Isaiah 60:1-3 says, “Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the LORD will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.”
Today as you read this, that Scripture is being fulfilled. Yes, there is darkness in our world today. There are evil and hatred and danger and war and demonic influence. But there is also light! And you and I are a vital part of that light.
The battle between light and darkness is not new. It has been going on through the ages. Indeed, it is the most important battle in all of human history. Through both the pages of Scripture and stories of history, we see again and again that Satan’s hatred of God and particularly of God’s Chosen People have led to continued threats and attacks.
Whether it is Pharaoh in Egypt, the Assyrians, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, the Crusades, the pogroms, or the Holocaust, there is a clear line of spiritual warfare against the Jewish people that be easily seen. In our day, the hatred directed at Israel has two major wings: the Islamists who are committed to seeing the Jewish people wiped out and the anti-Semites who largely hide their disdain for the Jewish people behind what they call opposition to Israel’s policies and practices.
In the past decade, global anti-Semitism has become more blatant and deliberate. In April 2011, a synagogue on the Greek Island of Corfu was burned. What was the threat on this idyllic island? A mere 150 Jews. Unfortunately, this was not an isolated incident. Jewish synagogues in France, Sweden, Hungary, and Poland have been vandalized or burned and with cemeteries desecrated. Jewish men have had to resort to wearing hats or caps to hide their yarmulkes and escape harassment. Schools have been forced to erect iron gates and hire security to protect Jewish children.
In Malmo, Sweden, the population of Jews has decreased from 2,000 to less than 700 in recent years because of threats of violence, inflicted or perceived. Death threats against those who would dare defend Israel have become commonplace today, and when university professors are even allowed to lecture on the topic of Israel, protests often turn violent. The anti-Semitism of Hitler’s Europe seemed to sharply abate following the war but has returned with a vengeance. The counterfeit and duplicitous book The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion is widely available in Muslim bookstores throughout Europe, and it has generated a renewed fascination in the Jews as scapegoats for the world’s ills. This is exacerbated, as it was in World War II Germany, by rising economic worries.
The demonization of the Jewish State of Israel by Muslims worldwide has been adopted by many Europeans, adding to the growth of Jew-hatred. And even in the United States, one of the most friendly nations toward Israel in all its modern history, we saw in Charlottesville, Virginia, marchers chanting, “Jews will not replace us,” while wearing Nazi symbols and carrying swastika flags.
But as grave as the situation is, it is not hopeless. If God’s people will obey His commands, we can overcome this great evil and the darkness that lies behind it, and win a mighty victory in the spirit war. Long ago, God said through the prophet Isaiah, “I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence, And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth” (Isaiah 62:6-7).
God has a purpose and a plan for our lives. The outcome of the spirit war between darkness and light is determined; God will triumph! But He has called us to do our part in that battle. And the primary and most important weapon we have been given in spiritual warfare is prayer. His will and His blessings are bound up in prayer. The fuel that moves the engine of humanity is prayer.