Sunday, November 18, 2012

Will There Ever Be Lasting Peace in the Middle East?

God wants peace in the Middle East. I'm going to be bold and say that I'm sure that is God's will. Doesn't the will of God, God's will for peaceful co-existence mean that all people, work towards peace and persevere until peace is a lasting reality.   If compromise is needed then that should happen because that is God's will. I'm not an expert but I am a believer and these are believers fighting other believers in the Middle East, in the present conflict between Israel and Hamas. It's a sad and unfortunate situation. It's a sacred part of the world, with sacred sites for believers and yet once again there is fighting, discord and the suffering and death of innocent children.
All believers are worshipping the same God though they call God by different names. They may use different rituals and forms of worship but all believers profess faith in a God/Creator/Supreme Being who is Good and Merciful and Just. God is a God of peace, love and mercy. And yet after thousands of years there is still fighting in this part of the world, when prayer, peace and compromise should be taking place.
Peace is what God wants for His people, for all people, peace is what is in the best interests of all, so why is peace so elusive?
In an article I recently cut out of the newspaper and  read, which I believe came from the Wall Street Journal titled, "Enlisting the Biblical Abraham as Peace Broker," by Jon Levenson, he wrote, "Confronted with seemingly endless discord in the Middle East-much of it said to be rooted in religious difference-scholars and laymen alike have been promoting the idea of 'Abrahamic religion.' This is the notion that Judaism, Christianity and Islam are equally indebted to the figure of Abraham, the patriarch prominent in the Scriptures of all three. Surely, the theory goes, the three communities can move toward much needed reconciliation by considering their shared origins."
I like that term, "shared origins." Yes, all the sides in the conflict are believers in God and worship God. They have a "shared origin." These are not atheists fighting believers.....Perhaps I'm too idealistic but why can't everyone settle their differences and live peacefully in the land. War is destructive and causes death and the loss of innocent lives. This is not the will of God. It can't be.
The will of God should matter. There is enough land in the Middle East for everyone to live there peacefully and with human dignity. All children deserve to grow up in peace. Jerusalem is a holy city to Christians, Jews and Muslims. Why is peace so elusive in a place where there is so much prayer? I will never understand this paradox.