The New Year just begun, connected as it is with the birth of the King of the Jews, has had an unpromising beginning here in Israel. The last night of 2015 and the first day of 2016 were cold and stormy throughout the country. And then the relaxed Shabbat in Tel Aviv was rudely shattered by a presumed terrorist who did a little vegetable shopping before walking out of the market with his father’s weapon, killing two and wounding seven, some critically. The murderer is still being looked for by security forces. The killer is an Israeli Arab, with a past criminal record.
Also on the news program last night, a religious-nationalist member of the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) stated plainly his goal of a rebuilt Temple, and that if Arabs do not want to accept Israeli Jewish sovereignty over this land, then they should leave and go somewhere else. At present their position is in support of the destruction of the State of Israel, tantamount to a state of war, in which there is a difference between Arab terrorism and Jewish nationalism.
What are believers in Yeshua/Yasua/Jesus to do? The Lord and Messiah gave us His command to be witnesses of Him. We need the Holy Spirit to continue to do this with effective power and love in the face of increasingly lawlessness. The Lord said that as the times of the end draw nearer, there would be a “beginning of sorrows” which must come to pass, but the end is not yet. (Mt 24:3-8)
Iran continues to humiliate the western powers ever since the nuclear ‘deal’ was agreed to and signed. This is classic Islamic strategy and tactics, which “nice, genteel” people find very hard to understand or accept. It is totally contrary to Judeo-Christian values, based on the God of Truth and Love. The internecine wars between Sunni and Shia Muslims continues to destroy countries in near proximity to Israel, and will only lead to greater and more brutal action between Islamic countries determined to rule over the House of Islam, and to exercise authority throughout the world to bring submission to their God and his prophet. (Dan 8; 10-12)
Yet through it all, the God of Israel is working out His plan of redemption through His righteousness and love (Dan 9:20-27), demonstrated in the death of His Son, Yeshua, on the cross, and in His resurrection on the third day, according to the Scriptures. He will bring His chosen people, beloved for the fathers’ sake, to call upon the name of YHVH (or of Jesus/Yeshua) to deliver and to save them. Many Muslims will repent and believe the gospel, the same good news which the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob gave to the Jewish people.
The war is heating up; the stakes are very high, even eternal; the outcome is sure. Let us who know our God continue to grow “till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the full knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the Head — Messiah/Christ — from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” (Eph 4:13-16)
Let God turn to good what the world intends for evil!