There is some irony with the above photo. The Palestinian is hurling stones with a sling in protest against the heavily armed Israeli military. It reminds us of David against Goliath. Who are the victims? Genuine Christian concern for the conflict in the Middle East should not be partisan as in the case of so-called “Christian Zionism”. Genuine peace is only achievable when Jew or Gentile, Israeli or Palestinian, are both reconciled to God through faith in Jesus the Messiah.
I am dedicating this article to those vulnerable, pacifist Palestinian Christians who are indeed marginalised victims of racial hostility of the Zionist agenda to establish a “Jewish state”. Palestinian Christians have also been betrayed by so-called “Christian Zionists” who give their solidarity to people claiming to be “Jews” rather than to our Palestinian brothers and sisters in Christ.
The Zionist agenda is to expand the borders of a “Jewish state” by the illegal annexation of land that does not belong to them. The Israel of God, on the other hand is expanding beyond natural borders and racial classification because God is calling people from every language, tribe and nation to be reconciled to him in one body through faith in Jesus the Messiah.
Let it be shouted from the rooftops, Zionism is opposed to God’s purpose of peace through creating a new humanity. That Zionism is advocated by professing “Christians” is evidence of their falling away from the true faith. The Israel of God is not advanced by the weapons of this world. Neither the Israeli nor USA armies advance the kingdom of God. Peace is not attained by war. The Israel of God is the assembly of worshippers who have found peace through their faith in Jesus the King. Jesus has broken down any former barriers and distinction between Jew and Gentile. Zionism is, therefore, a direct rebellion against Jesus the King of kings. The Israel of God is non racial. It is peace loving and also completely humble, meek and gentle – unlike the boastful arrogance of the present President’s stance of the USA.
All who seek peace, should completely renounce the hostile, racial agenda of Zionism that agitates for war and provokes hostility as it tries to expand the borders, not of the kingdom of God, but of racism and strife. The solution is not two states, one Jewish and the other Palestinian. The solution for sustainable peace is one new humanity filled with the Holy Spirit and motivated by the love of God. One peaceful nation, – vulnerable, gentle, humble and meek.
Vulnerability: the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.
Meek: quiet, gentle, and easily imposed on; submissive.
“Meekness is an attribute of human nature and behaviour. It has been defined several ways: righteous, humble, teachable, and patient under suffering, long suffering willing to follow gospel teachings; an attribute of a true disciple” (Wikipedia – meekness).
Jesus said, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5).
In 1948, Zionism may have started out as a pilgrimage of vulnerable Jews to the Promised Land with a history and narrative of them being a persecuted, humble, vulnerable people who sought refuge in a country of their own and who settled mostly as simple farming communities. The occupation of the land is not the place of rest or refuge. Jesus is the only place of refuge and rest, whether one lives in Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza, or the furthest corner of the earth. Jesus has assured us of a heavenly country for the righteous.
Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).
The narrative of the Jews being the persecuted victims is exploited to justify the racist agenda of Zionism. However, it has not taken too long for a persecuted, vulnerable people to have transformed into a nation with one of the strongest armies in the world, with military victories and with a very close ally who have the most powerful army with nuclear capabilities and who boast in being the “greatest and most powerful nation” in the world. Indeed the persecuted, if not restrained and guided by the Holy Spirit, can very soon become the persecutor.
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom (Proverbs 11:2).
Those who trust in their riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf (Proverbs 11:28).
Pride always comes before the fall and the proud and arrogant certainly do not have God on their side, because…:
“God opposes the proud but shows favour to the humble” (James 4:6).
Israel’s Zionist ally, the USA, are actually perceived by many in the world to be proud, boastful, self-righteous and also extremely hostile. The slogan, “Let’s make America great again!”, does not resonate with gentleness, meekness and humility by any stretch of the imagination. Is this what the self-righteous, bigoted “Christian” Zionists are boasting about and proud of? The USA have, for greedy, strategic advantage, invaded many foreign lands under the pretext of defending themselves in their “war against terrorism”, but in the process they have perhaps, themselves, become a hostile terrorist nation supported by professing “evangelical Christians”! They have deceived themselves into believing that they are justified because they believe they are “fighting a holy war for righteousness and justice”. But such – is not the way of God’s holy nation who are guided by the Holy Spirit. “Christian Zionists” are agitating for Armageddon and not working for peace!
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:38-48).
Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:19-21).
As Christians, as citizens of heaven and as ambassadors of the kingdom of heaven, we must allow God to demonstrate his power and strength in and through our own human weakness and vulnerability.
I have heard people suggest that “meekness is not weakness”, but I would suggest that if we are humble, meek and gentle – and if we make ourselves vulnerable by turning the other cheek, that it will indeed be regarded as weakness by the world. Because our strength is not in our own human endeavour and aggressive stance, but the Lord our God is our strength and shield.
We may try to hide behind a defensive, (maybe even offensive), facade of power, strength, independence to avoid being taken advantage of and to conceal our fear – or to not expose our vulnerability. However, to face our enemy in passive weakness is revolutionary and is only possible with complete faith and trust in the Lord to fight for us and to give us the spiritual victory in the world to come.
Now this I know: The Lord gives victory to his anointed (Jesus is the anointed one, which is exactly the same meaning of Messiah / Christ – and his faithful disciples, who are sealed with the Holy Spirit, are also anointed ones which is the exact meaning of the term Christians). He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of his right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm. Lord, give victory to the King! [Jesus is King of kings]. Answer us when we call! (Psalm 20:6-9).
Of course, the world cannot comprehend how Jesus triumphed over his enemies through the cross, but that is because they do not know Jesus raised from the dead and glorified in heaven as King of kings at the Right Hand of God.
When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly (1 Peter 2:23).
Having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross (Colossians 2:15).
If we exert or display our own human strength, (defensively or offensively), we would, in so doing, actually deny that God’s strength will be made perfect in our human weakness. Instead of trusting in God, we may begin to trust in our own strength and resources. We must take care so as to not lean more heavily on our own assessment of situations to which we may react offensively, exerting our strength and dominance.
People think it is a virtue to “believe in yourself”, but the more independent we may become in ourselves, the more we exclude and disallow God’s power to be manifest through our human weakness.
When we are weak in ourselves so too are we then strong in the Lord.
The meek will inherit the earth even when the strongest invaders are determined to take it by sheer military power.
Our victory and vindication may NOT be evident in this present world, but it will indeed be great when the last enemy, death, is proven defeated through the resurrection of the righteous.
In our weakest and most vulnerable state we may even ask in despair, (as Jesus did on the cross), “Why, O’ Lord, have you forsaken us?”, but when it feels as if we may have been completely forsaken and thoroughly broken and at the point of death in our weakness, in our vulnerable condition and genuine faith, then have we triumphed and then we will have learnt what it means to suffer with Christ so that we may also share in his glory in the resurrection.
I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead (Philippians 3:10-11).
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favour granted us in answer to the prayers of many (2 Corinthians 1:3-11).
Let us learn, therefore, what it really is to be gentle, kind, humble, vulnerable, weak, persecuted, even despised and taken advantage of, because then, in genuine faith and trust in our God, we will confidently know that he will never forsake us as far as the triumph of new humanity in him is concerned. Those who boast and who think they are strong and victorious now in the realm of the flesh, have Satan as their god – and not the Almighty God of Israel. Do not be associated with the synagogue of Satan.