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God Will Never Forsake Us in Times of Trouble

I have worked and served at CBN Israel with widows, single mothers and families in economic crisis for many years. Throughout this time, I have come across many difficult stories, but I can honestly say that I have never seen even one of these righteous ones abandoned or forsaken by God in their time of trouble.

I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or His descendants begging for bread.“- Psalm 37:25.

People always feel they are on the edge of their circumstances, but God always has a hope and a future in mind for us.
For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11

When I see people willing to change their attitudes and decide to take responsibility for their life, I see the hand of God reaching out to help them.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”- Philippians 4:4-7

When people choose to look beyond their circumstances, at their full life and not just the missing parts of it, they discover that there is always something to be thankful for.

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”- 1 Corinthians 10:13

Nowhere is it said that we will not undergo trials and tribulations, but yet, God promises to make a way for those who trust in Him.

Though the fig tree should not blossom, and there be no fruit on the vines, though the yield of the olive should fail and the fields produce no food, though the flock should be cut off from the fold
and there be no cattle in the stalls, yet I will exult in the LordI will rejoice in the God of my salvation.The Lord God is my strength, and He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, and makes me walk on my high places.” –Habakkuk 3:17-19

When everything is difficult and you feel frustrated, the way to fight it is to come closer to God, being thankful and worshiping, and to rejoice in what you do have. Focusing on the negative pulls you down, but a positive attitude and thankfulness builds hope.

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The Monuments of Life

In the book of Joshua there is an emphasis on monuments. The children of Israel have been redeemed from slavery in Egypt and God has been working on them in the wilderness for 40 years under the leadership of Moses. During this time, all the memorials that they have are holidays and feasts that they celebrate, or commandments they do. These are to remind them of God’s work in their lives and their covenant with Him. But because they are wandering in a land that isn’t destined to be where they settle, there are no monuments.

Joshua is different in this sense. There are multiple monuments that Joshua places where God showed his people a significant work. These are ‘memory triggers’ and God wants his people to remember what He did in their lives. The purpose of each monument is that it would be a reminder to them and a way to teach their children about God’s work.

When they cross the Jordan River and God holds back the water, they take stones from the midst of the river and set it up as a memorial. This was a sign of the supernatural way God made for them to enter into the land of their inheritance. The people could have worked out for themselves a way to go across the river, but God wanted them to know that it was He that made the way. So they took 12 large stones from the middle of the river, smooth stones that would have been out of place if you set them up away from the river. These became the monument and they were to be a physical reminder for them to teach their children of how God’s faithfulness made a way for them to inherit the Land.

Monuments of victory are easy to set up and even something we like to maintain. But there were also memorials that reminded the people of their failures. Joshua chapter 7 is the story of Achan and how his sin caused the Children of Israel to lose their battle at the city of Ai. The story ends with a large pile of stones that became Achan’s grave. The valley where this happen was called the valley of “Achor” (Josh.7:26) God knew that the failures were just as important to remember as the victories.

There is a tendency to think that people will value us more if we only talk about the monuments of victory in our lives. But I have found that people value the honest memory of failure and the story of how God used it in my life just as much as the victories, if not more so. By hiding the monuments of our failures we also hide who we really are and cause people to have a distorted picture. I can now thank God who has turned the failures of my life into my most valued defense against pride and self-sufficiency.

The wonderful thing is that later on in the book of Hosea, the prophet talks about God’s promise of restoration to His people and doesn’t mention the monuments of victory, but He takes the people to same valley of failure, the valley of “Achor,” and says:

‘Therefore, behold, I will allure her, Will bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfort to her. I will give her her vineyards from there, and the Valley of Achor as a door of hope; She shall sing there, As in the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt. And it shall be, in that day,” Says the Lord, “that you will call Me ‘My Husband,’ And no longer call Me ‘My Master,‘ –Hos 2:14-16.

If you allow God to take a hold of your failures, He will cause them to become the place where you discover that He is “your Husband” and no longer just “your Master.” It is in the valley of ‘Achor’ and the valley of your failure that will become the place where you will discover your intimacy with Him.

