Is the War in Israel Bible Prophecy?
Teaching Pastor at the Gateway Center for Israel, David Blease, gives insight into how we as believers should approach the topic of prophecy being fulfilled in Israel. Can being so concerned with prophecy make us forget God's heart for people in real time?
Is the current war in Israel mentioned in the Bible? Have the events that we are witnessing been prophesied in scripture?
When war breaks out in Israel? Many Christians are quick to connect the current crisis with a biblical passage. Many do this to make sense of tragedy, some in the desire for clarity amid chaos, and others simply love trying to interpret the book of Revelation in modern events. Although the Bible has much to say about Israel and the end times, and we must study it, we must also be sensitive to the reality that these are real people experiencing trauma. Israelis have been murdered and innocent Palestinians are dying because their leaders do not value them. Families are devastated by loss. Our first response should be to grieve with them. Think about how that would feel if the same message was reversed on us. Suppose your family had lost loved ones in a terrorist attack in your city. How would you feel if someone’s first response to your family’s death was to talk about how this tragedy fulfilled prophecy? We would be sickened by the lack of compassion, and sadly, that’s how many Israelis feel when they listen to Christians talking about their tragedy as prophecy.
Our greatest call on earth is to represent the heart of God. When Lazarus dies in John 11, Jesus knew he would resurrect him. Jesus says in verse 11, Lazarus has fallen asleep, meaning he died, but I’m going to wake him up. So Jesus knows what is coming. He knows the end of the story, and yet when he gets to Bethany, what does he do? He doesn’t bring clarity to his plan. He doesn’t rebuke her for lack of faith. He doesn’t minimize her grief. He weeps with her, knowing full well Lazarus is about to come back. He weeps. Yes, the Bible tells us the end of the story. And although the story ends in celebration in new Jerusalem, there are troubling times that precede it. The way that we can demonstrate the heart of God in times of trouble is to care for the people’s hearts first.
Yes, be aware of Bible prophecy and yes, be prepared for the return of Jesus. But if that hardens our heart towards people’s suffering, then we’ve missed the heart of God. Let us not be like Jonah, who passively watched and waited for a city to be judged only to be asked by God. Don’t you care about all the people living in that city? God’s heart was broken for the people in that city, and our heart should be broken as well.