What Palestine and Israel Need
I’m a Palestinian woman in love with a Jewish man. He is the best relationship I’ve ever had. He is my protector, provider, and friend. He loves me like no other can love me. Yet the scenes of the Israeli-Palestinian war on the news and social media haunt me. Women screaming in despair because one side of the conflict or the other took their children. Fathers frantically digging their daughters out of rubble. I take one look at the headlines and feel like this situation is spiraling into hopelessness. Centuries of political talking, peace treaties, military strikes and still … despair.
So what is the cure for this hopeless situation?
This deep-seeded conflict is both way over our heads and well within our reach. Long before a generation sang along with The Beatles that “love is all we need,” that truth rang from Scripture. God initiated that concept, just on a much deeper level. We cannot even begin to understand God’s power to overcome tension and dissension between bitter enemies until we fully understand love, His love.
“God is love” (1 John 4:8). Love is not an action verb or an emotion to muster but rather a Person. God and love are inseparable. He is LOVE and the source of true unconditional love, above all other loyalty, nationality, territorialism, or patriotism. God enables His children to love without borders or condition. He doesn’t say, “I love you if…I love you except…I love you but.”
God wants our love to be without limits, too. Israelis and Palestinians cannot love each other without first embracing LOVE Himself. And the Person who is LOVE humbled Himself to actively, unconditionally, passionately and unswervingly love the people He created. His character became a sacrificial action and an emotion of love on our behalf while we were still His enemies. The Bible says:
“For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son,
how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life” (Romans 5:10)!
God’s love is so wide and high and deep that it reaches the utter most parts and touches every country, people group, and nationality of the human race. It reaches you, and it also reaches the very person you mock, hate or loathe. And perhaps the final antidote for this enduring conflict will be to one day drop all our arms, armor, and strategies and simply love each other.
When Jesus walked on earth, His love reached out to the least likely. an untouchable Samaritan. Samaritans were hated by Jews because they were considered “half-breeds” (half Jews and half Gentiles). These “half-breeds” were shunned by full-blooded Jews and did not worship like the Jews. But Jesus wrecked cultural barriers and decided to take time to speak to this woman who was shunned even by her own people group (John 4).
Jesus demonstrated love to a Samaritan woman with a questionable reputation. This woman not only had five husbands, the man she was currently shacking up with was not her husband either. She was that girl. Jesus made an appointment to meet with her, speak to her and reveal Himself to her. WOW! That is love in action!
For Palestinians and Jews who are mostly taught to be enemies to actually step into a love relationship with one another, they need to receive LOVE Himself. They need to fully grasp that God loved them before they loved Him. “This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10). And they need to accept how He demonstrated His love for them. Until then, the only love they can give one another is a love that is saturated with “if, but, except, … or never.”
I accepted LOVE Himself and what He did on the cross for me. I fell in love with a Jewish man (Jesus Christ), and my life has never been the same. He has helped me to be able to love my enemies and actually build friendships with Jews. My friend Mindy, who is Jewish, and I have enjoyed meals and laughter together. We have cried with each other and mourned with each other. Why? Because we chose to accept LOVE Himself and walk in love with one another.
So what about you?
- You may not be a Jew or a Palestinian, but do you have a person in your life you consider a “fr-enemy” or a hard core enemy?
- Are you trying to love that person with your human love filled with “if, but, except, or never” mindset?
- At heart of it all, have you truly accepted LOVE Himself, His love for you and His enabling power to love others? (Why not talk to God now…)
- Do you know Jesus but feel low on love? Ask Him now to fill You with His love again for friends, family and enemies…
Don’t underestimate how your love can impact your unique corner of the world that God has given you.