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Better For You That I Go

Change and transitions are not always easy. But since we live in a world that is constantly changing, it’s something that we must learn to embrace. Changes can be positive such as graduating college, completing military training, or finishing a project. There’s a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. But other times, change is difficult like when a loved-one passes away, a relationship breaks down or sickness occurs in the body. The reality is that change, both positive and negative, is a consistent part of life.

When Jesus was with His disciples for three years, He was training and equipping them for the time when He would no longer be with them. He knew that it was part of His task to be their atonement through sacrifice. This meant that at some point, His physical interaction with them would change, because He was going to be crucified. The Gospels show us that He took the time to prepare them for what was coming:

“But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’  But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.” (John 16:5-8)

Jesus also knew that the change in their relationship after He died would bring about something more wonderful than what they were already experiencing. By going on to fulfill His calling, Jesus would be making room for each of the disciples to become filled with His Spirit. This filling was what they needed to become the type of men who could fulfill their own calling. Jesus knew that there would be a time where “sorrow” would fill their hearts, but He is already encouraging them that there are greater things yet to come because of His departure.

I know that when changes that look like a “loss” in the natural take place, there is a time where we feel sorrow. But as we allow God’s will to unfold in our lives, we can take courage that when it comes to His purposes, He is already preparing to do something through our “loss” that we didn’t see possible. As we follow God’s calling on our lives, He is not only blessing those who “go away” He also has a plan and blessing for ‘those who stay.’

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Jerusalem Is A Sign

With the recent recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, what is a perspective we can take as believers in Jesus?

Let’s begin by going to an interaction between Jesus and His disciples in Jerusalem of His time described in Luke 21. As the disciples from the rural Galilee were walking through the Temple they couldn’t help but comment about the magnificent site of the man-made structure. They were looking at what they could see in the natural, but Jesus says:

“As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.” (Luke 21:6)

The disciples were not expecting such an answer. They were thinking in terms of a newly restored political capital of an independent Jewish State, and look around, we already have a magnificent Temple to worship in. Isn’t that a great beginning?

But Jesus didn’t come to be the king of another earthly kingdom. He came to make a way for us to be a part of a different kind of kingdom-a heavenly one. 

The stunned disciples inquire as to when and how this kingdom will be revealed. 

Jesus then describes that there will be a period where they, His disciples, will go through a lot of suffering and then will come the destruction of Jerusalem:

“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” (Luke 21:20-24)

Jesus is predicting that the destruction of Jerusalem would happen, and that the city will be “trampled by Gentiles” for a certain and limited time. This period started when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70 A.D. but was predicted as a season lasting only until the “times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” After this period of desolation, it will be restored to those who had her before she was destroyed. Jerusalem’s predicted destruction was fulfilled, and now is the time of her restoration with Jewish sovereignty over the State.

But then Jesus continues to describe a season after Jerusalem’s restoration to Jewish sovereignty by saying:

“And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.  Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” (Luke 21:25-28)

President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is a sign to us whose hope is in Jesus as to the season we are in. We can fully expect there to be a continuing of “the distress of nations” and “the waves roaring.” But Jesus’ exhortation to His disciples today is the same as His exhortation to His disciples back then; that when we see these things happening, we ought not to look around us, but to LOOK UP, for our redemption is drawing near!

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He Who Transplants, Still Sustains

I was a home-schooled child visiting the capital of the state of Connecticut when the state motto, which was written in Latin was translated for me and my siblings on our educational tour through the building. I remember the words to this day; “Qui transtulit sustinet” which means, “He who transplants, still sustains”. Little did I know that this was not only the motto of the state I was born in, but a motto for my journey with God.

  At twenty-six years old, I moved permanently to the nation of Israel. I didn’t come with wealth, status, paperwork or many material possessions. I came only with a word from God that this was the direction He was taking me and that He would be my guide. Ten years later, I have this testimony that God is faithful. 

