By Arlene Bridges Samuels
In 2006, Hezbollah terrorists—embedded in Lebanon—ambushed an Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) border patrol. In a cross-border raid, Hezbollah kidnapped two IDF soldiers and killed another three. A few days after Israel’s Second Lebanon War began on July 12 of that year, my good friend Earl Cox called me. I had been volunteering with him since 2002 on his personally financed projects aimed at blessing Israel. His next words amazed me: “Arlene, I think the Lord wants us to go to Israel as soon as possible.” I countered, “Earl, why would we go now?” His reply made all the sense in the world to me. “When friends are in crisis, true friends go and stand with them.”
He and I had traveled to Israel leading groups both large and small during the Second Intifada (2000–2005). In that offensive, based on untrue allegations that Israel was taking over the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, Palestinians murdered more than 1,000 Jews. We were not tourists—either then or during our 2006 Second Lebanon War trip.
We rushed into action implementing the next steps. Immediately after Earl called, we quickly swept through our list of contacts with the help of Earl’s wife, Kathleen, and my husband, Paul. Just seven days later, Earl and I landed at Ben Gurion Airport with 25 Christians. Our agenda rested in four words: ENCOURAGE OUR JEWISH FRIENDS.
And what a reception we got! Israelis were overjoyed to see us at empty restaurants in the Galilee and on Jerusalem buses, where we declared, “We are American Christians. We are here as friends.” At Haifa’s Rambam Hospital we visited wounded IDF soldiers. I still recall how shocked the staff of the Israeli Red Cross was when all 25 of us walked in to donate blood. Our team traveled up to the Israel-Lebanon border as bombs were falling. Israeli tanks were lined up with surprised soldiers who gladly accepted our small American flags. We frequented the Western Wall to pray and left 10 days later after sharing many hugs with senior citizens, leaving toys for children in bomb shelters, and listening to families awaiting word on their loved ones serving in the IDF.
I describe our trip to emphasize that Israelis treated us like family and were deeply touched by our friendship. Yes, when friends are in crisis, true friends stand with them. When any of us are in crisis, we deeply appreciate our friends and family supporting us in our time of need. We are assured that in this war, Israelis will deeply appreciate anything we do!
We must remain motivated by keeping this fact in mind: If we are passive, propaganda will proliferate. Within a few days of the massacre of Jewish men, women, children, and babies in Israel, a hurricane of lies blew through the airwaves of the world villainizing Israel as if photos and descriptions about the Hamas “Nazis” had not previously circled the globe revealing these unspeakable and barbaric killings. Hamas took its own photos during their executions of innocents, using on occasion their victims’ cell phones to post on their own Facebook pages.
The blood of beheaded Israeli babies cries out for justice amid this existential threat to Israel, which is now clearer than ever. Despite the sound evidence, Jew-hating crowds commit another kind of unholy jihad: a jihad of lethal words. Demonstrators echo a Holocaust theme to “Gas the Jews!” While Hitler’s Nazis generally attempted to hide their mass murders, the Islamic Regime—its surrogates Hamas, Hezbollah, and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps embedded in Syria—wear their hate as a badge of honor. The Jew-hating crowds are pushing full-throttled, murderous messages.
Hellish demons are dancing and igniting fires among these rebellious voices as they rail against the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jesus—in fact, against Jews anywhere. We Christians must beware, as we lay aside apathy and embrace bravery.
Our proactive postures in small and large ways must override this revival of genocidal evil. Slightly reshaping my friend Earl’s compassionate reasoning, I say now, “When friends are in crisis, true friends stand with them.”
