Some Thoughts After a Month of War in Israel by Aaron Hecht

This post first appeared on Kineti and is authored by Judah Gabriel Himango, one of Tabernacle of David’s teachers.

 

In a few days, it will be a full month since Hamas launched a barbaric rampage of murder, rape, mutilation, kidnapping, torture and terror against my country. Much has happened in the last month, and in this blog, I’d like to share some thoughts about what I’ve seen both here in Israel and around the world.

Prophecy is certainly being fulfilled before our eyes

The first thought that I’ve been contemplating this last month is that prophecy is definitely being fulfilled, but maybe not the ones we’re all thinking about. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely do think there’s a better than 50-50 chance that we’re headed for a global war. Without question, we’re in a season defined by “wars and rumors of war” and many of the other terrible things that Jesus said would be signs that HIs followers should look for that the time of His Second Advent was fast approaching.

But of all the prophetic passages regarding the “End Times,” there’s one that doesn’t seem to get much attention, and I think that’s a mistake. I’m talking about Matthew 24:12; And because lawlessness is increased, most people‚Äôs love will become cold”

Brothers and sisters, we are indeed in a time where lawlessness is increasing, and it is definitely prompting the love of many to grow cold.

Most of the time when the Biblical warnings about “lawlessness” are discussed by Messianic Jews, Hebrew Roots folks, Christian Zionists, etc. the discussion goes straight to Christmas trees, Easter eggs, the consumption of pig flesh, etc.

With all due respect to the deep, eternal, profound importance of these issues which certainly aren’t comprehensively and even exhaustively dealt with in the Pauline Epistles and thus are worthy of every second of time and every iota of energy that is spent endlessly discussing them, I actually don’t think that’s what “lawlessness” means. Or at least, I think this term also covers other things.

The “post-truth world” that we live in is, for instance, a spectacular example of the phenomenon the New Testament refers to as “lawlessness.”

 In the “post-truth world” there are only three rules. The first is that everyone is free to believe whatever makes them comfortable, no matter how absurd. The second is that no one is obligated to believe anything that doesn’t confirm their narrative, or reject anything that supports their narrative, for any reason whatsoever. The third rule is that no matter what anyone wants to believe, or not believe, there will be something on the internet that will allow them to do so. Or, the internet (and the associated technology that allows for so-called “deep fakes” and other deceptive media content) can be pointed to as a legitimate reason for not agreeing to something that seems to be obviously true.

In other words, the old adage that “everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts” has been discarded. Also, the oft-repeated phrase from the Book of Judges that “in those days, there was no king in Israel and everyone did what was right in his own eyes” is worth mentioning in this context.

To paraphrase that passage, “these days, there is no universally accepted dictum that objective truth exists and needs to be taken seriously, so everyone believes whatever they want and this leads to them doing whatever they want.”

Because of this, the love of many is growing cold.

In the last month, we’ve seen many examples of people flatly refusing to believe that Hamas carried out any atrocities against Israeli civilians on 7 October. When the videos Hamas operatives filmed of them committing atrocities are pointed out, this is dismissed as being either insufficient or unconvincing. After all, videos can be faked. Or one can simply deny that the videos, photographs, etc. of beheaded babies even exist.

I’ve heard some Hamas apologists speculate that all the video and photographic evidence of Hamas’ evil rampage was fake, generated by Artificial Intelligence (everyone knows “the Jews” are really good at AI and Israel is a world leader in this technology) while no actual Israelis were victims of terrorism. The brother of a British political leader said he thought it was more likely that the terrified people we see being tortured and murdered in these videos were actually actors and actresses being paid to pretend they were in those situations. Presumably, he also thinks that the dog we see being gunned down in one video as he was attempting to chase away a Hamas operative who had invaded his kibbutz was also just giving us a new version of the old “playing dead” trick that dogs are so well known for. 

The apologists don’t stop there, however, but rather take this argument to another, even more absurd level, by saying that even if babies WERE beheaded and women WERE raped and families WERE tortured and murdered, etc. it’s all justified because these Israelis were colonists, living on “stolen Palestinian land” etc. Decolonization “by any means necessary” is acceptable and even laudable according to this narrative.

I won’t go on, I’m sure anyone reading this blog has already heard all these arguments and been flabbergasted and horrified by them.

What’s going on is very simple to explain even as it is very difficult to accept.

The love (and with it the basic human compassion that a normative person would feel when they see unarmed people being bullied, tortured, and murdered by heavily armed and masked terrorists) of many is growing cold. Technology which has been an instrumental part of what makes the “post-truth world” possible is also a convenient excuse to bury normative feelings of love and compassion for our fellow humans.