I was reminded of this motto one spring day as I yearned for color to return to my garden after enduring a long, drawn out winter in Jerusalem. Everything in me wanted to pay a visit to the neighborhood plant nursery and select multitudes of life-giving flowers to brighten the drab looking garden where everything appeared dead. But due to urgent expenses that needed more attention than my wish list, I heeded my husband’s request to wait a little longer before buying things I wanted but didn’t need.

All these years, God has provided for me and my family through friends, extended family and even more frequently, beside neighborhood dumpsters! I have found clothing in mint condition still with the tags on all neatly folded and placed in pristine shopping bags. Shoes fresh out of the box just the right size for my children; much needed pots, pans and silverware, furniture, all kinds of items, all in great condition. There they are, just laying besides the dumpsters as if they were placed there by God Himself, waiting just for me. “But what about flowers Lord? I asked. “Would you provide flowers which I want but don’t need by a dumpster as well?”

Well, why not! Just a few short days after I whispered my request to God, I was bringing my children home from an after school program when something in a large, construction dumpster caught my eye. I quickly found a place to pull over and got out to have a closer look. There, laying freshly picked, still with their roots and dirt, were five plants blooming with small, burgundy daisies. I was amazed! But perhaps it was too good to be true. I went home, took dirt from my compost and planted the flowers in planters that I had found by dumpsters earlier that week. Days went by and I watched carefully to see what would become of them. I wondered, “were these the answer to my prayer? Or were they being transplanted too late in the game to live?” Only time would tell. Within a week or two, I had my answer. The plants thrived, brought out new growth and most certainly lived.

It was in that moment that God reminded me of the place He has brought me from many years ago. Though there have been struggles, feasts and famines in our finances, joys and hardships along the journey, here I am still standing and still with this testimony, that “He who transplants, still sustains”. 

The same God who brought the children of Israel through the desert, is the same God who is sustaining His people in their promised homeland today. And the same God who shepherded His people in times of famine, is still shepherding His people in times of plenty. Is the God of Israel your God? If so, then you too can take comfort that no matter what season of life you are walking through, if He calls you out of the boat, He will be with you. If He calls you out of your comfort zone and into a walk of faith in Him, will He not be faithful? Remember these words that all who trust in Him can apply to their lives: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope”- Jeremiah 29:11.

God bless you.

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The Difference Between God’s Love and Blessing

Many people look at events such as the Holocaust or even their own experiences and ask the question, “If God is love, how could He have allowed such horrible things to happen?” The conclusions are often these; “He isn’t love” or “He doesn’t love me”.

Well, I think these conclusions are not based on the truth nor on understanding about God.

Let’s look first at what the Bible says about God’s love.

1 John 4:8– “Anyone who does not love, does not know God, because God IS Love.” Here we read that the nature of God is what Love looks like.

We read in Romans 5:6-8, that God’s love is not based on our works, actions or anything to do with us. “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us”.

Again, we read in the book of Ephesians that God’s love is not based on us but on Himself-who He IS. “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by His grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:4-5).

In the gospels, such as in Luke 6:27, Yeshua, the representation of God the Father made flesh in human form, tells His followers to love those who are considered enemies. How could He ask of us something that He is not willing to do Himself? You see, WE were enemies of God when He chose to sacrifice Himself for us. Therefore, He can ask of us to do the same thing as representatives of Him. His love is not based on our returned affections. It is based solely on who He is.

In Romans 8:35 we read that NOTHING can separate us from God’s love. If His love was based on our works, actions, words, faithfulness, anything that has to do with us, then we would most certainly be able to separate ourselves from God’s love. But that is not what the Bible says. It clearly states that NOTHING can separate us from God’s love.

In Jeremiah 31:3, God says to His people, Israel, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.” Surely this love was not based on Israel’s faithfulness to God. Because all through the scriptures, from the very beginning in the Garden of Eden, we read the struggles that Israel has in staying faithful to God. But this verse in 1 Timothy is amazing as it speaks on the matter of our faithfulness versus God’s faithfulness;

“This is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him; If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us; But if we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” – 2 Timothy 2:11-13.

