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              “You may call for peace as loudly as you wish, but where there is no brotherhood there can be in the end no peace.” (Max Lerner, “The Gifts of the Magi,” 1949)

                Images from the ongoing Israel-Gaza conflict are disconcerting—Palestinians searching through debris for survivors; corpses amid the rubble of more than 10,000 destroyed houses; boys carrying pages of copies of the Quran from a mosque hit in an airstrike; distraught mourners at funerals of Israeli soldiers.

                Since the conflict started July 8, more than 1900 Palestinians have been killed, mostly civilians. More than 60 Israeli soldiers have been killed in the fighting.

                This morning, another ray of hope is on the horizon. After several short-lived humanitarian truces, Israel and Hamas have accepted a three-day cease-fire proposal from Egypt beginning at 8 a.m.

                The Israeli military reports that its ground troops are in the process of pulling out of the Gaza Strip, following its destruction of 32 cross-border tunnels designed to permit Islamic militants to attack Israel. If the cease-fire works, Egypt will host talks to work out a long-term agreement. Israel insists that Gaza be demilitarized. Hamas continues to protest its economic isolation. Hope for lasting peace is precarious.

                National leaders seek to protect their citizens, and diplomats attempt to broker compromise between warring peoples. But centuries-old disputes die hard. Lasting peace continues to be illusive in the maelstrom of the Middle East. The best minds and noblest efforts have never been able to resolve the issues of warring sides. Cordiality seems a fanciful dream, conflict inevitable.

                Ultimately, Christians believe, the answer to the world’s perennial problem of war is the return and reign of the Lord Jesus Christ. We live in hope that the Son of God will bring enduring tranquility to the human situation. Despite all temptations to give in to despair, we look forward to the time of peace negotiated by the Prince of Peace.

                 “Out of Zion shall go the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”  (Isaiah 2:3-4 ESV)

 

Johnny R. Almond

Christian preacher and writer

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity—Scripture Personalized

GentleWhispersFromEternity-ScripturePersonalized (copy, paste to browser for blog & bio)

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