Israel, Hamas, and a Christian response:

Last week we focussed on a response of prayer and trusting in the Lord as a right response for the global events occurring in the Middle East. But many have had questions about Israel, Palestine, and Hamas, specifically and I want to address this a little more directly.

Gary Campbell Jr.
4 min readNov 6, 2023

It would be very easy for this entry to become encyclopedic and so I’ll try to anchor my encouragement here to just a few simple ideas.

Number one, lets remember that the Lord yearns for all to be saved. Peter says this in the context of Christ’s return:

2 Peter 3:9 — The Lord does not delay his promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.

Therefore, Christians should be praying for the salvation of all involved, Jews and Palestinians, IDF soldiers, and yes, even Hamas operatives. Can you only imagine if one or a few key Hamas leaders had an encounter with the risen Christ and came to faith in Jesus!? Let’s pray for that!!

In the same stroke though we should also outrightly condemn Hamas for what it is — a terror group — not a recognized governing entity, nor a representation of the Palestinian people. And yes, it’s ok to be angry, and even cry out to God for their absolute defeat, whether that be supernaturally or at the hand of their enemies. The psalmist expresses his angst in the psalms when he declares:

Psalms 137:8–9- Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction,

happy is the one who pays you back what you have done to us.

Happy is he who takes your little ones and dashes them against the rocks.

The point of this text is not to give us justification for spewing vengeful wishes, rather, the psalmist is bringing his raw heart to God without filtering his thoughts, feelings, or words — his open lament. Whatever we feel, God can handle it, and brining our longing for justice and retribution to Him is a biblically consistent theme in both the Old and New Testaments.

But, we need to distinguish between the Palestinian people and Hamas who operates within them. I have friends and acquaintances who have done missions work and supported ministries in both Israel and Palestine, and they have shared about the warmth of the Palestinian people, as well as their openness to talk about spiritual things, and even Christ! Remember that Jesus died for Jews and Palestinians, and whatever ethnic heritage you happen to have come from as well!

That brings me to Israel.

Should Christians have a special attitude toward Israel based on biblical prophecy? My short answer is yes, but perhaps not for the reasons you might think. It is certainly true that there are major (and minor) differences of opinion on whether the Church, Christ’s Bride, has fully replaced or fulfilled God’s Old Testament purposes for Israel, or if national Israel still has a role to play on the world stage at the end of all things.

Within the larger Church, within our own church here at GBC, and even within our elder’s and staff, there are differing beliefs about ethnic, national Israel. (Zak and I would have some differences of opinion here, as a for instance, but we’re united on the Gospel!)

What is true either way, is that the Gospel is the answer to redemption on this side of the Cross and the resurrection. The New Testament is abundantly clear that repentance and faith and trust in Jesus Christ is our only means of salvation, whether Jew or Greek (or Arab) Paul says to the Galatians. So on the one hand, there is no preference given based on anyone’s particular ethnic heritage or national identity, not to mention denominational affiliation, or other distinctions.

On the other hand there is a consistent presence of Israel in the arc of God’s narrative throughout Scripture. This, in my opinion is hard to fully explain away using the Church, yet on the other hand proponents of this view do have some great explanations that do a pretty good job of doing just that.

Here’s my take.

Consistent with what I mentioned above, I do not believe that ethnic, national Israel has any unique path to salvation for the sake of their ethnicity or even their history, but I do believe that in the last days that there will be a move of repentance and faith in Jesus as the Messiah, among the Jewish people. (Romans 11 would be the clearest indicator of that).

As we think about these events, you may have a really strong opinion one way or the other. Whatever your position, we SHOULD be praying for the Spirit of the risen Christ to be poured out on His historic people Israel, and among the Arab people’s of the Middle East as well!

One of my favorite verses in all of the Old Testament that anticipates the Gospel — the salvation of all people groups — even in the end times is:

Isaiah 19:25- The LORD of Armies will bless them, saying, “Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance are blessed.”

So let’s pray for the peace of Israel, the defeat of Hamas, and the salvation of the Palestinian people this week, and let’s do our part to make Christ known among those right around us as well. These world events provide a great opportunity to speak the name of Jesus!



Gary Campbell Jr.

Writing for Groton Bible Chapel & the larger Body of Christ on cultural issues, parenting, marriage, theology & other light-weight topics.