Spiritual War: the Root of all Aggression against Israel
Yes – there is a root cause, a single principal cause of all aggression against Israel. And it is not political or ideological. Each time it is a spiritual war. According to the Bible, the nations will be in virtually continuous conflict with the State of Israel until Christ returns, and future Middle East war against Israel is certain. In fact, aligning prophecies in Ezekiel with the present world scene, the world is on the brink of another major Middle East war against Israel. This is the so-called Gog-Magog war described by the prophet Ezekiel. But why? What is the real reason for yet another war? Revelation 12 makes it clear that the underlying problem is spiritual, not political: the conflict is between Israel, God’s servant, and Satanic powers:
the dragon (Satan) persecuted the woman (Israel) who gave birth to the male Child (Jesus) … the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children
This key text identifies Israel’s conflicts with the spiritual entity Satan. It clearly states how Satan hates Israel and all those who are blessed through her i.e. believers in Christ. According to the Bible, Israel is God’s chosen witness and servant in the world, and through Israel came the Messiah, Jesus Christ (Isa 43.10, Gen 22.18, Gal 3.16). So Satan hates the witness (Jews), and all who follow Christ (Christians). The Gentile nations and their armies are merely pawns in the hands of Satanic powers! Each time nations move against Israel, as in UN resolutions against Israel, it is a sign of this underlying spiritual war. Even Israel will be deceived into accepting a false peace treaty (Isa 28.15-18).
Israel’s Divine Protection
Those who reject the ‘spiritual war’ explanation of the widespread hatred towards Israel will find the puzzle of Israel difficult to solve. They need to explain why tiny Israel (a country the size of Wales with just 8 million people) is hated so much by most of the world. And they need to explain why a remnant of Israel has always survived any aggression. Although Israel was scattered throughout the nations for some 2500 years, it is amazing that somehow a remnant of the nation has always survived. They also need to explain the rapid growth of Israel over the past 100 years. Why? Today we see many of the world’s 14 million Jews now regathered in Israel. Moreover, they have been, and always will be, protected by their true Messiah – Christ, the ‘Lion of Judah’. Consider the following facts:
The 1948-49 War of Independence: As soon as the Jewish State was born, she was invaded by five Arab armies (Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq). The Arabs had no difficulty obtaining all the arms they needed, whilst Israel had only a newly formed and ill-equipped defense force (the IDF). Even so, the Israelis managed to successfully defend themselves in virtually all battlefields, link, and at the end of the war Israel held territory beyond the boundaries set by the 1947 UN Partition Plan.
The 1967 Six-Day War: In the Six-Day War, the armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon (and later Iraq) attacked Israel. Their goal was “to wipe Israel off the map”. Israel defeated the attack even though the Arab armies had huge superiority in armour, aircraft and troops. After the war Israel held the Sinai, the Golan Heights, Gaza, the West Bank and all of Jerusalem.
The 1973 Yom Kippur War: Egypt and Syria launched another attack on Israel in an attempt to regain the territory Israel had acquired in her defensive war of 1967. Their armies launched a joint surprise attack on the Jewish Yom Kippur holiday, with Egyptian forces in Sinai and Syrian forces in the Golan Heights. Although Israel failed to see this war coming and suffered heavy casualties, she eventually retained the Golan Heights and Sinai, link (Israel withdrew from Sinai in 1982).
God’s Protection: In all three wars, Israel was either relatively poorly armed or surprised and ill-prepared. Either way, Israel repulsed the attacks and we must ask ourselves, ‘How was that possible?’ The biblical answer is that the God of Israel protected her, as in the following texts:
Whoever assails you will fall because of you … no weapon that is formed against you will prosper
I will be a wall of fire around her … he who touches you, touches the apple of (the Lord’s) eye
This protection extends to all future wars against Israel, as in the Gog-Magog war:
I will send fire upon Magog and those who inhabit the coast lands in safety; and they will know that I am the LORD
Did God Protect Israel against ISIS? Early December 2016 a strange storm cloud (dust and rain) put a barrier between Israel and ISIS. Reports say the storm stopped on the border of Syria and was ‘unable’ to enter Israel’s Golan Heights area. Was this a sign of the on-going spiritual war? Many believe God intervened on behalf of Israel, to prevent ISIS from entering Israel, link.
A Final Thought: At the end of this age we find confirmation of the root cause of conflicts with Israel and the root cause of the persecution of the Jews. Jesus referred to a future time of ‘great tribulation’ for Israel (Mat 24.15-28), driven by a world dictator (Dan 9.27). The point here is that this despicable person is merely the human arm of Satan: “the dragon (Satan) gave him his power” (Rev 13.2). This confirms that the root cause of conflicts with Israel is hatred from Satan. Each aggression is a sign of the on-going spiritual war. But the politicians cannot see it!