Close to those who call on him, and close to coming back…
by Charles Gardner.
Words fail me as I try to contemplate the horror inflicted on Israel these past few days. At the height of the pogrom is the great deceiver, Satan himself, parading his sick traits for all to see – brutalising the weak and defenceless, yet winning the support of pro-Palestine zealots around the world.
The grisly images have provoked widespread media sympathy in Britain, and I sense a wake-up call to Israel’s plight by Christians here.
Much has been made of the shocking lapse of Israeli intelligence. With all their brilliant high-tech, the sudden invasion went completely undetected in an apparent repeat of what happened exactly 50 years ago when a surprise attack caught the Jewish state unprepared.
The fact that Hamas chose a holy day (Simchat Torah, a time to rejoice over the Law of Moses) only accentuated just how evil and unholy are those seeking to destroy Israel.
After centuries of pogroms in the diaspora culminating in the Holocaust, Israelis finally found the shelter and apparent safety of their own land once again, in fulfilment of the Scriptures. But even there, it turned out, they were not safe from their vicious predators.
I think the intelligence issue is key; a lesson on learning not to trust in horses and chariots, but only in the Lord (Isaiah 31:1).
Nothing wrong with arming and protecting ourselves with strong defence, of course. But Israel, of all people, are called to be a light to the nations, trusting absolutely in the one true God who loves them “with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3). As King Solomon wisely said: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5f)
The generals and ministers must, above all, seek wisdom from above and not rely on their own intellect. Such pride comes before a fall (Proverbs 18:12).
In the face of such violent opposition from the forces of evil, now is the time for all Israelis – Jew and Arab – to seek the Lord who came to tabernacle with them 2,000 years ago and is coming back soon – not this time to die as a sacrifice, but to reign in peace from Jerusalem as King of Kings when every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Yeshua is Lord (Philippians 2:10).
Meanwhile politicians and protestors across the world – and others in between including Christians who may not have given these issues much thought – should take stock.
Most people agree that European Jews were led to the slaughter in the concentration camps because too few were prepared to challenge the lies and propaganda of the Nazis.
And ever since the rebirth of the Jewish state 75 years ago, a constant production line of similar lies have lulled the watching world into believing that Jews have no right to live on Arab land.
But it was promised to the seed of Abraham by God himself (Genesis 17:8). And although they were exiled for failing to recognise the time of God’s visitation through his Son Jesus, they are now returning in fulfilment of a whole raft of prophecies (e.g. Isaiah 11:11), never to be banished again! (Amos 9:15)
If God’s Word isn’t good enough to back up their claim, then how about international law? In particular, the San Remo Treaty of 1920 which confirmed an earlier British government intention to prepare the Jewish people for statehood in what was then known as Palestine.
Britain was then given the mandate to oversee this, having brought the 400-year-old Ottoman Empire to an end with military defeat in 1917. And by the way, that empire – though Muslim – was run by the Turks, who are not Arabs.
But none of this satisfied the anti-Semites who continued to stir up trouble as a resurgent Israel rediscovered her way in the world. And after a succession of wars failed to remove God’s chosen people from the land, a new tactic of appalling propaganda was initiated – built around claims of apartheid and alleged stolen land.
So we had the Oslo Peace Accords of 1993 in which Yasser Arafat promised to recognise Israel. But that never happened. Then we had Israeli PM Ariel Sharon succumbing to international pressure by agreeing to pull out of Gaza in 2005 in a ‘land for peace’ gesture.
But peace never came – only an ever-increasing volley of rocket fire, and now, the most dreadful carnage amidst despicable acts of brutality.
True, there has been shameful internal conflict of late, which has surely weakened Israel’s position, and made her increasingly vulnerable while Iran – sponsor of all this terror – rub their hands with glee at the prospect of fulfilling their long-term threat to wipe Israel off the map. It could of course all lead to Armageddon.
But the woke liberal left – with their shallow anti-religious values – have not helped the situation. They need to realise that we are up against an implacable enemy, and that the future of their nation is at stake.
Their empty, atheist way of life will not help them when such a venomous dragon is at the door. Only God can help them. And I believe he will because I believe in the word of God assuring us of ultimate victory over the devil and his cohorts thanks to Yeshua the Messiah, who paved the way for this outcome on a crucifixion stake outside the walls of ancient Jerusalem. But we must keep faith with him.
The prophet Isaiah writes: “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.” (Isaiah 55:6f)