Shalom from Israel, a land where God’s hand continues to move in marvelous ways! It has certainly been a dark time in my country, likely the darkest since its inception in 1948.
OUR HEARTS ARE IMMERSED
I, and most of my fellow citizens, have been deeply immersed in all the reports of the horrors that took place on October 7, 2023, and in the ensuing chaos. When there is so much bad news, it is easy to lose the truth that there is good news, also. How do I know there is good news? Because I know that God is at work. And where He works, He carries out His plans and accomplishes His will. Because He is the loving, almighty Creator who is filled with grace, mercy, and justice, I know that He has not turned a blind eye toward Israel. It is just the opposite. The truth that the Jews are His chosen people and Israel is His chosen land tells me that He is intimately involved in what is happening in this country each and every day.
All we need to do is look, and we will see Him. That is what this special newsletter is all about. We’ve seen where the enemy’s hand has been with all the murder and kidnapping and terror that occurred. Now it’s time to stop and point out what is more important. Where can we see the hand of God? I will list ten areas where we can see God’s intervention. Then, at the end, I will conclude with a few thoughts.
Hamas’s tactics were great, but their strategy was non-existent.
An attack strategy is only as good as the day after. And that is what Hamas did not consider. If they had taken time to plot this out properly, they could have turned this into a regional war with multiple fronts attacking Israel at once. If that were true, this war could have been so much worse than it is. Instead, they shot first, then aimed later. That is why they are on the run, and no one is coming to their aid.
The mindset of Hamas going into this attack was that once Hezbollah, Iran, Yemen, and all the other radical Islamist states and organizations saw their great success they’d want in on the action. If for some reason they didn’t, then no problem. Hamas still had its human shield in place in Gaza. They would just retreat like they did after every attack. Israel would lob a few bombs in, then they’d stop. Europe, the U.S., and the rest of the Middle East wouldn’t let Israel do any more. Besides, Israel was so fractured internally at the time, how could they possibly respond?
But Hamas overplayed its hand. They didn’t just come in attacking military targets. They rampaged in a violent orgy of murder, torture, rape, mutilation, burning people alive, and kidnapping. The worst nightmares of every sane human across the globe were played out by terrorists and ordinary Gazan civilians against the innocent Israelis at the southern border. Europe condemned Hamas. The U.S. condemned Hamas. Even the secretary-general of the United Nations condemned the actions of Hamas, a move that is a true geopolitical unicorn. In fact, their actions were so terrible that even Hezbollah and the ayatollahs in Iran said, “Yeah, we’ll create a little noise just to save face. But you psychos are on your own.”
Hamas trusted in their allies, they trusted in their tunnels, they trusted in their human shield. God proved He is greater than all those factors, and now the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has the Hamas military leadership surrounded at the al-Shifa Hospital complex. Only Hamas could have the callousness to hide their deadly terrorist headquarters beneath a hospital with the name al-Shifa, which is the Arabic word for “healing”. Half of Hamas’s two million strong human shield has escaped their control and fled south. Gaza and its tunnels were supposed to be the terrorists’ impenetrable shield. “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the Lord our God” (Psalm 20:7). We remember Him, because He has proven over and over throughout the centuries that He remembers us. Before He ever gave strength to the IDF, He gave weakness to the minds of Hamas.
Hamas believed that the IDF was weak and very confused.
While it is difficult for me to do so, I must give a shout out of thanks to the liberal media. I’m talking Israeli newspapers, particularly the English-print versions, the European media sources, Al Jazeera, UPI, the New York Times, just name your left-wing rag. All of them reported that the IDF was in disarray. Soldiers were demoralized and undersupplied. Key generals, fleets of pilots, and much of the reserve corps would refuse to report if they were called up. Prime Minister Netanyahu and his judicial reform had knocked the legs out from under an already weakened military. Israel was ripe for the picking.
At least that’s what the media said. They couldn’t have been more wrong.
Hamas attacked, and the truth was borne out. The largest call-up of reservists in the history of the country brought in volunteers from all over Israel and from across the globe. Our “weakened” military entered the largest terror base on the planet, and in less than two weeks we are clamping down on its headquarters. This war has allowed us to show the world the power that God has given to our military. Our Iron Dome, David’s Sling, and Arrow 3 anti-missile systems have shown their effectiveness to such an extent that other governments are already inquiring into how they can get their hands on the Arrow 3 hypersonic missile defense. Wait until they see the power of the Iron Beam laser system once it is out of testing.
