversy that began in the tent of Abraham between Sarah and Hagar bears fruit in the ancient enmity of the Arabs against the Jews:
They make shrewd plans against Thy people, And conspire together against Thy treasured ones. 4 They have said, “Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation, That the name of Israel be remembered no more.” 5 For they have conspired together with one mind; Against Thee do they make a covenant: 6 The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites; Moab, and the Hagrites; 7 Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; 8 Assyria also has joined with them; They have become a help to the children of Lot. Selah. (Ps. 83:3-8 NAS)
All of those at enmity to Israel in verses 83:6-8 are Muslims today.
Unfortunately, the Scriptures tell us that the enmity of the Arabs against the Jews will become like a cancer in the end-of-days that will serve as a contagion that spreads to the nations of the world. The rise of organizations such as the “Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions” movement (BDS) is just such a contagion. This Palestinian-led movement seeks to lobby governments, companies, universities, artists, and others to sever ties with Israel. Here is what the website for BDS states about itself:
Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) is a Palestinian-led movement for freedom, justice and equality. BDS upholds the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity.
Israel is occupying and colonising Palestinian land, discriminating against Palestinian citizens of Israel and denying Palestinian refugees the right to return to their homes. Inspired by the South African anti-apartheid movement, the BDS call urges action to pressure Israel to comply with international law.
BDS is now a vibrant global movement made up of unions, academic associations, churches and grassroots movements across the world. Eleven years since its launch, BDS is having a major impact and is effectively challenging international support for Israeli apartheid and settler-colonialism. Read more.
The controversy of election of the Jewish people (and Jerusalem as their land) will be used by the satanic powers in the heavens to raise up the nations against Israel (Zechariah 12:2-3, Zechariah 14:2-6). The “time of Jacob’s trouble” will result in great weeping for Israel (Jeremiah 30:7; Zechariah 12:11-14). The prophet Joel describes the gathering of the nations against God’s people (Read this post for background). However, the time of Jacob’s trouble will ultimately lead to the “breaking of the yoke” (Jeremiah 30:8) of the nations who have done devastation to His people as God enters judgment against them:
I will gather all the nations, And bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat. Then I will enter into judgment with them there On behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; And they have divided up My land. (Joel 3:2 NAS)
In the end, 2/3 of Israel will perish (Zechariah 13:8-9) but the surviving 1/3 part will be saved (Romans 11:25-26)– and thus, all Israel will be saved.
Jesus come quickly.