Since the massacre in Israel began over a week ago, I have been checking my X feed often. I’ve cried. I’ve prayed. I’ve tried to wrap my head around the depravity and hatred which would prompt such actions by Hamas. It is hard to comprehend the depths of evil in the human heart which would lead to such great atrocities inflicted upon women and children and the elderly, slaughtered mercilessly. So we all have questions. Me too.
One of them is, how do the headlines today relate to biblical prophecy and the return of Jesus. The answer for me is rather simple: I don’t know. I grew up in the days when writers tried to fit the modern geo-political landscape into biblical prophecy. It never worked very well. I cling to what I know, the return of Jesus could always be…..today. So I’d best prepare for that moment.
I also know that earthquakes and famines and wars are events which mark the modern era. Jesus told us our age would be marked by such things. And He’s been right. So I do not see how any of our headlines fulfill any specific prophecy. Could they? Sure. Do they? I don’t know. But they do cause me to make sure that I’m not being lazy in my walk with Jesus.
I did see a short clip on X this week in which an American pastor (to cheering crowds) hoped that one of the Israeli missiles would be aimed at the Dome of the Rock. Why? Because if they destroy the Dome, that would force Jesus to return. Really? We can force the timeline of God? If God wants that building gone, He needs us to do it? I don’t think so. My God can move mountains if He wants, what’s a pile of concrete and tiles to Him? And do we really think that God is up in heaven just waiting for us to knock the thing down so He can send Jesus back to earth? Seriously? That was a bunch of bad theology spouted to a cheering crowd.
What is clear to me is that we do need a Savior here on earth. But His presence is not what Hamas nor the Israeli’s seek. You do realize that upwards of 80% of the Jewish population of Israel are atheists. These are not Torah-loving citizens seeking God’s will for their lives. They do not believe in God. And Hamas? They want Christians dead too. So I am left to pray for any believers on both sides of the conflict to remain strong and have an opportunity to share the hope that they have in Jesus.
So my heart aches for the people of Israel. And I pray for those who seek peace, including believers in Jesus in Gaza and in Israel. And I pray that God would root out my own anger. Lest….