WOW! For a second there, it’s a back and forth. If we do this, then this will happen. But when it comes to being faithful, God doesn’t do down that road with us. Even if we chose to be unfaithful, He will remain faithful. Why? Because He won’t go against His own self. God. Is. Faithful.

If we look at the Old Testament and see how Israel was unfaithful to God and how God remained faithful to them, we will gain a clear picture that these statements the apostles and prophets made about God are true. His love was not based on the faithfulness of man, nor on man’s works and abilities to do anything for God, but solely on Himself. He IS Love and He IS Faithful. Period.

On the contrary, God’s blessings are conditional!

Let’s go back to the very beginning when God formed man in His image, entrusted him with ruler-ship over all God’s creation, and then to paraphrase, He said, “one thing I ask of you, don’t disobey Me by eating the fruit off the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.” As long as the first man and woman were obedient to keep God’s command, they experienced the abundance of God’s blessings. They were never sick, they were never lacking anything they needed, they lived in perfect peace, and they enjoyed the fullness of fellowship with God. But the moment they chose disobedience, everything changed. They were cursed, they lost fellowship with God, they were displaced from their homeland, and the creation they were called to care for, were now the ones giving their lives as sacrifices to atone for their sins. Even their children were effected by their disobedience.

Remember God’s words to Cain, Adam’s son, when he was angry that God was blessing his brother Abel but not him? “Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but YOU must master it.”…And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.” Genesis 4:6-8.

Moving forward through the Bible, we read what God says to His people Israel as He had them standing on the mountains of Gerazim and Ebal. Because the text is lengthy, I will give you the cliff note version of the list of blessings on obedience, versus the curses that come with disobedience.

Blessings on Obedience Curses for disobedience
Exaltation over all nations Cursed no matter where you go
Blessed wherever you settle You will not be able to succeed in making wealth
Blessed will be your children and all that reproduces Cursed will be your children and cursed will be everything you own. You will be unable to reproduce.
Blessed with abundance of provision You will be confused and rebuked
Safety in traveling Sickness will come upon you and not leave you alone.
Victory over enemies Inflammation, heat, fire and mildew and sword.
Blessed in the work of your hands and in the land in which you dwell Overtaken by your enemies in every which way
People will see how blessed you are and know that you belong to God You will be susceptible to all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.
You will be givers and not borrowers Others will consume the fruit of your labor instead of you enjoying it yourself.
The head and not the tail You will be slaves
You will be above and not beneath No rain on your land
Rain will fall on your land and cause the land to flourish. Driven out of the Land and scattered among the nations.

 

And the list of curses goes on and on much more so than the list of blessings. As the people stood on these mountains, they were experiencing a visual aid of what the Lord was warning them of. You see, Mount Gerazim was flourishing with vegetation and life. But just on the other side of the valley was Mount Ebal which was dry, barren and lifeless.  In addition, to insert an interesting note, if one were to stand in the valley of decision between these two mountains and turn to fully face the mount of blessing, they would be facing in the direction of Jerusalem to the south. If that person were to fully face the mountain of curses, they would be turning their back on Jerusalem and in Hebraic thinking, that is like saying they are turning their back on God. God and Jerusalem go together. In Jerusalem is the sacred and holy site called the Western Wall. Jews from around the world come to stand at this wall and pour out their prayers before God because He has stated in His word that He would forever be in that place, hearing prayer, forgiving sins and bringing healing. The God-fearers who go to that place to pray walk with their faces toward the wall when they approach and again, face the wall when they leave until they have cleared that inner court area. They do this as a physical expression before God that they are not turning their back on Him.

