© August 2003 by Asher Intrater
The two terrorist bombings yesterday, in Baghdad and in Jerusalem, were almost simultaneous. Not only were they simultaneous, but they were also similar in proportion. Each reported about 20 killed and over one hundred wounded. The attack in Baghdad was against international welfare workers for the UN, while the attack in Jerusalem was against ultra-orthodox Jews returning from prayer at the Temple Mount. In essence, both of the attacks came from the same demonic spirit behind Islamic terrorism.
Both the UN workers and the ultra-orthodox Jews represent the "best" of their world. While I am often at odds with the liberal secular humanistic agenda of the United Nations, this group of welfare workers was part of the good and caring humanitarian face of the UN. While we often find ourselves at odds with the religious agenda of the ultra-orthodox, and even persecuted by them, this group of families and children, both innocent and prayerful, represents the pure and beautiful face of Orthodox Judaism.
In other words, these two attacks came against the very "flower" of the Western humanist world and of the Jewish religious tradition.
Last night the ultra-orthodox community in Jerusalem staged a public, mass prayer meeting. Amazingly, the prayers and the preaching did not include any attacks against Islam. The people repented of their sins, believing that all suffering in the world is a form of chastisement from God. It was as if the terrorism was irrelevant, and all they needed to do was use the opportunity to strive for more purity of heart. (What a difference that is from the ugly ranting and raving from the religious leaders of Hamas, Hizbullah, and Jihad.)
The similarity of the two attacks challenges the thinking of the Western world. International humanists, liberal Christians, and even moderate Muslims must recognize that the same hatred within militant Islam against Israel is ultimately a force that threatens them as well. Even in the post 911 era, the international community has been far too accommodating in allowing Islamic militancy to go unchecked. This double terrorist attack demands a separation in the hearts of reasonable and moderate people everywhere. There is no middle ground.
The sword of Islamic terrorism is bringing a spiritual sword into the hearts and minds of people all around the world. The word of God is like a sword dividing intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). The sword of Solomon revealed the difference in motivation of the two prostitutes (1 Kings 3). The persecution against Yeshua (Jesus) brought a sword into the heart of Miriam, His mother (Luke 2:35).
The events of the modern world in these end times will not allow anyone to remain neutral. Everyone will either have to take a stand for righteousness, or capitulate to evil. This division in the hearts of men constitutes a test of character from God. While the terrorism is an act of Satan, the test of character is desired by God.
Luke 12:49, Matthew 10:34
The end-times battle of good against evil is well under way. Spiritually speaking, we have no choice but to take sides. The "Ahab and Jezebel" spirit of Western humanism must wake up to the fact that it is being murdered and raped by spirits of terror and violence.
The first reports I heard on the radio told of seventeen deaths in Baghdad and seventeen deaths in Jerusalem. (Later the numbers increased to twenty and perhaps more.) I heard the numbers: 17 and 17. While the Lord very seldom speaks to me in biblical numerology, I was impressed by the Lord to look up Revelation 17:17.
I have a heart desire to pray for the Palestinians. More and more of them are seeing the degree to which Islamic terror has ruined their own chances for peace and welfare. Let us pray for the Israeli government and security leaders to exercise forcefulness, together with wisdom, patience and restraint; realizing, whether they know it or not, that the real battle here is not with flesh and blood, but with spiritual powers and principalities of evil (Ephesians 6). Let us pray for the terrorist organizations to be confused and divided amongst themselves (Luke 11:17-18). Let us pray for a spiritual awakening in both the international world of secular humanism and in the international community of Christian believers.
And of course, let us continue to pray with diligence for the only true solution for peace in the Middle East: that the gospel of the Prince of Peace, Yeshua, would be received by multitudes of Jews and Arabs alike.