Deliver Israel, Deliver Us
By Pastor Tom Anderson
My dermatologist is diligent. She was busy cutting, burning and stitching together the holes she’d made in my hide. She chatted away like a mechanic during an oil change. She asked the fated question, “So what do you do for a living?” I told her. Awkward silence indicated she did not run in circles where God was of much importance. Then came a burning question out of her soul, “Why do we have war again? I thought we were past it?” (Hamas had just brutally attacked Israel the day before.)
Our culture has only a vague notion of God left in it. And where God is of such little importance, the notion of Evil elicits even greater complacency. It came as an astonishment to the good doctor that we should find ourselves face to face with raw Evil. The cry of her heart was to know why this rude interruption of senseless cruelty and hatred. It is not unlike a school shooting scaled to an international level.
The President called it an act of sheer evil—and so it is. What is on display in Hamas is Jew-hatred. Hamas’ desire is only to steal, kill and destroy Jews. This is precisely how Jesus described the objectives of the devil himself (John 10:10) It is unlike anything we’ve seen since 1944. Make no mistake, Hamas is doing the work of Hell itself. Satan is not dead. He’s launching rockets from Gaza.
Jesus Christ began his ministry by confronting the devil himself. Forty days without food, the devil began to tempt Jesus. This encounter gives us the lens in which we are to view the work of Jesus. He came to this earth to do spiritual battle with the forces of evil. He came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8) The main problem on earth is not the presence of ignorance and poverty—it’s the presence of evil. Evil is not strictly a political, economic or cultural problem. It is a spiritual problem. We do not contend with flesh and blood but with the spiritual forces of evil. (Ephesians 6:12)
We are not beyond war in the modern world because we are not beyond the presence of evil. And as we approach Judgement Day and the Return of our Lord, evil will intensify, for Satan knows his day is drawing to a close.
In the meantime, it is the moral duty of nations to protect the lives of their own civilians. (Romans 13:1-4) Israel has every right to pursue the elimination of Hamas as a movement. But more than that, it is in the interest of all humanity to see Hamas disarmed, disbanded and outlawed. American soldiers and sailors have appropriately been deployed nearby.
The moment of temptation has come. Satan whispers to our generation, “Don’t you want to hate your enemies the way they hate you? Don’t you want to expand your hatred to include all Arabs? Don’t you want to let my dark voice run your life? I’ll give you victory over Hamas if you will just worship me.” A godless culture will easily fall for this—or worse they’ll take Hamas’ side, join the Jew-haters and declare that Israel deserves such cruelty.
Simply put: right religion matters now more than ever. Indifference about faith in God is our greatest risk. Now is the time for our nation to return to the Biblical faith in the one true God—the God of love revealed in Jesus Christ. Politicians cannot help us do this. We face a spiritual battle. We need to go to church. We need to bring our children to church. We need to bring everyone we can to follow Jesus Christ as the only Light who can lead us through the darkness. We need to do everything we can to live into the prayer he taught us to pray, “Deliver us from evil.”