This is a post about many things… it’s about the Israeli/Hamas conflict, it’s about the different ages we have lived in along with the different covenants, and it is about the hearts of Christians. Admittedly this is about my heart, because I find myself having to write today after a very disturbing happening on a Christian message board. I worries me for the sake of some professed believers because apparently many people do not acknowledge the depth of their own sinfulness and the role Jesus plays in this age of grace, and it makes me incredibly incredibly sad.
First, let me be clear on a few things; Israel is doing the right thing in battling Hamas. That is what I believe having looked at the facts of what transpired prior to Israel’s retaliation against Hamas rockets. Israel has an absolute right to defend herself. Israel is also right in doing something else that no one is talking about; Israel sends aid and even sets up hospitals in order to help the Palestinian people. While Hamas tries to bomb and attack the roads and the workers bringing that aid to the civilians. Hamas does not believe in civilians, Israel does.
There is coming a time when God will refocus everything on Israel because He still has promises to keep to them as a nation. But right now we are in the Church Age, this is the age of grace. The Church does not replace Israel, Israel still has a future front in center of God’s attention. In Christ, therefore in the Church, there is neither Jew nor Greek. We truly live in a special age, an age of mercy and grace. God speaks to us through His Son, for now there are no kings or prophets or judges leading Israel, there is no temple, hence Israel is not in the same position as it was in the OT with the ability for their leaders to receive orders directly from God.
So here is what has me upset, you can leave a comment if you like to explain why I either should or should not be upset. The question was posed whether or not, given the capability, Israel should wipe out every Palestinian. Seriously that was the question. The argument is that Israel, under the Old Covenant, and in the OT was ordered to do that very thing in different circumstances. I was saddened by all the responses that agreed that they should indeed wipe them out. I pointed out that Palestinians are not all members of Hamas, nor do all of them support Hamas. I also pointed out that there are brothers and sisters in Christ who are Palestinian. None of that mattered.
Hamas needs to be wiped out, just like the Nazi were stopped. Of course they should be. We all also know that civilian casualties in war are inevitable, and it doesn’t help when Hamas uses human shields… why do they do that? Because they don’t believe in civilians. Literally, they believe everyone is a combatant. But here’s the catch; they are wrong. Perhaps these Christians I was conversing with would like to go kill all the Palestinian infants? I’m confused, I’m saddened, and it is readily apparent they don’t recognize that we are in the Church age.
This is the age of mercy and grace, and yes, it will come to an end, but right now we are in it. Jesus did not tell His people to go try to kill all the Romans, and we are the Body of Christ. We represent Jesus now. Again, there will be a time when the church is not here, then the game changes, and God resumes His direct interaction with Israel, but that time is not yet. To see Christians promoting the wiping out of humans on that scale saddens me to the core. Where is the mercy and grace? Where is the acknowledgment that we are guilty sinners worthy of death ourselves outside of Christ? Where is the teaching that we should be trying to reach both Muslims and Jews with the good news of Christ, right up until we are snatched away? Where is the teaching on the difference between the Old and New Covenants, and why God ordered what He did in the OT? Ugh.
My heart hurts, and I’m so disappointed, and that disappointment is obviously directed at man, not God. I will continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and to support Israel, and thank goodness that Israel herself doesn’t take the view of some very vengeful believers.
To my brothers and sister I say grace and peace be with you through Jesus our Lord.