It has been three full weeks now since Operation Protective Edge — the current war which the terror organization in Gaza, Hamas, started against Israel — began, with still no clear sense of when it might end. I would ask that whatever I say in this letter will be read in the context of all that I have written in the previous updates .
Randi is returning now from Eilat after spending several nights there, taking an older sister in the Lord, and a single mother with two small children who were all stressed from the sirens and rockets fired at Beer Sheva in the past week. We have one minute to get into shelter, which is a lot of time compared to those living closer to Gaza, and we do not hear all of the military noise from both sides which those living around Gaza are hearing continuously. A King’s Kids camp, which we were providing sleeping quarters for this week, needed to be canceled. King’s Kids includes Jewish and Arab Israeli believers.
For those who read the Bible as the Word of God, and believe what it says about the end-times and the last days of the end-times, what is happening here and all around the Middle East makes some sense. For those who relegate the Scriptures to be just a book, with some past history and some nice ethical principles on how to get along, are going to be without any answers for what God is doing, both among nations, and among individuals; both ‘in the world’, and within the Body of Christ; both in the flesh, and in the Spirit. Yeshua/Jesus is reigning on high at the right hand of the Father, and the Holy Spirit is working in the world, and within the born-again believer/Christian, whatever our national or ethnic identity.
I write as one who believes that he obeyed the Lord in not taking a weapon when I was called to serve in the Israeli army: The Father in Heaven loves the Arabs, like all other peoples, and doesn’t want to hurt anyone. We raised our children to know the Lord for themselves, and as army age and duty neared, to pray that they would know God’s will for themselves: they have all served — two of them as officers, two of them in special combat units, one of them in Gaza in 2009. We have been going to Bethlehem since 2003 (during the 2nd Intifada) to celebrate the birth of the Lord with an evangelical pentecostal church that does not accept Israel, as a testimony and witness that our common faith and relationship in Jesus is paramount and must be demonstrated in times of crises. God is not a pacifist, yet has provided the only peace plan to bring all war of every kind, including among animals and from bacteria and viruses, to an end. There will be no sin or consequences of sin, such as war, in His eternal dwelling place which He will create for all those who love Jesus for who He really is. We are called to become disciples of Yeshua/Jesus, not of anyone else, nor of any philosophy or cause or peer group.
Spiritual maturity of believers is seen in our growing in discernment between good and evil. (Heb 5:14) We must know that our God is Good, and that the god of Islam is evil! Otherwise, we are not going to engage in spiritual warfare any more successfully than we would in carnal warfare if we did not believe that we had a good and righteous need to fight, and to win. Hamas, and also Fatah (PLO), with Abu Mazen as its president, both exist to destroy the Israel as YHVH has covenanted with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob that the Children of Israel (Israelis) will be in this land — not only for their own inheritance, but also the LORD’s! (Is 19: 23-25) This is not an ordinary battle, but it is at the heart of all war: against YHVH and His Anointed. (Ps 2)
Hamas terrorists are literally undermining the borders of Israel by their elaborate tunnel network in the lower parts of the earth. Many of these tunnels are built to extend right under kibbutzes and moshavs of Israelis living all around the border with Gaza. Just today, an attack by a group of terrorists coming up from a tunnel into Kibbutz Nahal Oze was thwarted by Israeli security forces. The only reason for these tunnels, apart for providing an underground security home for the leaders of Hamas, is to make terrorist attacks within Israel against soldiers and civilians. Many of those living around Gaza are moving away until they do not have to fear these human moles from coming up from beneath them into their homes and schools. No country would tolerate this, and God has given civil governments the moral and legal responsibility to protect its people against enemies, and against local criminals; and disciples of Christ are to generally submit to the civil authorities. (Rom 13) Worldly governments can not be equated with the Church of God/Body of Christ, and can not be expected by believers to act as if they are.
The bogus claim of disproportionality of numbers of dead persons in Gaza as compared with the number of dead in Israel is irrevelant, and even hypocritical. Was it proportional when Israel released more than 1030 Palestinian terrorists and murderers in order to get back one Israeli soldier from Gaza captured by Hamas? Was it proportional when Israel released 430 terrorists in order to get back three dead Israeli soldiers from Hizbollah in Lebanon?
(I also wrote about this matter of proportionality in a pique during the 2009 war in Gaza:
Khaled Mashaal, one of the main leaders of Hamas, who is living well in Qatar while keeping his people in misery in Gaza, said today or yesterday that he is willing to live with Jews, but not with occupiers. For those who know anything about Islam, to allow Jews (and Christians) to live in a Muslim-dominated society is to relegate them to dhimmis at best, and to force them to convert or die at worst. The ‘occupation’ which Mashaal and Abu Mazen speak of is not territory gained by Israel in earlier wars which the Arab Palestinians waged against the sovereign nation-state of Israel (both by God working out His redemptive plan, and by international law), but the entire country as the re-established homeland for the Jewish people. If the “occupation” is the core issue of the conflict, then it is surely the Arabs’ refusal to abide by international law (not to mention God’s promises, which BELIEVERS should uphold) in accepting the state that has led them to feel ‘occupied’. Rather than enjoy the benefits of being in the only successful pluralistic country in the region, they have spent their entire lives and efforts at cursing and plaguing Israel. This is only returning upon their own heads!
I write these things with some fear and trepidation: I am not a ‘right-wing fanatic’, nor a ‘hawk’, nor a war-monger, nor against peace. I write these things to give, I hope, some facts for Bible-believers to pray with understanding, and not to be confused or deceived or ignorant, which contributes to those very things.
What must the Holy Spirit do to bring unity — based on [God’s] truth, [God’s] righteousness, and [God’s] love — within the Body of Messiah, which is the prayer of our Lord? And our prayers should be looking towards the sanctity of our Father’s name, and for the coming again of the Lord Yeshua/Jesus to establish God’s Kingdom in Jerusalem, Israel, over all nations and every created thing, throughout the entire universe which He created and made. May He come in our generation!
God bless you all with His shalom, and may we be counted among those who pursue His peace, as is fitting for His children.