There is a lot of political and religious commentary regarding the current situation in Israel. It is a sad thing to watch such terrible atrocities play out on the world stage. As a nation, we were already supporting the issue in Ukraine with money and weaponry. With this latest attack in Israel from Hamas, the US is also engaged in the Mediterranean with several carrier strike groups. Two of the Destroyer Squadron Commanding Officers are some of my former bosses. Those DESRONs are in good hands. That is beside the point to this blog, though.
With this uptick in violence, I have had some question me whether World War 3 is about to kick off. Others wonder if this is the sign of Armageddon and the events of the book of Revelation to play out. There is a lot of wonder and fear that is happening for believers right now. Some pastors have taken to the pulpit, changing their sermon series topics in favor of the latest topic. That is all fine and well. However, it is not time for us to hedge our bets on when Jesus is coming back. The fact is that He could come back by the time you are done reading this sentence. As believers, we should not look at the problems playing out in the Middle East as something to worry about. Instead, we can look at it as the fulfillment of prophecy from long ago.
In Genesis, God promises Abraham that he will have so many descendants that it will be as if he could number the stars in the sky. Abraham goes and reports this promise to his wife Sarah. Sarah is old in her years and tells him that there is no way that she can have any kids. So, she offers Hagar, her concubine, for Abraham to procreate with. This was a fatal flaw on Abraham’s part. Rather than look at her and respond with faith in God, he willfully went along with her plan. He should have retorted, saying that God was going to give the two of them kids. No need to involve Hagar.
He did, though. She becomes pregnant and looks at Sarah with contempt. Of course, we can all see that this would happen. Sarah becomes frustrated and nags Abraham about Hagar’s contempt. Abraham turns Hagar back over to Sarah where she is treated cruelly. Hagar flees her master and is found in the desert by the Angel of the LORD in Genesis 16. He asks her where she has come from and where she is going. Hagar explains she is fleeing from Sarah. The Angel of the LORD tells her that she must go back to her mistress and submit to the mistreatment. With that command He also promises:
I will greatly multiply your offspring, and they will be too many to count. Then the Angel of the LORD said to her: You have conceived and will have a son. You will name him Ishmael, for the LORD has heard your cry of affliction. This man will be a wild donkey. His hand will be against everyone, and everyone’s hand will be against him; he will live at odds with all his brothers. Genesis 16:10-12.
So, no need to worry, my dear friends. All of this was spoken about by God thousands and thousands of years ago. As we watch things happen over there, we can be mindful of the fact that this was all prophesied so long ago.
Now, that is no reason to be callous toward what is happening either. There are civilian and innocent lives that are being entangled and endangered on both sides of the aisle. Unfortunately, there are many that have lost their lives, and the blood shed will continue. We should be diligently praying that the bloodshed will end, and peace will inhabit the land. As you say your prayers today, please pray for Israel. Also, as difficult as this may be for some of us, we should be praying for Hamas as well. Each person that draws breath is an individual that was made in the image of God. Since they are created by Him and loved by Him, we should also love them.
Times are tough and the world seems to be getting worse. I do not know when or how it will all come to a close. I do know that God is in control and one day He will make it right. He is the One that I trust. I hope that you do as well.
I appreciate a lively conversation. Feel free to contact me at email@example.com)