Cry, the Beloved country

Cry, the Beloved country

Weeping for Israel

I have a burning question: When the prophets such as Jeremiah, Isaiah and many of the minor prophets spoke harshly against the rulers of Israel and Judah, were they being anti-Semitic? Were they not crying out to a country they loved, as a parent cries out to a beloved child whom you can see is leading a destructive lifestyle? So, when we criticise Israel, are we being anti-Semitic and pro-Islam?

As I read the history of Israel and Judah in the Old Testament, it follows a (tragic) pattern.

  1. God blesses His people (rescues them from Pharoah, gives them their own land, gives them a godly judge, in Samuel)
  2. They enjoy the blessing for a while, and then turn their backs on God’s laws and follow other gods.
  3. God warns them through the prophets, but they seldom listen (with a few exceptions).
  4. God judges them and they suffer (often at the hands of their enemies.)
  5. They cry out to God.
  6. God rescues them and they live in His blessing for a while.
  7. Then they revert to godless ways. (Baal and Molech worship, with child sacrifice, bloodshed, immoral behaviour, corruption, reliance on alliances with their pagan neighbours, instead of on God.)
  8. He warns them of their wayward ways and urges them to change and come back to Him, but they ignore Him.
  9. God judges them and they suffer (often at the hands of their enemies.)
  10. They cry out to God.
  11. God rescues them and they live in His blessing for a while, and then backslide once more

And so the cycle continues

But God always preserves a godly remnant. The theme of a faithful remnant pervades all Old Testament writing.

So, here’s my question. Can we not warn Israel of severe deviations from God’s ways without being labelled anti-Semitic? Or being accused of being pro-Islam?

Well, I have a great love for Israel, but let’s see if history is not repeating itself for God’s people once again.

  • God blessed them by giving them their land back.
  • He rescued them supernaturally and spectacularly from their enemies who had surrounded them on all sides.

But:

  • They allowed child sacrifice. Since legalising abortion, over 800,000 babies have been torn from their mothers’ wombs in Israel.
  • They recognise same sex marriages. The Bible is clear on God’s view of sexual behaviour between same sexes.
  • They have treated the alien with oppression and aggression, contrary to God’s instructions on how they should be treated (remembering that they were slaves in Egypt before God rescued them.) I have a good friend who worked in a Gaza hospital for the last decade and their inhumane treatment of the Palestinians is long-standing.
  • Despite God’s demonstration of how He can rescue them, as He did, miraculously, at the formation of their state, they have turned to America for aid rather than to God (as their ancestors turned to Egypt and were chastised strongly by God (Isaiah 30:1-7)).

I agonise over the behaviour of Israel. They should be a light to the Gentiles (unbelievers) showing the nature of the God whose people they are. Should we, as Christians unequivocally support them, without criticising them for the atrocities that are occurring, which is causing them to be pariahs, and generating support for their enemies? (Criticism is not the same as cursing. It is heartfelt concern for them and for the God whose they are.)

May I suggest that we pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Not a peace merely from the cessation of hostilities, but that which comes from the Prince of Peace. The peace that comes from obedience and subservience to the God who formed this nation to be a light to the Gentiles and to point the way to a loving, caring God of grace and mercy.

Let’s pray for the remnant God has preserved for Himself, as He did in Elijah’s time, that their voice will be heard, that Elijahs will arise to point the people back to God’s way and to repentance. Instead of unequivocal support for Israel, let’s agonise over her failures and be prepared to expose them.

And let us separate the issue of disobedience on Israel’s part from support for Hamas. We know Islam is a bellicose religion opposed to Christianity. Their tactics are the tactics of the ‘ruler of the kingdom of the air’. That should not surprise us. Criticism of Israel does not correlate into support for Hamas. Unfortunately, though, the harsh treatment and untold tragedies will surely cause more and more Palestinians to direct the anger their grief causes towards the Israelis. The weapons of our warfare should be different, as should those of the Israelis.

6 Replies to “Cry, the Beloved country”

  1. Hello! Someone in my Facebook group shared this website
    with us so I came to check it out. I’m definitely loving the information. I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers!
    Fantastic blog and fantastic style and design.

    1. Thanks so much, Linda for your encouragement. I hadn’t posted for a while, but will be more regular in the future.
      I’d appreciate your sharing my website, as your friend did with you.

    1. Thanks, Jimmy. My concern in this article was primarily about Israel. And, of course, I totally decry what Hamas has done and is still doing, but I expected Israel, as God’s chosen race, to behave differently and certainly not to commit the atrocities they are guilty of. It goes further, however, as I said in the article. It’s not just about the war, it’s about their behaviour in regard to other actions that God forbids, such as abortion and sexual activity between members of the same sex, and rushing to a foreign nation for their salvation instead of trusting in their God.

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