God’s perspective on kidnapping and hostages
The tense negotiations between a murderous jihadi group (Hamas) and the Israeli government have been playing out nightly on TV screens across the planet. Innocent Israeli babies, children, teens, mothers, retirees – all were brutally kidnapped from the safety of their homes and beds by terrorists who murdered or tortured their parents in front of them, or decapitated their brothers or sisters, or burned their families to death. The kidnapped victims were imprisoned in the dark underground for over 40 days, some in solitary confinement, terrorized, and barely given enough food to survive. Three quarters of those kidnapped have not been ransomed – they are still enslaved by the Gazan gangs of Hamas or Islamic Jihad or the PLO/Palestinian Authority spinoff ‘The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.’
The God of Jacob is very angry about such things. He instructed the prophet Isaiah to write down exactly what He feels about those enemies of Israel who kidnap Jews and take them hostage:
- But now, this is what YHVH says, He who is your Creator, Jacob, and He who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. For I am YHVH your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I have given Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. Since you are precious in My sight, since you are honored and I love you, I will give other people in your place and other nations in exchange for your life. Do not fear, for I am with you. I will bring your offspring from the east, and gather you from the west (Isaiah 43:1-5)
Surprising to many, God lays out a hierarchy of priorities here: He sees the ransoming of Jewish captives as of a higher priority in a crisis situation than hostages from other nations – whether Egypt, Cush (Ethiopia) or Seba (Yemen). And the Scriptures teach that this divine ‘hostage rescue protocol’ is based on His covenant love for the Jewish people. This applies not only to hostage rescue, but also to YHVH’s international relations and priorities as well.
The Nuremberg Trials perspective
In the opening statement before the International Military Tribunal at the Nuremberg Trials on October 18, 1945, the US Chief Prosecutor Robert H. Jackson soberly declared: “The wrongs which we seek to condemn and punish have been so calculated, so malignant and so devastating, that civilization cannot tolerate their being ignored, because it cannot survive their being repeated.” These words spring off the page for those who love justice. They apply even more to the atrocities committed by Hamas and its jihadi partners.
Even though over 800 documents and more than 30 witnesses at the Nuremberg Trials referred to the persecution and murder of Jewish people, these anti-Jewish crimes were obscured behind a public relations curtain and were subsumed under other Nazi crimes. The Nuremberg Trials defined Nazi anti-Semitic policies as simply motivated by utilitarian considerations – the desire to achieve political control over German society, or to drive a wedge between the government and the populations of the Allied countries. Whereas Hitler saw his genocidal battle against the Jews in spiritual terms (as do Hamas and other jihadi terrorist groups), the International Military Tribunal side-stepped Isaiah’s divinely-breathed perspective on the matter, preferring to couch these matters in materialistic and socio-economic secular terms.
In our modern secular world, similar dynamics are at work. Whether it be describing Hamas kidnapping and Islamist murder as simply “a cycle of violence” as POTUS Biden did on November 24 in Nantucket, Massachusetts, or Hamas and PC demonstrators defending jihadi atrocities as simply ‘an understandable response to Zionist and colonialist occupation’ – the satanic nature of genocidal attacks against the Jewish people are not clearly communicated. Through this process, the hearts of men and women everywhere are being sifted and found wanting (see Luke 22:30-32).
- Therefore [O Zion], all who devour you will be devoured, and all your adversaries, every one of them, will go into captivity. And those who plunder you will become plunder, and all who plunder you I will turn into plunder. For I will restore you to health and I will heal you of your wounds, declares YHVH, because they have called you an outcast, saying: “It is Zion; no one cares for her” (Jeremiah 30:16-17)
Justice is fleeting
WWII ended and within a few short years, people lost interest in bringing Nazi war criminals to justice. The German churches, both Catholic and Protestant, were strong advocates of amnesty. The US moved to satisfy this tendenz, beginning early releases of Nuremberg Military Tribunal convicts in 1949. In 1951, High Commissioner John J. McCloy overturned most of the sentences and the last three prisoners, convicted at the Einsatzgruppen trial, were released in 1958. By the late 1950s, nearly all of those who had been convicted but not executed were released. “The German public took the early releases as confirmation of what they saw as the illegitimacy of the trials.” Many perpetrators of Nazi crimes were never brought to trial or punished. Most of the approximately 8,200 Auschwitz Camp Complex personnel who survived the war never faced trial.
- “Therefore, the Law is ignored, and justice is never upheld. For the wicked surround the righteous. Therefore, justice comes out confused” (Habakkuk 1:4)
The justice dispensed at Nuremberg to the perpetrators was never meant to be comprehensive. Nor were those Trials meant to bring justice to the victims, Jewish or otherwise.
- “I will endure the rage of YHVH . . . until He pleads my case and executes justice for me. He will bring me out to the light, and I will look at His righteousness” (Micah 7:9)
Losing one’s appetite for justice
It seems that many in the world have ADD (attention deficit disorder) – they cannot focus for more than a minute on what God wants them to focus on. This is the Last Days prophetic dynamic that the Bible describes as happening just before Messiah’s return:
- Now YHVH saw, and it was displeasing in His sight that there was no justice. And He saw that there was no one, and was amazed that there was not one to intercede. Then His own arm brought salvation to Him, and His righteousness upheld Him. He put on righteousness like a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head. And He put on garments of vengeance for clothing and wrapped Himself with zeal as a cloak. According to their deeds, so will He repay: wrath to His adversaries, retribution to His enemies. To the coastlands He will deal retribution. So they will fear the name of YHVH from the west and His glory from the rising of the sun. For He will come like a rushing stream which the wind of YHVH drives (Isaiah 59:15-19)
Isaiah’s future End of Days perspective that the nations will not be treating Israel justly, but will actually be treating her unjustly. That causes the Ancient of Days to get angry, and to come down with burning vengeance – to right the wrongs, and to establish justice for the Jewish people. “But let justice roll out like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream!” (Amos 5:24)
How should we then pray?
- Pray for Hamas’ cruel terror dictatorship in Gaza to be finally shattered and all chains broken off the Palestinians living there
- Pray for jihadi deception, dissimulation and lying to be uncovered and rejected by world leaders
- Pray for justice, clarity, moral courage, discernment and divine strategies for Israel’s leadership in utterly destroying the Hamas threat
- Pray for minimal loss of life on Israel’s side and for those Gazans who are truly innocent
- Pray for the physical rescue of the approximately 151 Israelis (including babies) kidnapped by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PLO)
- Pray that the outstretched arm of YHVH will not return before it brings justice to God’s enemies
- Pray for the raising up of Ezekiel’s prophetic Jewish army throughout the earth
Your prayers and support hold up our arms and are the very practical enablement of God to us in the work He has called us to do.
In Messiah Yeshua,
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