(There is a special message at the end of this article for those who might happen to read this and do not have Jesus in their life and are looking for peace and a way to better understand the present-day insanity and confusion.)
This recent vicious attack on the Israeli populace (civilians as well as military, AND visitors/tourists!) by Hamas, as well as other Jew-hating Iranian proxies, has prompted me to write this article.
In 2012, I visited Israel on a 10-day trip with a Church group, and it was a wonderful time for us all, but speaking for me, it was the trip of a lifetime.
I have always had an affinity for the IDF/IAF. I understood their origins and the absolute necessity for Israel to maintain a military that holds to the highest standards of professionalism, preparedness, proficiency and readiness. This fact has been proven over the numerous times their enemies have actively attempted to destroy them.
For the sake of brevity, I include both the Defense Force and Air Force in referring to the IDF, as Israel’s Defense Force is what they truly are.
The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) has a unique set of circumstances in which it must operate.
Similar to what we faced in the Vietnam War, they operate under a constant existential threat. They are surrounded by potential enemies every second of every day, whether in “active” operational status or “off duty” – an operational status that does not ever truly exist.
Even when stationed at a fixed installation, they must have their heads on a 360-degree swivel out of necessity and in order to survive.
At its narrowest point (examine a modern political map in order to see), the country is only nine miles wide. Jump in your vehicle and drive nine miles. How long does it take?
If someone, or multiple someones, were to launch an attack on your town, how much time do you think you would have to gear up for the fight?
I think you get the point.
All this and the percentage of people in your population who can fight vs the percentage of those who are dedicated to your destruction from every quarter leads to an incredible level of stress and tension that is always present whether you are conscious of it or not.
This burden of mind and spirit wearies the heart and burdens the soul due to its incessant, ominous and negative presence.
Imagine living like that during every waking moment, day after day, year after year.
Although it wasn’t on our original schedule, due to inclement weather on the Mount of the Beatitudes, our ex-IDF guide (who I shall not name for his own safety) asked us if we would like to go up on the Golan Heights. We all jumped at the opportunity.
Taken from the Syrian army during the 1967 6-Day War, it overlooks the Sea of Galilee. On the western edge is a structure that our guide referred to as Peace Point. From there, you can look across to the city of Tiberias on the western shore.
From this very strategic vantage point, the Syrians would shell the Jewish farmers and other civilians dwelling in the valley. Try to imagine living like that day after day, year after year.
The spirit of evil that drove the Syrian’s viciousness then is identical to that which drives Hamas and all the other Jew-hating ideologies today.
One can easily conclude from a tactical standpoint that the Golan is clearly not a piece of ground that the Israelis can or should relinquish for any reason.
Another pressure point for the IDF to have to deal with.
We also were able to spend an afternoon at a structure located south of Jerusalem called the Herodium. This link will provide an overview of the site.
At this site, I met several IDF troopers who were manning the “ramparts,” so to speak. A member of my group introduced me to them as a sort of kindred spirit due to my fellowship in experience with them. I was the only one old enough to have served in Vietnam.
Because of that common experience, we were able to engage in a meaningful conversation about their lives as Israelis and about their service in the IDF. I was able to readily identify with them in terms of understanding the conditions under which they were currently serving.
We talked about their length of mandatory service, the differences between male and female obligations (men – 3 years, women – 2 years), and other service-related topics.
After we had talked for a while, I asked him (I remember his name quite well, but again, I will omit that for the same reason as previous), “What do you, as an Israeli and particularly as an IDF soldier, desire most?”
“Peace,” he promptly answered, “we would do almost anything for peace.”
I understood that desire, but only in part. My tour had had a foreseeable end where I would return to “the world” as we called home and as we imagined it to be before we left, but as we would find out, “peace” was not really what would be experienced.
In his case, his “hitch” would end at three years, but his commitment would continue, and his peace would not materialize then, and has still not even to this day.
He was exhausted in the way you can be when you can’t see any time in the future where you could rest physically or even achieve the rest of the mind.
I sincerely believe that every individual in the entire Israeli Defense Force is weary and heavy-laden with an uncertain (as they see it) future that they have been living with and must live in from day to day, every day.
The commanders, the leaders at battalion and at company level, right on down to individual troops, are bone tired, war-weary, and perpetually on “standby.”
I believe that, especially now, every Israeli is living under a similar circumstance.
