We’ve recently passed 100 days of war here in Israel. Some of my Israeli friends are down. This includes followers of Yeshua. Why wouldn’t there be depression? Here is a list of twelve reasons why many are depressed:
1. The terrible slaughter of over 1200 Israelis.
2. The mistreatment of the Israelis, the rape and torture of so many just before their deaths.
3. The hostages that were taken captive, some tortured and almost 300 Israeli soldiers killed.
4. Over 1500 injured; what injuries are long-term and life debilitating?
5. Over 10,000 Gaza civilians probably killed. This is not intentional but adds to the depression because Hamas set things up so they cannot be defeated without such civilian casualties.
6. The response of the pro-Palestinian Arabs in many nations who now have demonstrated in favor of the terrorists.
7. The response of the “woke” left who identify with Hamas, though Hamas would kill them if they were in the countries that support them. It is devastating to Jews who were liberal and now believe their political allies have turned on them, and they have.
8. The division in Israel between those who want to fully defeat Hamas and those who would stop the war to get the hostages back. Most Israelis want the war to conclude with a full defeat of Hamas and a pullback by Hezbollah in the North in submission to U. N. resolution 1701.
9. That many on the left have accepted the lying narrative that Israel is a colonial settler state and should never have come into existence. The messaging of Hamas has been much more effective than Israel.
10. For Messianic Jews, that the Bible and its teaching on the election of the Jewish people and the promise of this Land to our people is ignored, and even by those who claim to believe the Bible but ignore these passages.
11. The trauma of missiles form Gaza and Lebanon that have displaced over 200,000 people counting both the north and south.
12. The proceedings of the International Court of Justice of the U. N. where Israel, the victim of genocide, is being accused of genocide due to civilian causalities in its war against Hamas. Hamas should be blamed.
Well, you get the idea. However, God is never defeated and ultimately, He will be victorious. In Psalm 83, Israel fights against enemies who perhaps would wipe them out in a genocidal war. The enemy says of Israel, “Come, let’s wipe them out as a nation. Let Israel’s name be remembered no more.” v. 5. This sounds just like Hamas, Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihad. The Psalmist prays that these enemies would be defeated. But then though praying that the enemies perish, the Psalmist gives a glimmer of hope in the important verse, “Cover their faces with shame so that they may seek your Name.” (v. 17). Also, we note v. 19, “Let them know that you alone—whose Name is Adonai—are El Elyon over all the earth.”
Some years ago, Lee Smith wrote the book The Strong Horse. In it he tried to get westerners to understand the Middle Eastern mind. There is a deep tendency to be in alliance with the strong. For the more primative mind, the winner at war shows that their God, or their religion is more powerful. Accommodating radical Muslims will bring about positive change, but their utter defeat. In Psalm 83 the defeat leads to the confession of the Lord. Can we believe for a harvest into the Kingdom as a result of this terrible war, this terrible time if Israel is victorious?
The good news is that ultimately the enemies of God will be defeated. Yeshua will return and put all things right. We have to maintain this perspective in all times of trail and fight depression with hope. This is our ultimate hope. However, there is also much hope that God will bring good in the interim out of these trials. As we pray for victory for Israel in all these trails, the false attack and so much more, can be not find hope in the present prospects for the advance of the Kingdom? I think we can. We see in Heidi Baker’s amazing book, Always Enough, that the worst apparent setbacks led to great advances for the Gospel.
What are some other signs of hope? First, Israel is recognizing more than ever before that the Evangelical community is her strongest supporter. This helps overcome the stronghold of the mind that faith in Yeshua and the New Testament leads to opposition to the Jewish people. It is just the opposite when the Bible is truly believed. Jewish people are and will also be more open to the Gospel. We see an advance with both Jews and Arabs.
Secondly, the war is exposing hearts in the West and in the leadership of nations. Now the bankruptcy of the radical left is being revealed. Jewish people in the nations as never before are reevaluating their political alliances. This is a very good thing. The hearts of the radical left are being revealed as perverted. There is exposure of the anti-Semitism in the culture, the Ivy League schools and more. It is not too late for many are now seeing this and strongly rejecting this. Congressional investigations on anti-Semitism are starting.
We also now see the evil of the leaders of nations. We see Russia and China ally with Iran, the sponsor of Hamas and Hezbollah. Turkey and South Africa say Hamas is not a terrorist organization. It is good for us to know that these leaders are evil and that the present war has revealed their hearts. We hope this changes Israel’s policies and the policies of other nations.
Israel is an instrument of revealing God to the nations. We believe that this is taking place.
Therefore, despite the 12 reasons for depression, let us look up to Him and have hope that God is mightily at work.