With the situation on the ground in Gaza heating up and rockets continually falling in Israel, many people around the world have become quite worried about the growing war in the Promised Land and what it means for them.
For some, they are considering cancelling their tours to the Holy Land. For others, they have resolved to never go to the Promised Land. Some still desire to go but are postponing trips for a “safer time” – what a “safer time” in Israel looks like I’m not sure but it is for this that they wait. And for others, this only strengthens their resolve that the Land of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob needs her people to return to her more than ever.
The decision by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to cancel all flights in and out of Israel hasn’t helped this growing fear of returning to the Land. In fact, the American decision led to many European airlines halting all their air traffic to Israel as well. The Israeli Transportation Minister has urged American and European air travel to resume calling the move a “prize to terrorism.”
Since the outset of Operation Protective Edge on July 8, 2014, over 200 Hamas militant terrorists have been killed and 30 tunnels and 63 tunnel shafts have been discovered.
However, these simple stats don’t do justice to the real impact of Operation Protective Edge. Israel is not just making Israel a safer place to live. Israel is making the entire world a safer place. By removing Hamas militants and tearing down their infrastructure, Israel is ridding the world of a deadly tumor that threatens to overtake all that is good in the world.
A literal translation of the operation’s name (Hebrew: מִבְצָע צוּק אֵיתָן, Mivtza’ Tzuk Eitan) is “Operation Steadfast Cliff” or “Firm Cliff.” More loosely translated it is, “Operation Solid Rock” or “Operation Mighty Cliff.” The IDF’s official Arabic translation reads “Operation Resolute Cliff.”
This literal translation reminds me of how YHVH’s love for us is “steadfast” and immovable; that YHVH Himself is unchanging and forever. For us as believers, it should also remind us that Yeshua is our Rock on which we stand. If we are firmly – or steadfastly – planted on the Rock, then when the storm beats down on us and tries to destroy us, we will stand firm and not be moved.
The same is true of Israel.
They are standing firm on the promises of YHVH and are establishing themselves on His “Solid Rock.” There is a storm raging in Israel right now…and it’s nothing new. For thousands of years the same storm has been brewing and will continue until Messiah Yeshua reigns from His rightful throne on the Temple Mount.
The entire world is coming against Israel right now. They accuse them of war crimes, of humanitarian violations, of being the murderers of women and children; it’s a never-ending list.
So what can we do?
I’ve read reports of the so-called “lone soldiers” who leave their comfortable lives in places like Australia, Europe, and America and volunteer to fight in the Israeli Defense Forces. They sacrifice everything to serve and defend the nation with which they feel a spiritual connection. Others are volunteering with groups and organizations to go to Israel and do what they can. They are volunteer fire-fighters, volunteer medical personnel, and even volunteer meal servers.
Others organize gatherings of support in their local communities for Israel. They raise funds to send with those who volunteer to travel to Israel. They organize the community’s support for the People of Israel.
YHVH asks each of us to play our part and our individual roles may look different. And while we all have different reactions to the situation in Israel, there are two things we have in common. First, we can’t discourage each other from the unique path and giftings YHVH has given each one of us. We should be encouraging one another in the different talents that we possess and the special training that YHVH has for each of us. Second, we can all pray.
We may not agree on how right Israel is, or how far you would go to support them, or if they are reacting too strongly, or how much you empathize with the Palestinians. But regardless of those differences, Jews and Christians alike both agree that the Land of Israel was the land promised to the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They are fighting for their inheritance from YHVH Himself – Maker of the Heavens and Earth.
Wouldn’t you fight for your inheritance from the Almighty too?
The Word of God is clear that we must stand with Israel. That we must stand with Him. So regardless of your feelings on the situation, YHVH is still sovereign and is clearly working in the midst of this war.
So the one thing we can all do is pray in support of Israel.
Michael Freund put it best in his appeal to Christians and Jews that they pray the Psalms as a response to the spiritual battle being waged in Israel.
“If our foes are resorting to their form of holy war, I think it’s incumbent upon us not to abandon the sacred weapons that we have in our arsenal, chief and foremost among them, the power of prayer…The international arena is comprised of actors. But what they don’t tell you is that there is also a Director.
Now each of us has the ability on a daily basis to have a direct conversation with the Director. To talk to Him about what we would like to see in the script that is world history. We dare not forego such an opportunity. We dare not ignore our ability as individuals, as communities, to have an input, to have a say, in how the future develops. No one out there should ever feel powerless about what’s going on. Because at the end of the day we each have, through the power of prayer…the ability to influence events.”
We too, like Esther and Daniel before us, can get on our faces before our God – King of the Universe – and appeal to Him. Because this isn’t a battle of flesh and blood. This is a spiritual battle and it won’t be over till there is a victor. I know Who that victor is. This is a spiritual battle with our inheritance hanging in the balance that can only be fought with surrendered hearts and bent knees.
Choose this day on whose side you will fight.