There are many ways to do this, and they are available right now, right where we are. Let us stop wringing our hands in frustration and suit up in an Evangelical Army of Truth. Facts and biblical truth must take precedence, not hysteria and ugly name-calling. We must grasp our reality from Ephesians 6:11-13—“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
Friends, the “forces of evil in the heavenly realms” are fully deployed on earth promoting and propagandizing unimaginable evil. We must be prayerful, proactive, and put on our spiritual armor daily. Ephesians 6:14-17 directs us to “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
Now, more than ever, is the time to fulfill our God-given calling to stand with Israel and Jewish people! We urge you to watch out for the anti-Israel propaganda you see or hear in the global mainstream media. They have already returned to their habitual, ignorant, and hostile reporting against Israel. Use discernment in consuming the news and guard against faulty information and conspiracy theories. The media listed in this article are factual, trustworthy, and important tools to inform others through your social media, emails, in person, Bible studies, and churches. And please do not believe anything reported by Hamas; they are notorious for threatening their media.
When the IDF, the most humanitarian military on earth, enters Gaza en masse, much of the world will forget Hamas’s most depraved, barbaric murders in Israel’s 75-year modern history and since the genocidal Holocaust. They will forget that the Islamic Regime is the world’s worst, most prolific terror-sponsoring country—reaching far beyond the Middle East while terrorizing their own population! If we are targeted, let it be because we follow the Jewish Messiah. In the media resources I list below, primarily educate yourself with Israel’s Official Digital Resource available to you and everyone from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office.
Give Support to Israel:
- CBN Israel: [Donate Now]
- International Christian Embassy Jerusalem: [Donate Now]
- Operation Life Shield: [Donate Now]
- Friends of the IDF: [Donate Now]
- Stay updated and informed with Israel’s official site from the Prime Minister’s Office. Read and share its insightful resources with your churches, ministries, contacts/social media, friends, and family: [Learn More].
- Watch the biweekly CBN News show, Jerusalem Dateline, which is hosted by veteran reporter, Chris Mitchell: [Learn More].
- Download the CBN News App to stay updated and informed about what is happening in Israel and the Middle East—all from a biblical perspective: [Learn More].
- Follow Lt. Colonel Jonathan Conricus (res.), Intl. Spokesman for IDF. He is interviewed worldwide on mainstream and Christian media: [Learn More].
- Follow Brig. General Amir Avivi, Founder, Israel Defense and Security Forum (IDSF). Subscribe free to receive briefing notifications: [Learn More].
- Stay updated and informed with Joel Rosenberg’s All Israel News: [Learn More].
- Follow Amir Tsarfati, President of Behold Israel: [Learn More].
The best way to remain informed and educated is to subscribe to the media and humanitarian organizations I listed.
I am grateful that the United States is expressing its support for our great ally Israel by deploying the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier strike group. It is now anchored in the Mediterranean Sea along Israel’s coast. U.S. Air Force fighter jets are also in the region, and the Pentagon has ordered the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group to begin moving to the Eastern Mediterranean. These military moves were explained by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, “As part of our effort to deter hostile actions against Israel or any efforts toward widening this war following Hamas’s attack on Israel.”
Despite our U.S. military strength, it is not enough. This war looks to be a long one. The global pro-Israel Christian community must remain vigilant and proactive in both prayer and advocacy for Israel. We each have a role to play, as expressed in Galatians 6:2—“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Since we are the recipients of the deepest treasure imaginable through the Jews, our scripture, and our Savior, carrying the burdens of God’s Land and God’s people is a holy work and a way to honor our Lord.
Please join our CBN Israel team in prayer this week:
- Pray for the IDF as they enter the Gaza Strip with its three hundred miles of dangerous underground tunnels.
- Pray for traumatized families of the missing, murdered, and hostages. As of Sunday, the Sukkot War’s toll includes 30 Americans murdered and 13 missing.
- Pray for Gazans to ignore Hamas’s threats not to leave Gaza as warned by Israel to save civilians.
- Pray for each Christian to wear the mantle of spiritual warfare matched with practical support and advocacy for Israel.
- Pray for our CBN News team headquartered in Jerusalem as we work around the clock to report the unbiased truth during these unprecedented times.
- Pray for our CBN Israel team as we rush emergency relief to terror victims, war zone evacuees, and others impacted most by these horrible attacks.
Scripture verses are quoted from the New International Version.