Monday, July 28, 2014

Israel-Hamas War, Flight Crashes, Four Blood Moons & End Times (Inevitability of Violence &War And Necessity of Death)



            Another Israel-Hamas conflict that could escalate into full-blown bloodshed; three flight crashes in a week – Malaysian Airlines MH17, Taiwanese GE222, and Air Algérie AH5017 that amounted to around 450 fatalities. Is the four blood moons prophecy coming true?

            The four blood moons prophecy (which had prophesied disaster upon Israel) did not persuade me to affirm Pastor Hagee and Pastor Blitz’s prophecies. This was stated in my earlier article.1 However, with conflicts and calamities abounding, do we need to rethink and affirm the four blood moons prophecy?

            Let’s consider Israel-Hamas conflict, especially the rocket and mortar attacks on Israel.2 Wikipedia reports 3000+ rocket and mortar attacks in 2008. Subsequently there’s been a decrease in the attacks through 2009, 2010 and 2011 - 858, 365, and 680 respectively. But 2012 witnessed a huge increase - 234% & 2000+ attacks. Thus far 2014 has recorded 700+ attacks; a 1500% increase since last year.

            There’s been an enormous increase (2415++) in the rocket and mortar attacks on Israel in the month of July 2014.3 The recent mid-June kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens (suspected work of Hamas militants) witnessed escalation of violence in the Gaza strip with the deadliest military operation since the Gaza war of 2008-09 by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) code named “Operation Protective Edge.”4

            This is indeed a cause for alarm.

            However, the rocket attacks since 22nd July have relatively decreased. This could primarily be due to ceasefire agreement and the extraordinary offensive of the IDF.5

            Statistics cannot facilitate accurate forecasting, but they could reveal a probable future. If 2008 and 2012 elapsed without larger conflicts, then we could anticipate a similar 2014. Therefore, if 2014 and 2015 would slip away as 2008 and 2012, then the four blood moons prophecy would remain unfulfilled.

            Furthermore, only the insane would hope and pray for a bloodier conflict anywhere in the world, let alone Israel and Palestine. None in their right mind would pray for war and violence.

            If our prayer and hope is for peace to reign in the Middle East, then we are praying against the four blood moon prophecy. If peace were to reign in the Middle East, specifically in Israel and Palestine, then four blood moons prophecy would remain unfulfilled.

            Yet the fourth blood moon will be on 28th September 2015. So, nothing definitive can be said about the fulfillment or the nonfulfillment of the prophecy.

            Three plane crashes in a week is agonizing to fathom. Is this a sign of an imminent doomsday (end of the world)?

            151, 600 people die every day6 – some peacefully and some not so. The 450+ deaths due to three plane crashes this week seems insignificant in comparison to the number of deaths in a day.

            An average person fears death and considers death as a great evil. The great Greek philosopher Plato, who lived much before the Lord Jesus, ridiculed mankind’s fear of death, “No one knows whether death may not be the greatest of all blessings for a man, yet men fear it as if they knew that it is the greatest of evils.7

            Christians fearing death flaunt an impoverished insight into the Bible’s teachings. The most famous Psalm 23 urges its believers not to fear death, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me…” (Psalm 23: 4, NASB). Having been seated at the heavenly realms already (Ephesians 2: 6), the believers of Christ should eagerly await their death, “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body”(Philippians 3: 20-21, NIV).

            Christians condemning death demonstrate their acute paucity of Biblical knowledge. Violence should be abhorred; not death. Everyone dies at the precise time ordained by God. No one will ever die before their time. This is the entailment of God’s sovereignty and justice.

            Moreover, because God is sovereign, loving, good and just, no one would miss out on their salvation because of death. A just God ensures fair opportunities for every person to either accept or reject Christ. Christians should understand this truth. Failure to understand this truth would lead a Christian into a faulty and a more damaging outlook of life.

            Death materializes variously – at the hospital bed, plane crash, fatality in a war or a violent situation, or a peaceful death in the presence of the loved ones etc.. Whatever the case may be, death is inevitable and necessary for mankind.

            But that’s not it.

            As long as this world exists evil will exist, and as long as evil exists violence and gory deaths will exist. Violence, hence, is not merely the work of evil, but also necessary for the elimination of evil.

            Let’s now draw a distinction between aggression and defense. The initiator of gratuitous or unjustified hostility is the evil aggressor. The one who guards against assault is the defender. The world needs not a gratuitous aggressor. A morally conscientious entity would seldom be the unjustified aggressor. The evil entity would always be the gratuitous aggressor.

            However, the realization of an opportune time to eliminate evil is the state in which a morally conscientious entity becomes a justified aggressor (Romans 13: 4 Cf. Proverbs 25: 26; 1 Timothy 5: 8). Elimination of evil favors the world. The Bible proclaims a permanent elimination of evil when the Lord returns in all HIS glory to judge the world.

            As much as death is a necessity, violence is inevitable when evil should be eliminated. Violence includes gory scenes. As much as we do not desire violence, and as much as we hate it, and as much as we speak against it, let us be assured of the prevalence of violence as long as evil exists. Violence is inevitable to eliminate evil.

            We could argue endlessly about the goodness or the evilness of Israel or Hamas, but the fact remains that one is good and the other evil. God alone knows perfectly as to who is good and evil.

            Being right or wrong in our opinion or judgment is insignificant unless we possess an active and substantial role to usher peace. But the existence of evil entails violence and war. Let’s be prepared for this eventuality.

            The aspect of violence and war becomes complicated in perceptions. Violence and war are the entailments of perceptions. Let’s consider Hamas-Israel conflict.

