Rockets and Reprisals: Will the Cycle Ever End?
The Palestinians of Gaza and the Israelis are fighting again. With bombs flying and cease-fires failing, is there any hope for peace to come in this region?
Once again, bloodshed and death have deepened the divide between the Palestinians in Gaza and the Israelis.
The month of July has witnessed the most recent escalation of violence. Hundreds of rockets have been fired into Israel, and Israel has responded. While Israel’s Iron Dome shield has intercepted some rockets, given the sheer volume of incoming attacks, Israel cannot rely on that defense system alone.
In spite of Israel’s advance warnings to Palestinians in the area of targeted airstrikes, no military action can ever be casualty-free. Sadly, that is the nature of warfare. There is always collateral damage.
Egypt offered a cease-fire proposal that Israel initially agreed to July 15, but it accomplished nothing. The proposed cease-fire was broken by more rocket attacks from Gaza as Hamas “discussed” the peace proposal. The result was that “peace” was off, and a military and social media offensive escalated. Within one day, the world witnessed another example of what has been the cycle in this region for years.
When it comes to statesmanship, there are few world leaders like Menachem Begin and Anwar el-Sadat, who demonstrated through their words and actions what a real “peace process” could look like when they negotiated peace between Israel and Egypt in 1978. The recent failed cease-fire demonstrates that modern attempts at peace will not work if there isn’t a mutual effort on all sides to make the sacrifices necessary to genuinely achieve peace.
Students of the Bible recognize this ongoing cycle of trouble as one of the signs of the end times. No long-term solutions in sight
Students of the Bible recognize this ongoing cycle of trouble as one of the signs of the end times. Prophecy reveals that humanly unsolvable troubles will continue to plague mankind in ever increasing amplitude and frequency prior to the return of Jesus Christ.
Zechariah 12:2-3 reveals: “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.”
Jerusalem and Israel (the modern-day descendants of the house of Judah) will continue to be a violent quagmire.
Prophecy indicates that Europe will have an increasing role in Middle East politics in the coming years. The United States will continually be less relevant.
The real solution
Fundamentally, this boils down to a spiritual issue that cannot be solved by physical means (see James 4:1-2). The only solution is the intervention of Jesus Christ and the establishment of the Kingdom of God. At Christ’s return, “His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives” (Zechariah 14:4), and He will literally stop violence in that area by force.
The modern nation of Israel (identified as Judah in Bible prophecy) will be the first place that the peace of the Kingdom of God will be established (Zechariah 12:7-9). Afterward, “Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited” (Zechariah 14:11).
This message of good news—the gospel of the Kingdom of God—is the message this world needs to hear as we constantly read of mankind’s violent behavior and insolvable problems!
Pray for peace in the Middle East. And not just attempts at peace brokered by human beings—but the eternal peace of the soon-coming Kingdom of God!
For insight into the future of the Middle East, read “Middle East in Bible Prophecy.”