Israel and Gaza at War

Three years ago I had the privilege of visiting Israel and the West Bank.

It is a fantastic land full of the world’s most important history, and having visited I will never be the same. As an American Christian, I also must say I will never understand the mindset of the Jews and Muslims in the land of Israel.To be clear, I believe Israel has the right of a nation to defend her citizens against legitimate threats. Rocket attacks from nearby is a legitimate threat.

I have been following the Twitter account of the Israeli Defense Forces, and they make it out to be like they are on a humanitarian mission in the dropping of bombs all over Gaza City – and in their minds they may be. The Palestinians don’t see it that way. If Hamas truly is hiding their weapons and personnel nearby schools, hospitals, and residences, then they are bringing the carnage upon their own people. Knowing a little about the mindset of Islam, there is little value placed on human life in comparison with the urgency of Jihad.

So what is to be our worldview conclusion as we watch this war?

Probably sympathy and grieving for both sides, but for slightly different reasons. We are to sympathize and pray for Israel in their spiritual darkness. They missed their Messiah now almost 20 centuries ago. They need to be grafted back into the tree of Abraham and the blessings of covenant with God. In their land today, they are surrounded by enemies and have nothing except military might. They need the good news of the risen Messiah! Pray for our Israeli friends (both Jew and Arab).

For the Arabs, it’s got to be a hellish life in the Gaza Strip. It is poor, isolated, and infested with terrorists. The population there is at the mercy of a big, angry military in Israel, and a small, crazy band of terrorists within them. There is a sizable Christian community within the borders of Gaza as well – they need our prayers and love. Who are we to condemn these fellow humans in any way? I am rarely more ashamed of American evangelicals than when I hear ignorant war talk about beating down and/or wiping out the Palestinians. Have the heart of Christ, friends, and pray for both sides.

Both people groups are made in God’s image; the lost Muslims in Gaza who are dying and entering God’s presence without a mediator, and the lost Jews who are lording their military might in paranoid fits – as is understandable in light of the, you know, whole thing 70 years ago in Europe where 6 million of them were murdered… but neither side is “on God’s side” here, friends. There is only a broken, cursed human order of nations which cries out for redemption.

For every people group, there is only one Mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus, and there is only one hope for all of war-impoverished humanity: the gospel of Jesus Christ.

And by the way, for Christians there is only one concern in any turmoil between nations: that the gospel and glory of Jesus Christ be made known. Rooting for Israel to flatten and destroy the Palestinians is the quickest way to dishonor and conceal the glory and gospel of Christ. I hope each of Christ’s sheep is praying for the peace and redemption of all people in this conflict.

Thanks for reading,

-Justin

Categories: Understanding the Culture | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “Israel and Gaza at War

  1. Jeff Nguyen

    Gaza is poor and isolated because of the systematic oppression by the government of Israel. Israel is Goliath to Gaza’s David and their justification of self-defense is a fabrication to justify their heavy handedness.

    • Perhaps you are right, Jeff. I touched on these elements in my post. Yet pulling out the scope, Israel is still vastly outnumbered by enemies and potential enemies. Israel’s enemies have never blushed about their goal to destroy the Jewish state and push the Jews into the sea. Neither side is the “good guys,” in my humble understanding and worldview. War sucks.

  2. Clive

    Please enlighten me about the “mindset of Islam.” Also, please let me know where you have learned about this “mindset.” I have actually spent time in the Muslim majority regions of the “Middle East.” I have seen very little of this “urgency of jihad.” Your viewpoint comes across as base ignorance. At your convenience, Please share with us your experiences in the “Middle East” and how you reached your essentializing conclusion.

    • Thank you for challenging such a broad and strong statement. I do hope you take note of my criticisms of the “Christian” culture and mindset as well. There is no hatred here for the Muslim, only a neighbor seeking understanding. I would much rather I die than a Muslim, and every true Christian should feel that way as well. They’re not our enemies!

      That said, you should know what Jihad means. It is the struggle against unbelief, whether in the realm of the intellect, the inner-man, in politics, or in physical fighting. If you believe that Islam is not shaped by the Quranic injunctions to struggle for complete dominance by any means necessary, then that burden of proof is on you, friend.

      I am happy to discuss further, if you’d like. Please know my tone is one of seriousness yet warmth and sincerity. I will not berate you or use ad hominem to prove something. If you show me I am wrong, I will recant.

      -J

  3. Israel gave Gaza to the Palestinians on a silver platter. Hamas took over right away and started firing rockets. There have been 12,000 rockets fired from Gaza siince Gaza was given to the Palestinians.

    In addition, you should be aware that all of Gaza’s water and electricity is funded by Israel and its citizens. If Israel were smart, it would stop helping its enemies. But Israel is too humane, and too nice, to do such a thing.

    Justin is right. War sucks. You know what else? Even when Israel is not doing anything – we are still at war. We let them fire rockets at us every day. So, better an open war where both sides suffer, than an unofficial war that goes against all Geneva conventions and targets only the citizens – not military, citizens – of one side.

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