For me, there are no simple answers. As I have wrestled this through in recent days the following truths from the Bible have have been helpful in seeking to formulate a theologically sound response. I offer these insights for your consideration as you wrestle with your own thoughts and feelings.
The Bible clearly affirms that the Israelites are His chosen people. For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession (Deuteronomy 7:6) Here, I offer no judgement on the current actions of Israeli Defense Forces but recognize historically, God has worked in and through the nation of Israel to accomplish His purposes.
We must also consider the reality of the presence of evil in our world. Very early in the storyline of Scripture we read: The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time (Genesis 6:5). There are times in the pages of the Bible and throughout the history of mankind when such evil has had to be confronted.
At the same time we must never lose sight of the call upon Christians to be a people of compassion, for God Himself is as a God of compassion and mercy. But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness (Psalm 86:15). We cannot condone the killing of non-combatants or the slaughter of innocent lives. Instead we must defend and protect and care for the hurting and vulnerable. When we become desensitized to the hard realities we see on the nightly news and lose our sense of compassion, when we stop caring, people suffer. When we reduce others to something less than human beings made in the image of God, we see the kind of brutality and violence that is happening daily around the world.
'Pray for Peace' must become more than a slogan on a sign protesting the current conflicts happening not only in Gaza and the Ukraine, but all across our globe. God has said, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14). We must fervently lay hold of God in prayer.
We must be agents of blessing in our world, and we must be messengers of hope; a hope that is only found in Christ Jesus. This is a time when the light of the Church must shine brightly, for the people of God to stand up for what is right and good, to give generously and to hold on to God in trust--to affirm that our hope is in Him, for the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love (Psalm 33:18).
I noted in the beginning of this posting, there are no simple answers. Over the past couple of days I have had to turn off the television. The horrific images in my mind have led to night terrors. Last night, I was afraid to fall asleep, so I talked with my Lord about these things. I talked to Him about my family and my church family; about my own fears, until early this morning I finally found some measure of rest. When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise--in God I trust and am not afraid. (Psalm 56:34)
My dear friends at Valley, may this be a season when we call out to God to be at work in our world and in the lives of those we love.
present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him.