Israel was warned, “If you attack into Gaza, you will have thousands of dead soldiers.” So far, we have about 40, and our country mourns every one of them. But despite our losses, our nation is determined to press on. Yesterday, I read a letter from the father of fallen soldier Gilad Nehemiah to our government and military leaders. The grieving man wrote, “When you started this war, you said that ‘there will be prices to be paid’, and indeed we paid. We, and many other good families, paid with the blood of our best sons. I call and demand of you, do not stop. This is the time and the order of the hour. Discover historical Jewish heroism and continue this war until its complete defeat of all its achievements.”
That father demonstrates the strength and determination that our enemies face. The result has thus far been that on the Hamas side, 15 of their 24 battalions are gone. This whole conflict began when Israel underestimated the tactics of Hamas, and we will never do so again. This conflict will end because Hamas underestimated the strength and resolve of the IDF. They will not do so again either, because they will no longer exist.
The human shield turned into an asset for Israel.
Hamas built 500 km worth of tunnels under two million civilians thinking it would give them protection. But when Israel opened the door for that human shield to escape, at least half were able to take advantage of it. Now the tunnels are exposed, and there are a mass of people who are without homes because of their own leadership. Never before has Hamas been hated so much by their own people, because many of them recognize their situation. Israel will never let them back so close to its borders. Egypt has never wanted them and will shoot them before they allow them across their borders. Jordan deported thousands of Palestinians in 1970, and they don’t want them back.
This mass of homeless refugees rests squarely at the feet of Hamas. For years, Israel has said, “Hey, these people are so terrible that they are using their citizens as human shields, and they are placing their weapons and headquarters under humanitarian shelters like hospitals, mosques, and schools.” European governments and others, said, “No, they aren’t.” But once the human shield was removed, all Israel’s accusations were proven to be true. Even the Europeans were forced to condemn Hamas’s misuse of their innocent civilians.
Hezbollah, Iran, and the Houthis sold out Hamas.
There was a plan devised in Tehran for Hamas, Hezbollah, and other Iranian proxy militias like the Houthis of Yemen to carry out a coordinated attack on Israel. Wanting the glory for themselves, Hamas ignored the others and launched the attack on their own. Their thinking was that everyone else would jump in when they saw their success. They even named the attack “al-Aqsa Storm” figuring that all of Islam would run to their aid. They were wrong. What they failed to take into consideration is that Iran and the Arab world hate them. The last thing any of them are going to do is to risk their own lives by running to Hamas’s aid after they launch an attack prematurely and half-cocked.
The saber-rattling words you hear from the clerics in Tehran and Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah are essentially tough-guy, face-saving rhetoric. Their support is just lip-service. Hezbollah is sending rockets across the border, but they’re not doing much more than that. The rumors of a massive build-up along the border are dissipating. Iran is turning its attention toward the U.S. bases in Iraq and Syria, using their proxy militias to attack with rockets and drones. The great plot by Iran’s axis of evil was thwarted by Hamas’s arrogance and impatience. One more evidence of the hand of God.
Turkey has abandoned Hamas.
President Erdogan is done with Hamas. Istanbul used to be one of the favorite locations for Hamas’s billionaire leaders to rough it in luxury hotels for the good of the Palestinian people. No more. He ousted them, allowing them to save face by saying they were leaving voluntarily. Erdogan is a man trying to straddle two worlds. He wants to be seen as a hero of Islam, so he is saying all the obligatory nasty things against Israel and the west. But what he is really doing is just waiting for all this to pass, because he desperately wants Israeli gas. Eventually, Turkey will join a coalition against Israel, but that time is not now.
The Arab League has tempered their condemnation against Israel.
