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Enmity Against God

“If the Jewish state becomes a fact, and this is realized by the Arab peoples, they will drive the Jews who live in their midst into the sea.” – Hassan al-Banna, Muslim Brotherhood founder (New York Times, August 2, 1948)
“Israel, to the Arab world, is like a cancer to the human body, and the only way of remedy is to uproot it just like a cancer.” – King Saud of Saudi Arabia (New York Times, January 10, 1954)
“The day on which the Arab hope for the return of the refugees to Palestine is realized will be the day of Israel’s extermination." – Abdallah al-Yafi, Lebanese Prime Minister (Al-Hayat, April 29, 1966; quoted in Harris O. Schoenberg, A Mandate for Terror: The United Nations and the PLO [Shapolsky Books, 1989], p. 239)
“We will carry on operations until Israel has been eliminated.” – Syrian government broadcast (Radio Damascus, January 16, 1967; quoted in Michael B. Oren, Six Days of War [Oxford University Press, 2002], p. 42)
“We shall never stop until we can go back home and Israel is destroyed… The goal of our struggle is the end of Israel, and there can be no compromises or mediations… We don’t want peace, we want victory. Peace for us means Israel’s destruction and nothing else. ” – Yasser Arafat, PLO chairman (Washington Post, March 29, 1970)
“It is an open war until the elimination of Israel and until the death of the last Jew on earth.” – Hezbollah statement, issued under Islamic Jihad alias (United Press International, March 24, 1992)

The current conflict between Jews and Muslims is merely a precursor to the all out assault on Israel during the time of the tribulation as prophesied in the Bible. There will be no peace in the Middle East until the Lord Jesus Christ returns bodily to this earth to establish His literal, physical kingdom from the throne of David.

A good word to describe the sentiment of those quoted above towards Israel is “enmity.” Enmity is defined as a feeling of hostility, deep-rooted hatred, animosity, antagonism. The enmity of those that hate Israel is obvious with words such as extermination, elimination, and eradication in regards to the Jewish State.

I thought of the conflict in Israel as I recently read a chapter in Temptation and Sin by the puritan writer John Owen. He wrote, “Enemies may be reconciled but enmity cannot; yea, the only way to reconcile enemies is to destroy the enmity.” The context was the nature of sin as found in Romans 8:7 in which Paul wrote “the carnal mind is enmity against God”. I believe the enmity of Islam towards the Jews can be used to illustrate the sinful carnal nature within us and its hatred of God. Reread the quotes above as if expressed from your carnal nature with the sentiment being against God instead of Israel to see the essence of what Paul was expressing in his epistle to the Romans.

Those who have been born again possess two natures: the old, carnal nature and the new, spiritual nature born of God. The old sinful nature wars against the Spirit (Galatians 5). Although the spirit of man is regenerated and the soul redeemed at the moment of salvation, the body is still under the curse of sin until its translation from corruption to incorruption at the resurrection (Romans 8:23; 1 Corinthians 15).

I suppose what struck me as I read about the deep-rooted hatred against God of my carnal nature is how often I overlook it. Sure I’m conscious of my sin and how it grieves the Holy Spirit but how often am I aware of the “old man’s” enmity against God? The old nature opposes God as well as our souls aim to have communion with Him. To paraphrase Owens… as long as communion with God is not what we aim for, as long as we find purpose in the external motions of religion, the opposition that we feel from within will be very weak. Perhaps that is an indictment against my motives in performing spiritual duties. What is my motive for serving Him? Is it God alone or to be commended among the brethren? Is it His glory or my own? O to God that my heart’s desire in all that I do would be solely Him.

“God is love” (1 John 4:8). He is eternally excellent and desirable above all. His love was manifested in the shed blood of His Son for all sinful mankind. Eternity itself is not long enough to exhaust the declaration of His glory. Against this God we carry about within us, within our carnal nature, an enmity all our days. We can’t ignore it anymore than Israel can ignore Hamas.

It is the holiness and authority of God that sin itself rises up against, it hates the yoke of the Lord. The nature of sin is the opposition of God, a casting off of His yoke, a breaking off of the dependence which the creature ought to have on the Creator. Our only hope is Jesus Christ. Only He can bring peace to our war-torn soul and deliver us from self, making the way for communion with our heavely Father.

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