Friday, July 28, 2006

Taking the Harps Down From the Willow Trees

Psalm 137:1-6 (King James Version)

“By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.
We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof.
For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion.”
How shall we sing the LORD's song in a strange land?
If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.
If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.”

I got out at about six this morning and placed the Star of David on the north column of my front porch. It now waves proudly in the hot Kansas wind, letting everyone who passes by 919 Neosho where I stand in this conflict. It’s only a symbolic gesture, I realize, but it expresses what I’ve felt ever since Hezbollah and Hamas attacked Israel. I also realize that in many ways I’m far from this conflict, but yet not so far that it hasn’t stirred my emotions and feelings for the people of Israel. In much the same way John F. Kennedy expressed his solidarity with the people of Berlin in 1963, I, in some small way, am expressing my solidarity with the good people of Israel today.

The Star of David will fly here until Israel has won the victory.

Recently the Jerusalem Post made the following observation about Israel’s battle against terror:

“The near-miraculous turnabout in June 1967, when Israel went from being on the brink of destruction to total victory over multiple Arab armies, inspired Jews the world over – particularly Soviet Jews, who discovered their dormant identity and viewed Israel’s history as a blow to their oppressors.”

“Our refusal to be cowed by Hezbollah’s missiles, and our attempt to destroy Iran’s external terrorist arm, should inspire the international community to similar acts of courage.”

“In recent years, Israeli courage and decisiveness has, paradoxically, mainly been channeled into territorial withdrawal. Now we are displaying a more classic type of fearlessness, which is showing signs of greatly improving our military and diplomatic position.”

One of the things that’s very clear to me in this conflict is that Israel’s battle should also be ours. The free world needs to do much more in support of this just cause. Clamoring for unilateral cease fires or using them as a surrogate to do the dirty work is not enough. As Israeli peace activist Ami Isseroff noted yesterday:

“There is not the slightest chance of making these groups “peace partners.” The only “dialogue” they will engage in is a dialogue on how to meet their demands: annihilation of Israel.”

“Hamas and Hezbollah insist on wiping out Israel by force. Their “grievances” are the existence of Israel and of a peace process. While they exist, there can be no peace.”

“Unless these groups are stopped, there is no chance that moderate forces will be empowered in Middle East. Their success, and the international legitimacy that is granted to them, will be the inspiration for similar tactics all over the Middle East, and will lead to many more “generic wars.” However, it appears increasingly doubtful that Israel alone can stop the Hezbollah. Stopping the Hezbollah requires a determined international effort. Iran and its allies have mobilized a massive and vociferous campaign to bring about a cease fire under terms that would leave the Hezbollah intact and force Israel and Lebanon to surrender to continued Hezbollah extortion.”

Israel has taken a stand against terror. They’ve taken their harps down from the willow trees. It’s now time for my country and the international community to do likewise. The world must see that this confrontation with evil and terror is not Israel’s alone; the battle is ours as well as theirs. While symbolic expressions of support are important, the need for the world to put hands and feet to its prayers and gestures has come!

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James Fletcher Baxter said...

Israel is standing in the gap in behalf of every human being who desires to make their own endowed and personal choices.

They are pointman for us; Christians, Americans, representative governments, the young and the old, and the unBeliever even.

All humans; present and future.

The Creator will prevail. He gets to decide about His creation. He wants to make sure that everyone gets to make their own ultimate choice.

Self-imposed ignorance is not excusable. Neither is hatred.

semper fidelis

James Fletcher Baxter said...

The Jew

Scattered by God's avenging hand,
Afflicted and forlorn,
Sad wanderers from their pleasant land,
Do Judah's children mourn;
And e'en in Christian countries, few
Breathe thoughts of pity for the Jew.

Yet, listen Gentile, do you love
The Bible's precious page?
Then let your heart with kindness move
To Israel's heritage;
Who traced those lines of love for you?
Each sacred writer was a Jew.

And then as years and Ages passed,
And nations rose and fell,
Though clouds and darkness oft were cast
O'er captive Israel,
The oracles of God for you
Were kept in safety by the Jew.

And when the great Messiah came
For guilty man to bleed,
He did not take an angel's name,
No - born of Abraham's seed -
Y'shua Jesus, who gave His life for you,
The gentle Savior was a Jew.

And though His own received Him not,
And turned in pride away,
Whence is the Gentile's happier lot?
Are you more just than they?
No; God in pity turned to you -
Have you no pity for the Jew?

Go, then, and bend your knee to pray
For Israel's ancient race;
Ask the dear Savior every day
To call them by His grace;
Go, for a debt of love is due
From Christian Gentiles to the Jew.

- Author Unknown

shalom pray selah

Daniel 9:25-26 KJV

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