I was content because I was all ready with TWO blog posts for you today. They’re not by me, but by contributors. I was trying to finish my work so I could come post them for to you.
Then a friend with whom I’d spoken just an hour before called me back.
“They just said on the radio,” she said, “that they’ve found the bodies of the three boys.”
I scrambled to pull up the Times of Israel website on my laptop literally in my lap. There was the giant headline.
I thanked her. She said she loved me, stifling a sob. I reciprocated, and the call ended.
A friend on Facebook asked me what the reaction was here in Jerusalem. I won’t really know until I get on the bus tomorrow on the way to the Old City.
In 2010, I was days from leaving when Israeli commandos boarded a ship attempting to break the naval blockade of Gaza. Nine people died (a tenth would die later). The world was again castigating Israel for trying to protect itself. The next morning, I felt the tension on the city busy. I found myself looking at every backpack for signs of bombs. Israelis wondered if there would be a retaliatory suicide attack. There never was.
Tomorrow will be different. There will be sorrow and anger in the air. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has already said that Hamas will pay.
And that’s what’s on my mind. This knee-jerk reaction we have to avenge ourselves. I’m not even going to discuss the theology of vengeance. Every good Christian and Jew knows that the LORD is to repay (Deuteronomy 32:41, referenced in Romans 12:19).
Still, we avenge ourselves, and then things get out of hand.
If you’ve been reading the news, the region is already smoldering. Syria’s been at war with itself for years. ISIS, a worse-than al-Qaida has declared an Islamic caliphate straddling Syria and Iraq. Their name defines their goal of ruling all of the Levant, which includes Israel. And now Israel is hurt and angry and so tired of it all.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem like never before.
I wish I had something else to tell you. I don’t right now. There is nothing to say but watch and wait. Messiah approaches.