Hi and welcome to a late look inside Israel today! J of Jerusalem is our sister in Him, sharing what she sees living in the land where He walked and talked. Thank you so much for supporting Israel and J and her family, and lifting them up in prayer! Now, here’s J . . .
I always get pretty ‘grave’ when I am reading in ‘grave’ places, don’t I. And so it was this week as I came toward the end of my reading in the book of Revelation and read chapter 18…again. Once again I looked at these holy words and once again I wondered: ‘Can it be describing any other place beside USA?’ This time, however, there was an added personal ingredient as I see all of my children moving back there while they have been through trying if not traumatic times. Those times have both ‘tried’ and ‘changed’ their faith and understanding of Him and they are in a state of ‘openness’ and ‘change’ and seeking to know ‘what’ they believe…and I found myself reading with a personal fearfulness for my loved ones perhaps not ready… It was only a few hours later, while still groaning in my heart, that I received an email from another dear sister speaking of the apostasy of the ‘emerging church’ being so strong in the USA. I had not heard of this movement so looked it up on google and my heart literally reeled. I am far away. I didn’t know. He has graciously sheltered me…and I was shocked. How could this happen?
I have been wrestling with these two issues in prayer over the past several days and asking The Lord ‘HOW He wants me to pray?’…’HOW does He want me to stand…in what ‘stance’ should I be found?’ And I began to wonder about all of you. Do you see these things taking place around you? Are they affecting your loved ones? How are you praying? What is The Lord speaking to your hearts? When I read about the movement of the ‘emerging church’ I remembered a woman saying to me one time ‘If THIS is all that there is to Christianity, I don’t want it!’ I was shocked. She was not a new believer, but we were in a ‘stand still’ stage (perhaps I should say a ‘wilderness’ period) and she wanted “Power!”, “experiences!”, “excitement!”… not to stand still and wait. I remember saying to her ‘You know…He reached down and saved me. If it were His choice to never speak to me again…that would still be enough reason to follow Him.’ I do not know what became of her. He is well able to keep and lead His own, and so I must trust Him with our children as well. Thank you so much for your prayers for our family!
I see that this can become a very long letter, so I will not share all I want to.
This land; Israel – such a wonder and testimony to the absolute faithfulness of God to keep His promises as He has set down in His unchanging Word! Summer is hot now and drawing to its inevitable end. We can ‘feel’ the change in the angle of the sun as well as in the appearance of ‘back to school’ sales –stacks of books, backpacks and pencils stacked outside of stores and other ‘school stores’ opening just for the occasion. Since our kids must buy their school books here, it seems to me a mind boggling science-we approach the store with our very specific lists: “kita bet (second grade) at Ein Kerem school…Ok…let’s see (a bag is picked out and a name is pinned to it)…she needs these books, 10 #2 pencils, 4 (specific) notebooks, one pack colored pencils, 2 pencil sharpeners, 2 erasers (this brand), colored markers…’ on and on the list goes while the shop keeper defies the speed of light pulling items off of their stacks and putting them into the ‘Ana bag’ or the ‘Noach bag’. When it comes to back packs, it is also organized: ‘A second grader? These are the packs here…and there are the packs for third grade.’ No, they definitely do NOT ‘look alike’, one design is more worldly or violent then the next, but their structure is made specifically for the backs of the children who will carry all of these books back and forth…quite a science! Because the fall feasts (Rosh h’shana – feast of trumpets; Yom Kippur-day of atonement; and Succot-Feast of Tabernacles) are in September, school begins at the end of August for a week or two before the 3 week vacation, so even our kids will get some school in before leaving the country.
And while all of this scurrying around is intermingled with end-of-summer-restless-children, rockets continue to fall in the Negev from Gaza. Not lots…just one or two a day…or 4 a week…sometimes more sometimes less. When it gets too unbearable, we attack back. There was a major attack in Sinai several days ago. We had specific ‘hot’ warning of an attack on our south and contacted Egypt, but none the less 16 Egyptian border police were killed and a tank and guns stolen and driven into Israel. Since we were on high alert we were able to bomb the tank, but the loss to the Egyptians brought a swift response from their new President and government and there was a 5 hour very real war in the Sinai as Egypt asserted its control over this vast and very lawless area. You most likely remember that Israel gave the Sinai back to Egypt as part of the peace treaty signed between Anwar Sadat and Menachem Began. To our north Syria is embroiled in its very sad war, but of course, this is getting a great deal of attention. The area is quite unstable with terror groups, legitimatized as ‘freedom fighters’, having become quite bold.
And then there is Iran.
In other words…very little has changed.
And yet the seasons follow one another…fall following on the heals of summer…moon following sun…the weather patterns shifting dramatically worldwide, sin abounding, yet GOD remains FAITHFUL! Revelation 18 was written 2,000 years ago and was as true then as it is now…it is simply closer to fulfillment. And in the midst of Rev 18, in the very MIDST, it STILL says:
“20 “Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostles[f] and prophets, for God has avenged you on her!”
RIGHT IN THE MIDST OF THE GREATEST DESTRUCTION OUR EYES…AND HEARTS…WILL EVER BEHOLD … WE ARE TO REJOICE! As long as we have repented and are walking IN Him IN that repentance found of Him at peace and doing His will, cleansed by His Blood and lead by His Spirit…MAY GOD ALONE BE GLORIFIED, and may, you, my DEAR sisters and brothers, be blessed and be encouraged. Lovingly, your too busy sis in Jerusalem