Last month E and I were still talking on that same thread where he asked me about my views on Islamic jihad and sharia, (I shared my views on that here) and he could tell I wasn't fawning over Israel as much as I should have been. I mean we grew up in churches and households that strongly supported God's Chosen People. And even if we didn't support them on religious grounds, how about the fact that they are our strongest ally and "the only democracy in the Middle East" surrounded by those angry Arabs and Persians who hate them so much they want to wipe them off the map? For all its superpower status which puts us in some ways at the top of the heap, Americans tend to love a worthy underdog. And poor little Israel with its persecuted Jews fit the bill in a region of the world full of strife and multitudes of non-Jews who hated these people for daring to reclaim their ancestral lands.
OK, let's leave the land stuff alone and even who has rightful dibs on it. I say the land belongs to God and I am extremely sorry to see what people do to each other for the sake of land.
Anyway, E noticed my replies weren't adding up to what should be 'normal' for me. I think I had mentioned how awful life was for the Palestinians which prompted this:
Susanne, that's just not true. UN reports say that food, medicine, and humanitarian supplies are uninterrupted. Weapons, on the other hand are being stopped.
I can understand why they do what they do. The god of this world has blinded their eyes. The hatred of the Jewish people began where you say it did. From that time, they have been suffering persecution. Slavery in Egypt, Herod, attacks from all sides, Hitler, more attacks from all sides.
I believe that the persecution will never end until God puts an end to it; and despite what Daniel says, I know you know what the Bible says about that.
Forget what others believe, what do you believe? Do you believe the Bible account of the end days? I do, or do you have a more "enlightened viewpoint"?
So I decided to share
My "enlightened" view just for E: :-)
E, I'm not denying there has been hatred of the Jews since ancient times. I believe Satan would like for this ethnic group to have been destroyed in order for the Messiah (whom I consider the Savior of the world) to never come. Of course he failed. God always preserved a remnant and even when Israel went "whoring after other gods", He was always faithful to His promise to Abraham. Not because of the Jews' innate goodness, but because of God's.
I think many American Christians have taken Genesis 12:3 as their way for dealing with the current Israel which was established by mostly secular Zionists such as Hertzl who mocked the OT as a book of fables. He used it to his advantage, however, and knew when to use it as "Thus saith the Lord" when appealing to religious folks.
Genesis 12 talks about God blessing those who bless Abraham's descendants and cursing those who curse them, correct? I am fine with that. I believe the Bible. But I ask now what does blessing someone mean? Does it mean being OK with them mistreating others or does it mean encouraging them to do right in God's sight? God dispersed the Jews into other nations because of their unfaithfulness to Him. The OT Prophets often scolded Israel for injustice, lack of mercy and their arrogance. How is this different from today? Do we suddenly wink at their sins because we want to "bless them" (which being interpreted is: do whatever evil, sinful thing you want and we will pat you on the back and give you more money because WE ARE STANDING WITH YOU, O ISRAEL!)? You don't bless a drug addicted child by giving him drug money and okaying his lifestyle. You get him help. You show him the forgiveness and life changing power of God.
I'm not arguing about End Times happenings. I'm talking about the here and now and treating people as God wanted the Israelites of old to treat those living with them.
"The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the LORD your God." (Lev. 19:34)
I have Christian missionary friends living in the West Bank and they have seen the situation first hand unlike most of us. I'm not saying everything is Israel's fault, but neither do I give them a blanket endorsement. Many of their policies perpetuate the cycle of hatred. This is what I want us to understand better. I'm not debating or trying to change minds on your interpretation of the end times. I'm simply saying we need to remember Jesus' words about loving our enemies and the reminders in Scripture.
"If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink."
We can't expect Jews to follow Jesus' commands, but I surely can expect my fellow Christians to obey their Lord if they truly claim to follow Him. Why do we not take Jesus seriously?
We can leave all the end time stuff to God. We can't bring it to pass any earlier or later by trying to finagle things in the region so everything is right for Jesus to return. But we can take Jesus seriously and love all people -- even our enemies. Leave the vengeance stuff to God. Let's be faithful in sharing -and living- the good news of Jesus with a world that needs Him. That is what will change things in the region.
I hope that helps explain where I am coming from. Thanks for your questions. I'm glad I had a chance to share my thoughts on this topic.
Any thoughts, corrections,questions or details to add? Do you think I'm silly for expecting followers of Jesus to see Palestinians with love and compassion instead of solely as enemies because they hate Israel? What do you think?