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  • Writer's pictureBrandon 'b.Side' Alvillar

The Biblical Response To Hamas And Terrorism

"To everything, turn, turn, turn

There is a season turn, turn, turn

And a time to every purpose under Heaven

A time to be born, a time to die

A time to plant, a time to reap

A time to kill, a time to heal

A time to laugh, a time to weep

To everything, turn, turn, turn

There is a season turn, turn, turn

And a time to every purpose under Heaven

A time to build up, a time to break down

A time to dance, a time to mourn

A time to cast away stones

A time to gather stones together

To everything, turn, turn, turn

There is a season turn, turn, turn

And a time to every purpose under Heaven

A time of love, a time of hate

A time of war, a time of peace

A time you may embrace

A time to refrain from embracing

To everything, turn, turn, turn

There is a season turn, turn, turn

And a time to every purpose under Heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose

A time to rain, a time of sow

A time for love, a time for hate

A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late…"

- The Byrds

These are the lyrics of Pete Seeger, made popular by The Byrds in 1965, the hit oldies rock single, “Turn! Turn! Turn!” To be clear though, these were the words first written by King Solomon, inspired by the Holy Spirit of the Almighty and Transcendent God. We find these exact words in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. These aren’t just creative words that make for a catchy tune. These are foundational principles that God provided in His Word, to provide perspective and wisdom about how life really works in this world. This article is going to look at how, the terrifying events that began on October 7th, 2023 in Israel at the border near Gaza, shape our new reality, and how we as Christian men should respond. In this article, we’re looking at the Biblical response to Hamas and Terrorism.

When the attacks in Israel began, people started to text me videos and photos. It didn’t take long for other videos and photos to hit my social media feeds. It was a strange day for me. I was at a craft fair with my family when my phone started to blow up with information. It was a difficult exercise for my brain to process the images and videos that were being sent to me, while standing next to people looking at homemade clothes for dogs while eating kettle corn.

Black and white photo of a craft fair in Wilmore, Kentucky

It was like my mind was split in two different realities. At first, I was shocked. Then I was angry with Hamas. Then I was frustrated with American culture and self-indulgence. Then I was sad for the victims and their families. I actually started to cry throughout the day. I had to retreat to my basement, because my kids knew I wasn’t okay; but I couldn’t explain what was wrong. Everything was wrong. Nothing was okay. How do you explain that to your kids, when you’re a Bible teacher that is entrusted with the message of hope? It took a second for me to process the overload of emotions and information.

Since then, the LORD has really settled my heart and mind about this situation. So, I wanted to share the perspective that He gave me, to maybe help you understand how to process any emotions or thoughts you might be having as a result of this conflict in Israel. There aren’t many people out there encouraging a Biblical response to Hamas and their terrorism. Some people are getting crazy, and saying some pretty violent things – for better or for worse. There are quite a few Christians that have made public declarations about their resolve to protect their families, by force if necessary. It’s almost as if many Christian American men are coming out to say,

Don’t you try and do that stuff over here!

Look, I get it. You see some horrible things, and it’s hard not to imagine how you might respond in that sort of situation. I have some pretty violent tendencies by nature. I’ll admit – my first thoughts about this situation, weren’t to pray for the salvation of Hamas terrorists, or even to pray for the families of their victims. In my heart, my natural response as husband, a dad, and a dude that is adept to conflict and fighting, I wanted to take vengeance into my own hands. I wanted to be Batman. I wanted to be a part of the rally cry from a lot of well-meaning American men that were boasting about their gun collections at home, and their willingness to fight threats that came to their communities. Here’s the thing though, in Deuteronomy 32:35, Romans 12:19, and Hebrews 10:30, the Bible says,

‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the LORD.

This is where the situation gets complicated. If vengeance belongs to the LORD, what is Israel supposed to do about these threats? Does Romans 12:19 mean that Israel doesn’t have the right to defend themselves? Does that mean that people shouldn’t purse the course that could lead to justice if God is merciful? Does that mean that people shouldn’t defend themselves?

Let’s look to the scriptures for balance. The Bible obviously does teach that vengeance belongs to God. But there are certain things that God has instituted to uphold righteousness and justice in the world. Think about Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. God’s Word tells us that there IS a time to kill. There IS a time to break down. There IS a time to hate. There IS a time of war. It’s a reality of life on this planet, because of the physical and spiritual effects of sin.

