I have been haunted these last few days! The images of women mourning in the streets, young children drowning in a pool of their own blood, and clouds of smoke rising from a missile that just struck a neighborhood. The Palestinian- Israeli conflict has been going on for decades. It has brought a schism between nations, peoples, cities, neighborhoods and families. Each side feels they have the right to that land; each side feels wronged and attacked by the other; each side attacks and lashes out in self-defense, self-righteousness, and even self-defeat. Let’s face it, the situation is a hot mess and we are left in the west trying to understand and make meaning of all of this.
My position on the situation is much different than the vast majority of westerners. On the one hand, I’m a Palestinian woman who has family living in that region. On the other hand, I am in love with a Jewish Man (Jesus Christ). So it is difficult for me to take sides. It is hard for me to hold one particular position. But just like everyone else, I have to make sense of all this mess too. In this blog, I’d like to share with you how I think through this whole situation..
First, I believe that God does not take delight in the death of the wicked. “Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign Lord. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live? (Ezekiel 18:23 NIV)” There have been close to 700 Palestinians who have been killed in this war and about 35 Israelis. At least 75% of these deaths are civilians. Does God delight in the death of these civilians?
Second, God is not about a political agenda but about a Kingdom…HIS KINGDOM to be exact. Jesus told His disciples to pray this: your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10 NIV) From the bottom of my heart, I truly believe that God does not have the American flag, or Israeli flag, or Palestinian flag hanging from His throne. He is about His Kingdom established on earth, not a political power.
Third, His desire is that none would perish but all come to Him. “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9 NIV) His desire is for Jews AND Palestinians to come to a saving knowledge of Christ. I strongly believe that.
So how do I make sense of all this mess? Rather than standing with one side or the other, I choose to STAND IN THE GAP on behalf of all Jews and all Palestinians. I pray God would protect the innocent lives on both sides. I pray God would reveal Himself to both Palestinians and Jews. I pray God would fill Israel with Palestinians and Jews worshipping the Living Lord together. Why? Because that would truly be a manifestation of His Kingdom here on earth. Will you join me in standing in the gap for both Jews and Palestinians?