Opinion piece or balanced commentary? I hope I’ve struck a balance but warning: This might challenge some who are unfamiliar with GOD’s perspective of Israel…
GOD’s opinion of Isreal
The people of this land are the apple of our Father’s eye (Deuteronomy 32:10).
We are mandated to pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122).
Whatever our politics, we must read the Bible to educate ourselves on GOD’s relationship with Israel.
The unfolding situation: the war in and against Israel has reunited that nation for its own protection.
The undisputed murders of innocents by the terror group Hamas, including babies, has been well-documented and is neither fabricated nor exaggerated.
Pray for this land, its people, its history, its right to exist.
GOD adores Israel, and we are held accountable to pray for the land and the people.
I’m going to address the issue of motive: GOD looks at our hearts rather than our behaviour when He looks at us and deals with our humanity. I aim to do likewise when it comes to this war… I feel compelled to do so.
Hamas has stated it wants to eliminate the Jewish nation. On 7th October it began to act out its fantasy. Its motive is total annihilation of the Jewish people.
Israel wants to survive. It has responded to the Hamas attack in order to protect itself from extermination. Its motive is to endure and to survive.
One group’s motive is to destroy the other. The other group’s motive is to survive destruction and their only means to do so is to destroy the attacker. This contrast must be held in mind whenever we contemplate the situation in Israel.
It has been said by western governments around the world that Israel has the right to defend itself. But will these governments continue to do so when Hamas is attacked and Gaza’s people suffer the fallout? Will Israel have to defend its right to defend itself?
Is Israel perfect?
No nation is perfect, just as no person except Jesus is perfect. But the nation of Israel has its right to exist. I believe it shouldn’t have to continue to justify its self defence just as it shouldn’t need continually to self defend against terrorist attack. That’s my key point.
Why the Conflict?
One accusation and explanation for the conflict, from the Arab point of view, is that Israel has left those in Gaza and the West Bank in prison-like conditions. But this does not take into account various aspects:
Gaza was handed over to its Arab citizens in 2005, unconditionally. It then voted in a government that denies them prosperity and shot rockets into Israel.
The Arab citizens who live and work in Israel (one innocent Arab Israeli died today as I write, a construction worker hit by a Hamas attack).
Many people from Gaza and the West Bank work in Israel and co-exist comfortably.
The reason those in the Palestinian Authority and Gaza live under poor conditions is because the leaders keep them in poverty. Israel would far rather live in harmony. Its the terrorists and their supporters who will not share with their own people.
Israel has always responded to attack and for one reason only: to preserve its existence. That has always been its motive, just at the violence from the other side has always been to illuminate Israel. (Tragically, there are those who do want a 2-state solution but they do not hold the political power.)
Yes, Israel is the greater force. But that has always been out of necessity — to protect itself from the attacks from the Palestinian terrorists in the areas of the Palestinian Authority. Had Israel not developed a cracking defence force, they’d be long gone as a nation state.
We need Jesus to return. Just as He has promised (Matthew 24) je will return, but only when the Father sends Him. In the meantime, we must prepare, share, pray and wait for His coming. And bless Israel, pray for peace and comfort for the people.
And we pray for the people in Gaza and the West Bank as well. All need rescue; all need Jesus.
Of Israel, Exodus 12 says
I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Exodus 12:2-3)
Part of our preparation for Jesus is to support Israel, the “older brother”, the one who has strayed and for whom the gentiles were saved in order to make the other jealous.
Let us pray for Israel: the land and the people. Let us be held accountable for our attitude and our ministry to them. Let us show our support and love at this time. They have been the most persecuted people group in history and throughout history. Nazi Germany was not the first time antisemitism reared its ugly head, nor was it the last as we have seen so clearly this October.
Pray — Love — Learn
This situation in the Middle East is a clarion call to pray for Isreal, to love Israel and the people, to learn how GOD values the land and its people. Pray, love and learn, so that we can give as the LORD would have us give support….. that the world will know us by our love.
Prayer for the land
Isaiah 60:18 says,
“Violence shall no longer be heard in your land,
Neither wasting nor destruction within your borders;
But you shall call your walls Salvation,
And your gates Praise.”
Father, please rescue, please deliver, please bring peace to the hearts, minds and bodies of those in Israel and Gaza, Lebanon and Syria,
In Jesus’ name, Amen.