Now we have to understand our individual responsibilities as Christian men, when these dark times consume our lives. When is there a “time to kill” for the average Christian man, if vengeance belongs to God? How do we break down the strongholds of evil in this world? What are we supposed to hate? What is the Christian man supposed to do during this time of war?

Photo of a pistol with a loaded clip and bullets sitting on a table

We have to understand that there are two wars taking place. There is the war in Israel, where their government is working to eradicate Hamas and those who side with their inhumane cause. Are they right to take that approach? According to Romans 13:1-4, Israel is right. There, the Bible says that God uses government and their militaries as extensions of His righteousness, to uphold justice, and discipline evil. According to Romans 13:4, Israel is in service to the LORD as a united government that is looking to execute wrath on those who practice evil. So, for those who are called to duty by the government in Israel, they have the right to kill, because they are at war against evil in this world.

What about the rest of us?

In 1 Timothy 6:12, we’re told to fight the good fight OF FAITH. In Ephesians 6:12, we’re told to take up the whole armor of God, because we’re not fighting against flesh and blood. Yes, we see human terrorist doing physically-torturous things to other human beings. According to the Bible, they are governed by demonic entities – rulers of the darkness of this age; spiritual hosts of wickedness in the HEAVENLY PLACES.

See, we have to understand that, while Israel is literally at war, the root of the war is spiritual. Even though we saw paragliders and motorcycles transport terrorists, the testimony of Revelation 12:1-6 tells us what’s really going on behind the scenes. The devil is trying to destroy the people of God – Israel – in order to keep the work of their Messiah – Jesus – from fulfilling His purpose to judge and destroy evil forever.

Black and white version of "Dragon Hurling Water At 'Woman of the Apocalypse' in the Luther Bible - Illustration of Revelation Chapter 12:1-6

If the scriptures support the work of Israel to fight as they are now, we need to know that, the scriptures have ALWAYS called for the rest of us to fight too – the good fight of faith.

Now, this is where we have to be really careful.

Just because we’re fighting evil through our faith, doesn’t mean that our hearts need to be violently against every person that doesn’t appear to be on our side. Remember, we were all born as enemies of God, and He showed mercy. Remember how Ecclesiastes Chapter 3 provides a balance to the circumstances of life. There is a time to hate. There is ALSO a time to love. For the Christian man today, we need to do both.

We need to hate evil and the sin that causes the destruction we’ve seen. We also need to love – which means we die to self, for the spiritual benefit of those around us, even if they seem to be our enemies. That’s what Jesus did for us right?

There is a time for war, but ALSO a time for peace. It is possible for us to engage violently against sin, death, and hell, by preaching the Gospel of peace to every soul the LORD will bring our way. How can we help Israel as Christian men in America, or any other part of the world? How can we protect our families? How can we man-up, so to speak? We can recognize that God is using one group of people one way, but that God always wants to use all of His people, in all circumstances of life, to fight the good fight of faith by being salt and light in this world.

Back in my football days, we had this phrase called, “playing angry.” It referred to our willingness to be violent on the field, but with control, discipline, and sense. Playing angry, really referred to the quality of intensity and passion we were playing with. When we were playing angry, we were going 110%. That’s where we need to be now as Christian men. When we pray, we should “pray angry.” We should pray with a quality of intensity and passion that we’ve never had before. When we talk with people, we should be motivated to engage in the scriptures, exercising spiritual gifts, with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind. That’s the Biblical response to Hamas, terrorism, or any evil.

Black and white photo of a dusty bible that says "read me"

We’ve turned a corner, haven’t we? We’ve seen that there is no safe boundary anymore. We’ve seen the extent that the enemy is willing to go. The goal isn’t to match that evil with more evil. The Biblical command is to overcome evil with good. What’s good in this case? Walking by faith in the standards of scripture, and not being governed by our natural impulses. It’s not easy, but the LORD has provided His Spirit to equip us. Remember, vengeance is His. No one is getting away with anything. Will any believer in Jesus Christ die in shame, and stay in shame? No! We are the children of the Almighty God, and will stand with Him in victory, even if we experience any level of threat or defeat in this life. If we can remember that, and let the scriptures direct our hearts and minds, I can assure you that you’ll be able to operate with more peace and clarity-of-mind than otherwise. So there you have it: The Biblical response to Hamas and Terrorism.

To stay up-to-date with real news about the events in, and surrounding Israel, and to stay engaged with the prayer-needs of the people, check out my boy Amir Tsarfati, and his ministry called Behold Israel.

Behold Israel with Amir Tsarfati

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