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FAITH: Down time with war looming in the background

Karen Stevens

We went to the Lake this past weekend, and it was very relaxing.  I sat on the outdoor swing closest to the water, and watched a big Blue Herring skim about six feet above the water.  He went back and forth several times, showing off his long structure.

There is a pair of eagles that have made a nest in a pine tree that is about 40 feet tall, which is directly across the water from the swing.  A juvenile eagle, born last Spring, was soaring high above the tops of the pines, close to the clouds.

The breeze was blowing just enough to keep everything cool, and to lull my grandson fast to sleep.

The Spring showers have made everything green and lush, and blackberries are everywhere.  There is a Mulberry tree that we just discovered, with fruit that is almost ripe.  God has made beauty everywhere I look.

And then in contrast – Israel.

As of this writing – 10 days of bombing.  According to the “Palestinian National Authority” 200 plus Israelites have been injured, and over 300 Palestinians – 60 of those being children.  The conflict began on May 10 when weeks of simmering tensions in Jerusalem between Palestinian protesters, the police, and the Israelites, escalated over a long battle for control of Jerusalem.  Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan during the 1967 Six-Day War, and subsequently annexed it into Jerusalem, together with additional surrounding territory.

One of Israel’s Basic Laws, the 1980 Jerusalem Law, refers to Jerusalem as the country’s undivided capital.

Some say that the U.S. is sending a mixed message since we are allies with Israel, and we are paying $90 billion dollars to Iran.  Also, Israel has failed to elect a government for the 4th time, which is adding further chaos.

Ecclesiastes 3:8 states there is a time for war. – “A time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.”

Anger, offense, pride, etc. are all issues we have to deal with every day.

According to Max Lucado, “Man’s enemy is sin.  Self-centeredness ravages our hearts.”

“A man reaps what he sows” (Gal. 6:7).

“If you sow seeds of peace, you reap the fruits of peace.  But sow seeds of destruction and the result is destruction. “…those who plant trouble and cultivate evil will harvest the same.” (Job 4:8).

War is a fruit of sin.  The Bible does not isolate war, as if it were something unique and quite apart from other human struggles.  War is one of them. On a larger scale, no doubt.  In a more terrible form, certainly.  But war with Iraq is born in the same hospital as a quarrel with your neighbor. The hospital of sin.”  https://maxlucado.com/why-does-god-allow-war/

Many people believe that God can only dole out good, but the Old Testament tells us otherwise. 

Jeremiah 5:15-17 – “O Israel, I will bring a distant nation against you,” says the Lord. “It is a mighty nation, an ancient nation, a people whose language you do not know, whose speech you cannot understand.  Their weapons are deadly; their warriors are mighty.  They will eat your harvests and your children’s bread, your flocks of sheep and your herds of cattle.  Yes, they will eat your grapes and figs.  And they will destroy your fortified cities, which you think are so safe.” 

In Deuteronomy 20:16-18 it states – “As for the towns of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as a special possession, destroy every living thing in them. You must completely destroy the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, just as the Lord your God has commanded you.  This will keep the people of the land from teaching you their detestable customs in the worship of their gods, which would cause you to sin deeply against the Lord your God.” 

God has a plan for all of us.  The plan is for us to live for Him, thru the blood of Jesus Christ to perfect our salvation, no matter what it takes for Him to accomplish that.

God is still the same God, today, yesterday and tomorrow.

We need to stand firm in our faith, and know that God can do what He wants, in war and beauty.

Karen Y. Stevens is Executive Director for Meals on Wheels