The more this war continues, the deeper and more challenging things become. In this article, you will learn about the four dimensions of war and how it affects the whole world. It gives plenty of points to pray about.
Of all the many challenges we face in this ‘world on fire,’ nothing has our attention more than the conflict between Israel and Hamas. My phone regularly ‘pings’ notifications of rocket sirens sounding across the country. The war is definitely ‘On.’
In our quest to know what is going on, we need to go a step higher and understand why it is going on. Like the sons of Issachar in 1 Chronicles 12:32, when you understand the what and the why, the Lord will download to you what you need to do.
While the war is in danger of going from single-front to multi-front, especially in the North, one thing is certain: this war is already multi-dimensional. Here are four reasons:
This is a Blood Feud
By definition, a blood feud is an inter-family squabble with a cycle of retaliatory violence. Arabs and Jews are cousins and neighbours, with a history of harmonious community interaction for centuries, even up to now. Yet if violence erupts, vengeance is a possibility. Middle Eastern memories are long and strong. The ‘tit-for-tat’ mindset is a factor, but not the only one.
This is a Civilisational War
The Israel-Hamas war may appear to be localised but it really is a global conflict with the Western nations on the frontlines. Without exaggeration, it is the ongoing war for the survival of Western civilisation. Based on Biblical Judaeo-Christian principles, the classic West represents some powerful and revered institutions like (monogamous) marriage, family, religious freedom, private property ownership, rule of law, equality of opportunity, human rights, minimal government, and maximum freedom. Contrast this with the neo-Marxist revolutionary anarchic/Islamist front (a Berkley professor confirmed that Hamas and Hezbollah were part of the ‘progressive global Left’) which detests the West and all that it stands for.
The neo-Marxists/cultural Marxists dream of a utopian world of equality of outcomes, a big government that wants to sever the individual’s allegiance to faith, family, and freedom. In their place, it promises to meet your needs, keep you safe, and make you equal and happy. But to obtain these benefits, they demand total compliance. Dissent will not be tolerated. Coercion is their modus operandi. Those who fall out of line will be dealt with swiftly and severely. In short, the Left wants you to trust and obey big government like a Christian trusts in the Lord.
The Islamist is very similar to the neo-Marxists and also desires a global realm, except they dream of a worldwide caliphate with Jerusalem as the capital. If the neo-Marxist/Islamist-Jihadi alliance succeeds in their goal, there will be an inevitable power struggle between them.
Which side do you think will prevail?
In summary, this is not merely a nationalist conflict, though nationalism is a factor. It is a global clash of civilisations. This war is not just Israel’s problem- it is a problem for the West and the world. Israel, which represents the West, is merely the first pin in the bowling alley. Aim the bowling ball at the correct angle, roll it with skill, and not only will the first pin fly but so will all the other pins with it.
This is a Theological War
While the founders of modern Israel were staunch secularists, pious Jews and evangelical Christians saw a prophetic element in the rebirth of the Jewish state. Jeremiah 16:14-15, Isaiah 11:11, and Amos 9:14-15 speak of God gathering the dispersed of Israel for the ‘second time,’ from all lands they have been scattered, and planting them in their own land, never to be uprooted again.
Hamas and many mainstream schools of Islamic law have a very different theology. The unchanged 1988 Hamas Charter calls for the destruction of the State of Israel and of all Jews worldwide. They believe that Palestine, captured by the Caliph Omar in 638 AD, became Islamic waqf, a sacred and perpetual trust to be reserved for future generations of Muslims until Judgment Day. Once a land comes under Muslim rule, it must remain so permanently. For the waqf to fall into non-Muslim hands is unacceptable, if not blasphemous. Therefore it is the Muslim’s sacred duty to liberate Palestine from the occupation of the ‘infidel Zionists,’ whom they consider an ‘illegitimate entity and usurper of Muslim territory. (Note: In theory, the same logic applies to Spain and India, which were once part of ‘Dar al Islam’ but have since broken away).
According to Israel Today Magazine, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quoted the Bible stating that the Israel-Hamas war was like the battle of Amalek, an ancient enemy. Iran and its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah saw this as a declaration of holy war. The latter made a video, quoting from Surah al -Isra (Surah 17) of the Quran, Islam’s holy book. It says Allah will punish Israel and Islam will defeat the Jewish people, enter their homes, and establish the word of Allah.
This is a Spiritual War
For the mature, Bible-based and Spirit-led Christian, this should come as no surprise. According to Ephesians 6:10-18, we are to put on the whole armour of God because the real fight is not with flesh and blood like Hamas, the Iranian ayatollahs, or the secular Western Left. The battle is with invisible spiritual powers and hosts of wickedness in the heavenly realm.
Daniel 10 speaks of the ‘prince of Persia,’ a powerful entity that temporarily halted the angelic visitation to Daniel, who prayed and fasted. Decades later this same spiritual principality instigated Haman’s devilish scheme to murder all the Jewish people in the Persian empire. The story is in the Book of Esther.
It is no coincidence that Gaza is in the ‘land of the Philistines.’ They, like Amalek, were Israel’s ancient enemy whose name the Greco-Romans translated into Palestine, as a replacement for the name ‘Judaea.’ Today’s conflict mirrors that which happened long ago during the time of the judges and the reigns of kings Saul and David.
We are seeing the most horrific manifestations of anti-Semitism in our lifetime. Who would have guessed that protestors at the Sydney Opera House would chant ‘Gas the Jews’ less than eighty years after the ‘never again’ Holocaust? Since 7 October global anti-Semitism rose 1,180% and in London alone it has skyrocketed 1,350%. If the Jewish people have an end-time prophetic future, then it is no surprise that the forces of darkness seek to destroy them so that these prophecies will not come to pass. Despite their strength and ferocity, they will nevertheless fail, according to those same prophecies.
It’s war, alright, a multi-dimensional one. In the latter arena – the all-important spiritual dimension – the church is best equipped to fight. Its armoury is unbeatable (2 Corinthians 10:4-5; Ephesians 6:10-14; 1 John 3:8; 4:4).
Intercessors will save the world. It’s time to be strong in the Lord, put on the whole armour of God, and go to work.