Israel and Hamas (Sermon Notes)

Israel and Hamas (Sermon Notes)
10-15-23 Message

Eph 6:10-12
Our struggle, Israel’s struggle today, is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, “the spiritual forces of wickedness” as it says here.

Last Saturday, October 7, 2023, was a day when all these dark forces were unleashed in Israel. What they did to those precious Israelis, was born out the darkest pit of hell. Mothers, father, elderly, children, even babies, were not spared from these atrocities. Over 1300 people were massacred in southern Israel last weekend. At least 29 Americans died that day. Over 3,000 were injured. Over 100 have been taken captive by Hamas. This has been called Israel’s 9/11, but it is far worse than that by every count. According to their population, it would be like 10 9/11’s. And what was done to the citizens of Israel was so despicable, there are no words to describe.

(Talk about media response…antisemitism has reared its ugly head around the world, lies about Israel’s response. )
Spiritual background of Hamas

The word “Hamas” is actually found in the Bible. Although n Arabic it is an Acronym for “Islamic Resistance Movement”, in Hebrew (which is a sister language to Arabic), it means “violence.” Some versions translate it “cruelty.” There could not be a more apt description of the terrorists in Hamas.

The first mention of the word “chamas” or “hamas” in the Bible is in Genesis 6:11. This is in the context of the world-wide flood that God brought upon the world in the days of Noah. (It is interesting that Hamas’ name for the Oct. 7 massacre is Al Aqsa Flood…Al Aqsa is the Arabic name for the mosque which sits on the temple mount in Jerusalem).

Read Genesis 6:11-12

Notice that the word “corrupt” is used 3 times in these two verses (Hebrew “shachath”). Violence and cruelty are associated with corruption. What was corrupted? The image of God that was in these people was marred beyond recognition. So much so that God said that they had to be destroyed. Another word that is used to translate “shachath” is “ruined.” The image of God that was imprinted on their souls was ruined beyond redemption.

The spirit behind “Hamas” is the spirit of extreme jealousy and hatred. This spirit first showed itself in human history when the first man ever born “Cain” murdered his younger brother “Abel.” Why did he do this? Because God favored Abel and his offering over Cain and his offering. God said this to Cain when he was seething with the rage that would soon result in the murder of his brother.

Read Genesis 4:6-7

This spirit of envy and murder was later found in Esau and his descendants. Like Cain, God bypassed Esau in his choice of the firstborn blessing and chose his younger brother Jacob. This was God’s right to do. It was no slur upon Essau that God chose Jacob to receive this blessing. God will do what God will do. Actually, Essau had the opportunity to receive a blessing through his relationship with Jacob, but he did not do this. Though he and Jacob eventually made peace with each other through God’s intervention. The descendants of Essau (who would be called Edomites among other names) would nurse a deep hatred for the sons of Israel.

A key verse that describes this hatred is found in Obadiah. This book is all about God’s judgment against Edom, the country where Essau’s descendants lived.

Read Obadiah 1:10

The word translated “violence” here is (you guessed it) …”Hamas”.

One of Essau’s sons was named “Amalek.” It seems that this hatred towards Jews was found in extreme in this man and his descendants. The first recorded instance of the sons of Amalek attacking the sons of Israel is in Exodus 17. Israel is in the early part of their wilderness days. They had just escaped from Egypt by the mighty hand of God and were now in the wilderness heading towards Mt. Sinai.

