Hamas And The Philistines Kindred Spirit
As I write this, Israel is retaliating, militarily, to the merciless attack by Hamas terrorists on their land just a couple of days ago. Over 1,000 Israelis were murdered in cold blood. Babies were shot and then beheaded, families were shot and beheaded, a pregnant woman was shot and the baby cut out from her and left attached to the umbilical cord, as well as many citizens, including grandparents, who were taken hostage. What they did was beyond human comprehension. The gruesome atrocities they committed can only be attributed to those possessed by demons. They are paying a price now, though, as Israel is leveling the Gaza Strip.
Last night was our weekly Bible study with a small group of people at our local Burger King. The Lord impressed upon us a few weeks ago that it was time to go public. We’re no threat to the devil in a secluded room somewhere. It was time to let our light shine as a beacon of hope for those living in the ever-increasing darkness, a darkness that can be felt.
As I prepared for the study, I sought the Lord to see what He would have me share. It was through looking at David’s great victory in 1 Samuel 17 over Goliath, the Philistine “champion,” that the Holy Spirit led me to an understanding of the connection between Hamas and the Philistines. Quite unexpectedly, He began to reveal to me the similarities between the two, both of whom were, and still are Israel’s enemy. First, though, I need to give a brief overview of who Hamas is and their objectives, and who the Philistines were.
Who Is Hamas?
According to the National Counterterrorism Center, Hamas is the acronym for Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiya (Islamic Resistance Movement). They are a large militant group primarily in the Gaza Strip that calls for the eradication of Israel. They emerged in 1987 during the first Palestinian uprising, or intifada, as an outgrowth of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch. The group is committed to armed, violent resistance against Israel and the creation of an Islamic Palestinian state in Israel’s place. Since 1994, Hamas has been the main organization perpetrating terrorist attacks in major Israeli cities with civilian targets including shopping malls, cafes, buses, and hotels. They have been the primary governing body in the Gaza Strip since 2007, when it ousted the Palestinian Authority from power. The US State Department designated Hamas as a foreign terrorist organization in October 1997. (Sources: www.dni.gov and www.adl.org)
Who Were The Philistines?
In an article entitled “Who were the Philistines?” in www.gotquestions.org;
“The Philistines were an aggressive, warmongering people who occupied a part of southwest Palestine between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River [In Hebrew, Philistine means “immigrants.”]. The name “Philistine” comes from the Hebrew word Philistia, and the Greek rendering of the name, palaistinei, gives us the modern name “Palestine.” [Hence, the direct connection between those who identify as Palestinian, and the Philistines.]
The Philistines are first recorded in Scripture in the Table of Nations, a list of the patriarchal founders of seventy nations descended from Noah (Genesis 10:14). It is thought that the Philistines originated in Caphor, the Hebrew name for the island of Crete and the whole Aegean region (Amos 9:7, Jeremiah 47:4). For unknown reasons [at least to man], they migrated from that region to the Mediterranean coast near Gaza [the present location of Hamas]…
From the very beginning, the Philistines were either allies or deadly enemies of God’s people. They played a pivotal role in the lives of Samson (Judges 13:1; 14:1), Samuel (1 Samuel 4:1), Saul (1 Samuel 13:4), and David (1 Samuel 17:23)…
For nearly 200 years, the Philistines harassed and oppressed the Israelites, often invading Israel’s territory. The children of Israel simply could not deal with the Philistines’ overwhelming military might. This only came to an end when Samuel and then David, through the guidance of God, were able to defeat the Philistines (1 Samuel 7:12-14; 2 Samuel 5:22-25)…
With the exception of Jeremiah chapter 47, there are very few prophetic references to the Philistines. In the end, the Philistines were assimilated into Canaanite culture. They eventually disappeared from the biblical record and from history altogether [as will Hamas], leaving behind the name “Palestine” as a testimony of their existence.”
Between their names, where they live, and their aggressive, violent actions against Israel, the correlation between the two is undeniable. They are one in the same kind, linked together by the same regional, demonic spirit. Therefore, eventually, through the righteous judgments of God, they too will fade into a state of nonexistence.
In the biblical accounts, it was Israel’s rebellion that caused their enemies to be sent by God to chastise them, reminding them of their need for Him, which could only continue through obedience. God would use their enemies to chastise Israel, and then chastise their enemy so as not to allow them to exalt their false gods over Him and His chosen people.