A History of Israel's Struggle: Part 2

Previously I wrote on how the nation of Israel received its name, what the name means, and its theological implications.  Jacob was named Israel by the angel who wrestled him, who many believe is the preincarnate Christ.  The name Israel means, he struggles with God.  I then provided a macro view of how the nation of Israel split apart into two different kingdoms, their exile to Babylon, and their return.  The Israelite’s who survived the Babylonian invasion and were exiled off to Iraq, became known as the remnant. (2 Chron. 36:20; Jer. 25:11)

In 539 B.C, a year after Persia’s overthrow of the Babylonian Empire, Cyrus the ruler of Persia, decreed the Israelites who were under Babylonian captivity were free to return to their homeland.  This is all in keeping with the words of the prophet Isaiah who prophesied 200 years before Cyrus’ decree that God himself would raise up Cyrus to bring about God’s purposes of bringing the remnant back to their homeland. (Isa. 44: 28, Isa. 45:1-5)

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Palestine: 1,300 Israel: 13

Did you hear about the Christian School that fired its coach because his team won a game, 100 to 0? Christian school basketball does not often make it in the New York Times. Covenant Christian School, a private Christian school in Texas, posted a statement regretting the outcome of its Jan. 13 victory over Dallas Academy. "It is shameful and an embarrassment that this happened. This clearly does not reflect a Christ-like and honorable approach to competition," said the statement, signed by the school’s Headmaster and the School’s Board Chair, Todd Doshier.

Hmmmm. In the same paper, I was shocked to note the outcome of another conflict with a score that is far worse: 1,300 to 13. Imagine a “conflict” in which the deaths are 130 to 1. What would we call that? A massacre? Are we talking about Darfur? The Russian/Chechen conflict? Tiananmen Square in China? No, we are talking about the tragedy of 1,300 Palestinians and 13 Israelis dead in the most recent version of regime- change military actions. This act includes documented systematic destruction of Palestinian infrastructure, including film of burning chunks of phosphorous from Israeli missiles in a Palestinian school. Every death is a tragedy, but such a crazy disparity points to something different than war.  Did you know that a UN poll recently found that nearly 90% of Palestinians want peace with Israel? That monitors of Palestinian elections (greatly encouraged by the US) found them fair and the outcome untainted?

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