Eye on Israel: Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem

Is the Israel/ Hamas problem our problem?By and large, it is reasonable to say that many Americans – and, perhaps, many Christians – do not stay abreast of news in Israel. Whether that is a result of a preoccupation with our own personal concerns, the American political scene, or any other number or equally legitimate reasons is uncertain.

Nonetheless, Psalm 122:6 directs followers of the Lord God to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” We cannot pray effectively for that of which we are unaware. Therefore, Missions Box News will strive to deliver at least one news article every week on important matters concerning Israel so that Bible believers can pray with greater discernment.

Near the Gaza border
Near the Gaza border

Hamas-organized riots have increased along the Gaza border for the several months since this new round of the on-again/ off-again border conflict began on March 30th and continues unresolved over recent years.

Units of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) are on around-the-clock watch at the border. Hamas militants have launched incendiary balloons and mortar shells into Southern Israel. If nothing more, their intent is to disrupt the daily lives of Israeli citizens. We must keep in mind that Hamas has declared war on Israel, so the rioting is no surprise.

Over the past several years, Hamas units have attempted to breach the militarized border by sea or by underground tunnels. In most cases, Israeli units have been able to thwart the attempted incursions.

The Egyptian government has attempted to act as an intermediary to bring the violence to a halt and prevent its escalation. However, Egypt’s attempts have been largely unsuccessful. The Israeli government, not to mention its citizens in the south, has grown weary of the relentless border threats.

On Monday, October 22nd, Israel’s Minister of Defense, Avigdor Lieberman, addressed the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and indicated that the nation is also weary of delivering warnings to Hamas leaders that go unheeded.

Despite Hamas attempts to paint the riots at the border as popular protests, Mr. Lieberman explained that “Fifteen thousand people do not show up by foot at the border fence.”

He explained that Hamas pays participants for showing up at the border. Hamas gives $3,000 to the family of any person killed in the riots. Anyone seriously wounded receives $500. Any rioter with minor injuries is paid $200.

Israel has been pushed to the brink of “a situation where there is no alternative.” Lieberman made it clear that the Israeli government has examined all the peaceful options and that “beyond conclusions, we need actions.”

Although he made it clear that he was speaking for himself, Lieberman candidly observed that “I do not believe in any arrangement with Hamas. It does not work. It has not worked in the past. It will not work in the future.”

So, what should Christians do? Is the Israel/ Hamas problem our problem?

The biblical response is to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” We do not have to be authorities on the finite particulars, but we would do well to consider our response to this directive of the Word of God as much as we would any other.

Shalom.


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