Hamas are fools for seeking military conflict with Israel. Though they are small in size, Israel is a giant in military strength and capabilities; and to top it off, God is on their side! Texans often say, “Don’t mess with Texas,” but in the Middle East, “Don’t mess with Israel!”[pullquote]Hamas are fools to challenge Israel to a fight, but we are bigger fools to challenge God with man’s might.[/pullquote]
I, like many, touted these sentiments, and for good cause. Tonight, however, I realized that as foolish as Hamas is in engaging in a war with Israel, even more foolish are those of us who quickly pointed to the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). God is not on Israel’s side; he is on his own side, and Israel must join God!
While watching Fox News with my father, I recalled what two of God’s prophets said of the people of God:
You have plowed wickedness, you have reaped injustice, You have eaten the fruit of lies. Because you have trusted in your way, in your numerous warriors, Therefore a tumult will arise among your people, And all your fortresses will be destroyed, As Shalman destroyed Beth-arbel on the day of battle, When mothers were dashed in pieces with their children. Thus it will be done to you at Bethel because of your great wickedness. At dawn the king of Israel will be completely cut off. – Hosea 10:13-15
The vision of Obadiah. Thus says the Lord GOD concerning Edom– We have heard a report from the LORD, And an envoy has been sent among the nations saying, “Arise and let us go against her for battle”– “Behold, I will make you small among the nations; You are greatly despised. “The arrogance of your heart has deceived you, You who live in the clefts of the rock, In the loftiness of your dwelling place, Who say in your heart, ‘Who will bring me down to earth?’ “Though you build high like the eagle, Though you set your nest among the stars, From there I will bring you down,” declares the LORD. – Obadiah 1:1-4
God warned his people through Hosea and Obadiah that they put faith in their military instead of him; their might was their idol. Because of their sin, God declared judgment against Israel (a recurring theme in the Old Testament).
The problem of pride in their own power was not merely a late problem for Israel, but one they suffered soon after crossing the Jordan. Joshua 7 recounts how, following their defeat of mighty Jericho, Israel was quickly defeated at the small town of Ai. The cause: the sin of one man, Achan:
“But the sons of Israel acted unfaithfully in regard to the things under the ban, for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, from the tribe of Judah, took some of the things under the ban, therefore the anger of the LORD burned against the sons of Israel.” – Josh 7:1
Achan disobeyed God, and all of God’s people were held accountable. However, Joshua and the elders turned to God, the people put their faith in God alone, and God gave them victory over Ai (Josh 7:6-8:29).
Israel today fights against her enemies in Gaza: the Iranian-backed Hamas. Many, like me, declared Hamas fools for entering into a military conflict with mighty Israel. Here was a sliver of a nation surrounded by her enemies, but with an army none dared challenge – none except God.
Despite her military might, despite the skill and prowess of the IDF, Hamas could easily see victory over Israel if Israel trusts its own power over God’s. Should Israel turn away from God, worship at the feet of idols, and trust itself, its own achievements, and its own military, then God may just bring her to her knees. Hamas are fools to challenge Israel to a fight, but we are bigger fools to challenge God with man’s might. Pray for Israel to trust in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and the victory only he brings. Pray for Israel to seek Messiah, Christ Jesus, who laid down his life to pay for sin, rose again, and will return, so that all who trust him will be saved just as prophesied in the Law and Prophets. Pray for Israel – not for her military victory, but for her spiritual vitality!
“Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O LORD, and You exalt Yourself as head over all.” – 1 Chronicles 29:11