The IDF and all Israel may be exhausted, but they are not defeated.
Now to the crux of this article
We can read of the consequences of disobedience to God that was promised to the Jews:
“So your life will hang in doubt before you, and you will be afraid night and day, never certain of survival. In the morning, you will say, ‘If only it were evening!’ and in the evening, you will say, ‘If only it were morning!’— because of the dread in your hearts of the terrifying sights you will see” (Deuteronomy 28:66).
Important! Lest we Gentiles should become smug or self-righteous: the consequences of disobedience to God apply to every nation, every country, and every single soul on earth, and every single soul on earth is guilty of sin. The Jewish people are not unique with respect to being sinners.
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
With God, “all” means exactly what it says.
Even under these circumstances, a renewal of energy, a resolve that overcomes the desire to want peace at any cost, can be realized.
Perhaps Hamas, in their viciousness, has finally crossed the line. Their indiscriminate and vile evil may be the catalyst for a renewal of the resolve of all Israelis.
I believe it may be that this time, the Israelis might finally understand why the peace they seek (in human terms) and have not found is because the enemy they face is driven by a mindless hatred that feeds on itself like an all-consuming acid: it has been embraced for so long that it has become malice – incurable.
“Cease fire!” they cry, only to execute yet another hudna (re-arm for the next attack).
It may be that they have reached the point where the Israelis will finally conclude that they must discontinue worrying about “world opinion” and that the UN is just one more enemy in a long list of enemies.
We would do well to try and understand the plight of the civilian populace of the Gaza Strip. Many of those who “celebrate” the attacks on the Israelis may be doing so in order to survive brutal, malevolent reprisals by their own “government” if they do not.
While there is no excusing this behavior, we should pray for their salvation.
Hamas has already revealed who they are by blocking their own civilians’ escape routes.
However the IDF elects to finally deal with this current round of viciousness, they will not be uprooted from their land. And even if their own strength begins to fail them, Jesus Christ, the Messiah they have thus far rejected, will not fail them.
“Comfort, yes, comfort My people!” Says your God.
“Speak comfort to Jerusalem and cry out to her,
That her warfare is ended, That her iniquity is pardoned;
For she has received from the Lord’s hand Double for all her sins”
In the meantime, we must understand that God’s Word has tasked us who follow Jesus Christ to pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May those who love you prosper.
May there be peace within your walls, and prosperity inside your fortresses.”
For the sake of my brothers and friends, I will say, “Peace be within you.”
For the sake of the house of the LORD our God I will seek your prosperity”
This prayer defines the only reality under which true peace will ever exist:
The rule of Messiah Jesus over the whole earth. Maranatha!
The special message I promised you:
For anyone who may read this article and has not trusted in Jesus Christ and therefore has no hope or peace in your life.
You can have hope. You can have the peace that Jesus has promised to all who have made Him their Lord and Savior. The peace that passes understanding.
It requires that you come before God on His terms.
And, what are His terms according to His Word?
- Genuine repentance (turning to God instead of continuing to reject or ignore Him).
- Confession of sins (that you are a sinner and acknowledge that to God).
- That you understand that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).
- To acknowledge to God that you are unable to pay that debt.
- Belief that Jesus Christ paid your death sentence for you on the cross.
- To believe that Jesus is the Way, the only Way, that God has established by which humans may be saved from the consequences of their sin and rebellion.
God has made it absolutely clear that there is no one who comes before Him, under His terms, that will be refused.
- No one: no race, no color, no country of origin, regardless of any previous belief system: no one.
- No matter what your past sins have been, God can and WILL forgive you because He says He will.
- Salvation is available to everyone without any exceptions.
If you put all your trust for salvation in Jesus, and Him only, you can follow that prayer up by simply saying, “Thank you, Father God, for hearing my prayer and saving me,” because we can trust Him to keep His Word. He always has. He always will.
“Truly, Truly, I say to you that he who hears My words and believes the One who sent Me has eternal life and will not be condemned. He has crossed from death to life” (John 5:24).
There are no answers and there is no hope in the world by governments, organizations, politics or politicians. There are only lies and deception. But you can have the Truth and the peace you seek.
The answers are in the Word of God—The Bible. If you ask God, with all your heart, He will hear you.
“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).
Pro Salvator Vigilans
To contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org