What a dreadful week. The brutal terrorist strikes in southern Israel, massacring women, men, young and old is grievous. And now, Israel’s retribution crushing a population of Palestinians. Vengeance and more vengeance. Death and more death. I know this cycle is the threat and tragedy of our world, but there are times when what is at stake is frightening. This conflict in the Middle East is such a time.
Psalm 46 speaks into a world of similar cataclysmic turmoil:
“Come and see what the LORD has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease, to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalms 46:8-10 NIV
War is not God’s intention. It comes from human sin and hatred. In this world of lethal threat, we know military deterrents are necessary. Yet, it is God’s intention to bring wars to an end. God will do this when all nations are ‘stilled’ before Him, when God is exalted in the earth. God speed this day.
Until then, no good is ever achieved through the vicious cycle of vengeance. Pray God will be at work so this war will cease, quickly. Pray for Israel, pray for Palestinians, pray for the Middle East. Pray the key parties return to the difficult task of negotiation and shared understanding. Given their histories, this seems an impossible ask. But better to work at this, than use war to change the Middle East.