The Arab League was expected by some to pass harsh measures against Israel. There was even a resolution to cut all ties with the Jewish State. What eventually passed was a condemnation against Israel’s “barbaric” methods in Palestine, while the punitive measure failed miserably. In other words, all talk but no action. The days are past when Arab states uniformly stand as enemies of Israel. The UAE, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan are closely tied to the Jewish state. Jordan lives off of Israel’s hand. The UAE’s economy is closely intertwined with Israel’s. Egypt needs our gas. It is a new world in the Middle East, and God’s hand is evident in that miraculous work.
Saudi Arabia will continue to normalize relations with Israel after this is over.
Saudi King Salman is a hard-liner and is on the side of the Palestinians. But he is also 87 years old and has handed over much of his authority to his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), who is not a fan of Hamas. The Saudis have watched Iran and the Houthis collaborate. They know that once the Houthis are done firing their missiles at Israel, they’ll turn them back toward Riyadh. Iran thought their planned attack against Israel would stop the Abraham Accords. Instead, it has only accelerated them.
Europe was not a military shield for Hamas.
Hamas was shocked when Europe turned its back on them. The European Union and the United Nations could always be counted on to take their side in any conflict against Israel. The Palestinians didn’t take into consideration, however, how horrified Europe would be at what they saw on October 7. This is particularly true as the Europeans looked around their major cities and saw their own massive Muslim populations taking to the streets. They realized that what they saw at Israel’s southern border was their story, too. In what could only be the hand of God, Europe stood with Israel. Germany, of all countries, has become our closest ally of all European nations.
As for the European plans for a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine, even that took a hit. Europe supports Ukraine, because that country is a necessary buffer between their homes and Putin’s Russia. They now understand the danger for Israel if there is no buffer between them and a murderous horde who would commit such atrocities. I believe they will still, along with America’s President Biden, push for the two-state solution, but it will be a harder sell than it was before.
Israel’s intention is to remain in Gaza.
Hamas didn’t consider that. They never thought that Israel would say, “We let you have that land, and look how you repaid us. It’s time we took it back.” This will be the first time in the era of the modern state of Israel that we’ve annexed land back to ourselves. Hamas intended to weaken us. Instead, they are responsible for our strengthening and our expansion. This is a huge morale killer for Hamas.
Israel has a new spirit and unity like never before.
The whole idea of a coming Israeli civil war was a creation of the media. Hamas thought that their action would trigger the divide which would tear the country to pieces. They did not understand the Israeli mindset that when we are threatened, we will contract into a fist of steel. Generation after generation, our enemies have struggled to learn that lesson.
In Israel, we are experiencing a huge departure from secularism. Young and old are seeking values and spirituality. Some are finding it in Orthodox Judaism. Others are creating their own form of Judaism. Materialism was the drug that lulled Israel into complacency. We are a society that has now awakened from our slumber. The deaths of those innocent victims has brought our nation new life.
God is alive and well in the nation of Israel. Rather than ask where God was on October 7, we choose to focus on all the sightings of Him on that terrible date and all the days since. There are three thoughts I would like to conclude with:
This is not the Ezekiel 38 War. The United States is standing with us, which will not be true in that future war. This is also a battle in which most Israelis are trusting in the army more than they are trusting in God. When the Ezekiel 38 War comes, there will be no doubt that it is God alone who is fighting that battle.
The Ezekiel 38 War will come when there are unwalled villages (verse 11). People will be feeling peace and safety all around. When today’s war is over, we will not need fences because Hamas will be eliminated. We will know who our enemies are, and we will also see the rapid increase of our friends. There will also be a growing number of Jews returning to their homeland. As they see the increasing antisemitism in Europe and America, many Jews will realize that Israel is their only safe option. It will be like a second exodus. People will leave the nations they’ve been exiled to for generations and will return home to their Promised Land.
Our greatest prayer is that through all this, many will come to Christ. We know that it is only through the work of the Holy Spirit that the veil can be lifted from the hearts of the Jewish people (2 Corinthians 3:12-18). The Bible also tells us that at the end of the tribulation, there will be a time when all Israel will give their hearts to the Lord. Our prayer is that they find the truth before they have to endure the horrors of the tribulation, because what will be experienced in those seven years will somehow find a way to exceed even what took place that terrible day of October 7. Pray for the peace of Israel, and pray for the salvation for His chosen people.
May God bless you as you continue to pray for Israel.
Awaiting His Return,