Read Exodus 17:8-9

These Amalekites came out of nowhere and attacked Israel in their most defenseless state. It was a miracle that Israel prevailed over the Amalekites. Israel had no weapons that we know of! (We will talk about how they prevailed over Amalek in a few minutes).
In the retelling of this story in Deuteronomy, Moses adds some important details about this unprovoked attack…

Read Deut. 25:17-19

The word translated “stragglers” means those who are weak and feeble, ie old people and children. It was the most defenseless people that Amalek attacked. Does this sound familiar? This is not only an act of violence, but one of extreme cowardice. Only a coward would attack those who could not defend themselves! As a result, Bod says that Israel should never forget what was done against them. Their memory was to be blotted out from the face of the earth. Back in Exodus, God said “the Lord will have war against Amalek from generation to generation.” (Exodus 17:16)

In the days of King Saul, God told the king to utterly destroy Amalek. He killed some, but others got away. Later, during the days when David was fleeing from Saul, David and his men left their camp at Ziklag to go fight with the Philistines. When they came back, they found out that Amalekite raiders had attacked the camp where their women and children were and took them away captive. Does this sound familiar? (You can read about this in 1 Samuel 30). Through God’s intervention, all the hostages were recovered. Not one was lost!

Much later than this, when Israel and Judah had been taken into captivity, a plot to destroy all the Jews was conceived by a man named Haman. Haman is called in the Bible an Agatite. Agag was the king of Amalek that Saul refused to destroy. So Haman was an Amalekite, and he was full of the Amalek spirit. He devised a plot to exterminate all Jews. Where did this happen? In Persia. Persia is the ancient name for Iran. Iran is the sponsor of Hamas. Virtually all the weapons, the training, and perhaps even the orders given to Hamas come from Iran. Iran has sworn as has Hamas to utterly wipe Israel off the face of the earth. By God’s grace, Hamam’s plot failed. By God’s grace, the plot that Hamas and Iran have plotted against Israel will also utterly fail.

Let’s look at one more thread in this line of the sons of Essau…

Read Matthew 2:13-18

We know from history, that this Herod was half-Jewish and half-Idumean. Idumean was another name for Edom, which again is the land of the descendants of Essau. So we have the massacre of the innocent children in Bethlehem. The devil was trying to destroy the Messiah and his people before he had a chance to grow up. But, praise God, again God thwarted that plan!

This is not just an interesting history lesson. There would be no real value in all of this, if it did not lead to some understanding about how this enemy is to be defeated in our day. How was the enemy defeated back then? How was it that God’s people Israel and through them the promised seed of Messiah Jesus was preserved? Let’s retrace our steps…

Go back to Exodus 17 (the chapter where the Amalekites attacked Israel in the wilderness)

(In preparing this message, I noticed that Amalek attacked the sons of Israel right after they had been in a huge fight with each other and with God. They were quarreling among themselves. This is exactly what happened In Israel right up until last Saturday. They had had a huge national quarrel about judicial reform. They were distracted. This is also a spiritual lesson for us. It is through unity that we can defeat the spirit of Amalek. It is through grumbling and complaining and quarrelling that the enemy can get a foothold in.)

Read Exodus 17:8-13
How did Israel defeat Amalek that day? It was through corporate prayer! While Joshua and his men valiantly fought the men in the valley, it was not through their strength or their might that the enemy was defeated. You had to look up to see where the battle was going to be won. It was won up on the mountain where Moses prayed with uplifted hands and his brethren Aaron and Hur supported him. It is still so today!

How did David and his men recover the captives at Ziklag. It was through prayer! How did Esther and Mordecai defeat wicked Haman? It was through prayer and fasting. I believe that it was also through the many prayers of the people of Israel through the years for Messiah, that God preserved the child Jesus in the days of Herod.

It is still true today. We can, through our concerted prayers, make a difference in this struggle with Hamas, the spirit of Amalek. This is why we have been meeting for prayer every night since Tuesday. This is why we will be meeting to pray tonight. This is why we will keep praying.
The question for you is: Do you want to be in the trenches or on the sideline? When all is said and done, I believe that this enemy will be completely and utterly defeated. Perhaps, through this dark and perilous time, the great awakening that we have been praying for for a very long time, will finally come. Will you be a part?

Some of Jesus’ final words still ring true today...

Read Matthew 24;12-13.

Don’t let your love for God grow cold. Don’t be like those who fold us and quit. Join us in prayer. Join in fasting if you can. Be a part of the solution!

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