Hell in the Holy Land
(written Dec.29, 2008)
What barbaric atrocities are taking place even now as I write this! The most hideous war crimes are being perpetrated against a captive, densely packed population by a tiny nation well-armed by the United States. And the most shocking thing is the way so many Christians excuse anything Israel does just because they're committed by "God's chosen people" and allegedly beyond any accountability.
For many months now the Israelis have blockaded Gaza, with the cooperation of the Egyptians. Together they seal the poor Palestinians in their narrow, landlocked prison, preventing access to desperately needed supplies of food, medical supplies and other necessities of life. It's a sin against Jesus' love to refuse to feed a hungry person, even if that one is categorized as an enemy because of his nationality (Matt.5:44; Rom.12:20). Even more despicable in the sight of God is when evil BULLIES prevent acts of charity from getting through to the destitute. Month after month Palestinian men, women and little children have been starved by well-fed, affluent Israelis who have besieged their tiny strip of land and prevented aid trucks from entering Gaza. That's a sin against the teachings of their own Old Testament prophets. Isaiah 58: 7 and 10 instruct God's people to give bread to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul. In return, God promises His blessings. The implication is that God can remove His blessings from any land or people who oppress the poor.
Does a person's race (or religion) automatically make them righteous before God? What are the acts of righteousness God approves of?
Ezekiel 18:5: But if a man be just (righteous), and do that which is lawful and right,
Verse 6: And hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, neither hath defiled his neighbor's wife, neither hath come near to a menstruous woman,
Verse 7: AND HATH NOT OPPRESSED ANY (that includes people of ALL nations), but hath restored to the debtor his pledge, hath spoiled NONE by violence, HATH GIVEN HIS BREAD TO THE HUNGRY, and hath covered the naked with a garment;
Verse 8: He that hath not given forth upon usury, neither hath taken any increase, but hath withdrawn his hand from iniquity, hath executed true justice between man and man,
Verse 9: Hath walked in my statutes, and hath kept my judgments, to deal truly; he is just (righteous), he shall surely live, saith the Lord God.
Throughout that passage I found no mention of bombing unarmed civilians with futuristic weapons systems obtained from a giant Gentile superpower. Nor does that passage say it is righteous to lay siege to impoverished women and babies in order to subjugate them under your heel.
Right on schedule Israel is putting on the tough-guy act right before "Christian" warmonger George Bush is due to leave office. Bush has repeatedly turned a blind eye to every atrocity committed against the Palestinian people. So Israel had better act NOW before Barack Obama takes office and changes things (Will he, though?) I notice Obama's kept quiet this past week, though we've heard a lot from him on various issues since the election. It's mighty hard to make everybody love you all at the same time and avoid offending anyone. Much easier to be a song and dance puppet on a string controlled by the big money boys who profiteer off the misery of others.
The Israelis will hold their own election in February. Their incumbent administration desperately wants to hang onto power, lest hawkish Benyamin Netanyahu be swept into office. Netanyahu's opponents want to be seen as "tough on terrorism". That's another reason they're bombing the hell out of poor little babies, old men and women. That's the reason they're putting so many hospital patients out of their misery. Last I heard the Israelis pulverized the UN compound in Gaza. Any other country which dared to do this would be sent to go sit in the corner.
The Israelis whine about the restlessness of the Palestinians imprisoned on the Gaza strip and say it's THEIR fault for getting in the way when Israeli drones drop bombs on them. The Israelis insist the Palestinians brought all this misery on themselves while they've been as good as gold. But conveniently forgotten is that under the Geneva Convention it's an ACT OF WAR to lay siege to someone else's country, or to lead incursions into it to topple a duly elected democratic government you happen to disagree with. How would YOU feel if month after month you watched your own child grow thinner because some foreign government prevented food from getting in through your borders? Christians say: Love Israel whatever she does. But how much would YOU love any nation that dropped a bomb on your place of worship and blew praying people to bits in order to target one or two militiamen? Should the Palestinians kneel and kiss the feet of the IDF infantry who might invade them in their tanks, as if it's a privilege to be murdered by "God's chosen people"? Get real! If it's difficult for Christians to love an aggressor who murders or maims their families, that must be ten thousand times harder for people who have never received Christ into their hearts! Unless it's blind prejudice, people don't just hate someone else for no reason at all. When the Israelis roll their tanks into Gaza, should the Palestinians throw rose petals in their pathway and thank them for blowing their homes and families to bits?
How brave, how gallant the Israeli soldiers are, using unmanned drones to slaughter tiny babies and old grandmas! Heaven forbid they ever have to look their own enemy in the eye and pick on somebody their own size. But bullies NEVER pick a fight they stand a chance of losing! God HAS given the victory to Israel many times in the past when they were under serious threat and the odds were against them. But how miraculous is a victory won over a tiny baby in a hospital incubator? God takes notice of the MOTIVES of the Israelis, not just of the innocent blood they shed, and He's writing it all down in His record book. America won't be able to protect men of violence when God weighs them in the balance and finds them wanting (Dan.5:27; Rev.20:11-15).
