When will a day of reckoning come for terrorists and insurgents like those who committed the atrocities of October 7? Who can bring true justice and peace to the Middle East?
We must speak plainly and refuse to allow time and political agendas to alter our memories. On October 7, 2023, monsters descended on the nation of Israel.
As word spread that day, many Israelis rushed to their cellphones or television screens to see images of terrorists crossing the nation’s borders by land and sea—even by air in small, improvised aircraft. They descended upon a music festival packed with dancing youth. They encroached on neighborhoods. They entered homes. And their mission was clear: to kill, to maim, to degrade, to rape, to torture, and to kidnap.
That is, to terrorize.
As of this writing, reports indicate that Hamas terrorists have killed around 1,200 in Israel and injured more than 5,000, and kidnapped more than 240. We might have hoped that Western media outlets previously reluctant to call Hamas a terrorist organization would quickly realize their error as they watched footage of Hamas “soldiers” parading about town the desecrated and spat-upon corpses of raped and murdered young women. Sadly, the foot dragging continued, and morally bankrupt ideologies continued to hold sway among many “influencers” and shapers of public opinion.
Some in the West see Hamas’ actions as justified acts of aggression against “colonizers.” To these sad souls, the brutal rape of women, the systematic terrorizing and butchering of innocent families and children, and the celebratory desecration of the bodies of the murdered become acceptable forms of violence when the motive is said to be “decolonization.” Western civilization has sunk to a level at which a self-proclaimed “feminist” organization like CodePink can publicly and unabashedly support the rape of defenseless women, the display of women’s corpses as trophies, and the kidnapping of terrified women by men who intend them untold harm. As such ideological rot continues to grow, the words “Western” and “civilization” are becoming unrelated.
No political affiliation—or political concern of any stripe—is needed to see that the actions of October 7, 2023, are evil and an abominable stain on humanity. Yes, international relationships are complicated, especially in a region as turbulent as the Middle East. And no one says that the state of Israel is beyond reproach in its modern history. But none of this can change the plain nature of the inexcusable atrocity inflicted upon the Israeli people. Anyone who would claim that Hamas’ latest actions are part of some acceptable “tit for tat” trade of offenses—as if there is some moral equivalence between Hamas’ atrocities and the actions of the state of Israel—is deluded and has been captured by a morally corrupt view of our world.
Hamas, and organizations like it, are happy to use their own children’s schools and their own people’s hospitals as cover for launching their assaults, trusting Israel’s reluctance to strike back and kill innocents. Before this conflict, many mainstream media organizations recognized this and published about it. Regardless, who will pretend that, if the situation were reversed, a Hamas terrorist would not be all the more eager to strike at Israel in a way that killed as many innocent citizens as possible? For anyone fantasizing otherwise, these latest Hamas attacks should shatter such delusions. The murder, maiming, and torturing of the innocent was the objective of Hamas’ attack. And there is no moral equivalence between one side that routinely uses human shields and another that is deterred by the presence of human shields.
Similarly, there is no moral equivalence between one side that often gives warnings to locations about to be bombed so that the innocent may flee—even when that warning risks reducing the effectiveness of a strike—and another side that attacks without warning, to ensure that as many innocent victims as possible will be raped, terrorized, and slaughtered. And there is no moral equivalence between one side that seeks to minimize collateral damage among non-combatants, and another side that broadcasts its abuse of their enemy’s children, boastfully displays the naked and desecrated bodies of their enemy’s daughters and wives, and circulates videos of their humiliation and terrorizing of their enemy’s grandmothers.
International relations and politics are complicated. And warfare between nations always involves moral compromises, both sanctioned and unsanctioned. Rarely in any conflict does either side emerge with clean hands. But there is nothing complicated about the actions that took place on October 7, 2023. There is no moral equivalence here. Those who believe, in any way whatsoever, that the actions of Hamas on that day were justified have adopted the morality of monsters and must repent. God judges us not only for what we do, but also for what we approve (Romans 1:32).
So, we may wonder: In this deadly Middle East landscape—with its deep-seated hatreds rooted in an animus that goes far deeper than disputes over borders and resources and political intrigues—how and when will peace finally come?
Some interpret this latest conflict as a sign that there may never be peace, at least not a truly sustainable peace, in the Middle East. And they are not far from the truth. Human efforts alone will not solve the problems of this troubled region.
Yet a day is soon coming when more than human effort will come into play. As Richard Ames writes in The Middle East in Prophecy, “We need to remember that true peace can only come about in the lives of men and women when their human nature gives way to God’s Spirit. In the Millennium and beyond, the vast majority of people will accept God’s gift of His Spirit. Then they shall learn how to find the way to peace” (p. 43).
The Prince of Peace is coming, and He will come with “healing in His wings” (Malachi 4:2). Sadly, there will be more bloodshed in the days and years ahead. Israel—as well as the United States and Great Britain—will face a future tribulation that will cause all the sufferings of the past to pale in comparison (Matthew 24:21; Jeremiah 30:7). Unless true repentance and a fundamental return to God the Father and His Son take place, the coming of that suffering is assured.
But there is good news. Those whose cruelty has known no bounds in this life will face justice at the hands of the One who holds out no mercy to those who have shown no mercy (James 2:13). The monsters of October 7 should shudder at the knowledge that such a day is coming, and that the God of the fatherless and the widow declares that He hears their cries—and that He will repay (Exodus 22:22–24). And a time of healing and peace such as the world has never known is coming with the return of Jesus Christ. Let us pour our hearts into our prayers that His Kingdom comes soon, and, until today’s world becomes tomorrow’s, let us all pray “for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6).