I’ve deferred to brother Avner Boskey to recap the week and give biblical analysis. Instead, I want to just share personal thoughts, maybe process on digital paper.
This is my first time living with the threat of bombing. It’s hard to say how I feel. To me, it is very much just a fact of life because of where I am. Then again, I’m in Jerusalem. We’ve had three sirens in a week. Tel Aviv has had sirens daily. I cannot imagine what life in the south of Israel near Gaza would be like. They get rockets all the time.
Right now, though, my heart hurts for the people of Gaza. They are people imprisoned by those among them who are power hungry and driven by a murderous hate for Israel.
In this video, a Hamas spokesman openly says that they are asking people to be human shields. What kind of madness is this?
In Israel, there have been no deaths directly because of rockets. In Gaza, well over a hundred have died. Israel warns people to get out of harms’ way, but Hamas tells their people to stay put. They know dead bodies will win them points on the international stage.
Still, I wonder if we are playing into their hands. I wonder if we — Israel — are doing right. It is a catch-22 of the highest order. Hamas needs to be removed, but civilians are dying. I don’t envy Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet.
An Israeli Arab sister in Messiah posted a few days ago:
“How come people pray for the peace of Jerusalem without praying for the Arab people in the land?! How come people see the couple of rockets Hamas fires into Israel and can’t see the war crime Israel do in Gaza?! How come people hear about the crying Jew baby and not about the 85 arab killed in Palestine, more than half of them are women and children?
“God knows how much I love my Jew brothers, me asking this doesn’t mean that I’m agreeing with Hamas doing this. All I’m saying is to take a minute and to check the way we pray for all of this and not to take a side! Or just to ask God how to pray! What does he feel about all of this?”
God hates death. Spilled blood from any human cries out to him. I mourn with her (even if I don’t agree with all she says).
Still, God tarries. Peter tells us that God has delayed his coming, his judgment (ultimately his establishment of the Messianic Kingdom and restoration of all things) to give people time to repent so their souls won’t perish. Selfish me, I want him to come right now.
As I sat here agonizing on what to say, how to say it, a friend of a friend posted a note from his soldier daughter. She is stationed right at the Gaza border. Her prayer request says it all:
“May I ask, you our friends, to pray for all the young Israeli soldiers, from those who are doing paper work to those on the battlefield. Please intercede for the protection of both Israel’s and Gaza’s innocent civilians. The Israeli Defense Forces are doing their best to protect BOTH.”
I know Israel doesn’t do everything right. People are people. Still, a nation is obligated to defend her citizens when attacked with bombs and murderous kidnappings. This isn’t about revenge. This is about neutralizing a relentless foe.
Israel doesn’t do everything right. People are people. That is one of the points of the whole of the Bible. This history of Israel told in Scripture makes two things plain: ALL have sinned and fallen short of God’s requirement; God still loves us and DIED so we could meet the requirement in him. So we ALL could be reconciled in Him — Israel, the Arab nations and beyond.
Israel doesn’t do everything right. Still, her rebirth and continued existence is a fulfillment of prophecy. It is clear we are NOT in the Messianic Age, still God allowed Israel to regather and reform. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. His promises to Israel are still valid (otherwise God is a liar).
God also loves the Arabs and longs for them to know him.
Please continue to pray for the peoples of the Middle East — Israeli, Arab, Persian, Egyptian, etc.