Some Christians appeal to Old Testament Scriptures to justify inhuman acts of war. True, you'll find lots of genocide taking place in Moses' day, when whole tribes of Canaanites were ordered to be exterminated. Back then it was okay to be a baby-killer, depending on the pedigree of the baby.
But hey, this is the NEW Covenant, where people are accepted by God on the basis of faith in Christ, not because of some alleged physical descent from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Palestinians are not subhumans. God has created OF ONE BLOOD all nations on earth (Acts 17:26). So how can one ethnic group claim superiority before God above all others? I realize that many don't believe that Jesus is the Son of God who ushered in the New Testament, with a whole new way of dealing with our fellow man. Things changed dramatically after the Cross. The Old Covenant was one of race, not grace. If you weren't a Jew or at least a proselyte you could have no relationship with the One True God. Any man who wanted to gain God's favor had to be circumcised and keep the Law of Moses. You could be slaughtered en masse just because an accident of birth had made you a member of a nation which didn't enjoy God's favor.
But our covenant is open to people of ALL nations. Simon Peter, himself a Jew, said in Acts 10:34-35: God is no respecter of persons, and in EVERY nation he who fears God and works righteousness is accepted by Him. This implies that those who DON'T deal righteously with others are NOT acceptable to God, whether they be Jew or Gentile. As for feelings of racial superiority, Peter overcame his Jewish pride enough to admit that he should not call ANY man common or unclean (Acts 10:28).
Are Palestinians beyond hope? In Rev. 5:9 an innumerable throng of redeemed saints gather around the Throne of God praising Him that He has redeemed them to God out of EVERY kindred and tongue and people and nation on earth, and that would include PALESTINIANS! So many Christians lightly dismiss Palestinian casualties as "collateral damage" in Israel's "war on terror". Some Christians would just as soon cry over a dead parakeet as a dead "enemy of Israel" bombed in its bassinette. Elated that Israel's warfare with the Palestinians offers further proof that the Rapture is about to happen, Christians sometimes quote Scriptures which prove God plans to wipe out certain nations Israel doesn't like.
On American coins is written: In God We Trust. I don't know how true that is anymore. Humans tend to trust only in other humans. Far easier to have faith in the money and arms you CAN see than to look to the invisible hosts of heaven for protection. Israel doesn't trust in God nearly so much as they trust in the generosity and good will of the United States. Those unmanned bombers murdering innocent Palestinians are paid for by good old American tax dollars. Just about every tank, bomb, bullet, and high-tech weapon Israel possesses was a free gift from Uncle Sam. Now if Israel had to trust in God alone, how eager would they be to go bomb other people's babies? How many more UN buildings would they dare to destroy? Under the protective umbrella of the U.S.A. the Israelis can pretty darn well kill and maim whoever they want, and to hell with world opinion.
A certain popular Christian televangelist believes we should support Israel and its activities at all costs. He even believes that it isn't necessary for Jews to believe in Jesus to be saved, contrary to John 14:6. How does this rich, pampered fat cat feel about the emaciated, fire-bombed people of Gaza? Does he also make excuses for the Israelis and say they'll get to heaven no matter how much "collateral damage" they do?
Why do Christians feel such hero-worship toward the Israelis, and look upon them with awe just because of their race? That's "having confidence in the flesh" (Phil.3:3), something Paul warned against. Why is Israel put on a pedestal as a holy nation, a nation which can do no wrong? Don't Christians remember that under the New Covenant, THEY'RE God's holy nation and royal priesthood (I Pet.2:5,9)? Don't Christians mind that it's against the law to spread the gospel in Israel, Jesus' home territory? What did Paul the Apostle, a former religious leader of Israel, say about his own countrymen?
I Thes.2:14:For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews:
Verse 15: Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and THEY PLEASE NOT GOD, AND ARE CONTRARY TO ALL MEN:
Verse 16: FORBIDDING US TO SPEAK TO THE GENTILES (NON-JEWS) THAT THEY MIGHT BE SAVED, TO FILL UP THEIR SINS ALWAYS: FOR THE WRATH IS COME UPON THEM TO THE UTTERMOST.****As I stated before, it is a grave sin in the sight of God to prevent someone from feeding a hungry person. If that's true of physical food, it also applies to preventing someone from being reached with spiritual food, the Gospel of Christ. Many souls must be roasting in hell today because Paul's countrymen prevented him from reaching them with God's Good News of salvation in Christ.
The above verse states that God's fierce wrath came upon those Jews of Paul's day who killed Christ and hindered the spread of the Gospel. Does that sound like God makes excuses for someone's sin just because he/she is allegedly a member of a favored race?
Rom.2: 8: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,
Verse 9:Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, OF THE JEW FIRST, and also of the Gentile.
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