2001-05-22 - A Christian's View of the Current Struggle in Israel
Psalm 34:14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
If you are a history buff you might know that today, May 22, has some historical significance for our country. It was on May 22, 1865, that the last soldier, a confederate, was killed in battle during the Civil War. Sometimes people go down in history in ways that they probably would have rather avoided and I am sure that A. Bordunix would have chosen to have had his name forgotten rather than be remembered for having such a unwanted place in history.
You would have to be living under a rock to be unaware of the sad situation currently in Israel and Palestine. It seems like a never ending struggle there and it is almost daily that there is some killing on one side or the other. I am not seeking here to take sides or offer my useless view of a solution to the problem. Rather, I would like to seek to offer some practical ideas as to how a Christian might think about and view this conflict.
Christians, especially in the United States, have a vested interest in Israel. Besides the political interests that the United States and Israel share there is a spiritual heritage that has been examined time and time again by eminent divines and novice theologians. The views are varied and the source of conflict among Christians. I have often thought that it is a topic that is so divisive that it is probably better avoided than dwelt upon. However, regardless of whether you hold the classic dispensational line of a separation between Israel and the church or the covenantal view that the church is the new spiritual Israel, the fact remains that we are all called upon to pray for and seek peace.
It really does not matter who is right or who is wrong in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, we are all called upon to long for peace. There is a great reason why we should seek peace. Psalm 37:37 tells us, "...the man of peace will have a posterity." Being peace seekers is a way we can leave a legacy behind us. Leaving a legacy cost A. Bordunix his life, but we can leave a legacy simply by being peace seekers. 1 Thessalonians 5:13 also tells us, "...Live at peace with one another." In fact, there are endless examples in the Bible admonishing us to seek peace and to pursue it.
You might think that you are not really in a position to pursue and seek peace in the conflict in the Middle East. "Tim," you might say, "the President is not returning my phone calls." But, in truth, you have the ear of one who is much more powerful than the President. You have the ear of God. "The Lord has heard my supplication, the Lord receives my prayer." Psalm 6:9 And lastly, my favorite verse on prayer, Psalm 4:3, "...the Lord hears when I call to Him." Again, there are endless verses on prayer in Scripture and many of them encourage us to pray simply because God has promised to hear our prayers and answer them.
You are in a position to seek peace in the Middle East. You have the ear of God. This principle applies to all areas of life. "Pray without ceasing," 1 Thessalonians 5:17, is not simply a pious suggestion. It is the practice of an informed lifestyle. It is the application of the truths found in Scripture that, in all areas of life, God has our interests in mind. So let us not only pray for peace in the Middle East, but let us bring all areas of our lives before the mercy seat of grace.
Soli Deo Gloria,