Daniel’s Prayer

Dan 9:1-27

Daniel was burdened for the glory of his God, and the God of his people.  In our lives there are times when we are greatly burdened but do not really understand what to do about the matter that weighs on us so heavily. The apostle Paul writes that as believers serving the Lord, there are times and situations when we are “hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair”. (2Cor 4:8) This is what Daniel was going through in his life serving YHVH his God in a foreign land, rising to power and influence with Gentile kings and their kingdoms. Daniel’s response to this was to humble himself with faith believing in the Most High God. (2Chr 7:14; Ja 1:5-8) Daniel is one of the great men of faith and wisdom in the Bible (Ezek 14:14,20; 28:3), and he set himself from his youth to be faithful to the God of Israel and to His covenants.

Daniel tells us the events of this chapter occur during the “first year of Darius.” This means that the Babylonian king Belshazzar has died in his punishment from God, the Babylonian empire has ended — both these events a time-marker by the Word of God to Jeremiah — and the Medo-Persian empire has now taken its place. (Dan 5:30; Jer 25:12-13; 29:10-14) Daniel was praying perhaps during the time of his prayers when his peers and rivals in the kingdom of Darius were scheming to catch him praying to any God other than to the King Darius, and so throw him into the lions’ den. His burden was both personal and national. This prayer follows chronologically the vision that Daniel had in chapter 8.

In this prayer of confession and petition by Daniel the prophet recorded for us in ch 9, we learn that at least part of the Bible (Tanach/O.T.) was already available to the Jewish people, and that Daniel read what he had. From the Law of Moses, YHVH had given His covenant with its commandments, its promises, its blessings and its curses, its judgments; and based upon the covenant, the people were in captivity in Babylon as a chastising punishment, and that the desolation of Jerusalem and of the Temple were all in accord with the Law of Moses and the words of the Prophets whom the LORD sent to His people. (Lev 25:3-5; 26:27-35; Num 14:20-24; Pr 3:11-12; Jer 44:4; also Mt 22:18; Lk 13:34-35) From the Word of the LORD through the prophet Jeremiah, Daniel read and understood that God had sent His people into exile for a period of 70 years, and that now those years were completed. Daniel believed the Word of God, and sought God’s face and His righteousness. Daniel discerned the signs of his generation in which God was planning a great redemption.

God has always declares His historical actions and intentions before carrying them out. He knows the end from the beginning, and He includes His elect in His thinking and plans. What an amazing Father in Heaven we have! (Gen 18:17-19; Is 46:9-10; 62:6-7; Amos 3:7; Mt 16:1-3; Mt 24; Mk 13:23; Lk 19:44)

The beginning of Daniel’s prayer was to ascribe glory to God, and to praise God’s righteousness and covenant faithfulness. Daniel confessed both his and his people’s sins. This shows the genuine humility of Daniel’s heart and mind towards God and towards his own Jewish people: we read nothing of any sins in Daniel’s life, yet he identified with his sinful people before the Holy God. This is the same that the High Priest was to do on the Day of Atonements, and that Yeshua did for us in His baptism by John, and especially on the cross to bear the penalty for our sins in our place of guilt and shame.

While God acknowledged Daniel’s own righteousness before Him, yet God is still waiting upon Israel as a nation to confess her unfaithfulness and sins against Him and the covenant which He cut with them alone among all the nations of the Earth, in order that He can restore her and do for her all that He has purposed to do for the glory of His own name, and for the blessing to the ­­­in punishing the people for their sins, and that He alone is holy and righteous, but he and the people and the leaders of the people were shame-faced for all their sins and refusal to heed the Law and the words of the prophets whom God had sent them continually to call them to repentance. (Jer 44:4)

Notice here (vv 7,9) that Daniel is not only saying that the Lord is righteous, merciful, and forgiving, but these character attributes belong to Him. For us who believe in Yeshua and have received the Holy Spirit, these qualities become ours in Christ as we are conformed to the image of the Son of God, which is God’s will for us, often using persecution and tribulation to transform our character into more of His character for a testimony that we belong to Him.

Also notice (v 14) that Daniel knows that God’s Word stands, and even though hundreds or thousands of years may have passed, God would keep His Word to bring the disaster upon His people that the covenant demands. This is of great importance to us today, as God has spoken of the end-times and great tribulation that will come upon Israel and the nations, and upon the saints. (Dan 7:23-27; 8:18-26; Mt 5:17-18; Rev 12:13-17; 13:1-10) Time does not nullify God’s Word or His standard or His ways to accomplish His goal.

Having confessed his and his peoples sins, Daniel then goes on in his prayer to plead (supplicate) the Lord to turn away from His anger and fury from His city Jerusalem and His people and to act for the sake of His holy name to restore His people to their land which He promised to give them when He brought them out of Egypt. Daniel is asking God to extend mercy now, since the 70 years have ended, not because they deserve it for any righteous deeds they have done, but because of His great mercies. (Rom 11:28-36) Daniel is energized by the need for the Jews to get out of a foreign land and back to the land of their fathers, all for the sake of the holy name of YHVH, God of Israel, because His people and city are called by His name. Daniel knew that God’s Kingdom was connected with Israel back in the Land, with the Temple rebuilt, and that the honor of the Name of the one true God was at stake among the nations round-about.

What is striking about this Holy Spirit-led prayer (Jude 20-21) is that Daniel says not one word in his prayer against the people or the government where he is living and serving. He prays as a man of God concerning the righteousness of YHVH for the present suffering which he and the [chosen] people of God have been experiencing, and for God to act for His own holy name’s sake in mercy for His people and city and land.

