We recently had a special speaker in to speak about Israel and the current conflict in Gaza. I am sure you have heard about the stuff going on there in the Middle East since it is all over the news these days.

I will be straight up with you - I am not well versed in Middle East issues. And I understand that it is vast and complicated! And what little I do know is from what I hear from the news and others … so when I received a comment card this past Sunday that asked for us to invite someone in to give us a “Palestinian” view I guess in their mind the speaker we had in was one sided, siding with Israel.

Now this is my assumption, or at least how I read the comment and needless to say they did not leave their name on the comment card for me to further investigate their comment … I normally do not even give “nameless” comments my time … but this one I felt deserved a reply.

So, here is my attempt to address the “no name” comment:

I hear people who stand on one or the other on this whole “Israel/Palestine” conflict … there are people who feel that Israel is acting like terrorists and the Palestinians are the victim. Then on the other side you hear those who are in total support of Israel’s actions saying that they should retaliate and that they are the victims here. So basically what I am hearing is one is right and the other is wrong. And this is just scratching the surface … I believe there are many layers to be peeled away … and I do mean layers of spiritual content.

Personally I am pro-people! Palestinian, Israeli I don’t care, and I believe that God is also pro-people… this is clear in scripture as we see in John 3:16 “For God so loved the WORLD…” that leaves no one out. I actually talked to Darren (our special speaker) about this and he agreed 100% and wished he would have had more time to clarify. And in his comments to me he said, “Timmy the Palestinians are indeed the victims of the Hamas terrorist group … it’s a terrible situation and very unfortunate for all involved.”

Let’s be honest here … just like in any war or conflict there are always two sides and blame often falls on both sides.

Okay, now I just wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t mention that scripture does seem to show a special favor on God’s chosen people the Jews; Abraham’s seed. Now listen, I did not write the Bible so you can’t take issue with me over what the Bible says … you would need to take that up with the Lord.

I don’t fully understand it all … hence the reason I brought in a special speaker to talk about it.

I would be ignorant if I didn’t recognize that most the people groups we are even talking about here are ALL Abraham’s seed … Abraham did have 2 sons; Isaac (which is where we get the Jews) and Ishmael (which is where we get the Arabs). Isaac was the child of the promise that God gave to Abraham and Sarah, but God also blessed Ishmael descendants. And for whatever reason God decides to carry the promise of redemption through Abraham’s son Isaac and his descendants AND He also gives them the land (the very land that is being fought over right now). But we must remember that God made this choice not because one people group being any better than another or that God liked them more … this is what we call an act of the sovereign will of God. And this is something we can not comprehend!

Genesis 17:21 “But My covenant I will establish with Isaac…”

Bottom line: I think we all need to pray and pursue peace in the Middle East! And we should be PRO-PEOPLE!

Scriptures: Genesis 12:5-9; 13:14-18; 15:18-21; 17:21; 21:8-13. Exodus 23:31; Deuteronomy 11:24-25

Prayer: God I ask that you would help us all to be people who seek peace, help each of us to be seekers of truth and givers of love! In Christ name, Amen!