We Cannot Miss This Game-Changing Moment in the Middle East

“In the Gaza envelope communities, it was sheer chaos. I remember calling my friend, a former Knesset member, asking, ‘How are you doing?’ I will never forget it. He said, ‘Juergen, where is the IDF? I’m at a bomb shelter, and they are shooting our civilians outside. Where is the IDF? Where is the IDF?” shared Dr. Juergen Buehler at the National Religious Broadcaster’s Breakfast to Honor Israel. Dr. Buehler is the president of the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem and has lived and served in Israel for over 30 years.

Juergen explained that Oct. 7 was a game-changer for Israel. The self-confident Israel that many of us know has been changed irrevocably. Israelis have lost faith in their military leadership and lost hope for peace with the Palestinians, and the nations, initially supportive, are turning against them.

The IDF and Israeli intelligence ignored warnings that an imminent attack was coming. Everything was done wrong that, if done right, could have saved many lives that morning.

Moreover, even the most dovish Israelis have also lost faith in the idea of peace with the Palestinians. On Oct. 7, more than 3,000 terrorists infiltrated Israel, murdering, mutilating and committing atrocities and 1,200 people were brutally killed. Juergen explained, “You need to understand that the Gaza envelope communities that were attacked were liberal, left-leaning people. They wanted to show the Israeli population that it is possible to live next to your neighbors in peace.” Those who survived are struggling with the loss of their deeply held belief that if they extended a hand of friendship to Palestinians in Gaza one day that friendship would be reciprocated.

At the same time, the nation, previously profoundly divided over political issues, is now more united than it has been in decades. On the day of the attack, Israel called up 350K reserve soldiers, but more showed up than were actually called in. The whole nation mobilized. The oldest reservist was an 80-year-old who showed up with his gun, saying, “I’m ready to fight.” Around the world, Israelis traveling or living abroad returned to stand with their nation, and God is doing amazing things in their midst. Dr. Buehler proclaimed, “We are now witnessing miracles in Israel of biblical proportions. Once this war ends, you will hear one miracle story after another.” The synagogues are full, prayer is a priority and the nation is turning to God.

This war could also be a game-changer for Gazans. Dr. Buehler showed an image of Dresden after it had been destroyed by the Allies in World War II. He then said, “This is not Gaza City. This is the city of Dresden, and I know many of you are disturbed when you see the destruction in Gaza. My father always told me, ‘Juergen, we must be thankful for what America did to our nation. They brought us to our knees to eradicate every form of Nazism in Germany. And I honestly believe that Gaza is on the doorstep of one of the greatest opportunities of their history. Gaza needs a Marshall Plan. We pray at the Christian Embassy that God would release 4,000 missionaries to Gaza to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.” Buehler met with Prime Minister Netanyahu and told him not to leave Gaza. He urged him to invite Christians to come in and build schools and hospitals to educate a new generation like America did 75 years ago in Germany. What happened in Germany can happen in Gaza.

Dr. Buehler was adamant that this also needed to be a game-changer for the Church. The world has changed forever, and the needs and opportunities are significant. We must step up and meet the demands of the moment. Buehler spoke frankly, “It is not enough to say we love Israel; we need to pray. A Sunday service should not pass without praying for Israel. Don’t just confess your solidarity; become very practical. There are evacuees from the north and south living in hotels; they need your help. Israel needs more bomb shelters and ambulances. They need to rebuild. Take up an offering and give. Speak up. In our countries, there are more Muslims on the street demonstrating against Israel than Christians standing up for Israel. Help us reverse that. Help Israel see that they have friends all over the world.

Juergen Buehler’s comments were enlightening and spoken with the authority that only comes with firsthand experience. We would do well to listen and act: Pray, give and speak out!

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