*‘We Love Death More Than You Love Life’
Anyone visiting Israel’s northern border with Syria on the Golan Heights will immediately notice something peculiar. While on the Israeli side, groves of fruit trees and fields fill the landscape up to the very border itself, the Syrian side is quite barren. Although sounds of guns and bombs now fill the air as the Syrian civil war rages, the site was the same before the war erupted.
When the Syrians had the Golan in their possession, they used it by and large to build their forces in preparation to attack Israel, not to cultivate it. When Israel gained control of the area after successfully defending herself in two wars (1967 and 1973), she immediately began settling it and developing its agriculture. If you visit the Golan today, you will be astounded by the green fields, beautiful vineyards, wineries, herds of cattle, and even a ski resort.
The same is true in Southern Lebanon; fields and vines on the Israeli side stretch to the border with Lebanon, while on the Lebanese side, Hezbollah is using the area to build its forces, dig tunnels, and fortify buildings; all in preparation for their next attack on Israel.
The Greater Love
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
By far the greatest love that a human can demonstrate is to lay down his life for his friends; thus the commandment of Yeshua clearly teaches. There is no greater wonder one can contemplate than the death of Yeshua on the cross. God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son as an atonement and a sacrifice. Upon Him the full wrath of God would be emptied, so that all and any who come to believe in Him would receive life — Eternal Life.
God is the Author of Life (Genesis 1:24, Genesis 1:27), and God is the Fountain of Life (Psalm 36:9). God bestows life-giving mercies freely on those who turn to Him (Psalm 103:3-5). It is His express will to give life to all those who turn to Him — abundantly! (John 10:10)
Death as Worship
In a hideous twist, in Jihad, “to kill oneself in order to harm non-Muslims is an act of deep piety.”2
In Islam, the act of killing others through killing oneself is not considered suicide (forbidden in Islam), but is rather considered worship.
Can there be anything more antithetical to God than that?!
All those who adhere to such thinking and devotion are by definition in the enemy’s camp.
The thief comes not but to steal, kill and destroy, we read in John 10:10.
“….We tell them: in as much as you love life -- the Muslim loves death and martyrdom.” Sheikh 'Ikrimeh Sabri, Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine 3
“In 2004, (Hassan) Nasrallah, (secretary general of Hezbollah) said this: "We have discovered how to hit the Jews where they are the most vulnerable. The Jews love life, so that is what we shall take away from them. We are going to win because they love life, and we love death.”`”4
I Will Redeem Them From Death
Overlooking the beautiful fields of the Golan, the growing of fruit trees or the cultivation of vineyards might seem feeble and weak compared with those ominous threats of death and destruction. In a world that worships force, that is the impression one gets.
But that would be wrong, for behind those groves, vineyards, and herds of cattle is God — the Lord of Life. He is performing His Word and fulfilling His promise in restoring His people to their land.
“And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them, and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them.” Amos 9:14 (See Ezekiel 36:33-36 in addition.)
While the Jewish people are planting vineyards and building the waste cities, in reality, it is God who is doing the planting.
“Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with My whole heart and with My whole soul.” Jeremiah 32:41
That in itself is a grand demonstration of life: the resurrection of a people, brought back to life from the dead.
“Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O My people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up out of your graves, And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.” Ezekiel 37:12-14
Those fields and vineyards point not to the people of Israel, as much as they do to her Mighty, Life-giving, Resurrecting God. And He has set Himself as an enemy to Death.
“I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from Mine eyes.” Hosea 13:14
From Jerusalem He will one day put the final enemy, Death, into the pit.
“He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of His people shall He take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.” Isaiah 25:8
“The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” 1Corinthians 15:26
What Shall be the Receiving of Them?
In his great letter to the believers in Rome, Paul unfolds the mystery of Israel. Here we find this amazing truth that is an anchor of our hope and faith:
“For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead.” Romans 11:15
Paul claims that the restoration of Israel will unleash resurrection life! Nothing less. This is astoundingly wonderful.
In light of all this, and in sight of groves of fruit trees, vineyards, and cattle roaming the Golan, one realizes that far from being weak signs, they point to a mighty, life-giving revolution about to come.
The enemy doesn’t get it.
Blessings from Zion,