John Daniel Davidson covers politics, immigration, culture, and religion at The Federalist. His illuminating article, titled Israel And Hamas Are Embroiled In A Zero-Sum Religious War, And So Is The West, provides a mindful evaluation: www.thefederalist.com/2023/10/11/israel-and-hamas-are-embroiled-in-a-zero-sum-religious-war-and-so-is-the-west/
Davidson states that the possibility of Israel coexisting with Hamas is just as inconceivable as the Christian West coexisting with the post-Christian [i.e., pagan] West. The violence unleashed by Hamas on October 7 against unarmed civilians – women, children, and the elderly – as well as the unrestrained barbarism turned loose upon 40 babies and small children, punctuates the shockingly repellent character and propensities of Hamas, the malevolent Islamist political and militant organization.
When observed and differentiated through the lens of Biblical discernment, we’d be able to recognize that a serpent from a remote past has once again become active in the garden-land of Israel [1 Samuel 11]. 1 Samuel 17:5 tells us that Goliath “had a bronze helmet on his head, and he wore a bronze coat of armor scales weighing 125 pounds.” Dr. Peter J. Leithart translates the Hebrew for us, pointing out the unusual attention given to Goliath’s scale armor, meaning simply scales, and so implicating the cold-blooded reptilian nature of Goliath the Gittite.1
Goliath was a likely descendent of the race of giants, known as the Anakim or Anakites, that was destroyed by Joshua, in 11:21-23, with only a few remaining in Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod.2
Upon taking the leadership of ancient Israel, detailed in 1 Kings 2, Solomon next removed the nation’s enemies, opening up space for peace and unity of the people. The equivalent to Solomon delivering the land from mortal enemies would be modern-day Israel’s removal of Hamas from present-day Gaza, following the Biblical inference:
“Enemies must be removed in order to open up space for a table; fear must be eliminated in order to give place to joy; the boundaries of the kingdom must be secured so that the people of the kingdom can eat and drink and rejoice before the Lord. Solomon executes his enemies of the kingdom so that the friends of the kingdom can eat and drink in security, peace, and joy. For Solomon as for Jesus, the table is the heart of the kingdom.”3
As for America, pro-Hamas students recently marched in the streets clamoring seditious, incendiary slogans and posting communiqués on social media praising Hamas. Although they easily could have been mistaken for antisemitic neo-Nazis, they were left-wing zealots, BLM firebrands, and pro-LGBTQ acolytes from ostensibly ‘elite’ universities.4 The off-the-wall pagan parade made for a coalition of bizarre, aberrant bedfellows.
“The people who cheer the beheading of babies,” continues Davidson, “are of course those who also cheer the slaughter of babies in the womb. They are, like Islam itself, post-Christian, and their morality, like the morality of Hamas, is decidedly pagan … They reject the Christian precepts that constitute the basis for Western civilization.
“These are the same people, after all, who insist that ‘words are violence’ and that debates and free speech and even jokes must be suppressed because of the ‘harm’ they cause to vulnerable and marginalized people. If you say a man cannot become a woman, [the totalitarian] wants you fired, to be silenced, to lose everything. If you say we must not castrate and mutilate children in the name of gender ideology, [the totalitarian] wants your own kids to be taken from you.
“If it is obvious that Israel and Hamas cannot coexist, it is equally obvious that these two worlds, the Christian and the pagan, also cannot coexist. We will become all one thing or all the other.” www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JmRL-xo_tI&t=7s
Christian capitulation to secular ideology and politics is more the rule than the exception in modern America, and nothing less than apostasy and the denial of the gospel that announces Jesus Christ as Lord.5 Hungarian Catholic philosopher, historian and political theorist Thomas Molnar [1921-2010] was right when he said: “Soon after political power emancipates itself from spiritual authority it loses its own stability and, in short order, its legitimacy. The downward trend cannot be arrested. Individualism then anarchy appear as the natural consequence.”
Jewish Hebrew scholar Michael V. Fox makes a similar argument in his translation of Proverbs 28:2: “‘The transgression of a land’ – widespread, systemic violations of law – brings on anarchy, both as its natural consequence and as its fitting punishment, and with anarchy comes an oppressive multiplicity of rulers and factions.”
For Israel, this is going to be a long hard battle.
As for America, with the Christian abandonment of the public square, and its adoption of an eschatology that appears to say, Don’t worry, Jesus is going to take us out of here, reality must now set in that such escapism actually amounts to refusing or neglecting to obey Jesus’ Kingdom assignment from Luke 19:13, which says: “Occupy until I come.”
Christians moving into the public arena cannot immediately undo decades of blatant unfaithfulness. The best approach comes from Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s speech at the Lord Mayor’s Day Luncheon on November 10, 1942: “It is no use dealing with illusions and make-believes. We must look at the facts. The world … is too dangerous for anyone to be able to afford to nurse illusions. We must look at realities.”
Indeed we should, because Western Civilization is at stake.
Thankfully, and God be praised, Gideons and Rahabs are entering America’s public square.
American Renewal Project
1-2. Peter J. Leithart, A Son to Me: An Exposition of 1 & 2 Samuel.
3. Peter J. Leithart, 1 & 2 Kings.
5. Peter J. Leithart, 1 & 2 Kings.