The Gaza War

Arno Froese

That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us” (Luke 1:71).

This prophecy was pronounced by Zacharias the high priest, the father of John the Baptist. Two thousand years have passed, and this prophecy has not been completely fulfilled for the people of Israel.

There are no other people on earth whose existence, deeds, and future are more intensely recorded than the Jewish people.

Verse 74 reads: “That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear.” The reason for the deliverance from all enemies is expressed with the five last words, “might serve him without fear.” 

We know that the Jews have returned to the land of their fathers, and have established a well-functioning and progressive society. But the real deliverance and Israel’s collective salvation has not yet taken place. Mary, the mother of Jesus, prayed: “And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour” (Luke 1:47). She revealed that the yet unborn child would be the Savior—God manifested in the flesh.

Now we turn our attention to the abhorrent  event that took place in Israel, when the Hamas terrorist organization launched an unprecedented, multi-front attack on Israel on 7 October 2023. The result was devastating for Israel, as over 1,400 people were murdered in cold blood by members of the Hamas military faction. 

Yet, “A Document of General Principles and Policies [of] The Islamic Resistance Movement ‘Hamas’” states: “Hamas believes that the message of Islam upholds the values of truth, justice, freedom and dignity and prohibits all forms of injustice and incriminates oppressors irrespective of their religion, race, gender or nationality.” Killing civilians, “regardless of religion, race, or nationality,” violates Hamas’ own “Principles and Policies”!

This event is different from all others, because no high-tech weaponry was used in a significant manner; rather, a very unconventional method was implemented by Hamas. Besides sending over 3,000 rockets into Israel, hundreds of well-trained terrorists, heavily armed with modern weapons, broke through Israel’s security fence with one deliberate aim: kill Jews. It was not an issue of military operations, but the merciless, wanton murder of civilians young and old, men, women and children.

Most Western governments have outright condemned Hamas’ terrorist action, while many countries are in the process of reevaluating financial support for Gaza at this time. 

We may ask: what went wrong with Israel’s intelligence community? Obviously, some slackness was evident. Hamas did not get involved in several previous military conflicts between Israel and the military faction of Gaza, Islamic Jihad. That, doubtless, was a contributing factor toward Israel’s lax attitude and not being fully prepared for the horrendous onslaught.

Nevertheless, even if Israel had prepared for immediate confrontation, there was virtually no way of knowing that Hamas had secretly trained hundreds of terrorists, who did not use heavy artillery or tanks, etc., but simply motorbikes that quickly raced to nearby Israeli towns and villages. We note, it was not to win a war, but simply to murder civilians and soldiers alike. 

For us believers, it is a sobering warning: “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Corinthians 2:11). We are living in the end stages of the end times. Now, it is more important than ever to occupy ourselves with the eternal security available only through faith in the accomplished redemption of Jesus Christ our Lord. 

The apostle Peter admonishes us: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). We too often underestimate the cunning devices Satan uses to extinguish our testimony. John warns seriously: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world” (1 John 2:15-16).

Back to Gaza. While we fully recognize the horrendous suffering of the people in Gaza—particularly women, children, and the elderly—we must focus our attention and prayer on the believers in Jesus Christ that are in Gaza. The Church in Gaza and in Israel is our main concern. We pray that our Lord in His grace will not only protect, but also endue the Christians with His courage, love and compassion. The Church will continue to be built, particularly where it all started: the land of Israel.

In the meantime, we remember the admonition the prophet Isaiah wrote some 2,700 years ago: “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins” (Isaiah 40:1-2).

Midnight Call 12/2023

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