Conflict in the Middle East

As we look at the world today, and what is happening around the globe, we see so much hate. We see God’s people, both Jewish and Christians persecuted in every country. In England, a 57 year old Jewish woman was attacked by pro-Palestinian protestors while grocery shopping. In France, shops in a Jewish section of Paris were looted and burned by pro-Palestinians. In San Francisco, California, both Jewish and Christian people were attacked by pro-Palestinians in a pro-Israel rally. In Mosul, Iraq, Christians have been given an ultimatum by ISIS: convert, leave, pay fines or be killed.

All of these events have taken place in the past month, but the only thing being reported on the news is the Israeli defense bombing in Gaza. We see the horrific videos of innocent children put in harm’s way, suffering the effects of a war they did not cause. We see all of this and wonder how this could happen. How can we allow the Israelis to continue to send bombs into Gaza?

Before we answer this question, we have to look at God’s Word and the reality of what is happening in Gaza. In Genesis 26:3, the LORD spoke to Isaac and said: “Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father.”

From the beginning, God gave the land to Israel. Many do not believe the Bible, so they will not acknowledge this fact, but it is written and it is true. As a matter of fact, after the Lord brought judgment on Israel and Judah, dispersing them throughout the land, He gave them this promise through the prophet Jeremiah:

“‘The Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands where He had driven them.’ For I will bring them back into their land which I gave to their fathers” (Jeremiah 16:15).

In His great faithfulness, the Lord brought His people back to the land and re-established the nation of Israel on May 14, 1948.

In 1994, Israel turned over the Gaza strip to the Palestinian Authority, and removed all the Jewish citizens from Gaza by 2005. Elections were held in Gaza in January 2006, and the people voted in Hamas, a Muslim terrorist group and gave them 74 of 132 seats in the Palestinian Authority. A year later, in January 2007, the fighting began between the two governing factions in Gaza, Fatah and Hamas, and by June Hamas had taken over the government. This is the history and the facts of the Hamas government in Gaza. The people themselves voted into office a group of people who are using them as human shields and sacrificing innocent lives for their radical ideology.

Since giving this land to the Palestinians, to obtain peace, Israel has experienced anything but peace. They have been attacked with suicide bombers and rockets since this peaceful resolution was enacted. How can this be?

Hamas is not interested in peace. In their charter, they call for the elimination of Israel: “Israel will rise and will remain erect until Islam eliminates it as it had eliminated its predecessors.” This is a direct quote from the first paragraph of their charter.

As a Christian, I pray for the peace of Israel. I also pray for the Palestinian civilians who are suffering because of their leaders. I pray for God’s mercy upon His people and His enemies, just as Jesus told His disciples in Matthew 5:44-45:

But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

Knowing God’s Word, I will stand with His people, the nation of Israel, no matter what I hear from government leaders, Hollywood celebrities or political pundits. I will stand with Israel because I stand with the Lord. Jesus said: “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad” (Matthew 12:30). We are God’s people and we cannot be neutral. We have to stand with Christ.

— Staff Writer