GOD AND GAZA
The conflict between Israel and its Muslim neighbours reaches back into the annuls of history 4000 years. According to God’s holy word in the Old Testament, Abram, later named Abraham, lived around 2000 B.C. in present-day Iraq.
In a vision, God told Abraham to move west. After this long, arduous journey, he reached the land of Canaan, now Palestine. God informed Abraham, “Unto thy seed will I give this land” Genesis 12:7. In a later promise, God said again to Abraham, “And I will give thee and to thy seed after thee the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession.”
Abraham informed Sarah, who was childless, of God’s promise. Sarah laughed, saying she was too old to bear a child. Sarah then counsels Abraham to sleep with her Egyptian maid. Abraham submits to Sarah’s scheme. Hagar, the maid, gives birth to Ishmael, Abraham’s illegitimate son. God, as always, brings to pass his promise, and later, Sarah gives birth to Isaac, Abraham’s legitimate heir.
Sarah and her maid, Hagar, conflict regarding which son is the heir. Sarah gives Abraham an ultimatum: he must expel Hagar and her son, Ishmael, from their camp.
“But Sarah saw that the son whom the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking, and said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance of my son Isaac. The matter greatly distressed Abraham because it concerned his son. But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your maidservant. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you because it is through ISAAC that your offspring will be RECOGNIZED. I will make the son of the maidservant into a NATION also because he IS your offspring.”
Abraham and Sarah’s deliberate disobedience to God issued forth ISHMAEL, the first ARAB and ISAAC, the first JEW and their consequential enmity and rivalry as nations.
“Early the next morning, Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered into the desert of Beer-Sheeba. When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. Then she went off and sat down nearby, for she thought, “I cannot watch the boy die.” And as she sat there, she began to sob. God heard the boy crying, and an angel of God called Hagar and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy and take him by the hand, for I will make him a great nation.” Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. God was with the boy and his mother as he grew up; he lived in the desert and became an archer. While he was living in the Desert of Paran, his mother got a wife for him from Egypt.”
Throughout history, people have repeatedly ignored what God said in his words millennials ago regarding ISAAC and ISHMAEL. They continue to ask the inordinate question about which of Abraham’s sons should inherit Palestine. The firstborn has always, in human terms, superseded the secondborn. The fact is that ISHMAEL was illegitimate, and ISAAC was the PROMISED legitimate heir despite the prevailing circumstances of Abraham and Sarah’s disobedience before God.
“But God said to Abraham, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your maidservant. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you because it is through ISAAC that your offspring will be RECOGNIZED.”
Isaac is the first legal son of Abraham, who then fathered the children of Israel.
The Jews established Greater Israel under the reign of King Solomon and King David, who controlled Israel between the period of Abraham and the Roman conquest. Subsequently, the Jews were often conquered and displaced.
The Arabs moved in when the Romans forced the Jews to leave, though some Jews chose to remain in Palestine.
Catholic Crusaders, the first crusade issued by Pope Urban II in 1095, conquered and established a dark, monolithic religious oppression in Jerusalem for 100 years. Apart from that century, the Arabs have presided over Israel for the past 2000 years.
Preceding WWI, Ottoman Turks conquered Palestine. Turkey chose to support Germany in WWI and lost its colony. The League of Nations gave Palestine to be governed by Great Britain.
Great Britain opened its borders to Jewish immigrants, ensuing conflict between local Arabs. Terrorist gangs arose on either side. Once Adolf Hitler came into power in Germany, the number of incoming Jews increased in Britain and the friction between Jews and Arabs.
After WWII, the British no longer governed Palestine. They turned Palestine over to the United Nations, who divided it into two sections: Jews and Arabs. The Jews acquiesced, while the Arabs refused.
The first Arab-Israeli war broke out in 1947-48. Israel won control of Palestine. Subsequently, at a later date, Gaza and the West Bank could become Arab Palestine.
Gaza is a strip of land on the Mediterranean Sea bordering Egypt and Israel. It encompasses 139 square miles and is heavily populated by Arab Muslims. Israeli Military occupied the Gaza Strip for 27 years. In 2005, the Knesset Israeli parliament ended the military occupation of the Gaza Strip.
In 2006, Hamas won 74 seats out of 132 in parliament in the Gaza Strip. The following year, Hamas and Fatah conflicted over supremacy. Hamas became the victor. Hamas is at war with Israel. Israel has no military or settlers in Gaza. Hamas, Ishmael’s descendants, contest the Canaan land, which they believe God gave to the seed of Abraham’s firstborn Ishmael, regardless of legitimacy.
God Almighty, our Creator with whom we are individually accountable, has stated in his living WORD his decree regarding Ishmael and Isaac:
“It is through ISAAC that your offspring will be RECOGNIZED.”
Over the past years, Hamas has launched numerous attacks into Israeli territory, causing civilian casualties. Increasing hatred towards Israel is perpetrated by Hamas throughout the world.
This desperate plight of two nations has ensued for 4000 years, all due to the decisive collusion of Abraham and Sarah in boldly defying God to get their way. Much like many others in biblical history, such as Adam and Eve, Aaron, Soloman, David, and the list continues today. Each intentional choice reaping havoc in one’s personal life as well as the lives of generations to come.
God has much to say about the repercussions of our individual choices. May we each stop and ponder what we are thinking and choose to consult our Father in Heaven and listen and do his instructions. Remember, our choices are far-reaching.
“Yes, from ancient of days, I am he. No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it? Remember, I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, and what is to come. My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do.”
Isaiah 43:13; 46:9-11
“I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the Father to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me—but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and do as I instruct them to do. Do not be deceived; God cannot be mocked. A person reaps what they sow.”
Exodus 20:5; Galatians 6:7
AND ALL THE PEOPLE SAID
Thursday, October 12, 2023
Sally Darlene Cooper