Disturbing news of violent outbreaks by Israelis is sobering, and a reminder that, regardless of mistreatment from others and even our stand on moral issues, it is critical that we respond appropriately.
We are used to hearing about conflict on Temple Mount, as Muslim shrines and mosques stand on the place considered most sacred by Jews. Muslims currently control Temple Mount and violence often breaks out between rock-throwing Muslims and Israeli police, tasked with guarding Temple Mount.
Recently, Jews commemorated Tishah B’Av (Ninth of the Hebrew month, Av), a solemn remembrance of the tragedies that have occurred on that fateful day throughout history. Twice, the Jewish temple was destroyed on Tishah B’Av. Meanwhile, Muslims celebrated a “day of rage” a few days later, against what Palestinians consider an “encroachment on al-Aksa mosque” by Israelis.
Apparently tempers ran high, as violence broke out in the West Bank when Israeli extremists set fire to a Palestinian home, burning a baby to death. Clashes ensued and Israeli police were pelted with rocks when they responded to the outbreak. Meanwhile, shots were fired between two Palestinian groups and Israeli military police on the Gaza border.
In another outbreak of violence, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish extremist stabbed six people marching in a gay pride event in Tel Aviv. The 50-year-old man was recently released after a 10-year prison sentence for similar crimes in a 2005 Jerusalem gay pride parade.
Make no mistake, being terrorized for decades is not right, and the Bible is clear that homosexual behavior is an abomination to the Lord. However, improperly protesting against wrong does not make it right! Thankfully, Israel’s Prime Minister responded appropriately:
“We reject outright hatred… the most important lesson is that we accept others even if they are different. What happened in Jerusalem is contrary to the spirit of our people. What we do today, this is the spirit of our people.”
~Jerusalem Post, 8/1/15
Other Israelis are speaking out as well. (See Analysis: We must crush Jewish terrorism)
Often, militants contend they are acting on God’s behalf or at His command. I want to look at this as an admonition to us as believers. As we see evil seeming to increase dramatically, we must remain faithful to Biblical standards that tell us to oppose evil, while loving even those we consider our enemies. Perpetration of evil, in the name of any god, is detestable. Doing so in the name of the One True God is an abomination.
As we see the end times unfolding before our very eyes, let’s be faithful ambassadors of the Lord Jesus Christ.
PS: To set the record straight, we see people react inappropriately in our own country much more often than in Israel. Thus, the intent is not to point an accusing finger at Israel, but to highlight the fact that it is never right to act unrighteously, regardless of the reason for our actions!