            Israel and Hamas perceive themselves as virtuous. Moreover, Israel perceives Hamas as the agent of destruction and Hamas requires Israel’s eviction from what it considers as a forcible occupation of Palestine. In this context, both parties focus on eliminating their evil enemy, and hence they justify violence and war.

            But the fact remains that both cannot be right at the same time. Either Hamas or Israel is right, certainly not both. How then would good sense prevail in Israel and Hamas?

            It’s only through Christ crucified and the cross. It’s at the cross where the Lord Jesus Christ sacrificed his life to save mankind of their sins. Therefore, either Israel or Hamas should necessarily sacrifice their desire and earnestly work towards peace. This is the voluntary or autonomous or a free-willed solution.

            Regrettably, both Israel and Hamas reject Christ. So Christ as a voluntary solution to terminate this conflict may not be a valid proposition. This is reality.          

            The other rational solution is to force one or both parties to submit. But with the world polarized as it is now, this too seems farfetched.

            What then should we do? We could pray for those in pain that they would experience the satisfying, comforting and encouraging blessings of the Lord Almighty during their pain and need. We could pray that God would, in ways that only HE could, put an end to this conflict.

            Outside of prayer, we could materially and financially bless the needy. But the dilemma is that we may never know who the recipients would be, whether those suffering or those perpetrating evil.

            We are living in the last days. The Bible teaches that wars between nations are inevitable in the last days (Matthew 24: 6b). When the Bible teaches wars are inevitable, there would be wars, whether we pray for or against them. This is an existential reality we should learn to live in.

            We will wail with everyone who is in pain, especially gruesome pain. This is reality. But a world without war and violence will not be a reality.

            Habakkuk pleaded with God about God’s apparent inactivity when wickedness, strife and oppression were rampant in Judah. When God assured him of the eventual destruction of evil, Habakkuk rested in God’s sovereign will and waited for God’s perfect and pleasing will to be done. As Habakkuk hoped and patiently waited on God, may we hope and patiently wait on God to deliver everyone from evil:

“Fig trees may not grow figs,
    and there may be no grapes on the vines.
There may be no olives growing
    and no food growing in the fields.
There may be no sheep in the pens
    and no cattle in the barns.

But I will still be glad in the Lord;
    I will rejoice in God my Savior.
The Lord God is my strength.
    He makes me like a deer that does not stumble
    so I can walk on the steep mountains.” (Habakkuk 3: 17-19, NCV)

            Come Lord Jesus, come soon and deliver us from evil. Amen.

Endnotes:      
1 My earlier article on four blood moons: http://rajkumarrichard.blogspot.in/2014/03/four-blood-moons-in-2014-15-christs.html

2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_rocket_attacks_on_Israel

3 There were 181 rocket and mortar attacks on Israel from January to June, 2014. But there were 2415++ rocket and mortar attacks on Israel in July. This data is as of 26th July 2014. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Palestinian_rocket_attacks_on_Israel,_2014)

4 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Israel%E2%80%93Gaza_conflict

5 The extraordinary offensive of the IDF has rendered fatalities of 1000 and injuries to 6000 Palestinians. “According to OCHA, as of 26 July 2014 in the Gaza Strip, over 200,000 Palestinians have been displaced and 165,548 are taking shelter in 92 UNRWA schools. 1.2 million people have no access or very limited access to water or sanitation, 120 schools and 18 health facilities have been damaged, 3,333 housing units have been destroyed or severely damaged rendering them uninhabitable, 3,380 housing units have been damaged but are still inhabitable and 80% of people only receive 4 hours of electricity per day.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Israel%E2%80%93Gaza_conflict)

6 http://www.ecology.com/birth-death-rates/


7 Written by Plato in his work “Apology,” (universally known as Plato’s ‘Apology’ of Socrates), p27. 


2 comments:

Champion Deivanayagam said...

Rajkumar,
A well written article, and I agree with these sentences that you have intellectually articulated here.

"We could argue endlessly about the goodness or the evilness of Israel or Hamas, but the fact remains that one is good and the other evil. God alone knows perfectly as to who is good and evil. Being right or wrong in our opinion or judgment is insignificant unless we possess an active and substantial role to usher peace. But the existence of evil entails violence and war. Let’s be prepared for this eventuality. The aspect of violence and war becomes complicated in perceptions. Violence and war are the entailments of perceptions."

Quite a train of thought, and I wonder, if we remove religious beliefs from this current conflict (and many others), would there still be conflicts ? If so, is it a fundamental flaw within the human race to disagree with 'beliefs' or is that our strength ? Sorry to side track a little bit into philosophy here.
-Champy

Raj Richard said...

Thank you for your kind and generous words of encouragement, Champy.

Yes, conflicts would continue because of 'good' and 'evil' dualism, moral relativism, atheism etc.

Disagreeing with each other's beliefs is not a fundamental flaw. in fact there is no flaw in this universe created by God.

If there are two "good" entities, there could still be minor conflicts but not physical and of a violent nature. And in this instance, there will be an agreement to disagree and peace and goodwill would ensue.

But the conflicts we are discussing is between two entities that could be:

1. A good and a evil entity.
2. Two evil entities.

In (1) the conflict could be a justified aggression by the good to eliminate evil or to defend
against an unjustified aggression.

(2) could well be towards elimination of a greater evil or an act of defense against the greater evil.

The fundamental premise for all I have said thus far is "human freewill," which is essential for 'love' to exist in creation dynamics.

But the moment we bring freewill into play, selfishness becomes the order of the day, especially in the event of freewill exercising its freedom to reject God.

Therefore disagreement with each other is innate in creation and due to freewill. So disagreements could be a strength when it's application is positive and undergirded by love and God. Else, regrettably, it would be towards destruction.

Sad reality.