Is it not naïve to think that you can have peace without strongly defending your security? Nevertheless, many people are of the opinion that Israel ought to take every risk, and should be willing to make any sacrifice for the sake of peace in the Middle East. Is it not just as naïve for a Christian to disregard the values and guidelines which God has given in His Word, and then still expect to have peace?
We see time and again that it is a mistake to trade vigilance for an unrealistic hope for peace. The consequences are bitter; nevertheless, this appears to be a trend throughout history. It is unnecessary to list examples, which include smaller conflicts as well as the worst wars the world has experienced. People and nations prefer to remain asleep, dreaming of peace without being willing to face reality. Then they weep over the terrible consequences. Much too late, they reach the conclusions they should have drawn much earlier.
Why so naïve?
Why don’t people see the truth? They don’t because the lie has so much power. Lies are darkness, even if they are actually told in broad daylight. Those who clamor for peace are not necessarily the most peaceable people. Some cry for peace yet have evil intentions, while others do so because they do not see the dangers. Those who have as the goal, true peace and security, and who try to awaken others to reality, can easily be viewed as troublemakers.
The words of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his speech to the UN (New York, September 23, 2011) gives us food for thought:
“I didn't come here to win applause. I came here to speak the truth. The truth is that Israel wants peace. The truth is that I want peace. The truth is that in the Middle East at all times, but especially during these turbulent days, peace must be anchored in security. (...)
“Now, some argue that the spread of militant Islam, especially in these turbulent times – if you want to slow it down, they argue, Israel must hurry to make concessions, to make territorial compromises. And this theory sounds simple. Basically it goes like this: Leave the territory, and peace will be advanced. The moderates will be strengthened; the radicals will be kept at bay. And don't worry about the pesky details of how Israel will actually defend itself; international troops will do the job.
“These people say to me constantly: Just make a sweeping offer, and everything will work out. You know, there's only one problem with that theory. We've tried it and it hasn't worked. (...)”
The parallel between Israel and us Christians
Now for us who are Christians. Is there a parallel between Israel and us? On March 5, 2012, Netanyahu said at the AIPAC Conference in USA, “Israel’s fate is to continue to be the forward position of freedom in the Middle East.”
In the same way, it is our fate as Christians to take a forward position in this world. Peace and security are central words in the Bible. But how can there be peace and harmony in a family or group of Christians if we do not take seriously our responsibility to protect what God has given us? The Israelites in Old Testament times had to be on guard because of their neighbors who did not have good intentions. Likewise, we also must be on guard, because of the temptations to sin in our personal lives (from our own sinful nature), and we must also be vigilant in our families and wherever else we have responsibility and influence. If we take responsibility, we should not expect applause from people who think that it is OK to sin.
... how can there be peace and harmony in a family or group of Christians if we do not take seriously our responsibility to protect what God has given us?
Out of respect for our children and our churches, we have a right not to give in to the increasing pressure from the world around us, which insists that we accept all kinds of things that will destroy our personal lives, our marriages, and family life. Because we hold to the secure and good guidelines in God’s Word, we experience peace and harmony in our lives and our families. Why should we then give up this joy by forsaking the eternal values God’s Word gives us? The evidence of what happens then is obvious. How many children are witness to parents who argue or live in jealousy and hatred? How much fear and insecurity is there because of unfaithfulness in marriage relationships? Because of this, children experience a lack of security and therefore no true peace or freedom.
And why are parents so naïve that they dare to hope that it will go well for their children without consciously working to give them clear direction, for example, by making a clear distinction between truth and lies, between what is pure and what is impure, between righteousness and unrighteousness, etc.? We also have a good “land” to defend, and therefore we must be prepared to battle to defend the borders.
A just and enduring peace
On January 18, 2012, Netanyahu spoke in Amsterdam, where he made it clear that secure borders for Israel have great significance. “I will never compromise on Israel’s security.” Also, “I will never compromise on Israel’s security" and "continue to light candles of truth … to secure our common values and to advance a lasting and secure peace for all.”
The world will begin experiencing a just and enduring peace when Jesus comes back and rules from Jerusalem for one thousand years. Then, we who are Christians will have a prominent role in His kingdom. This same righteousness and peace, founded on a watchful and sober attitude against sin and unrighteousness, can reign now, in our lives and in our homes,.