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The Word on the Week

Normal Hostilities

For the last couple of weeks our public square has been commandeered by the liberal agenda as it promoted a woman’s right to choose. It was therefore almost a relief when the news returned to the “normal hostilities” which have resumed between Israel and Palestine.

In the Middle East it’s not the slaughter of the unborn but those who are well and truly out of the womb that continues at a pace. The cynical use of the Palestinians by their Arab brothers to goad Israel into battle produced the inevitable slaughter. Then to claim the ceasefire to the 8 day war as a victory as the Palestinians have done requires some mental gymnastics especially as it was brokered by Egypt and the US without either of the protagonists being present!

The underlying problems of Israel’s tight restrictions of the border crossings into Palestine and the latter’s obtaining rockets despite Israel’s vigilance, along with the many other injustices, means that the conflict could resume at any time.

Israel finds herself in her usual situation, surrounded by dangers!

To the North Syria continues to self destruct and to the East Iran refines her weapons of mass destruction with the expressed intent – the annihilation of Israel.

Meanwhile to the South, in Egypt, another Pharaoh arises, as President Morsi seizes total power stating, “God’s will and elections made me the captain of this ship,”

What has the Bible to say to these matters?

It all began in Abraham’s time when his faith was tested. God told him to sacrifice Isaac his son by his wife Sarah. But the Quran states it was Ishmael, Abraham’s son by Hagar, his wife’s maidservant, who was to be sacrificed.

Both narratives agree that the descendents of Ishmael and Isaac were to become great nations. However the Bible states it was to be through Isaac’s line that the Redeemer would come (Genesis Chapter 17 verses 20/21).

From the beginning hostility was predicted between the half-brothers and has continued to this day between their nations. By extension the antagonism spreads to friends of Israel on the one side and friends of Arabs on the other; or to put it otherwise, followers of the Bible on the one hand and followers of the Quran on the other.

When Jesus came, as foretold, through Isaac’s line the angels proclaimed peace. The war between God and man, resulting from man’s sinfulness, was to be ended by the shedding of the Saviour’s blood. Now redeemed Jews and redeemed Gentiles can find that unity in Christ, “Now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ”. (Ephesians chapter 2 v13 etc)

One day peace will come in all its fullness but till them we walk by faith and rejoice in everyone – Jew, Arab or Gentile – who comes into that new relationship with their heavenly Father, “God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians Ch.5 verse 19)