In what I write, if there are aspects I leave out please do not make assumptions as to what might be my take on those areas. My concern is we sit powerless against the level of catastrophe of Gaza / Israel. It is far enough away that it does not touch us directly, and if we add to that and we try and plot this against a prophetic ‘time-line’ that we are further paralysed but are then content in that we have ‘inside knowledge’. The centre of ALL of God’s purposes is Jesus – all the promises find their double ‘yes’ in him. Yes we have to nuance Israel as a people some with reference to Rom. 11 but not to the level of over-riding the centre. And beyond that…
1948 and the giving of the land (by the British) as a homeland to the Jews in order to be a solution to the ‘Jewish problem’ has not exactly resolved that issue! If as many assume that that act was a restoration of the land as a fulfilment of prophecy we should also consider that whenever God is active that the ‘enemy’ is active. The work of the enemy – and Paul says ‘we are not unaware of the schemes of the devil’ – is something we are to consider as we can easily unwittingly play along or fail to see what is happening. So with the above premise of enemy activity…
What if the land and promise is connected (not my view) then the enemy scheme would be to play with that, and dare I suggest that encourage us to lose sight of something bigger than the land, that of ‘kingdom’ or even ‘new creation’. The kingdom of God is righteousness, shalom and joy. The new creation is without tears, and harmony between peoples as they bring in their gifts to that new Jerusalem – the city that has no Temple.
That scheme would not be too difficult to execute. Biblically there would be more than enough texts and complete passages of Scripture to defend our view and lead to a blanket support of one side (Israel) in any confict, as God is with them (a theme that was VERY loud in the two major catastrophes in 586BCE and 70CE),
There has to be – and always has been a third way – that of ‘God is neither for us nor for our enemy’ (and of course ‘love for the enemy’ as advocated by Jesus does somewhat move us beyond what Joshua encountered). Add the wisdom of Solzhenitsin who said the line of good and evil never runs between ‘me’ and someone else, but through us both, and our allegiances have to be tempered.
Maybe also add the summary (as I read it) of Old Testament prophets as they chastised a people they identified with over the two-fold issue of ‘provision’ and ‘protection’ and where their trust was and I do not think there would be at this time a blanket support coming from any of them.
Yes it is deeply complex, how does a nation-state (not the same as a biblical nation) act when attacked? As those privleged (for now) not to be caught up in what is taking place, my plea is that in our powerlessness we ask not for the vindication of this side or that, but that sanity and humanity comes into the situation (at least that might be within our faith level even if calling for the righetousness, shalom and joy of the Spirit is beyond our faith level).