Jonah helps us pray for Palestine and Israel
Many of you are aware of the escalating war between Israel and Hamas, a Palestinian political and military group. Many of you may also be aware that many American Evangelicals believe the unequivocal support for Israel is a Christian duty. They get angry when you express solidarity with the Palestinians. They speak of terrorism and support for God’s chosen nation. They will point to the 1,200 dead Israeli citizens. They will speak to Hamas’ commitment to the end of the Israeli nation.
There is some truth in all this, although when we examine the factors that have created this violence, neither side is innocent. But I am not writing to argue for a position or a side, but to point out that God sent a prophet of his chosen nation to save a sadistic nation that would eventually wipe out God’s chosen nation. The very city that Jonah helped avert God’s wrath towards is the one that would cause Israel to cease to exist for several generations. And God explains why to Jonah — there are 120,000 people plus their animals.
Did you know that Palestine is one of the most densely populated places in the world. Millions of Palestinians live in a tiny region. If God cares for 120,000 evil Assyrians, then God cares for the millions of Palestinians.
So I encourage us to be broken in spirit for all of the violence in that region. For the injustice committed by all sides, and for the loss of life. We should stand against Anti-semitism as well as Anti-Palestinianism. We should stand for peace, not for geo-political boundaries.
God doesn’t need a physical Israel to reign over his people. God doesn’t need us to minimize the actions of a nation to establish a kingdom forever. God knows whether in exile or in the promised land that he will bring about the just rule and righteous reign of His people in the end and forever.
God needs us to mourn with those who mourn. Across that region, as well as the Congo, and in Ukraine and countless other conflicts that aren’t as well known, there are many mourners on all sides. Let us this week, pray prayers of mourning, and pleas of peace and justice. That is our call as the people of God.