I expect this phenomenon to get much more intense going forward.

Too much information

This leads to the second thought I have been contemplating over the past month of war here in Israel, and that is the phenomenon of “too much information” or “TMI” for shorthand.

An anecdotal story can illustrate this.

A few weeks ago I opened an email from a large ministry here in Jerusalem and it included a link to a video they’d produced and put up on youtube. I clicked on the link to watch the video, which the ticker said had been viewed 1.3K times since it had been posted 22 hours previously.

As I was watching it, there were of course a bunch of other videos shown on the right-hand part of the screen, which the YouTube algorithms were suggesting I watch next, based on my past viewing habits and all that. The next video had been viewed 2.5 million times since being posted just six hours previously, and so although it was on a channel I’d never heard of before, I decided to give it a look, just so I’d know what 2.5 million other people had watched.

The video was some guy who identified himself as a “patriotic American Christian of Persian descent” and for 22 minutes this individual sat in front of his camera and talked a bunch of complete and utter rubbish about Israel, the history of relations between Israel and the surrounding nations, the influence “the Jews” exert on the American government, in Hollywood, etc. and many other topics. It was very sad for me to see that this video had been viewed so many times, but I also knew that it was just one of thousands of such videos.

I saw a statistic somewhere several years ago that said every 24 hours, almost 20,000 years worth of video is uploaded to YouTube. Since I saw that report the number has probably increased. Needless to say, it’s impossible for anyone to watch even a tiny fraction of this content, not to mention the billions of posts that get put on other social media platforms on a daily basis. But the massive volume of information also makes it possible to find something that confirms almost ANYTHING that anyone wants to believe. It’s also possible to find something that at least casts doubt, if not flatly refutes, anything that anyone doesn’t want to believe.

The truth is out there, but so are a ton of lies, half-truths, obfuscations, etc. that make the truth MUCH harder to find than the proverbial needle in a haystack. Since many people aren’t even interested in finding the truth, that makes it even harder, and it makes the world ever more dysfunctional.

An ancient riddle answered

The third thought I’ve been contemplating this last month is that I think I have an answer to an ancient riddle. This riddle sometimes gets communicated in the form of a joke, and it goes like this.

“What’s worse, apathy or ignorance” and the punchline to the joke is “I don’t know and I don’t care.”

But in the past month, I think we’ve seen that ignorance is FAR worse than apathy.

An apathetic person will do harm, but it will be in the breach. An example of this is a university student who doesn’t bother to speak out against the Russian invasion of Ukraine because it’s far away and they don’t really care about stuff that’s going on far away, although on some vague level, they might think that Russia is doing something wrong.

However, ignorant university students will turn out in their thousands to condemn Israelis for the crime of existing, which provokes others to attack them. Ignorant people, many of whom don’t have the excuse of being “young and dumb” university students but who are in fact old enough to know better, will mindlessly chant slogans such as “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” and hold up signs which decry a “genocidal onslaught” against the people living in the Gaza Strip and so on.

Indeed, ignorance is far worse than apathy, at least in the degree of damage it causes.

Demonic activity is increasing in the natural world

All of the above can also be explained by an increase in demonic activity in the natural world. Many people have, without realizing it, invited demons to be part of their lives, and these demons have taken full advantage of the openings they’ve been given. The weight of generations of sin is also pressing down on this world, and many curses that people called down on themselves over the course of history, have been passed on to children and grandchildren, who are living in this present age and suffering the consequences of all that accumulated sin and guilt.

One consequence of unrepented sin is that it removes God’s protection from a person, and that can and does lead to demons stepping into that person’s life and taking control of their minds, their hearts, and their actions. It goes without saying that Satan and his demons hate the human race in general and the Jewish people in particular. Satan hates everything God loves, and the more God loves something the more Satan hates it. 

So if a demon hates Believers, Jews and Israel more than anything else, it naturally follows that any human being who is under demonic influence, if not indwelling, is going to hate Believers, Jews, and Israel too. This will lead them to do all kinds of things that a person who is not under demonic influence will find utterly baffling and even alarming.

A separation of sheep and goats is occurring before our eyes

This next thought follows from the previous one, and it’s here that we begin to see some good news.

Even as there have been ever more strident expressions of demonic hatred of Israel and Jews, even as reports of anti-Semitic activities are skyrocketing all over the world, and even as some governments are beginning to downgrade or even cut their diplomatic ties to Israel there are also Christians who never showed much interest in Israel speaking up.

