The news is aflame with the war in Israel.  Hamas, the terrorist organization headquartered in Gaza, attacked Israel on Saturday, October 7, killing many, taking hostages and creating general mayhem. As of today (October 16), Hamas holds 199 hostages. Have babies been beheaded?  Where did such hatred come from? 

Ancient Biblical Origins   While the current Hamas-Israeli Conflict started before the world was created, let’s trace it from Bible times and then conclude with its pre-creation, pre-world origins.  Humanly speaking, the current Hamas-Israeli conflict has its roots in the fractured family of Abraham (2166-1986 B.C.).  Acquiring a slave girl in Egypt, Abraham had a son—Ishamel–by her. The tensions in his home between Sarah, Abraham’s wife, and her son, Isaac, on one side and Hagar and Ishmael on the other, has mushroomed into the modern-day Palestinian-Israeli conflict.  See Genesis chapter 16, verses 11 & 12 in the Bible. Verse 12 says, “. . . his [Ishmael’s] hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility to all his brothers.”  

Ancient History    Fast forward to about 1446 B.C., the time of Moses and the Exodus. The Hebrew people were slaves in Egypt.  When the sin of the people who occupied Palestine was sufficient to arouse God’s wrath, He re-affirmed His promised to give His people the land Abraham previously owned. When they left Egypt (as reported in the book of Exodus), they conquered the area (See the book of Joshua).  For about 1500 years, the nations of Judah and Israel lived in what today is Israel.  

Scattered   I believe God was so displeased with the Jews for their rejection of the Messiah (the Lord Jesus Christ) that He allowed the Roman general Titus to destroy Jerusalem in 70 A.D., ending the Jewish nation and scattering the Jewish people over the whole world. 

Fast forward about 2000 years.  World-wide sympathy for the Jews–created by the Nazi Holocaust–provided fresh motivation for the establishment of Israel as a nation on the world stage. Never in history had a nation been scattered for 2000 years and then successfully gathered to re-constitute a nation.  The Bible predicted this (See Isaiah 43:5-7;  Jeremiah 12:15;  Amos 9:14 & 15;  Zechariah 10:10). 

Recent History   The present-day Israeli-Hamas-Palestinian conflict had been brewing even before Israel was established as a nation in May, 1948.  Since then American presidents have tried to solve the riddle of this conflict, wanting peace for the Middle East and credit for cutting this Gordian knot.   

According to Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of State, each time peace looked close, Yassar Arafat, Chairman of the Palestine Liberation organization, 1969-2004), would torpedo the talks (Examples are the Oslo Accords of 1993 and the Camp David talks in 2000). More recently Mahmoud Abbas has represented the Palestinians.  Islamic hatred for Israel ebbed and flowed, with some organizations saying other anti-Jewish groups were not militant enough (Hamas, Hezbollah, ISIS, Al Qaida, the Muslin Brotherhood, the PLO).  

Non-Militant Palestinians    For decades many non-radicalized Arab / Islamic / Palestinian people in Gaza, West Bank, Lebanon and elsewhere have been captives of radical elements that want to kill every Israeli.  What can be said for these people? 

  • When too many people are crowded into too small a space (the Gaza Strip), there’s spontaneous combustion.   
  • Having lived in Israel for many, many generations (70 A.D. – 1948), we can understand the feeling of the Palestinians that the land belongs to them.  
  • Palestinians have had difficulty and hardship at the hand of Israel. I have no doubt that Israel has been a heavy-handed landlord (and who can blame them, not known when a random rocket would be launched at civilians)? Each side points to the unreasonableness of the other, bringing up old atrocities. 

Who can legitimately argue against Israel saying, “Hamas and Hezbollah can’t fire rockets on civilian populations at will.”  Beginning in 1948, Jews bought land and established themselves, believing God had promised them this land forever (Genesis 12:7;  Leviticus 20:24;   Joshua 1:6;  and 17:4—such promises have never been rescinded).    

Now   Fast forward to October 7, 2023. With a barrage of rockets fired into Israel, Hamas set off the current conflict. Some believe Israel and Saudi Arabia getting close to signing a peace treaty enflamed the radicals to make this October 7th attack.  Hamas terrorists have forced non-violent Palestinians to go along with their hard-shell effort to annihilate Israel. Israel will retaliate—not always recognizing non-violent Palestinians from violent Hamas Terrorists in the heat of battle—so many Palestinians will return to their homes to find them utterly destroyed.     

“Death to America, the big Satan and death to Israel, the little Satan!”–is screamed at pro-Hamas rallies and on Middle East television. In Yemen a street was filled with sympathizers of the Hamas position.  An arial picture of the demonstration showed the over-flow, fill-the-street crowd to be about one mile long.   

Pre-Creation, Pre-World Origins   Where does this degree of hate come from? This is not your ordinary, garden-variety hate. What inspires one group of people to say another group of human beings has no right to live?  It is intense, unreasonable, and absolute. I believe this is Satanic Hatred.

As a believer in the cosmology of the Bible, I believe there is an evil being in the world who works to thwart, defeat and destroy all that the Living God is and seeks to do. Satanic hatred came Lucifer, a gloriously beautiful angel who became so enamored with himself that he wanted to displace God and become god.  Read of that in Isaiah 14:12-15 and Ezekiel 28:11-19.  

Revelation 12:7 is an amazing verse: “And there was war in Heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back.” I believe this will occur at some time in the future.

Since God is not available to persecute, Satan strikes at Israel (and the church). Several attempts have been made to annihilate Israel.  For example, Haman sought to kill all the Jews in Persia (See the book of Esther).  Nazi Germany sought to blame the Jews for all their troubles so they killed six million during World War II.  And when Israel declared herself a nation in May, 1948, five surrounding Arab nations immediately declared war on her. There was a war in 1967 and another in 1973. Now we have the current war. While ultimately Satan will be defeated, God allows him some temporary victories.

The plight of the Palestinians has been on-going for as long as I can remember. Odd that this would be the case when the oil-rich nations of the Middle East could take care of their own and solve this problem before the end of this year. Do we see Islamic nations opening their borders to Palestinian refugees? Only reluctantly and not often.  

Lesser Attacks of the Evil One   Recently different Christians on different continents have reported lesser attacks:  

  • In the Indian state of Orissa, Christian pastors have been martyred and Indian courts turn a blind eye (it is not “one world” no matter how many times the song is sung).  
  • BP in Nepal feels he is facing supernatural opposition. 
  • PE in Indio, California, has spoken of feeling under attack.
  •  HB in Belgium has recently asked prayer for what he believes is demonic activity that is opposing his efforts to serve his church. 

The world situation is dangerous. If Iran jumps into the conflict on the side of Hamas, and America sends soldiers into the conflict, it is not hard to imagine Russia supporting its ally (Iran).  

God is in control of this sinful world. Yes, we are all in a real war.  And what is at stake are the lives, minds, souls, wills, bodies, money, and talent of all people.  Be on the ultimate winning side by seeking, loving and enjoying the Lord Jesus Christ.