It is always interesting and infuriating to see how the media has portrays what’s happening in Israel. As so many times before, there has been spinning, slanting, agenda-driven half-truths flying across the internet and news sources. But is it realistic to suggest that any media company could ever hope to give the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? When given the choice between sight and blindness, light and dark, hearing and deafness, I imagine we would all go for the former. Yet so many times we as human beings refuse to see, to listen, to walk in light and truth.
Why does truth get twisted?
When the ancient Dead Sea Scrolls of the Bible were discovered in 1956 in Qumran, there was considerable concern from some areas of the church that they might negate some of what we believe and hold dear. There was a desire to suppress the contents and check them over, just in case they threw up troublesome contradictions. But why do we feel it is our duty to defend the truth as a fragile and destroyable entity? Do we not know that it is eternal and unbreakable? And if it turns out that we were believing something in error all these years, is it not better to know the truth? Why are we afraid of the light? Why do we shrink back from reality? And how can we, as fallen humanity, discern what is real and true anyway?
Light will always reveal things for what they really are, and this can cause fear. We may have many reasons for fearing stark reality, but this is not God’s desire for us. We are to walk in the light as he is in the light, and to love him who not only holds all truth, is over all truth, but declared himself to BE the truth. He can see everything that is happening: in the unseen recessess of our hearts, and in the spiritual realms. He sees every injustice done, every heartbreak, every molecule of spilt blood, every contrived plan to distort, exaggerate or hide the truth. He has access to it all.
It is appalling to watch when twisted headlines of the media demonize Israel even as she is attacked, and also grievous to see those who love Israel belittle or deny the deep pain of the Palestinians. As human beings our hearts have limited capacity, and can find it hard to extend compassion to both sides as we are called to do. We can all be guilty of minimising, suppressing or even distorting and exaggerating. Things get so muddled. We are driven by all manner of motives, desires, fears, concerns, prejudices, hopes and so on. Let’s be honest – believers are not exempt from these problems either, and mostly, we aren’t even aware of them. Add to the mix the Father of Lies who is determined to confuse – to make good look bad and bad look good. And he knows very well how to accomplish his goals. We are described in the Bible as sheep, who are easily led astray, and are not known for their sharp perception of reality.
The only source of reliable truth is God
And mercifully, he has given us some magnificent gifts:
- His Word – he wrote down everything we need to know for us so we can go back and check it again and again. As much as we like. Not only that, his inspired Word is actually alive and active.
- Prayer – the freedom to come and talk to him, to ask him about things that we don’t know or understand, and to hear from him in response.
- Access to the Father – forgiveness bought by the blood of Jesus is the only way this communication line can be opened.
- The Holy Spirit – the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit of Yeshua, whose very job is to lead us and guide us into all truth.
So we are not without hope.
We can see from the pages of scripture that God has a special love and tenderness for Israel, but that repeated and evil attempts were orchestrated to wipe them out – Satan has a special hatred and loathing for God’s beloved. History also gives ample witness of the crazed attacks and vilification that are simply bewildering if we do not recognise the Satanic drive behind them. We must not be blind to the fact that the world’s media will also be affected by the ruler of the kingdom of the air, as Paul describes him in Ephesians. Satan has an an anti-Israel agenda, and will seek to bring it about, using every agent he can get his hands on.
At the same time, let us not fall into the trap of closing our eyes and ears to the cries of the oppressed. Proverbs 21:13 warns us that
“Whoever stops his ears at the cry of the poor will cry out himself and not be heard”.
With God’s help, let us leave behind our natural tendencies to focus only on the things that fit into our current worldview, and let God show us all that he wants us to see – in Israel, in the world and in our hearts. In prayer, we can bring to him all of our grievances about the injustices we see, and ask for his wisdom and guidance about how he would have us respond.
To learn more about how much of the media is biased against Israel, click here
To keep up to date with current Middle East events in the light of Biblical prophecy, try Joel Rosenberg’s blog
To find out ways to support Palestinian brothers and sisters, click here