How Should We Respond to the Conflict in Israel?

    October 22, 2023
    George Robertson

    Since the conflict in the Middle East has intensified over the last 2+ weeks, I have been encouraged by the many expressions of lament, requests for counsel on how to process, and inquiries regarding what we should do as Christians. I was especially encouraged and convicted by a recent letter from one of our mission partners in relatively close proximity to the conflict. Their response is biblical and courageous. 

    It's hard for us to imagine what it would be like to be in their shoes. Here is what they had to say about the conflict relative to their ministry: “There’s never been a more strategic time for us to be here.” This statement is reflective of what the Christian response should be when things become challenging. The opportunity for the gospel is often at its greatest when circumstances are at their bleakest.

    In their letter, our partners outlined three practical ways they are responding:

    1. Pray
    2. Love and stand with the oppressed
    3. Proclaim the truth

    I love these responses for two reasons: 1) These are things we should always be doing as Christians, whether the place to which we have been called is under serious conflict or relative peace. This demonstrates that our mission partners are simply sharpening their focus on how to do these things relative to the situation they are facing. 2) These are also things we can apply right here in Memphis. As we see our partners in the gospel doing these things where they have been called, let’s recommit ourselves to doing them here in Memphis as well.

    We have talked and will continue to talk about ways to apply these things practically in Memphis. For now, I want to offer a few suggestions for how and what to pray for the conflict in the Middle east:

    • Pray for the defeat of terrorism.
    • Pray for a peaceful end to the war.
    • Pray for the protection of innocent Israelis and Palestinians around the world, but especially in the war zone.
    • Pray for justice and peace for the vulnerable and those who have been offended against.
    • Pray for the protection for our troops deployed in the region.
    • Pray for our mission partners who live and minister in close proximity to the conflict.
    • Pray for wisdom for our political and military leaders as they support our allies as well as coordinating humanitarian aid to refugees.
    • Pray with the psalmist:

    Let the peoples praise you, O God;
       let all the peoples praise you!
    Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
       for you judge the peoples with equity
       and guide the nations upon earth. Selah
    Let the peoples praise you, O God;
       let all the peoples praise you! (Psalm 67:3–5)

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