In this fast-developing catastrophe, I cannot address specific steps how best to free the hostages, end the fighting, and bring Shalom to the Holy Land. I will, however, write these words of hope and wisdom. Hope because Shalom can come even after fearful acts that escalate fear, hatred, destruction, and death. Wisdom because I still believe that the vision of Isaiah will become reality: [The LORD] will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths. . . .. [People] will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.” (Isaiah 2:2-4).
I am drafting this blog a few days after the horrifying, barbarous attacks and hostage-taking in the Holy Land on October 7, 2023.
The effects of these attacks are being compared to the effects of September 11th: escalating fear, hatred, destruction, and death.
In this fast-developing catastrophe, I cannot address specific steps how best to free the hostages, end the fighting, and bring Shalom to the Holy Land.
I will, however, write these words of hope and wisdom.
What words of hope?
Hope because Shalom can come even after fearful acts that escalated fear, hatred, destruction, and death.
My favorite example is the War for Independence and the War of 1812 among the United States and the British Empire, including Canada. The United States burned the capital of Canada. The British burned the capital of the United States.
Nevertheless, the United States, Britain and Canada have become close friends and allies, defending Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
Another example is the American Civil War—the bloodiest war in the history of the United States. A war of brothers against brothers.
Nevertheless, the United States became one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all, including the newly freed slaves. A shining city on a hill, spreading government of the people, by the people, and for the people throughout Humanity.
Another example is the war between the United States and Japan in World War II—a brutal war that began with Japan sinking the Pacific Fleet of the United States and ended with the United States instantaneously annihilating two Japanese cities by using a mere two atomic bombs.
Nevertheless, the United States and Japan have become close friends and allies, establishing Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, setting people free, and keeping people free, by supporting governments of the people, by the people, and for the people.
Therefore, despite the barbaric horrors in the Holy Land today, I still believe that the future will be full of hope and love, as foreseen by the Prophet Isaiah when he wrote:
In the last days
the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established
as the highest of the mountains;
it will be exalted above the hills,
and all nations will stream to it.
Many peoples will come and say,
“Come let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, . . ..
He will teach us his ways,
so that we may walk in his paths.” . . ..
[People] will beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation,
nor will they train for war anymore.
What words of wisdom?
My vision of the ideal America—the ideal Promised Land—that was first discovered in the hearts of Abraham, Moses and Jesus.
This ideal America—this ideal Promised Land—includes ALL people everywhere regardless of their race, religion or nationality, including people who are citizens of nations other than the United States, such as Israel, Palestine, Iran, North Korea, Russia, or China.
ALL people from ALL nations, religions and races are “Americans” (regardless of their citizenship) if they seek and support this ideal America—this ideal Promised Land—where:
—ALL people will be blessed (Genesis 12:3);
—ALL “pharaohs” will be challenged to set ALL people free (Exodus 5:1); and
—ALL hurting people will be healed, regardless of their race, religion or nationality (Luke 10:25-37.
QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT
To which Promised Lands has the LORD called you to go and bless all peoples?
When and how will people beat their swords into plowshares and will nation no longer take up sword against nation?
In what Way do you envision that—in the Last Days—the vision of Isaiah will become reality? In the Way of Humanity? Or in the Way of Jesus?
For related thoughts, please read my blog about September 11th: “Raising the Star-Spangled Banner—Americans”, and my books The Promised Land, especially at pages 21-24, and Visions of America, Visions of the Church, especially at pages 11-18, 149-151, 211-212, and 215-216.
For the dangers from wars that spin out of control, please read my blogs “A War That Spun Out of Control: The American Civil War” and “A War That Spun Out of Control: World War I”.
For my thoughts about the War in Ukraine, please read my blog “Wishful Thinking: No Calories From Birthday Cakes” and the blogs referenced therein.