“Oh dear! This is tragic. This is serious. It is going to be disastrous for all peace-loving people on both sides of the conflict. There will be an invasion. There will be great loss of lives on both sides. This conflict is going to be headline news for a few weeks. It is going to take attention away from Russia-Ukraine war. This conflict will not be settled at the negotiation table.” This was what I was thinking, feeling when I heard over the weekend about Hamas attacks in Israel and the declaration of war by the Prime Minister of Israel, and the calling of the reserves into action.
Interestingly, just this Sunday the pastor preached from Isaiah chapter 7 about a Syrian-Israel (northern kingdom) alliance that threatened to invade Judah (southern kingdom). King Ahaz of Judah and the nation heard the news and trembled like leaves shaken by a strong wind. God in his mercy sent Isaiah to encourage king Ahaz to trust in the covenant God of the house of David. Ahaz preferred to trust in his strategy instead of putting his trust in God. He sought the help of Assyria. Assyria then decimated Syria, and then Israel (northern kingdom) and finally turned on Judah (southern kingdom). The prophets saw this as God’s judgment on his chosen people because of their idolatry. Instead of worshipping God and God alone, they worshipped idols. This idolatry led to all kinds of injustice, oppression of the weak, unrighteousness and the breaking of God’s laws. It led to the judgment of God on his chosen people.
Modern Israel is no different from the people of God in the times of king Ahaz. They too are an idolatrous people that love things more than God. Hedonism, materialism, relativism, secularism. humanism, rationalism and all other kinds of worldviews reigns. The people have rejected God from the pre-eminent place in their society. These are modern day idols, the golden calf among the chosen people. There is no denying it. Pew Research Center in 2016 stated that 7.3% are Haredi (Ultra-Orthodox); 18.8% are Dati (religious); 24.3% are Masorti (traditional); and 33.1% are Hiloni (secular). Only 1.9% are Christians. A Gallup survey in 2015 determined that 65% of Israelis say they are either “not religious” or “convinced atheists”, while 30% say they are “religious” (Wikipedia “Religion in Israel”). These statistics may give us clues about how God may want to deal with the nation of Israel, and how we can pray and intercede.
- Let “supplications, prayers, intercessions” be made for all peoples, both Israelis and Palestinians, and for those in authority and high positions, so that permanent peace may be established in the Middle East and innocent people can live a peaceful and safe and dignified life, and that people will come to a knowledge of the truth.
- Pray for good sense, peace and reconciliation to prevail, and all invaders to be removed, the kidnapped rescued, and innocent civilians be safe and protected.
- Pray and feel for all who have suffered and are now grieving, in fear, anxiety, and danger.
- Pray that all foreign powers that are involved be frustrated in their self-interests and purposes, but those that are true peacemakers to succeed in their aims.
- Pray for the Christian churches and believers to be available to help the innocent civilian victims of war and aid them. Pray for a fresh outpouring of the Spirit upon the Christians in both nations to empower them to help the needy and preach Jesus Christ. Pray for a good harvest of souls into God’s kingdom.
- Pray the people of Israel will have an awakening to their need of Jesus, the Prince of Peace who alone can give them the interior peace that matters most.
- The best way is to intercede in tongues so that we pray according to God’s will. That is if you have the gift of tongues.