Revealing the Heart of God Through the Evil of the World
By Neveen Bader
We see throughout Scripture and throughout history how God never abandoned His people Israel. He remained faithful to His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He led, provided for, and protected the children of Israel through tough times.
At the same time, God’s plan of salvation was not only for Israel—it was for the entire world. God said that through Abraham’s family, all the nations of the earth would be blessed (Genesis 22:18). This greater plan unfolded over time, leading to Jesus coming into the world to show God’s love by offering salvation to everyone.
God’s faithfulness to Israel shows us that He keeps His promises, and His plan from the beginning was to include all nations in His story of love, redemption, and purpose. It is a universal invitation for everyone to enter God’s family, becoming a part of His greater plan (Genesis 12:3, 18:18, 22:18, 26:4, 28:14).
Since the onset of our present war, numerous individuals have questioned why God allows for war and bloodshed. We know that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one (1 John 5:19 ESV), and humans often choose the path of greed, violence, and bloodshed. God respects their freedom of choice and sometimes allows them to fulfill their wicked desires, but God always has a greater purpose in mind.
In the midst of the fighting and suffering, the ultimate goal of God remains – salvation and the extension of His heavenly Kingdom on earth.
“Who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4).
God uses pain as a way to lead people to repent, seek, and reach out to Him. (Acts 17:27).
Since we live in a world that conforms to the influence of evil, war and suffering will be an inseparable part of our lives. But we can choose to see suffering as an expression of God’s love (Hebrews 12:6 NIV). It is a chance to draw closer and be conformed to the image of Yeshua (Romans 8:29).
We encounter Jesus as He declares His purpose in the synagogue in Nazareth, reading from Isaiah chapter 61.
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-21 NIV)
He affirms that this prophecy was fulfilled in Him, revealing not only His own heart but as it is written in Isaiah 61, God’s heart in the Old Testament towards the Gentiles. In response to Jewish leaders, He illustrates this by recalling instances where God extended His grace beyond Israel. For example, when the prophet Elijah was not sent to help an Israelite woman, but to help a Gentile woman, and Naaman, an Aramaic enemy of the Lord’s people, was healed by the prophet Elisha (Luke 4:23-27, 1 Kings 17:8-24, 2 Kings 5:1-14).
We see the suffering of the Palestinians. But I believe God is inviting them to be part of His Covenant. He cares for them and loves them. On the cross, He also died for their sins. They are called to be a part of the Kingdom of His beloved Son. God’s desire for them is to be saved and free from any Islamic oppression.
Let us pray for God to give us His heart for the Arab and Palestinian people, just as He has for the Jewish people. And that God would give the Jewish people the same heart towards the Palestinians that God demonstrated in the Old Testament towards the Gentiles.
“All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations.” (Psalm 22:27-28)