These are bad times. I don’t need to remind you of that. You’ve read or worse, seen horrific Hamas violence against Israelis. Women were raped, babies beheaded, and people tortured. Over 1,300 dead, over 3,400 injured, 200 kidnapped, and 16 million Jews worldwide mourning the worst attack since the holocaust.
On top of that, some people are suggesting the terrorist attacks were justifiable. They’re blaming Israel, saying Palestinians are oppressed victims seeking freedom from their oppressors.
No righteous or reasonable person should believe that. However, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t love Palestinians. Righteousness demands that we hate Hamas and love Palestinians.
Therefore we shouldn’t ignore the sufferings of the Palestinian people, including the tragic consequences of Hamas’ terrorist actions on innocent Palestinians. Since Hamas uses civilians as shields, hundreds of children and women in Palestine have been killed by Israel’s attacks against the terrorist group over the last few days.
So in these bad times, we should remember the gospel of Christ. We should be more familiar with the good news than all the bad news from the war.
God became a man—a Jewish man. The king of the universe is from Israel. Jesus’ ethnicity is Jewish. His mother is Jewish. His brothers are Jewish. His Apostles are Jewish. His prophets are Jewish. His ancestors are Jewish.
Jesus was born a Jew, raised a Jew, died a Jew, resurrected a Jew, ascended a Jew, and reigns as a Jew. He hasn’t stopped being a Jew. Just as we will maintain our ethnicity in heaven (Revelation 5:9), Jesus maintains his Jewish ethnicity in heaven. That’s why he’s described in the book of Revelation as “the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David.”
So if you hate Jews, you hate Jesus.
In the same way, if you hate Palestinians, you hate their creator. Palestinians are made in the image of God, so if you hate them—you hate God.
The good news is Jesus was born in Bethlehem (currently Palestinian land) so that he would be the saviour of Jews and Gentiles, including Palestinians. He lived a sinless life so that he would suffer and die on the cross—offering himself as our atoning substitute, the “righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God.” (1 Peter 3:18)
We should pray that God would providentially use this war to give Palestinian and Jewish Christians more opportunities to preach the good news. We should pray that Palestinians and Jews would hear and believe the gospel so they would be justified by faith in Christ.
Pray that unbelieving Jews and unbelieving Palestinians would know that they’re not just enemies of each other—they are, together, enemies of Christ.
Palestinians need to know their saviour isn’t Hamas. Their saviour is a Jew who died for sinners like them. Israelis also need to know their Messiah has already come and unless they repent and believe in him, they will not dwell with the king of the Jews in the New Jerusalem.
Those of us who are believers shouldn’t be weary. We should grieve with hope. Hamas isn’t in control. Israel isn’t in control. Our God is sovereign over every inch of Israel, Palestine, and the world.
He has ordained even this for his glorious purpose. So be anxious for nothing. Instead, look forward to Christ’s glorious return. Look forward to what the Bible says in Revelation 21:4:
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
That is a promise to Palestinians, Jews, and everyone who believes the good news. In these bad times, remember the good news.