By Christine Darg
War is always imminent for Israel, but even more so this week.
The terrorist organisation Hezbollah and Iran are setting up a dangerous base in southern Syria which means an increasingly deadly escalation on Israel’s northern border. Israel had no choice last week but to make a defensive air strike to try to eliminate this developing threat to its national security.
Hezbollah in Lebanon, the arm of Iran, stuck back with anti-tank missiles from a distance of only 4 kilometres from their targets. Unless you’ve visited this tiny nation, it’s hard to envision how close are the deadly threats to peace at Israel’s borders.
Seven soldiers were wounded and the lives of two young soldiers were lost in the exchange of blows. This is all because of a new Iranian base on the Syrian Golan, Israel’s doorstep.
Iranian-sponsored Hezbollah is in blatant violation of UN resolutions.
It’s incredible that Prime Minister Benjamin Netahnyau has to explain over and over why Israel must defend itself.
An IDF spokesman stressed that the targeted army vehicles were traveling on a road used also by civilian cars.
Speaking at a UN ceremony marking Holocaust Remembrance Day, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said evil doesn’t belong to any one religion. He philosophized, “It is evil that, by its very nature, seeks to differentiate and discriminate between one life and another, between on human being and another, while the only real difference is been good and bad; between humanity and darkness.” Sounds good, nevertheless the evil of our time that threatens the very existential life of a nation of 7 million people IS militant Islam. This blatant truth cannot be covered over by diplomacy.
The jihadists once again danced the dance of death this week. In the streets of south Beirut, Hezbollah supporters danced with a perverted joy over the spilled blood and missile mayhem. Hamas, of course, praised the Hezbollah revenge retaliation.
The highest recorded figures for anti-Semitic incidents in France and the UK makes one look at Europe and Britain and shudder at the terrible deja-vu. Popular comedienne and actress Maureen Lipman says she is considering leaving Britain: “When the going gets tough the Jews get packing,” said Lipman. Like me, she doesn’t understand the levels of hatred despite what the Jewish community gives back to society.
Can we make sense of the inordinate hatred against Israel? The risen Lord identifies himself as the Lion of Judah in Revelation 5:5—in other words, on this side of the Resurrection, the head of the Church is still a Jew. He weeps over the anti-Semitism in the churches that is being reinvented as anti-Israelism. I’ve spoken previously how the Presbyterian Church in the USA (PCUSA or the PC-politically correct church) considered removing the name of Israel from songbooks, falsely claiming that somehow the modern state of Israel is not the same as Biblical Israel. As if the two are somehow unrelated? How illogically blind is that?
Now Israel is surrounded by enemies with history’s most blatant publicity machine, vocally, unabashedly intent on a destruction to eclipse the Nazi Holocaust.
But their evil intentions will never come fully to fruition; Jesus is on his way.
The Good News is that Jesus the Messiah will soon return to take over the region as a roaring lion. Presently He watches the scenario from the Throne of our Father in Heaven. He is no longer sitting at the right hand of God– He is standing– He is about to return. He has been waiting in the wings for two days according to the prophet Hosea:
Messiah’s Promise in Hosea 5:15, I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.
Israel’s response in Hosea 6: 1, Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds.
God’s timeline in Hosea 6: 2, After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence.
The Apostle Peter’s key to understanding God’s timeline in 2 Peter 3: 8, Dear friends, don’t let this one thing escape you: With the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.
So, you see– the fullness of time is almost complete when the Lord will return to save Israel from the thousands of Hitlers that have proliferated in the region.
The Gospels help us to understand the extraordinary love and patience of Jesus the Messiah. His longsuffering is not normal love; it is exceptional love. We are called to follow his example: I pity the terrorists with biblical compassionate love. They have a zeal for God, but not after true knowledge.
Jesus loved sinners, he loved outcasts. He not only loved his own people passionately, He loved them to the end. He wept passionately over Jerusalem. In the year of our Lord 2015 (5775) Yeshua still weeps over Jerusalem and over Israel and most of all, he weeps over the blindness of the institutional churches that still haven’t learned to love, to cherish our elders, and to shield his brethren.
If the Church had learned the Lord’s love, there never would have been pogroms and a Holocaust.
“Honor thy mother and thy father that it may go well with thee.”
The Jews are my mother and my father and my brother. Without them I would have no saviour, no hope, no future.
Jesus cried for Jerusalem at least three times as recorded in the Gospels:
Luke 13 tells us about a day when Jesus wept over Jerusalem even before arriving here (and who can approach Jerusalem without tears?). He went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem and cried, ‘O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.’ (Luke 13: 34–35)
Luke 19 records Jesus weeping over Jerusalem as He approached the capital: If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation. (Luke 19:42–44)
In Matthew 23: 37-39, Jesus preached in Jerusalem just a few days before He was crucified, and at the conclusion are words almost identical to the Lord’s lament in Luke.
He wept over the tragedy of the lost opportunity—not lost forever, but lost to that generation. He wept over the coming Diaspora that would last nearly 2,000 years.
But love is eternal and “love is strong as death.” (Song of Solomon 8:6)
Love is greater than Hezbollah’s dance of death.
Love never ends (fails). . . .And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13: 8, 13)