There is a Muslimah that I encounter on a regular basis who typifies precisely the gulf in thinking between the typical Muslim and the typical Christian.
I have an unfashionable affinity for Israel and Jerusalem. Unfashionable, because most of the mainstream media and opinion leaders in the Twitterverse back the Palestinians in their conflict with Israel. As does pretty much the entire Muslim world.
The narrative is as follows: The Israelis stole Palestinian land and the Palestinians are firmly under their boot, so the caring thing to do is embrace the cause of the oppressed and oppose Israel. As with all of human history of course, no conflict is as simple as that.
If you point out the statistical abundance of Palestinian terrorism, why the narrative has an answer for that too: they have no other way to fight back, you see. Those mean Israelis have all the military hardware to oppress them indefinitely.
This Muslimah that I know is perhaps not entirely representative of Muslim thinking in general however in my exposure to the marketplace of ideas it cannot be emphasised too much that the adherents of Islam cannot generally tolerate Jews. At least not where they are in an increasing minority in Western countries, or in outright Muslim countries.
Anwar Sadat, the Egyptian president, was assassinated in 1981 for daring to makes move of peace with Israel. Yasser Arafat – were he so inclined – would never have dared make peace with Israel for the same reason. The violence of course is not only on one side. Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by an ultra-nationalist Jew for contemplating the Oslo accords, ceding Jewish land to a Palestinian state.
The Middle East conflict can be seen in terms of a geo-political conflict where enemies must be eliminated. Paul reminds the Ephesians that the battle for the Christian is not against flesh and blood.
People are not enemies, but ideas are, especially sinful ideas.
People are either living according to the flesh or living according to the Spirit. In the Christian context, there are only two types of people:
If my thinking is governed by the Spirit and not by the flesh, I see my Jewish brothers as needing to come to Christ, and the following verses suggesting a large scale awakening somewhere in the end times that moves me:
God has plans for people and his ultimate will is that as many as possible come to knowledge of the truth. Muslims have a need for Christ, much more so than they could ever realise. And I pray for this Muslimah and others that she would know the truth, because behind the zeal for Muslim things, I see a soul who wants to know God, but the only way she knows is through Mohammed.
There’s plenty that I don’t know, but one thing I do is that Mohammed didn’t have the answer and didn’t know the way. He took as good a guess as perhaps he could. I look at Muslims and see desperate human beings walking in the flesh who need God.
Scripture urges us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6). Tomorrow, 14 May 2018 will be 70 years since the establishment of the modern State of Israel. President Trump has directed that the U.S. embassy be moved from Tel Aviv to the eternal capital of Israel, Jerusalem.
There’s something interesting about the timing of this move, and of the respect that Trump gives to Jerusalem. He’s perhaps not quite in line with living a moral life, at least in the past or recent past, however Jerusalem is a city that God is concerned about and notices.
It’s where Christ died, and it’s the city to which He will return. And therefore
“May those who love you be secure.
7 May there be peace within your walls
and security within your citadels.”
8 For the sake of my family and friends,
I will say, “Peace be within you.”
9 For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
I will seek your prosperity. (Psalm 122:7 – 9) NIV