Cole and Terry answer five big questions they have received from listeners about the Israel-Hamas War.
What is the distinction between geographic Israel and historic Israel?
The Old Testament people of Israel were God’s chosen people. Until the time of the kings, Israel operated as a theocracy in attempting to obey the law of Moses. The kings brought in secular thought as they became more like the surrounding nations. Israel was recently reinstated as a political state to provide a safe haven for ethnic and religious Jewish individuals to escape persecution.
The modern secular state allows ethnic and religious Jews to be citizens. An example would be an ethnic Arab who ascribes to the Jewish religion. Because that Arab is Jewish in religion, that individual could be a citizen of Israel.
Does the ethnic nation of Israel have a special covenant with God that is the same or different than in the Old Testament? Jesus came to fulfill the Mosaic Covenant and bring in a New Covenant. Jews can be saved only by entering into this New Covenant through believing in Christ.
Israel received the promises and oracles of God (Romans 10) – does that do more for them spiritually than the other Gentile nations? We know that salvation comes through Christ alone. The Law never makes anyone righteous before God. The Jews living in Israel today are not following the Law, and Jesus told those who were attempting to follow the law of Moses that it was only through himself that they could be made righteous.
Why Does America have such a strong interest in its Allegiance to Israel?
The United States would absolutely support Israel as a political state for two main reasons:
There are Jewish-Americans who are very interested in Israel and who would vote for America’s support.
Israel is a democracy in the Middle East. They function with Western ideologies while being surrounded by Eastern-minded Arab/Islamic nations. They are a natural ally for America purely based on their political structure and values.
Why are people supporting Palestinians in Gaza?
The strongest argument for supporting Palestinians is that in 1948, because of World War II, the Holocaust, and the desire for Jews to be safe, they created a Jewish homeland to protect Jews from persecution. The first option presented was in Africa, but the Jews wanted their ancestral homeland – the land of Israel. The United Nations proposed and implemented a two-state solution that caused some of the Palestinian people (natives) to be relocated into the West Bank. The Jews immigrated and began to settle in Israel.
The United Nations did set this up to the disadvantage of the Palestinian people so that they were relocated. The fact that this grievance is still happening seventy years later takes a lot of force out of this “Palestinian has a right to the land” argument. This can (and often does) lead to the belief that Palestinians are living under Jewish oppression and is a dominant narrative in the major media outlets.
Should the United States/Christians provide aid to Gaza?
When it comes to sending aid, we need to keep in mind that we can hurt more than help, especially in war-torn countries and in supporting the wrong side. Sending aid to Gaza means buying rockets. Any aid that is highly subject to being co-opted by Hamas is not wise. We could send medicine and humanitarian aid and hope that Hamas gives the leftovers to their people. We can send humanitarian aid that cannot be used to make weapons.
Should the United States and Israel bypass the proxies and start dealing with Iran?
Another way to phrase this question would be, “What do you think is going to happen next?” or “What should happen next?”
One point of view is that we cannot afford for this conflict to spread into a regional or global conflict, and we should do everything we can to keep it contained.
The second point of view is that weakness will be met with more pushback. The best way to avoid the conflict spreading is to escalate it and go to the source which is Iran. There are people who disagree with this viewpoint. Deterrence is the best option for not having a broader conflict and the vast majority want this to de-escalate. Peace comes through strength rather than through vagueness. The United States has an obligation to model peace through strength in the Middle East.
Let’s continue to pray for God to change hearts, for those in political authority, and pray for God’s will to be done.
Brittany Proffitt lives in Dallas and is a writer and content manager for So We Speak.