Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Do You Stand With Israel?

In Joshua 5 we read about the events immediately preceding the famous battle of Jericho. Just before going into battle, Joshua had a humbling interaction with an ominous soldier whom he did not recognize. Joshua 5:13-15 records, “When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, ‘Are you for us, or for our adversaries?’ And he said, ‘No; but I am the commander of the army of the Lord. Now I have come.’ And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped and said to him, ‘What does my lord say to his servant?’ And the commander of the Lord's army said to Joshua, ‘Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.’ And Joshua did so.” The rest of the story is history. The profound lesson that Joshua learned that day is that God does not follow us into battles, but that we join Him in His. And, this dynamic remains true even today.

In fact, today, God’s chosen nation, Israel, is engaged in another bloody war with its terrorist neighbors in Gaza. In order to understand this war, one must faithfully and fully study thousands of years of history. For the sake of time, let’s cover just a few recent facts. Years ago, Israel gifted the strategic portion of land known as the Gaza strip to the Palestinian people in a generous and near unsolicited fashion as a gesture towards peace. However, the people of Gaza elected Hamas, a terrorist organization, to govern their territory. Hamas, like the majority of Israel’s neighbors is a terrorist group Hell-bent on the destruction of Israel without compromise or apology. And, Hamas proceeded to use this advantaged territory to dig tunnels into Israel for the purpose of conducting numerous terrorist acts against Israel. Their terrorist activity culminated recently when Hamas, unprovoked, proceeded to launch up to 2,000 missiles into civilian-populated regions of Israel in some of the vilest acts of terror. Israel, exercising its right of self-defense, responded with a ground offensive coupled with targeting and bombing the military assets of Hamas in Gaza. However, Hamas, in predictable fashion, embedded their weapons behind civilian human shields (in schools, hospitals, etc.) in violation of the Geneva Convention. Even this week the U.N. secretary-general (who is no friend to Israel) admitted the fact that Hamas placed rockets in a U.N.-run school inside Gaza.

Hamas is responsible for 100% of the alarming atrocities on both sides that have resulted from the war that they ruthlessly and illegally started. But, what is also alarming is the number of “Christians” who apparently side with Hamas and the Palestinians in these affairs albeit in varying degrees. If you side to any degree with Israel’s anti-Semitic, genocidal enemies, could it be that you are on the wrong side of all of history?

In Genesis 12:3 God promised Abraham's nation for all time, “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.” Further, Isaiah 60:12 says, “For the nation and kingdom that will not serve [Israel] shall perish; those nations shall be utterly laid waste.” And, Romans 11:29 says, “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.”

Ecclesiastes 3:8 teaches us that there is “a time for war, and a time for peace.” And, even in the end, as prophesied in the book of Revelations, there will be a time for war (Armageddon). And, that war will commence with the nations uniting against Israel, God’s chosen nation. This will be the bloodiest war of all time violently executed by Jesus Himself, the Lion of Judah. Today, we may be witnessing the beginning of the very end. End times or not, you don’t want to be found on the losing side, which is the side that opposes God.

All of these passages of scripture highlight for us, from Genesis 3 to Revelations 20, that God is deadly serious about keeping His promise to Israel. Throughout history and through the end of time, God has and will defend His promise to Israel. Like in Jericho, the battle to defend Israel does not even belong to Israel. The battle to defend Israel is the Lord’s battle. And, just like Joshua learned a humbling lesson before the battle of Jericho, we as Christians have no choice but to humbly fall in line behind the most wrathful General the world will ever know. That General’s name is God. By the way, you might find it interesting and miraculous, that as published recently in the “The Jewish Telegraph” a Hamas terrorist even confessed of Israel, “Their God changes the path of our rockets in mid-air.” Do you need any further evidence of who is fighting against the true God? When Muslim terrorists testify to the miraculous hand of Jehovah defending Israel, it is high time to pay attention and draw ranks behind the God who demands your allegiance.

Christian, do you stand with Israel without conditions and with zero hesitation? Because the One you call “God” certainly does. The Bible more than merely suggests that you join Him without dividing your loyalty. After all, divided loyalty for God, is no loyalty at all. Walking by faith in Him means that God trumps your sight. So, walk by faith behind He who deserves undivided devotion. To stand with Israel is to stand with God. So, stand with Israel!

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