Churches, parachurch organizations, and individuals from all over the world are contacting and donating money to Christian Zionist organizations and local congregations here in the Land. Prayer meetings are being held for Israel in churches where that never happened before. There has also been an increase in public demonstrations of support for Israel to counter the anti-Israel demonstrations in Western countries.

In any case, no one is able to ignore Israel amidst all the media attention this country is getting at the moment. People everywhere are realizing that this is a defining moment for the human race, and a stand must be taken, one way or another. When faced with naked evil, people realize they must make a decision. Being lukewarm regarding Israel was never a good option, but now it’s becoming simply impossible.

Let us pray for the eyes of many to be opened, for indifference to be replaced by urgency and for passivity to be replaced by action.

In this context, I will repeat a verse I’ve quoted many times before in these blogs.

“So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of My mouth” Revelation 3:16

The status quo ante is gone

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, the father of the USSR, once said “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen”.

Despite the many evil things that Lenin did, and the even worse acts carried out by the regime he built in the years after his death, this quote by V.I. Lenin carries a great deal of truth. Because some historical events are so dramatic and far-reaching in their consequences that they can change the trajectory of human history as much, if not more, than a series of less dramatic changes that occur sequentially over a long period of time.

The last weeks since that horrible morning of 7 October have been like that here in Israel. We’re seeing things happen that would have been unthinkable only a very short time ago, and they include things that some of us thought we might see happen someday, but only after a long period of gradual, sequential, incremental changes.

In short, things will never be the same in Israel, for better and for worse.

One such change is the voluntary enlistment into the IDF by a small but not insignificant number of Ultra-Orthodox men, who came to the recruiters and said they couldn’t stand by and watch while so many others were fighting against an evil force bent on killing Jews just for being Jews.

Many liberal Jews, both in Israel and the Diaspora, are also having a “scales falling from the eyes” moment and seeing that their “woke” friends aren’t really their friends at all. 

An old pal of mine who went FAR down the Left-wing looney toon rabbit hole when he went to college in Massachusetts years ago sent me an email last week in which he admitted that he’d made some mistakes. He said he can see now that many of these “human rights activists” he’s been hanging out with are actually a bunch of hypocrites who only pretend to care about human rights while really being just as hateful, prejudiced, and bigoted against certain groups of people as everyone else.

He even said that he could see in his own attitudes and actions a great deal of hypocrisy, and he asked me for help in trying to become a better person.

Brothers and sisters, I won’t identify this individual publicly, but I WILL say that if he can wake up and smell the coffee, ANYONE can, and it’s NEVER too late!

Once again, a separation is happening, and some people who have spent most of their lives under demonic influence and oppression can still be delivered, but this requires a great deal of prayer, fasting, and faith.

In this context, there’s one more thing that’ll never be the same in Israel after this, and that’s the attitudes of many Israeli Jews to Believers, including Messianic Jews.

I have seen, in my own family and among many long-time frenemies in anti-Christian groups that operate here in Israel, an awakening to the fact that Israel and the Jews are hated by almost everyone except Bible-believing Christians. The activities of Christian ministries and Messianic congregations in this country, including caring for those who have been the victims of Hamas terrorism and also including the members of our community who have fallen in battle, have also been noticed.

People from whom I’ve received tremendous amounts of venomous abuse over the years are, all of a sudden, displaying a very different attitude. I’m even getting questions about the New Testament from some of these people because they realize that they need to understand this book, even if it’s just to better understand their allies.

This shift, from naked, high-octane hostility, to cautious and pragmatic curiosity, is a MAJOR step in a positive direction, in my humble opinion.

Needless to say, there are also many Jewish people who were always nice to me and always courteous and respectful towards my faith, who are now even more so.

I hope I’m not the only Believer in Israel who is having this positive experience, and I hope that going forward there will be a better atmosphere for Believers here. I also pray for the Holy Spirit to open the hearts and minds of these people to the truth of the Gospel, and that there be much fruit from the many conversations I and others are having amidst these difficult circumstances.

On that note, I’ll wrap this blog up since it’s already very long. I’ve got some more thoughts, but they can wait for the next installment.

If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably already very concerned about what’s going on in Israel and you’re probably praying into the situation and maybe also giving some practical help to at least one Christian ministry operating in Israel. Maybe you’re also speaking up on social media for Israel, attending demonstrations in your area in support of Israel, visiting with Jewish people in your community to show them your support, or maybe even helping them prepare to make Aliyah.

Whatever you’re doing, don’t stop. In fact, try and kick it up a notch or two. This is “it” brothers and sisters. There’s no point saving anything for late

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