Claims and counterclaims surround the recent crisis in Gaza. Yet, we can’t understand the right or wrong of events in the troubled Mideast without knowing God’s spiritual law about Palestine. This law was repeatedly set forth over 3000 years ago.
If you are a Christian, you must take the Bible very seriously — as the written word of God. Jesus said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My Word shall not pass away.” (Mark 13:31) This means the eternal truths laid down thousands of years ago in Holy Scripture remain true.
Yet, many evangelical Christians say God’s law no longer applies to the modern state of Israel. What law am I talking about? In the Old Testament, God repeatedly instructed His people, the Israelites, that the land of Canaan was to be holy. It could only be occupied by a holy, obedient people. When they rebelled, God allowed them to be driven out. They could only reenter in repentance.  God says that if Israel rebels, “The Lord will scatter you among the nations”(Deut. 4:27). But if they repent, “The Lord your God will restore you from captivity” (Deut. 30:3).
God could not have been clearer. He even banned Moses from entering the land – because Moses disobeyed Him on just one point! If Christians today truly respected Scripture, they would know God’s conditional terms still apply. Those terms are as binding today as in the time of Joshua or Ezra—righteous men who led obedient Israelites into Palestine.
Today, American Christians and Jews both believe the opposite of the Bible. They say God no longer requires obedience! Many millions of secular Jews got a green light from evangelicals during the 20th century and returned to Israel in disobedience of Old Testament law. Religious Jews returned while rejecting their true Messiah, Jesus.
When I remind many Christians of God’s conditional terms, their logic goes into lockdown. Somehow they think God wants a disobedient return! Evangelicals seem to believe He reversed His original terms and now endorses mass return of millions of Christ-rejecting Jews to Palestine. Obedience, which once mattered so much, evidently means nothing to God today!
Applying Scripture to Gaza
What does this have to do with the present crisis in Gaza and the Mideast? Plenty.
Mass Jewish presence in Palestine violates God’s law in the same way that contact between two bare, electrified wires creates tremendous conflict in the laws of electricity. It explodes in a shower of sparks. In the same way, a rebellious Jewish nation in Palestine creates an explosion of strife. No human peace treaty or negotiations can ever bring lasting peace.
From its beginning, Zionism was birthed in violence. Jewish terrorists committed major atrocities against the Palestinians in the months preceding and following independence in 1948. On April 9, 1948, under orders from future Prime Minister Menachim Begin, 250 sleeping Arab men, women and children of the town of Deir Yassin were slaughtered by Zionist Irgun terrorists. Their bodies were hacked in pieces, many stuffed into a well. The International Red Cross arrived, documenting the atrocity even while the killing continued.
Then the Irgun terrorists proclaimed throughout Palestine that any Arabs who remained would receive the same fate. Eight hundred thousand native Palestinians fled Israel. These innocent refugees were interned by Israel in squalid concentration camps such as Gaza and the West Bank. They still suffer there today. (See my article Israel Founding: Miracle or Land Grab?, 8/4/08 at www.truthtellers.org)
Is it surprising that after more than 60 years of imprisonment, humiliation and deprivation by Israeli overlords, many Palestinians have turned toward violence? They are desperate to obtain not just freedom but the attention of an indifferent world. The futile, senseless, and counterproductive rocket attacks of Hamas are the actions of a people frenzied by at least six decades of endless oppression.
These rockets, which arch out of Gaza toward Israel, aren’t acts of effective war-making. They are like flares shot high into the night sky from a sinking ship, whose passengers desperately hope to attract notice and compassion.
True Christians have no business assisting a nation which has driven human beings to such acts of desperate madness. If we do, Scripture warns we “become partakers of their evil deeds” (II John 1:11).
Someday Israel will be Humbled
Scripture is emphatic that someday Israel’s present counterfeit return will be demolished by the forces of Antichrist. Out of the Great Tribulation, a remnant of beleaguered disillusioned Jews will at last obey Christ. Then and only then will He sanction their return to Palestine. At Christ’s return, these Jews will give God the same obedience Abraham gave, and He will endorse their occupation of a land promised to Abraham.
Until then, Christians are way out of line in bidding Godspeed to the bully of the Mideast: Israel. It is long overdue for Christians to stop sending tens of millions of dollars to this oppressor. Instead, Christians should speed with compassion toward the suffering Palestinians, a proud people sinking lower in their sea of despair. We should protest Israel’s continuing oppressions. We should also help alleviate the poverty and hopelessness which drives the Palestinians to desperate violence.
Christ described the Good Samaritan’s mercy on the wounded, robbed traveler thrown into a ditch and ignored. Today, the Palestinians have been robbed by Israel of their ancestral lands, dignity, and freedom. Israel has thrown them into a ditch of contempt in the eyes of self-righteous Jews and Christians who ignore them. No one should exist beyond Christian mercy, including the Palestinians. The Good Samaritan broke ranks with established norms of acceptable compassion. He extended hands of mercy to a victim who symbolized the Palestinians of today.
It is time that Christians identify not with a nation of robbers who cast people in the ditch to die but with the Good Samaritan who revealed God’s astonishing love and mercy.
Christian, are you like the self-righteous Levites and Pharisees who passed the man by? Or do you have the same compassion as the Good Samaritan?
1. Passages laying down God’s terms of conditional occupation include Leviticus 18:28, 26:27-46, Numbers 14:23, Deuteronomy 4:-27, 6:18, 7:12, :21, 25, 37, 41, 63, 64, 28:58-64, 29:28, 31:3, 18, Ezekiel 13:9, and Jeremiah 29:13[-14].