The Israeli war with Hamas continues to build controversy and questions.
My personal take on it is harsher than most Americans, I think.
A young man I have encountered in Twitter says that supporting Israel is pointless unless you are going to preach the Gospel to the Palestinians.
But there have been Christians preaching the Gospel to Palestinians since before there was an Islam.
The people of Gaza freely elected Hamas in 2006. What does that mean? Let us be clear. Hamas is a terrorist organization that has, at its core principles, the extermination of Jews. They believe in a central government with total control over its people, and the annihilation of Jews, and the suppression of Christians. Point by point those three things are identical to the beliefs of Nazi Germany in WWII.
Except Hitler surprised a lot of people when he acted on the radical notions and took them further than anyone had before.
Not Hamas. Hamas has openly advocated genocide from the start. It’s part of their founding principles. And the people of Palestine? They overwhelmingly stood up, voted for it, and said in effect: “Yes, this is what we support, what we believe, and what we want.”
What would I prefer? I would vastly prefer the repentance and Christianization of Gaza. No one and nothing that God made is without value.
But the Gospel is only part of the Truth in the Word of God. Without the Law the Gospel is irrelevant. And the Law states we are judged by our words, that the measure we use with others will be measured to us. The Bible repeatedly shows that God can, will, and does bring terrible suffering to entire peoples, not because he hates them, but so that the suffering that is just part of what they deserve for their sins can drive them to repentance.
And sometimes it doesn’t happen. Sometimes people harden their hearts, and harden their hearts, and harden their hearts. It would be nice to believe that so long as there is life, there is hope. And truly, it probably is true. But remember Pharaoh, who had the same aims and goals as the Palestinians do now. Conquer, enslave, and exterminate the Jews… Pharaoh hardened his heart, until God decided it was enough, and GOD hardened Pharaoh’s heart.
Sometimes we get Ninevah: Jonah shows up, they believe, and they repent, and they are spared. Other times we get Sodom and Gomorrah, we get Amalek and Sidon. God’s own descriptions of the Canaanites is that they reached a point when their evil was so great that they were to be destroyed.
A friend of mine was studying in Jerusalem when Palestinian terrorists seized and terrorized the Christian monastery in Bethlehem. She confronted me about the Palestinian Christians who were caught in the middle.
My response then, and my belief now, is a hard thing.
The Christians in Gaza now and in Palestine then have chosen one of two paths. Some of them choose silence to preserve their lives. Others ally with their fellow countrymen against the Jews and their fellow Christians.
Um… Sorry… we don’t get that option.
We aren’t allowed to watch our brother sin, let him go on sinning, and say nothing.
“But they were afraid for their lives. If they speak up the terrorists will kill them.” She said.
That’s definitely true, and understandable. But we aren’t allowed to stop being Christian to save our lives.
Instead, the Christians in Gaza have openly sided with the Muslims against the Jews. They have openly allied themselves with their fellow countrymen. When Hamas forbade public worship, they stopped worshiping publicly.
When Hamas stored rockets in UN Schools, where were the Christians in Gaza speaking up? When Hamas defiled cemeteries to fire weapons at Jewish civilians, an attempted murder carried out more than THREE THOUSAND TIMES, where were the Christians in Gaza trying to stop it, speaking out against it?
They tolerated it. They accepted it. They chose their lives over stopping attempted murder. They chose their own peace over terrorism, their own safety over preventing war.
I will not say that God will not save them. But God’s Word clearly warns us that we can be condemned by what we allow.
The Gospel is not new in Gaza. It has been preached there. It has been rejected there. It is a terrible, horrible thing, and I hope that the Gospel will be preached there to great effect.
But while they continue to attempt murder, use infants and grade school kids as human shields, defile the dead, kidnap, torture, and murder teenage boys for profit and out of hate…
Let them suffer the Law until they embrace the Gospel. I prefer the Gospel, but if Gaza is wiped off the face of the planet in this war I will be sad that they ran out of time, but I could not call it unjust by any Biblical standard.