An Unnecessary War

An Unnecessary War- Dome of the Rock
Jerusalem Old City – Dome of the Rock – Flag of Israel

There are many causes of war in our world today. Territory, natural resources, politics, and racial issues are the primary ones. However, one of the oldest is the war over the Temple Mount or Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. This is an unnecessary war. 

Muslims know the Dome of the Rock as Haram al-Sharif. They regard it as hugely important, only exceeded by Mecca and Medina. To Jews, it is known as the Temple Mount, and the mosque standing there is an abomination that must be destroyed to make way for a new Jewish temple. 

The Dome of the Rock is a beautiful architectural wonder that National Geographic made the centerpiece in its September 2023 issue. Sheikh Omar Kiswani, the director of the 36-acre complex, is quoted as saying, “Any church or synagogue in the Holy Land is a place of peace, only here is it a war zone.” 

Complicating this picture even further is the action of various Christian denominations who view Christ’s second coming as a political event in which David’s throne will be re-instated and Christ’s enemies defeated in a military conflict. Like all groups involved in this issue, failing to understand God’s will fuels an unnecessary war. 

In Matthew 24, Jesus Christ talks about the future, warning His listeners that there will be wars and rumors of wars. He said, “Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom,” and warned about natural disasters. When Pilate asked Jesus about His kingdom, Jesus replied, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). Over and over in His ministry, Jesus taught that He came to establish a spiritual kingdom and not a physical one.

The history of the Israelite nation is replete with rejecting God’s instructions and suffering the consequences. The ultimate result, predicted in Daniel and Revelation, was the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD. In John 4:21-24 Jesus makes it clear that worshipping God in the future would not be confined to any physical place or structure. 

Jesus taught that church and state are separate entities. We see that in Matthew 22:21, where He said, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesars and to God the things that are God’s.” The conflict over the Dome of the Rock and Jerusalem is an unnecessary war resulting from failure to understand the message of Jesus. The world’s rejection of Jesus Christ and His spiritual message continues to cause war, heartbreak, poverty, and division. The only hope for peace is listening to the words of Christ and acting on what God has told us to do.

— John N. Clayton © 2023

Reference: National Geographic