By Elisabeth Hinze
My mom called me yesterday, slightly concerned. “What on earth is going on over there?” were the first words out of her mouth. Which is a rather odd question, coming from my mom. Because she has a pretty good idea of what is going on over here. This is where her daughter is. She makes it her business to know. Except it wasn’t really a question. It was a call for back-up, a request for reinforcements so to speak.
See, at the age of 66, my mom became a warrior. Fighting right alongside Israel. She has made it her duty to inform anybody who wants listen, and especially those who doesn’t want to, that the Jews from the Bible still exist today, that they are living in the land of God’s promise, that God still has a covenant and a plan with them and that we as Believers are called to stand with them, to bless them, to support them. From the check-out lady at her local supermarket to her hairdresser to the beggar making his living on the street corner. Everybody in my mom’s immediate vicinity has been told that the mainstream news outlet in my country sources its news on the Middle East from Al-Jazeera, which is notorious for its bias towards the Palestinians. Especially in these important times, she wants to make sure that those she loves know that the media gives them only a one-sided, sensationalized version of the “truth”.
Oh make no mistake about it. My mom is a warrior. But she’s grown a bit weary in the last few days. See, the anti-Israel rhetoric in my country has probably been worse than in any other non-Muslim country in the world. No other government has spoken out so blatantly, condemned so scathingly. And the media took its cue from there. Too many pictures of Palestinians standing in wreckage. And none of Israelis running for cover as the sirens wail in the background or making a living in bomb shelters. The civilian casualty figures in Gaza are just too high – compared to the nearly non-existent number on the Israeli side. And without a background, an explanation or a bigger picture, there is but one logical conclusion for the reader to draw… The damage to Gaza is painted as unspeakable, especially compared to Israel, where city life and infrastructure continues to thrive. In fact, the majority of Hamas’s rockets fall in open areas, don’t you know? Causing absolutely no damage. And without a background, an explanation or a bigger picture… The conclusion is logical: Hamas’s rockets pose no real threat to Israel, yet Israel uses this opportunity to destroy.
Yeah, my mom has grown a bit weary. But I’m not writing this for my mom. I’m writing for you. Because judging from the comments and feedback I see on this site, we have many warriors fighting right alongside Israel. You, reading the articles, telling your friends, praying for Israel, its soldiers, for the peace of Jerusalem. You are a warrior. And the fight has been rough, I know. See, I’m not writing to you as part of Israel. Because I’m not (apart from being grafted in, that is:-) I’m writing to you as a fellow warrior. One who sometimes grows weary at the seemingly overwhelming onslaught of popular public opinion. More importantly, one who sometimes gets weary at the seemingly overwhelming onslaught of condemnation and sarcasm from those I love. Just like I assume you sometimes grow weary.
So what do we do during our weary times? Well, my mom and I prayed. That helps:-) And then we spoke about the facts. Because they are necessary. As a warrior, you need to arm yourself with those. Firstly, know what God said about all this. What are the promises regarding Israel? How do they play out? That is your ammunition, your foundation. But there is also something else. See, many traditional Christians has no connection or perception about Israel still playing a major part in God’s world-plans. They simply haven’t heard about it. Nobody told them. And their main source of information about Israel is the media. Which is where you come in. This is where you need the cold, hard facts. About the civilian casualties in Gaza, about which steps the IDF takes to prevent them and the steps that Hamas takes to ensure them. About how Israel didn’t start this, how she offered peace time and time again. And how Hamas refused it. Find credible sources, stay up to date. Make sure you have the facts and the proof to back them up.
That is what my mom and I did. We spoke about the facts for a moment. And then the conversation turned to more important things. Because as warriors, we weren’t called to win the argument. In fact, we haven’t even been called to change anybody’s point of view. But we were called to operate in a different spirit (or Spirit rather) We’ve been called to operate in truth and in love. Things which are often missing from your standard anti-Israel tirade. Our battle is never against flesh and blood. We’ve been called to persevere in love. Regardless of our success rate or the warmth with which our message is received.
Because just as your battle is not against flesh and blood, so is your service not for flesh and blood. It is not for a people group, a nation, a religion or a romantic idea. You are in the service of the God of Israel. It is for His plans, His promises and His word that you have taken a stand.
And so, sometimes weary warrior, take heart. In those times when you wonder whether anything you say or do will make a difference. When you are the lone figure standing against a disapproving crowd. Find refuge in these words spoken to another grafted-in one of Israel thousands of years ago, “The Lord repay you for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge!” (Ruth 2:12)
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