“He shall judge between the nations,
and shall decide disputes for many peoples;
and they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war anymore.”
As we enter the Christmas season which commemorates the birth of Christ, one of the central Messianic hopes was that Christ would bring about peace between peoples and nations.
At the time this article was being written, the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas has just been extended another two days. Too short a respite from the horrors of war, but a much-needed truce nevertheless.
The roots of this conflict stretch back to over 3,000 years ago, when Israel settled in Canaan. After Rome expelled the Jews from the region in the 2nd century, nomadic Arabs began to populate the area beginning in the 7th century. In 1917, the British colonizers issued the Balfour Declaration, establishing the land as the national home of the Jewish peoples scattered around the globe. This was made without consultation with either the Jews or the Palestinians. This culminated in the 1947 United Nations resolution establishing the nation of Israel.
At its core, this conflict is about 2 peoples, with contrasting religions, cultures, histories, and worldviews, but with the same real estate rights, calling the same piece of land “home.” The political goal of Israel is to displace all Arabs from the land, while Hamas has as its military objective to “push Israel into the sea.”
When Hamas launched its deadly surprise attack on Israel under the cover of darkness on October 7, it was simply the latest in decades of conflict between the two peoples. Both sides have been guilty of atrocities and inhumane discrimination against one another throughout time.
Most of the nations involved have exhausted every possible political and diplomatic solution over the last 75 years, to no avail. Decades later, both nations are still at war. The answer is simple but never easy – for two peoples with diverse backgrounds to learn to co-exist and live with one another in peace and harmony. That cannot be achieved through the barrel of a gun. Politicians have tried and failed. Diplomats have negotiated in futility.
There is only one true answer – for both peoples to submit to the lordship of the only One who can bring true and lasting peace. This way, they can trade their weapons for tools so that together, they can work, till the land, reap the harvest, and live in harmony in the same land.
1. Pray for the released prisoners and displaced families as they return home to the war-torn Gaza strip. Ask God for the courage and perseverance to rebuild their lives and the humility and grace to be free from the spirit of vengeance.
2. Intercede for Prime Minister Netanyahu and Hamas leader Haniyeh. May an overwhelming love and burden for the lives of their people guide them as they make decisions regarding the extension or cancellation of the ceasefire. Pray for a divine solution for both sides to agree to the cessation of war.
3. Lift up AMEN (Arab Ministries of Every Nation) as its leaders distribute relief goods and medicine on the ground to affected Palestinians. Pray also for our Every Nation members in Israel serving as medical missionaries. Intercede for the gospel to penetrate the hearts and minds of both Israelis and Palestinians as our Every Nation leaders share the good news with them.
- Israel-Hamas War, CNN
- Deal reached to extend Gaza truce by 2 days, Qatar and Hamas say
- Gaza truce: Palestinians search for loved ones and check damaged homes
- ‘We want permanent ceasefire,’ Palestinians in Gaza say as truce extended
- Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
- Israel Gaza war: History of the conflict explained
Every Nation is a global family of churches and campus ministries, of which Victory is a founding member.
We are called to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). This is the reason we value world missions as a church and persistently pray for the nations.