History of the Middle EastQUESTION: History of the Middle East – What is the connection between Israel’s history and the tensions in the Middle East?ANSWER:
The history of the Middle East is often characterized by tension. Since the beginning of human existence, those who would become the nation of Israel and those who are members of the Israelite nation have been involved in confrontations and controversies. What else would be the case for a nation that historically declares that their nation, more than any other, is the chosen nation of the Most High God? That claim, even though those who oppose it do so for the exact same claim, wrenches upon the pride of mankind and nationality.
Today’s Israel, a much more modern and secular state than the one known in Scripture, does not officially claim to be the chosen nation of God or to even have continual ties to what its ancient history claims. However, located on a land with such rich religious history and home to many strong practicing Jews, Israel still must protect its heritage and those who hold fast to the nation’s call to God. This includes followers of Christian and Islamic worldviews who pursue the state of Israel due to their own claim to the land on which Israel stands.
Some pursue Israel in peace; some pursue Israel with the intent of removing the nation from existence. This has created a chasm in belief and ideals that has cost countless people their lives and livelihood throughout history. Much blood has been spilt in the name of martyrdom on or near the land of Israel. The question at stake is to which god or gods does this land belong. Throughout history, no true follower of Judaism, Christianity, or Islam has relented on its claim to the land. However, each takes their claim and pursues the nation with vastly different results.
For one, the Jew’s constant self defense and a desire for peace and obedience to God’s law motivates them to hold onto and defend what is rightfully theirs. For Christians, prayer for Israel’s salvation and a return to God’s heart through Jesus Christ motivates them to protect and stand for the safety of the nation. However, it must be said that some individuals throughout history claiming to be Christian have pursued Israel in less than true Christian conviction thus bringing negativity to the name.
For Muslims (mainly radical followers of Islam who believe that the Israelite land belongs to them and that those who do not follow their god should be destroyed) are motivated by taking the land and spreading their ideal through violence and acts of war. It should also be said and noted that not all Muslims act by force and extremism. They maintain a life at peace with Israel even if they believe the Israelite land belongs to Islam.
The world’s religious debate rages on every day. Without relent, all claims to the land and to the call of God are protected and fought for. Constant tension in the Middle East is the result and will remain so until the end when truth reigns supreme in the land.