The Scripture in chronicling the exodus from Israel notes God gave Moses guidance and hardened Pharaoh’s heart. Superficially that seems unfair. The answer is found in the way God hardened the heart of the ruler. Moses had more insight shared with him by God than anyone. The person thereafter who had more of His will expressed to him about letting the children of Israel go was Pharaoh.
The more God revealed to him, the more belligerent he became. The more belligerent he became, the more God revealed to him regarding His will. Had God not revealed His will to him, it seems it would have been unfair. The only way he could do God’s will was to know it. Yet, the more of it he understood the more adamantly he resisted.
Pharaoh and Hamas are like children — the more they are disciplined in an attempt to get acceptable behavior, the more reactive they become.
It was a bootstrap relation. Once one side is laced up, the more the other is laced up, and the process continues. If one ratchets up, so does the other. It was action, reaction over and over.
The more rockets Hamas fires into Israel, the more they pound Gaza. The more they pound Gaza, the more aggressively Hamas responds. It is a tit-for-tat situation.
War is horrible. The good suffer with the bad. The children, elderly, women, infirm, sick and uninvolved citizens suffer along with the terrorists. The secular national press is showing more and more pictures of the uninvolved who are suffering in Palestine and criticizing Israel. It is grievous such suffering is the collateral result of war.
However, Israel sees as the alternative the sworn desire of Hamas, their annihilation. The Hamas constitution states the annihilation of Israel is one of their objectives. That would entail more death, carnage and pillaging than now going on in Gaza.
Meanwhile in Iran, ISIS is marching across the country and as they do they are giving Christians in the occupied territory the alternatives of converting to Islam, leaving the country or being killed.
Mosul, Iraq, is an example. Several months ago, there were 60,000 Christians in the city. Today there are none. These people are being uprooted losing their homes, jobs, investments and possessions in a different way than those in Gaza, but just as definitely. ISIS has already slaughtered thousands.
The Quran gives non-Muslims three options when conquered: one is to be heavily taxed in support of Islam, second is to convert to Islam and the third is to be killed.
ISIS is seen as being merciful in light of this by given the people the choice of moving out of the region. This is causing as much loss and suffering among these Christians as the citizens of Gaza are suffering.
Why then is Israel being criticized and ISIS not?
The Rev. Dr. Nelson Price is pastor emeritus of Roswell Street Baptist Church in Marietta.