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Past Victories


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I love the stories in the Bible where God reminds us of the past victories. He recounted many history lessons to the prophets about God's intervention in the affairs of Israel. The Book of Esther talks about the elimination of the Jews by Haman, an evil administrative official in King Xerxes' reign over Persia. He hated the Jews and devised a plan for the King to execute the Jews by decree. He was able to get the King to make such a decree, which once declared, could not be rescinded. So, the Persians throughout the Persian kingdom had an open license to kill Jews. Of course, Mordecai and Queen Esther stepped in to help protect the Jews and were able to get the King to declare a decree to give the Jews a right to defend themselves. As a result, the Jews were able to kill 75,000 Persian enemies who hated the Jews.

 

Today the Hamas-Israeli war is similar. Hamas has been trying to kill Jews in southern Israel for years, shooting rockets into Israel hoping to kill as many Jews as possible. On October 7, 2023, Hamas decided to attack Israel and kill over 1200 Jews. This unprovoked attack was the catalyst for Israel to go after Hamas and wipe them off the face of the earth.  No King gave them the right to do this as was the case in the Book of Esther, but Israel was and is acting on behalf of the citizens of Israel. After years of being bombarded with missiles and other attacks, Israel decided enough was enough. They went on the offensive and brought the war to Gaza to eradicate Hamas.

 

So, what can we learn from this story, and the Hamas-Israeli war?

 

  1. Bullies who are looking for a return from their acts of intimidating violence will not retreat from terrorizing a people group without confrontation.

  2. Confrontation will usually result in war. War in the Hamas-Israeli conflict will certainly give victory to Israel, but the long-term damage caused by Israel will be felt by the next generations of Gazan people. Revenge and retaliation will be on the minds of future generations to avenge the deaths of innocent people killed by Israel.

  3. Jews had no choice but to eliminate their enemies in the Book of Esther, it was a case of kill or be killed. The same is true in the war with Hamas today.

  4. Israel has ignored the call from the international community to cease fire and stop the carnage of the innocent Gazan people. As I watched the early hours of the October 7, 2023 attack on Israel, and the capture of civilian hostages, the people of Gaza rejoiced in the streets. It reminded me of the Muslim world following the attacks on the World Trade Towers in 2001. The Muslim world celebrated in the streets that America was attacked and 3000 people were killed. In many ways, this kind of attitude of killing Jews was celebrated, until Israel retaliated by bombing Gaza to eradicate Hamas. Of course, there will be collateral damage of innocent people dying, but it is a stark reminder that if you support the bad guys, you will receive the same reward as what happens to the bad guys in war.

  5. In the end, the Book of Esther reveals that the Jews were saved from annihilation. It is amazing to me that the Jews have been the only people group in the world today that have been consistently pursued by their enemies for annihilation. Most people groups will conquer another people group to enslave them, take their assets, and use the resources of captured people to enhance their own country or tribe. This is not true with the Jews. It has always been to overthrow them for annihilation. They lost their independence as a nation in 70 AD following the Roman invasion of Jerusalem, so the Jews were scattered all over the world … they were a people without a country. Then in 1948, the Jews came back into their land to establish a country. Immediately the Arabs from surrounding countries decided that was not going to happen, so they went to war. Again, the idea of annihilation was the goal of Israel’s enemies.

 

Israel has not been left alone by her Arab neighbors since 1948, because the job of annihilation was not complete. Revelation 12 reveals the reason why Israel has always been in the spotlight of war with the people around her.  Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring - those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.

 

I once heard a preacher say that the Book of Esther could be a Book for the last days. Antisemitism is on the rise around the world, and the protests against Israel are increasing. The prophet Zechariah predicts in Revelation Chapters 12 and 14, that Israel will face a worldwide tension, and all nations will come against Israel in the last days.

 

Hatred for the woman (Israel in Revelation 12) that provided the Savior to the world, is the hatred behind Antisemitism. Israel will play a huge role in the prophetic tension coming in the last days, and the present war is a good example.

 

Challenging the Culture with Truth … Larry Kutzler

 

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