A few days ago, two Palestinian men killed a group of Israelis in an attack on a Jerusalem synagogue. Naturally, Hamas cheered the incident, but most parties condemned it. Yet, after sifting through all of the commentary, it was Israeli justice minister Tzipi Livni who had the most interesting assessment. She felt the recent uptick in violence between Palestinians and Israelis resembled more of a religious conflict, and as she put it, “a religious war cannot be solved.”
Now, with all due respect to Ms. Livni, the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis has always been religious in nature. Let’s be real. The Jewish people aren’t hated because they are back in their historical homeland. After all, they were persecuted long before 1948. No, they’re hated because of their God, even if they’ve rejected Him.
Sure, Israel is a largely secular country. After all, they recently chose to issue “gay-friendly” ID cards for children of same-sex couples. That doesn’t exactly sound like they’re observing the Torah (Leviticus 20:13). Despite that, whether they like it or not, they remain God’s chosen people (Deuteronomy 7:6-8). Chosen for what exactly?
Well, Romans 3:1 asks “What advantage then does the Jew have?” The next verse says their advantage is that “the oracles of God were entrusted to them” (Romans 3:2). Most (if not all) of God’s Word was written by Spirit-inspired Jewish people. In addition, Jesus, the Savior of the world, came through the line of Abraham (Matthew 1). Likewise, the Jewish people show us what it means to have a relationship with God (Isaiah 43:10-12). To summarize, although we have all rebelled against God, He hasn’t given up on us.
Indeed, Jesus promised that along with Christians, Jews would suffer through “great tribulation, such as has not happened since the beginning of the world until now, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21). The testing of the Christian’s faith produces endurance (James 1:2-4), but why would the Jewish people suffer through this? In Daniel 12:7, we find out that “when the shattering of the power of the holy people comes to an end all these things would be finished.” In other words, God is going to allow the Jewish people to fall under the wrath of Satan, so He can bring them back to Him.
With this in mind, Ms. Livni’s comment about not being able to solve a religious war is fitting. Like many Israelis, she would rather negotiate and compromise for peace. Eventually, Israel will have a negotiated peace, but it won’t last. Since they continue to trust in their own ability to protect themselves, and not the Lord, they will make a false peace with the Antichrist (Daniel 9:27). God will let them experience the results of the “peace” they worked for, and as a result, they will be humbled and turn to Him. In Romans 11:25-26, we read that “Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved.” I say the sooner, the better.