Many are asking, “What in the world is happening?” The true question is: “What in the Word is happening?” The Word of God is our lens, which enables us to know what happens in the end; it is our blueprint that is always on point. Faith is that powerful lens that allows us to see the unseen and discern the spiritual realities behind every physical battle.
Without spiritual discernment, one may find themselves disoriented and disappointed in the face of turmoil. However, with a proper understanding of the Scriptures, the believer is blessed with the ability to see beyond the surface and perceive the players behind the scenes. Just as Elisha prayed, "Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see," and the Lord opened the eyes of the young man to reveal a mountain full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha” (2 Kings 6:17), we too can seek divine insight in these challenging times.
Sadly, we find ourselves in a time of great sorrow and turmoil as the land of Israel is terrorized by violence. Our hearts grieve for the known 25 US citizens who have lost their lives (amongst numerous other international causalities), and for the over 1200 Israelis who have been murdered by the demonic hands of Hamas so far (not counting the loss of any military personnel). This is a time of unprecedented conflict in Israel's modern history, and it calls for vigilance of faith from believers around the world.
As we ponder these distressing numbers, it becomes clear that the impact of this conflict is shocking. Consider the per capita losses --1200 Israelis would be equivalent to losing 60,000 Americans. The tiny nation of Israel, one-nineteenth the size of California and roughly the size of New Jersey, is grappling with a war that defies its proportions, and we must keep them in our prayers (Psalm 122:6).
In response, Israel declared war for the first time in 50 years, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged civilians to seek refuge. The Israeli Defense Force's counterattack has brought destruction to Gaza, and it's heartbreaking to note that some of these tragic events occur in densely populated areas. This is a result of Hamas's ruthless tactic of using "human shields." There are countless civilians on both sides of the equation that are casualties of the war at hand.
From a spiritual perspective, we see these events through the lens of the Word of God, which depicts the ancient struggles between Jacob and Esau, and their respective descendants. Jerusalem, the city that God has chosen and where He will eventually establish His throne according to Jeremiah 3:17, is at the heart of this conflict. We are reminded in God's words, "I will put My name there forever" (2 Chronicles 33:7). Knowing that Jerusalem is the epicenter of the world and where the Lord Jesus Christ will eventually reign and rule the nations makes us understand why hell seems to be unleashed in that immediate area. It is of course because Satan knows his time is short and seeks to sabotage whatever it is the Lord ordains.
On the surface, the world believes that a two-state solution would appease the tension, but it’s not about a 2-state solution or peace that they are seeking. The only true solution according to these Islamic terrorists is jihad.
And that is why the former chief of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal, called for neighboring countries to join the war against Israel. He had this to say: “[We must] head to the squares and streets of the Arab and Islamic world on Friday…Tribes of Jordan, sons of Jordan, brothers and sisters of Jordan ... This is a moment of truth and the borders are close to you, you all know your responsibility…To all scholars who teach jihad ... to all who teach and learn, this is a moment for the application.”
Meshaal called on both citizens and government agencies of Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt to join the fight. This call to jihad originated in the belly of hell itself. And though other terrorists have made such radical statements in the name of Allah in the past, this differs because of timing and scope.
Radical Jihadists want nothing more than to exterminate Israel and any other religion that stands in their way. However, no one can wipe Israel off the map because it was God Himself who put Israel on the map. As for Christians, nothing that comes out of the gates of hell can prevail against the Church. We rest assured in this truth.
Another truth is Israel’s remarkable resilience throughout its history against insurmountable odds. Like the war of 1948-49 for their Independence, the Six-Day War of 1967, and Yom Kippur War of 1973, in each of these conflicts they were either outnumbered or ill-prepared amongst other odds. This begs the question: How was it possible for Israel to repel these attacks when it was relatively poorly armed or caught by surprise? The answer is clear in the Scriptures: "Whoever assembles against you shall fall for your sake... No weapon formed against you shall prosper" (Isaiah 54:15, 17).
The God of Israel is the Guardian of Israel. This unprecedented present war will yield the same precedence of past outcomes.
Therefore, as we navigate these turbulent times, we must remember that the devil is not only adversarial but territorial. His aim is always the same--from Haman to Hitler to Hamas and Hezbollah, the prince of darkness will not stop his murderous jihad until Christ returns and destroys His enemies and saves His people. In other words, the conflicts in this region will only persist and ultimately lead to the prophetic events foretold in the Scriptures, such as Ezekiel 38 (where the key players of Russia, Turkey, and Iran join the invasion), Psalm 83 (which seems to be the coalition of nations that may be developing now against Israel), and Isaiah 17 (where Damascus in Syria is destroyed).
All these nations will be thirsty for the blood of Israel and Jerusalem, which is why in Zechariah 12:1-3, the city of Jerusalem is called a "cup of drunkenness" and "a very heavy stone for all peoples.”
The stage is being set. The war will continue to rage. The actors will continue to avenge. But amid it all, the Church must remain hopeful, our prayers must remain fervent, and our faith must be courageous. While we pray for peace, we must acknowledge that there will be no lasting peace in the Middle East or the world until the Prince of Peace arrives to settle every score. In this difficult moment, a fearful world needs a faithful Church, who knows the Bible is the blueprint.