The Dividing Line
Tiny Israel, Where Kingdoms Collide
Like everyone else in the world, I read the news from Israel with shock. How one of the world’s most elite military and intelligence forces failed to avert this tragedy is hard to fathom. The news is gruesome and surreal; we’re watching the inevitable and the prophetic unfold.
While we were busy watching baseball, watching children, or fuming at the clownish disarray of our own government, a demarcation glowed in Israel. Every phone, every television, and every newspaper lit up and brought tiny, archeological Israel to the forefront of conflict in one modern, yet very ancient, moment.
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The gruesome acts of cruel terror had their galvanizing effect. Suddenly, the world doesn’t linger in the imaginary political middle, and religious war isn’t confined to far-off tribes. Even here in America, where our military leaders are enthralled by transgenderism and electric tank fantasies, we suddenly realize that ancient history’s deepest fissures have not been repaired by the urging of far-off diplomats or clever interfaith services.
With astonishing clarity, the Israeli tragedy brought two warring camps into stark relief, gathering sympathies to their poles on either side of an invisible line. The birds of one feather gathered to subtly—or not so subtly— blame Israel, while those with some remaining shred of humanity gathered across the way.
I’m no expert on Arab-Israeli conflicts and their long history of boundary disputes. Although modern Middle Eastern dramas can’t be entirely traced to ancient boundary lines, that surely is a big part of their story. But they can, like all human conflict— which begins in the heart—be traced to one kind of border dispute.
For a believer, Israel’s history teaches us about God’s character. God pursues, disciplines and defends the children of Israel, rescuing them when they wander off into idolatry and disbelief. Jews play a central and surprising role in the redemption story. For Christians, despite theological debate over its modern application, the nation of Israel has both symbolic and prophetic importance.
Even for nonbelievers, though, a dividing line streaks through Israel, where the world’s religions and superpowers inexplicably now converge. This unlikely little nation, surrounded as it is by bloodthirsty enemies, continues to be a flashpoint, much as it was when Jesus walked in Galilee.
Jesus came to battle for a Kingdom, but not for the Jewish one. He marked out a different boundary line with his outrageous claim, ”I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me.” Since that time, people are drawn to one side or the other of this transcendent line. Not all are drawn to the faith itself, of course, but they warm to the light and the worldview that recognizes evil in all its ugly forms.
Most of us, on one side of the demarcation, were sickened by the graphic descriptions of Hamas brutality—murdered babies, beheadings, and the crude display of a partially naked female captive. We can’t imagine a scenario in which a civilian music festival makes a legitimate occasion for bloody revenge. We gasped at vulgar demonstrations of glee; most of us mourned the bloody terror heaped on little ones, young parents, and grandmothers.
And yet, among us, but across the invisible line, there are those quietly smiling at this evil.
Some of these antagonists we already knew; the Capitol “squad” has never been shy about parading their third-world allegiances. We expect nothing less from a woman keeps Palestine’s flag posted by her Capitol office door. In our own government, living off the American people, we have enemies of our way of life, our Judeo-Christian values, and our Constitution.
The crowds of demonstrators can’t really surprise us, because they’ve been nestled among us for years, and we were never too sure who was for us, and who was against us. As for Arab immigrants, we like to be polite and welcoming and tell ourselves that they are just here to make a better life; we say we enjoy the diversity they bring to our “melting pot.” But we can’t deny the uncomfortable question; when will they spring up and turn on us, too?
Aside from the louder anti-Israel voices, though, we see other glowering eyes sitting quietly in the bushes. They’ve been there the whole time, blending in with our post-Covid scenery, loitering innocuously among the social justice left; but the fresh blood of Islamic barbarism now reveals their quiet solidarity with evil.
Also across the line gathers our media, known already for its leftist social passions but also distinguished for its general disdain for Israel. To be fair, there are a few examples of even-handed fact gathering and reporting; some evil is too gruesome to ignore. The longer narrative, though, posits Israel as a cruel occupier of a peaceable refugee camp, and Palestinians as a marginalized group hoping for a little piece of Israel’s land.
The discredited Black Lives Matter crowd also joins to celebrate Israel’s suffering—and not because because BLM cares about darker skin, but because it loathes everything that carries the repugnant scent of Judeo-Christian beliefs and Western civilization. It’s sadly doubtful that any school systems, mainline churches, or corporate kiss-ups will officially repudiate them now—despite their support for the most grisly sorts of terror.
The Davos crowd, sporting the beastly mark, offers their thinly-veiled excuses for Islamic rage, or they moralize about “inequalities” and issues that the creepy bureaucracy will never solve. From fashionable enclaves, and with many acronyms, they plot to save the world from this and that; but they are not about to save anyone from Middle Eastern terror—not even the innocent Palestinians who are kept impoverished by it. Food and water programs aside, many of our global elites simmer with the same anti-Western resentment that blazes brightly in jihadi hearts.
The mob-like university radicals also line up to rally behind Hamas. Privileged students at campuses like Harvard and UNC-Chapel Hill now celebrate anti-Western everything, making it easy for them to align their sympathies with third-world America-haters. It isn’t surprising; a generation of progressive educators have faithfully discipled our young into the left’s nihilism.
In truth, no complex geopolitical explanations are needed to clarify beheadings, rape, or burning people alive; similarly, no political theories are required to explain communism, socialism, or the calculated obliteration of the individual human soul. Whether unwittingly or in blind rage, those who accommodate these evils ultimately serve the interests of cosmic darkness, across the divide.
Israel could have many more such tragedies, and Palestinians may still labor under the povery of Islamic terror; globalists will continue plans for a sterile world without faith. Psalm 2:1 says, “Why do the nations rage, and the people plot in vain?” In verse 4, all geopolitical boasting is leveled with God’s confident humor; “He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision.”
It also says in Proverbs 19:21, “many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Let us then hope that we are serving the prevailing one. Two kingdoms line up face to face along the great divide; look around to see who gathers on your side of the line.
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