Justice and peace are major aspects of the character of YHWH–the God of Israel. In the Tanak (Old Testament), YHWH implemented Divine Discipline among all nations. Blessings to those who obey God’s justice and peace. Curses to those who violated God’s justice and peace, including Israel.
I believe in the statement in Genesis 12:1-3: “And I will bless those that bless you and curse the one who curses you. And in you shall all families of the earth be blessed.” When taken in its immediate context, this includes all the offspring of Abraham. That blessing includes not just the descendants of Isaac and Jacob (Israel), but also the descendants of Ishmael (Arabs).
God’s justice is impartial. Deuteronomy 1:17 says, “Do not show partiality in judging; hear both small and great alike. Do not be afraid of any man, for judgment belongs to God. Bring me any case too hard for you, and I will hear it.” I like that phrase, “I will hear it.” The God of Abraham is a listening God.
Now, do you know the meaning of Ishmael? It means, “YHWH hears.” God listens to both the Arabs and Israelis.
Let’s not allow biblical verses like Gen. 12:1-3 to be taken out of context and be misused as a propaganda material.
As followers of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, let us look through the lenses of YHWH’s character as we get informed about, and as we pray for, what’s happening in Israel and Gaza these days.
May we all experience God’s just-peace within us and around us!