Yesterday we had five siren alerts of rockets and missiles still being fired from Gaza towards Beer Sheva. Our weekly congregational services on Friday evenings are greatly reduced in the number of those coming since the place of meeting is old enough not to have any real protected area.
Soroka Medical Center, the university hospital located just down the street from us, is on emergency status now, as more Israeli soldiers are being wounded or killed in the hard fighting going on in the Gaza Strip. While people are fighting and risking their lives, God is still bringing more children into the world: a young medical student couple just gave birth on Saturday to a healthy boy!
The grandson of the remaing founding elder of Yeshua’s Inheritance Cong. is on the Israel-Gaza border, waiting for the probable call to go into the defensive war turned offensive, as is necessary in any war to stop the enemy from continuing to require the nation to defend itself. His family is an example of Gentiles whom the God of Israel has made a place and a name for them among His people in their re-establishment back in the Land which He has promised to [eventually] give them as an everlasting possession and inheritance (as long as these Heavens and Earth remain).
Our prayer is that more Israelis and more Gazans would turn to the one true God, and fear His holy Name, which He often gives as YHVH of Hosts (Armies), since their is war in the heavenlies ever since Lucifer rebelled and took a third of the other angels with him to his side against the triune God; and that war has been brought earth-ward ever since Eve was deceived and Adam disobeyed in the Garden of Eden about 6000 years ago. This war has not effectively ended yet, despite the truth that Jesus has already won it — both in the natural and in the spiritual as the Son of God and Son of Man — on the cross, and He is not going to now ‘lose’ it. We may win some battles and lose the war; Yeshua only wins, despite appearances to the contrary!
Here is an example of an Israeli military commander who understands the spiritual dimension of this war against enemies such as Hamas: http://www.israeltoday.co.il/NewsItem/tabid/178/nid/24759/Default.aspx
Let us pray that God would give him more light, and bring him, and many others, all the way back home through knowing Yeshua.
Also, you can read a Biblical thread which shows the true nature and purpose of the historic and cosmic war: http://streamsinthenegev.com/messianic-judaism/praise-to-him-who-sits-upon-the-throne-and-to-the-lamb/
I was considering some of the ways that Israel is reflecting the nature of her God in these wars, even though she is unaware of it:
1. God is using Israel to bless the world by taking a small, embattled, squeezed-in nation of people who have known unparalleled suffering, yet ‘stubbornly and stiff-neckedly’ kept going, to stand up to an implacable enemy which not only threatens her own existence (as if YHVH was not involved or else not capable), but also threatens, intimidates, bullies, terrorizes the entire Judeo-Christian civilization and its beneficent influences, the very environment in which the Jewish people have both suffered and thrived.
2. Israel’s government and people turned the other cheek thousands of times over the years as Hamas sent thousands of missiles fired at it’s next-door neighbor (the Bible tells us to be ‘good neighbors’), before it finally took it on the chin enough to try to get the foolishness out of the neighborhood bully, who doesn’t allow even their own people to question their bad behavior, and the horrible consequences it brings upon them all.
3. YHVH (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) is stronger and mightier than all the forces of His creation combined, yet He is kind and gentle with us so that we don’t crumple at His touch. But when He does let us taste a sample of His power, it is that we might truly fear Him and worship Him as God, and cease from our own folly that we are potential gods. Jesus could wipe us out with a breath of air! Even believers do much to bring reproach to His name! Many ‘innocent’ people die in earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, bad accidents, etc. etc. etc. And, sad but true, people will blame God, even blaspheme him.
So, Israel, is indeed a mighty army to be reckoned with, beyond any normal standard. She could, if unleashed without any scruples, destroy all of Gaza and its people. Yet, by the Spirit of her God, whom she still refuses to accept to rule over them, she demonstrates restraint and does what is possible to reduce loss of life, while unavoidably and inadvertently also contributing to loss of life and property. And, many blame Israel as the convenient scapegoat.
4. Both in Proverbs and in Romans, the Word of God tell us: “not avenging yourselves, beloved, but give place to the wrath, for it hath been written, `Vengeance [is] Mine, I will recompense again, saith the Lord;’ if, then, thine enemy doth hunger, feed him; if he doth thirst, give him drink; for this doing, coals of fire thou shalt heap upon his head; Be not overcome by the evil, but overcome, in the good, the evil.”
Israel, in the midst of war, has not only agreed to three humanitarian cease-fire arrangements which Hamas has either refused, or agreed to and broken (and Israel should not agree to one without ensuring Hamas gains no benefit), but she has opened up a field hospital on the Israeli side of the Gaza border, in order to help Palestinian wounded; Soroka Hospital is providing medical treatment to some wounded Gazans. Israel, for some reason, provides (yes, with some restrictions), water, medicine, electricity, food, construction materials to Gaza (read, Hamas), which is not only not appreciated, but even used to worsen the lives of the general population by the terrorist leadership, and used to build many (15 already located as of now) elaborate tunnels to protect Hamas leaders, and to try to infiltrate into Israel to kill, maim, kidnap.
As believers in Jesus, let us give glory to God, who, behind the scenes, is bringing people and nations to account, saving many who repent and believe the gospel, and bringing glory to His Name, and to His Son’s name.
May God have mercy on us all!