Deuteronomy 2: 23 Come Together in Prayerful Seeking of God’s Work of Peace

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Deuteronomy 2: 23 Come Together in Prayerful Seeking of God’s Work of Peace

Deuteronomy 2: 23 As for the Avvim, who had lived in settlements in the vicinity of Gaza, the Caphtorim, who came from Caphtor, destroyed them and settled in their place. 24 ‘Proceed on your journey and cross the Wadi Arnon. See, I have handed over to you King Sihon the Amorite of Heshbon, and his land. Begin to take possession by engaging him in battle. 25 This day I will begin to put the dread and fear of you upon the peoples everywhere under heaven; when they hear report of you, they will tremble and be in anguish because of you.’

This is presented as Moses speaking of God’s direction as part of the process of taking the so-called Promised Land. Thirty some-odd centuries later Napoleon was quoted as saying “geography is destiny” – that was just before his disastrous invasion of Russia and the death of three hundred thousands of his army. In ancient Israel, geography wasn’t just destiny, but also, theology. Hath God truly said? In regard to Gaza today we have geography, destiny, theology and international political history mixed in a witches brew. Gaza is tiny and very urban, with about two and a half times the population of San Francisco. For at least a thousand years the San Francisco peninsula was the territory of the Ohlone people until Spanish soldiers and settlers invaded in 1776; but 70 years later the U.S.A. took it in the Mexican American war, along with upper California generally, New Mexico, Arizona, and parts of Utah, Nevada, and Colorado – all of that mantra of “manifest destiny” sounds like theological Promised Land language to me. Untangling the rat’s nest of Gaza’s Islamic, Jewish, Christian, economic, historic and geographic threads to create a lasting peace is impossible without the kind of commitment to non-violence that our three Abrahamic religions (and others) profess to value. Surely prayer that all may be one in that commitment is beyond mere human capacities, and so people of faiths need to come together in prayerful seeking of God’s work of peace. Perhaps that will require that those faiths each repent of their own present and historic co-religionists histories of terrorism in pursuit of their aims. Please pass this post along to others whose pastors, priests, imams and rabbis may seek to come together.

Pastor Bill

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