O Jerusalem Word on the Week 14th October 2023.
Once again the attention of the world is centred on Israel. The Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu – mortified by intelligence lapses – has seized the opportunity to threaten the Hamas terrorists with extinction.
Their breaching of Israel’s Southern boundary occurred all too easily and the killing of civilians went ahead without any intervention. Indeed, Hamas were able to capture over 100 hostages which they threaten to kill – one for every Israeli raid into Gaza.
Israel has assembled a large army on the Gaza border and Netanyahu has promised a response that will “echo across the generations”. This has commenced with the air force pounding Gaza day and night. Taking cognisance of the international community, warnings precede the attacks which are allegedly targeted on Hamas posts.
More recently Israel has ordered that Palestinians leave Gaza, which is the same area as Co Louth in Ireland, in order that they can get at the Hamas. Where the Palestinians are supposed to go is not stated!
In recent times Hamas have gained political power over the Palestine Liberation Organisation so any hope of the two state solution happening has gone. Hamas has been indoctrinating the Gaza schoolchildren with hatred of Israel with the goal of Israel’s extermination. These views are echoed on Israel’s Northern boundary by Hezbollah so Israel has most unpleasant neighbours!
Making proportional responses in warfare has always been a problem for Israel. At least three times in the Pentateuch the limitation of “an eye for an eye” has been invoked. Israel has always been tempted to take two eyes in retaliation (Deuteronomy 19 verse 21)!
The problem is that Israel is still locked into the Old Testament. The Apostle Paul ‘s great desire was for his peoples’ salvation (Romans 9 &10 verses 1 to 4). He saw it as a veil over their eyes which would remain until it is removed. Sadly, it has remained to this day but when it is taken away there will be a turning to Christ for salvation (2 Corinthians 3 verses 14 to 18 & 4: 1 to 6).
It was the hardened hearts of those in Jerusalem that caused Jesus to lament over the city. He could see both their rejection of Him and their fate (St Matthew 23 verse 37 to 39). There will be a day when the Jews are converted (Romans 11 verse 26). May you know God’s mercy dear Reader and not be left behind (Romans 11 verse 30).