In Genesis 12:1, God spoke these words to Abraham concerning His descendants who would come through the line of his son Isaac and his grandson Jacob. “[Go forth from your country, and from your relatives, and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you; and I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”

Here we read a statement of this conditional blessing that the Lord places upon people. If we bless those that God has blessed, we will be blessed directly by Him. And if we curse those who God has blessed, we will be cursed. And that is a choice that we make. Now, if we take a look at an area of our lives that we can see is definitely not being blessed, then we again have a choice of what we will do with that. We can either have an angry countenance like Cain did when God did not bless him because he was not doing what pleased the Lord. And we can incorrectly conclude with the lie that God doesn’t love us as much as someone else who is being blessed. OR, we can repent, ask God to forgive us of our sins and disobedience, and then set our hearts in the direction of doing God’s will. In turn, we will see the result of God’s blessings on our obedience.

Let’s close with one of the last verses from the book of Deuteronomy 30:19- “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!”

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The Fruit of Thanksgiving

We live in a dark and broken world, however, we who have experienced God’s deliverance not only have the freedom from our past darkness but the hope of a glory filled future in Him. The transformation of the mind is an essential part of preparing ourselves for the glory of the coming Kingdom.

In the story of God’s redemption of Israel from the bondage of slavery in Egypt, God reveals the ‘structure’ of worship in the sacrificial system of the Tabernacle. As expected, there were the sacrifices that were offered to make atonement for sin because of the people’s continued imperfect condition. But Leviticus 7:7-14 includes a provision for sacrifices of ‘thanksgiving’ as an expression of worship. What would God need with sacrifices of ‘thanksgiving’ if He was only interested in ritual perfection of the worshiper- why would you need to go beyond the atonement? But God doesn’t merely call us to perfecting our deeds under the ‘law;’ His purpose is to use our circumstances to transform our worldview to one where we see things from His Kingdom’s perspective.

God was already pointing to the necessary transformation of the mind and attitude of His redeemed. The response of gratitude to God for the redemption He made possible was part of cultivating a different and new perspective on life. It is ‘Thanksgiving’ as an attitude expressed in sacrifice that cultivates the loving relationship God desires between us and Himself.

Prior to redemption, the person held in bondage has no ability or reason to have thanksgiving as part of their worldview. They are surviving day to day under oppression with no hope of anything changing for the better. But not us. Our deliverance from bondage to sin and the guilt over the past is God’s ‘down payment’ so that we have assurance that He will complete the process until His full Kingdom has been made our reality, and while continue to experience of hardship associated with living in a broken world, our Thanksgiving is our heart responding to the hope in God’s promises that continue to be fulfilled even if it hasn’t come to completion yet. When you read the account of the children of Israel wandering for 40 years in the wilderness and the grumbling and complaining along the way, I have to wonder how many times the priests had someone show up to the Tabernacle to make a “Thanksgiving sacrifice.”

Continue to recognize and pay close attention to those things that God has already done, and make the ‘giving’ in your life a declaration to your own soul of how bountiful His love has been poured out over you. Don’t miss out on the joy by performing just some religious duty.

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God’s Ways Are Not Our Ways

When we begin to follow the Lord, there is so much work He has in adjusting our worldview. But when our worldview is anchored in “religious” misconceptions, it is probably one of the harder things for us to let go of. This mixture of “earthly religion” cloaked in “heavenly expression” is not something that the Lord looks past and moves on. With His disciples He is short and confrontational because of how serious the issue is. Here is an example of what I mean:

“Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?”

But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.  For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village.” (Luke 9:51-56)

At the time this conversation takes place, Jesus knows that He is on a mission to pave a path of salvation that will soon be revealed to all of mankind. The path in the eyes of the disciples was leading towards Jerusalem and a throne with Jesus as King. The disciples were not wrong but they were missing the cross that had to come before the throne. The Kingdom will one day be established, and His righteous judgement will one day come, but Jesus knew that this was not that season.

What season are we in? In order to have the same attitude towards others that God has, we have to be in tune with what He is doing and where He is going. He calls us as disciples to walk with Him along the path, and He gives us promises as we go. But the path also leads through seasons of pain and suffering. If the Lord brings abrupt correction into your life, don’t resist it, He is correcting your misconception so that you remain on the right path, even if that leads through a season of difficulty.

