The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict doesn’t surprise those who read and understand Scripture. It shouldn’t frighten us, either. The Lord holds our world in His hands and cares for us even in the most hopeless of situations.

God’s Word discusses “wars and rumors of wars” that will occur as we approach “the end.” Yet, He commands us not to be alarmed or afraid.

“You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.  All these are the beginning of birth pains.” —Matthew 24:6-8 ESV

The ”birth pains” Jesus described are currently visible. News channels stream events around the clock. By the looks of it, it would seem as if there aren’t enough channels to report on all of the conflicts currently occurring between nations and kingdoms. Every day, it seems new channels appear just to track the “wars and rumors of war” erupting all around us.

Unfortunately, the conversation regarding wars and rumors about those wars can quickly turn into an obligation to comment. When we turn off the television and pick up our phone or computer, the stage is instantly flipped from some distant reporter’s thoughts to those of our next-door neighbor or online friend.

Social media platforms create a sense of obligation when it comes to sharing our opinions. With immediate and free access, our social media profiles now give us the ability to comment on the news as it occurs. Furthermore, as Christians, our values challenge us to combine the relative ease of sharing our opinions and insights, with the need to share our faith.

Yet, there are other methods for handling conflict rather than commenting at every turn. The methods I’m proposing in this post include becoming slow to speak, understanding the controversial nature of having a Christian worldview, and our responsibility to pray for the peace of Jerusalem while also working for peace for everyone.

Be Slow To Speak

Social media platforms should be viewed as an opportunity instead of an obligation. When we speak out of obligation we may end up saying something that ignites discord in our neighborhood or in the body of Christ. A sense of obligation can cause us to comment on a subject way too quickly. Proverbs is clear that this is not the best practice.

“Do you see people who speak too quickly? There is more hope for a foolish person than for them.” —Proverbs 29:20 ESV

While it can be a very difficult practice to live by, being “slow to speak” is a desirable character trait in today’s culture. The book of James contains this challenge.

“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger…” —James 1:19 ESV

Not only does this practice distinguish us from the ways of the world, but it also allows us to educate ourselves on the issues at hand.

We Are Contrary To The World

In the current debate regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it’s also important for us to remind ourselves that the nation of people of Israel still represent God’s chosen people. This belief is contrary to the ways of the world.

When we speak God’s Word, it won’t always be well received. Christ’s views are still controversial. If they were unhappy with His opinions, we can expect to receive a similar response. Jesus said it this way in Matthew 10:24-25.

“A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.  It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household.” —Matthew 10:24-25 ESV

If they persecuted Jesus, they’ll also persecute us. That doesn’t mean we should be worried about sharing God’s Word. But it does mean that we should be aware of the cost. That awareness may cause to better form our opinions and ideas before haphazardly sharing them.

According to Scripture, we must be intentional about how we speak and what we say on these and other potentially divisive issues.

Strive For Peace

It seems contradictory to strive for peace when what we believe is contrary to the ways of the world. Yet, our views don’t have to incite heated disagreement, division, or violence. Jesus was a teacher who walked in humility and taught us to live peaceable lives.

Although our faith separates us from the world, we shouldn’t act out in anger towards those who disagree with our beliefs. The writer of Hebrews gives us this challenge.

“Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord…” —Hebrews 12:14 ESV.

Striving for peace can prioritize spiritual values above exclusively political opinions. Our advocacy through the spirit can surpass the discord and dissension on such topics, and even open up hearts for us to better minister to our brothers and sisters and people in general.


So, what is our stance? We should pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

The people of Israel throughout Scripture were not faultless or without sin. They didn’t live without consequences for their behaviors and actions. This is a theme all throughout the Old Testament. But the actions of His children do not immediately disqualify them from their inheritance. This is where Jesus enters the discussion.

As Gentiles, we were grafted into the “root” of Christ. The writer of Romans describes this by using the analogy of the olive shoot and root. Some of the people of Israel may have been broken off for us to be grafted in, but that shouldn’t lead us to become arrogant towards the people of Israel.

“If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, ‘Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.’ Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble.” —Romans 11:17-21 ESV

Unfortunately, as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict unfolds, arrogance may cause us to assume that we shouldn’t care about the people caught in this conflict. After all, haven’t they rejected the teachings of Christ?

God’s Word challenges us to live above these divisive and arrogant ideas. It challenges us to tremble and be reverent at the grace of God that allows us, “a wild olive shoot,” to be grafted in.

Finally, Scripture also challenges us to pray for Israel. In fact, the writer of Psalm 122 gives us a great example of how we ought to pray.

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! ‘May they be secure who love you! Peace be within your walls and security within your towers!’ For my brothers and companions’ sake I will say, ‘Peace be within you!’ For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your good.” —Psalm 122:6-9 ESV

The current conflict in the Middle East can evoke a variety of emotions, but as Christians we would do well to follow the guidance provided in God’s Word by, 1) being slow to speak, 2) being slow to become angry, 3) remembering that we are contrary to the world, 4) striving for peace with everyone, and, 5) praying for the peace of Jerusalem as well as God’s will upon this earth.

To learn more about the specifics of the current conflict between Israel and Gaza, check out the new ISOW course, “The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Through the Lens of Scripture” where Bill Cloud explores the Scriptures regarding this ancient conflict. Visit today to get started on an affordable online biblical education!

To view courses in Spanish, click here.

Kayla Foley, Staff Writer