A Pastor’s Ponderings: Israeli-Hamas Crisis Navigating Through a Biblical Lens

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Doug Stauffer head shot 2023By Pastor Doug Stauffer

More questions than answers?—not really. Amidst the rocket bombardment and agonizing cries from innocent lives lost on both sides during the recent conflict between Hamas and Israel, the Bible resonates with poignant relevance. Here is a snippet of a sermon preached the day after Hamas propelled their offensive against the nation of Israel proving that the Bible must be woven into every geopolitical event.

“Get thee out of thy country…unto a land that I will shew thee” (Genesis 12:1). God’s biblical mandate and promise to Abraham over 4,000 years ago established Israel’s legitimacy that remains constant today. From the Gaza Strip in the Southwest to its contentious borders with Syria in the Northeast, those who consider Israel their enemy surround them. For those willing to accept the Bible as authoritative, it offers convincing insights into current events.

I. Israel’s Legitimacy Amidst Challenges

A. Historically Significant Events: The 1917 Balfour Declaration and subsequent events like the San Remo Conference reveal man’s stamp of legitimacy concerning Israel’s existence. While these moments guided the reestablishment of the nation of Israel, many Palestinians consider these pronouncements as footprints of colonial imposition. These opposing viewpoints generate much of the Mideast conflict.

B. Theological Underpinnings: “The LORD gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein” (Joshua 21:43). Herein lies one of the many biblical sanctions concerning Israel’s land and territorial legitimacy. If the Bible is true, the facts are irrefutable.

II. In the Throes of Perpetual Conflict

A. Assaults from all sides: Persistent conflicts have dominated Israel’s existence. The 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the Six-Day War of 1967, and the 1973 Yom Kippur War stand testament to the historical embattlements against the nation. Read the Psalmist’s prayer almost 3,000 years ago that suitably describes the situation today:

Psalm 83:1 Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God. 2 For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head. 3 They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones. 4 They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. 5 For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee:

B. Sacred and Secular Dynamics: These violent flares manifest the eternal animosity from entities like Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, continuously challenging Israel’s stability. Pervasive conflict and hostilities with neighboring countries fulfill prophecies. “Because thou hast had a perpetual hatred, and hast shed the blood of the children of Israel” (Ezekiel 35:5).

III. “Land for Peace:” A Biblical and Practical Rejection:

A. The Oslo Accords of the 1990s, aiming to sculpt a framework for peace and recognize territorial boundaries, spiraled into a vortex of failed expectations and broken trust.

B. Divine Warnings and Blessings: Historical attempts at “land for peace” are juxtaposed with biblical affirmations, such as during Solomon’s reign, where obedience to divine mandate ushered peace and prosperity (1 Kings 4:20-25). Zechariah warns, “And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people” (Zechariah 12:3). The spiritual implication of divine reckoning upon those who “burden” themselves with Jerusalem explains the geopolitical quagmire.

IV. Responding as Believers with Spiritual Vigilance:

“I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night” (Isaiah 62:6). As believers, our response, interwoven with prayers and support, becomes crucial in times where crises collide with divine narratives.

The contemporary crisis involving Israel and Hamas reflects the subtle undertones of divine scripts and spiritual paradigms across history’s timeline. As believers tethered to biblical principles, our responses are forged in the political arenas through persistent prayer and unwavering support for a historical land under perpetual siege.

As our congregation joins hands with you, whether in physical or spiritual unity, we stand in prayerful solidarity with Israel. We must discern the times through scriptural lenses while navigating the complexities of modern dilemmas, always seeking peace, and constantly vigilant. “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee” (Psalms 122:6).

Dr. Doug Stauffer is pastor of Faith Independent Baptist Church. He was saved July 6, 1980, in Niceville, while stationed at the 33rd Tactical Fighter Wing at Eglin Air Force Base and has now been in the ministry for over 35 years.