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I Have Established Watchmen On The Walls

In Israel, every Jewish, young man and woman must serve in the IDF (Israel Defence Force) for a minimum of two to three years. As they join, each new soldier places their right hand on the Tanach, otherwise known as the Old Testament, and their left hand raised before God as they pledge their allegience. Just a few weeks ago, my son, a Jew who believes that Yeshua is the Messiah, joined Israel’s elite forces and followed suite in being sworn in. But unlike the others, he placed his right hand on the Brit Chadasha, otherwise known as, the New Testament. It was his personal conviction and testament that his faith is not only in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but in Israel’s Messiah, Yeshua. 

Sixty-nine years ago, the nation of Israel was born again. A nation that once existed and then was destroyed and it’s people scattered because of sin. But God, in His great mercy and faithfulness, has resurrected us from the grave, gave us back our land and is restoring the people. Today, not only is God bringing His people back from all lands where they were scattered, (my wife and I included), but God is pouring out His Spirit and bringing our hearts to life again. My son is a living testimony of this. As the Lord has promised, so He is doing: 

“For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. “You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God.”- Ezekiel 36:24-28

As more and more Israelis are recognizing Yeshua as their Messiah, the number of believing youth is also growing. They grow up in faith and when they come of age, they join the Israeli army and become, quite literally, “watchmen on the walls”.

“On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen; All day and all night they will never keep silent. You who remind the LORD, take no rest for yourselves; and give Him no rest until He establishes and makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.” – Isaiah 62:6

You who intercede before the Lord are also His watchmen. You who have prayed for the salvation of Israel, rejoice! For God is answering prayer! Now I ask that you join CBN Israel in praying for these soldiers who defend this country. Pray for wisdom and protection. Pray that God would pour out His Spirit upon all the soldiers, that they might know Him! And pray that God would give them hearts like David, full of courage and faith.

God bless you, faithful ones, who have and are taking part, through prayer, in what He is doing. 

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The Significance of Beer Sheva

This week in Israel, we marked the one hundred year anniversary of the British conquest of the town of Beer Sheba located in southern Israel. On October 31, 1917, the ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Light Horse Cavalry made the surprise charge against the Ottoman Turkish forces that defended the city. The failure of the first two attacks on Gaza failed in pushing the Turkish forces back, but once Beer Sheba was taken, the Turkish forces in Gaza retreated in fear of being surrounded and cut off. This battle has been hailed as a key turning point in the release of what was known then as “Palestine” from Turkish control and a key event leading to the establishment of the State of Israel.

Our God is a God of perfect timing, and He often gives us hints to what He is doing by coordinating events so that we can see and understand. In the book of Exodus, we read the story of the release of the children of Israel from the bondage of the Egyptians. Their deliverer Moses, makes a point about the timing of God in the events he records:

“Now the sojourn of the children of Israel who lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years—on that very same day—it came to pass that all the armies of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt. It is a night of solemn observance to the Lord for bringing them out of the land of Egypt. This is that night of the Lord, a solemn observance for all the children of Israel throughout their generations.” (Exodus 12:40-42)

In light of what took place in Beer Sheva, there is a significance that on the same day the Balfour Declaration was signed in London making a commitment of the British Empire to work towards the establishment of a Jewish state on the land that was being conquered. We can see now in retrospect that God was putting together the pieces of a puzzle that would eventually lead to the establishment of the Jewish State and 50 years later the re-unification under Israeli sovereignty since Biblical times.

God had promised Abraham that He would give him this land as part of His covenant with him. Abraham may have had the promise, but Beer Sheba was the first land where he was given the ability to settle. Was it God’s sovereign hand that brought the release of Beer Sheva first as He had before? Was He letting us know that these events were leading up to the fulfillment of His promises?

This is the essence of our call in blessing Israel and her people. God is working in our time and His call is to come and join Him in what He is doing.

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