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Coping with the end times

Forty percent of all American adults believe we are in the end times. So says the respected Pew Research Center (December 8, 2022). And 55 percent believe in Jesus’ return. For more than half of Americans, then, it is hoped their faith comforts them.

Every generation has its crises. In the 1960s and ’70s, scientists and economists (e.g. the Club of Rome) predicted the end of civilization. Now we have pandemics, oil-supply disruptions and more wars than ever. Moscow and Tehran are both threatening nuclear war. Others claim climate irregularities will destroy the planet. Maybe. Or maybe not.

Israel has additional worries. There are daily terror incidents. On the last Friday in January, as families were walking home from prayers, an assassin began firing outside a synagogue in northern Jerusalem. A young married couple ran out and administered CPR to one wounded man. They were shot down too. Seven people died.

Shortly after, a father and son walking home from prayer near the Old City were shot by a 13-year-old boy incited by Palestinian propaganda via schoolbooks, radio, television, social media and imams’ sermons in mosques. Both victims survived but are in critical condition.

Across the Palestinian Authority, there were jubilant celebrations in the streets, with fireworks, music and distribution of sweets.

Israel has its political disputes too. November 2022 election results favored reforming the judiciary. Since the 1990s, the courts expanded their power unrestricted. Currently, legislation is approved by the judiciary. Not even the prime minister can be installed without court approval.

Unlike other nations, the Israeli judiciary chooses its own judges. They aren’t elected. The conservative government is rectifying that. Seizing the opportunity, the scare-mongering opposition warns of a right-wing takeover. Shrill reporting depicts a crisis scenario.

Today, Israel is working for the future. Peace accords with Muslim nations are on the horizon (Chad and Sudan), and medical research is ongoing (new cancer treatments are being tested).

Whatever storms of life befall us, we have the assurance that God is our defense, refuge and strength (Ps. 59:16f [17f]). Bible believers may be troubled, but need not despair, wrote Paul. What is seen is temporal, while the unseen is eternal (2 Cor. 4:8, 18).