IS ISRAEL RIGHT TO FIGHT?
We are now a few weeks into Israel’s war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Every night when I turn on the evening news, I hear this question in some form or another, “Is Israel justified to do what it is doing to the people in the Gaza Strip?” As followers of Jesus Christ, all our actions must be justified by His Holy Word. Jesus tells us that we are to turn the other cheek, to love our enemies, to do good to those who despitefully use us. But the Bible also says, “Government is in authority to punish those who have done wrong.” So where is the balance and how do we determine what is right and wrong for Israel in this season of defense?
It is important that we realize that what is taking place right now is due to a promise given by God to Israel thousands of years ago through Abraham. However, it is also equally important to note that the conflict that is brewing and has continued for thousands of years now is due to the disobedience of Abraham to the promise. Abraham got tired of waiting on God to fulfill His promise to him and so did his wife, Sarah. They decided to take matters into their own hands and Sarah suggested to Abraham that he sleep with Hagar, her handmaid, so that they could fulfill God’s promise to them and thus to Israel and eventually to all of us.
The Jews and the Muslims all get their origination from Abraham. But the debate is not about Abraham, it is about Hagar and Sarah. God didn’t just promise Abraham. He promised this seed would come through Sarah. Hagar gave birth to Ishmael who became the father of all the Muslim nations. Sarah gave birth to Isaac who became the next chosen seed in the lineage of Abraham which is ultimately fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Yet, ironically, neither the Muslims nor the Jews claim Jesus and here in lies the problem.
Know Jesus. Know Peace. No Jesus. No Peace.
Sadly, no one on either side cares to know what Jesus thinks about this.
Our job as Christians is to take the Gospel to everyone both Jew and Gentile, which includes the Palestinians.
So, is Israel right to fight?
God gave this promise to Abraham,
Genesis 12:1 Now the Lord said[a] to Abram, “Go from your country[b]and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”[c]
All the people of the earth have a responsibility to honor the Abrahamic covenant, otherwise the blessing of God becomes a curse, and this blessing is tied to the land of Israel.
The land of Israel belongs to the Jews. This is the promise God gave to Moses to lead Israel out of bondage from Egypt and to claim this land, the same land thousands of years later that Israel occupies today.
The first responsibility we have as a nation and as a world is to stand with Israel and protect her land. Anyone who doesn’t faces the blessing of God becoming a curse. So, when we get into the debate of Israel versus everyone else regarding their land, we must stand with Israel to defend her land. Yes, Abraham was disobedient and so was Sarah, but God promised Hagar He would prosper Ishmael and bless him, but God never promised him the land of Israel. (Genesis 16:7-12)
The land belongs to Israel. But what about the Palestinians who are not Jews who live in the land? How is Israel to treat them? How is Israel to treat the people in the Gaza Strip? It is important to understand that this was a militarily occupied area by the Israeli army until 2005. Wherein Israel through the Oslo peace agreement left the area but maintained massive restrictions on entering and leaving and resources for survival, so much so that today roughly 40% of the two million people there are under the age of fifteen. So, we are talking largely about children. However, Hamas has come into this area as a terrorist group and used it to exploit Israel and the latest most severe example of this is on October 7th when they attacked and brutally murdered Jewish families in Israel just across the border from Gaza.
Israel has a responsibility and a mandate based off the Abrahamic Covenant to protect their land and now their people. They must do what is necessary to eliminate Hamas from ever doing this to them again. Unfortunately, the people in the Gaza Strip are subject to massive abuse by Hamas because they can’t protect themselves. It behooves Israel to do everything they can to minimize the loss of life in the Gaza Strip while eradicating Hamas.
I highly encourage you to read the book of Zechariah in the Old Testament. God tells Israel I will allow other nations to attack you because you are godless. But then I will turn and protect you from the godless nations who abuse you and re-establish my eternal rule. And how does God do this? Ultimately, through His Son, Jesus. The One Israel still refuses to recognize as their Messiah, their Savior, their Lord.
Sadly, without Jesus there is no peace in Israel, only intermittent times of no war.
Our world’s only hope of peace, is Jesus! The Only Truth and the Only King of Kings and Lord of Lords! I see this war as a massive altar call by Jesus to both the people in Gaza, to the Israelis, to the Jews around the world, and to the rest of us as well. Without Jesus there is no hope of peace.
Our job as a nation, the United States, is to stand with Israel and protect her land, but our job as Christians and followers of Jesus Christ is to proclaim the Truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all in the Gaza Strip, across the land of Israel, and around our world. May we be faithful to do so!