As Daniel was still speaking, praying, petitioning the Lord, the ‘man’ Gabriel was sent to him to give him understanding about something beyond what Daniel had realized. It is written here that Daniel was greatly beloved. Gabriel revealed that God’s plan of redemption would span the rest of “this world’s” history, and that the present return to Judah and Jerusalem would not be the restoration of the Kingdom of God to Israel, but that it would be at a set future time, and would be connected with the death of the Messiah, with wars to come until the end, the antichrist, the suffering of God’s people, and a final set of years. For those reading and studying Daniel, the vision of ch 8 that Daniel did not fully understand regarding the antichrist kingdom (Dan 8:22-27), Gabriel is now giving Daniel the ability to comprehend it better by telling Daniel that those events of the time of the end are connected with this prophecy in Dan 9:24-27. Daniel was blessed by God to hear the decree by Cyrus the King of Persia, which set in motion the first week of seven years.

While Daniel was primarily concerned with God keeping His promise to return the Jewish people back to the Land of Israel, despite all her sins, but in accord with God’s righteousness and mercies, the answer he received went way beyond that “small matter” and heavy burden he was carrying. The prosperity connected with the return to the land would not mean that further chastising and judgments would not come. The whole issue of putting away sin, transgression, and iniquity is God’s purpose, not merely that we should confess that we do sin.

If we have a real interest in God’s interests, in our Father’s business, and how that is connected with Israel, and also for every individual person, and for the churches and the nations, we will actively read the Scriptures as being what they are – the Word of the Living God – and pray in accordance with what is written, and with the sanctification of the Name of our Father in Heaven a top priority as to why He should fulfill His promises and intentions.

As Daniel also understood the character of God that He had not forgotten the necessary judgments for breaking the covenant, so that is still true today. We can learn from Daniel the relevance and importance of praying and supplicating with understanding what God’s plan and will are, and that there is an appointed time, and that all is to be in accord with God’s righteousness, His mercies, and His holy Name. God is looking for individual persons to accept responsibility, as Daniel did, to show His favor upon, even while a nation remains under judgment and wrath of the holy God. There is a holy remnant within every nation and people group of those who serve the only true God and Savior.

Are we as awake to God’s Word as Daniel was? Do we recognize the signs of the times that we are living in, and knowing what the Body of Messiah should do? Are our prayers and affairs consistent with God’s revealed plan and purpose? Are we humbling ourselves and seeking God’s face, identifying with our brethren and our fathers in the sins against our great and awesome God, so that our Father in Heaven will hear our prayers in Yeshua’s name?

Prayer of God’s Family and Yeshua’s Disciples

Prayer might be the only thing many believers can do; and prayer might be the only thing on which many believers across the denominational streams agree. Therefore, even here, the enemy comes in to bring inaction or disunity!

Let’s pray now together the prayer, commonly known as the “Lord’s Prayer”, but which is better described as the prayer pattern which Jesus taught His disciples and brothers to pray. Yeshua’s prayer in John 17 is definitely the Lord’s prayer!  (Even now He intercedes for us!)

Mt 6:9-13 . . . Our Father, who is in Heaven, hallowed be Your name, (10) Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven. (11) Give us this day our daily bread; (12) and forgive us our debts as we also forgive our debtors. (13) And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil. For Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

Prayer is the life-breath of a believer in the living God. It is natural communication with God, our Father in Heaven. Prayer indicates a close, personal, loving, free relationship and fellowship between Him and the believer in Him through our faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. In the short epistle of Jude, it is written that we should pray in the Holy Spirit (Jude 20). And this is in the context of the end-times. All of the prayers that we have in the Scriptures are prayers in the Holy Spirit: they are according to the mind and heart of YHVH God, according to the circumstances and covenantal responsibilities and expectations. (Heb 12:22-24) So surely the manner of prayer which the Lord Yeshua teaches His disciples is one in the Holy Spirit. Praying in the Holy Spirit does not only mean to pray in tongues, but is for every believer.

Mt 6:5-15 And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, They have their reward. (6) But you, when you pray, enter into your room. And shutting your door, pray to your Father in secret; and your Father who sees in secret shall reward you openly. (7) But when you pray, do not use vain repetitions, as the Gentiles. For they think that in their many words they shall be heard. (8) Therefore do not be like them, for your Father knows what things you have need of, before you ask Him. (9) Therefore pray in this way: Our Father, who is in Heaven, hallowed be Your name. (10) Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven. (11) Give us this day our daily bread; (12) and forgive us our debts as we also forgive our debtors. (13) And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil. For Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen. (14) For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; (15) but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Yeshua begins by telling us how not to pray! First of all, He says not to be like hypocrites who only want to impress others with their public prayers; but their private prayer life may be non-existent; or else, they want to impress people with their religious piety. God is not impressed in any positive way by this! Most of our prayer life will be in secret. After all, the apostle Paul writes that we should pray at all times. There is a place and time for corporate prayer, and we have examples of that, too, in the Bible. Both are appropriate; but mostly we need to develop our communication with God our Father in our private time and place, and this will rightly influence our public prayers, as well.

Yeshua also tells us not to simply repeat the same prayers or words over-and-over again, like some mantra or magic, as if this will cause God to answer us like we want. Every human wants basic necessities, such as food and clothing. Our Father in Heaven knows that also includes us! If we seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, we will not be worrying about our basic needs like unbelievers do; and the Lord tells us that our Father will provide these things to us as we seek first His interests and His ways. (Mt 6:31-34; cp Gen 28:20-21) We are to pray with faith, and with understanding of God’s will.

We are praying to a personal God (Hos 2:16), who is living and hears our prayers, and loves and cares about us as a Father. Through the gospel, God has become our Father in a personal way. In Judaism, they acknowledge God is a Father to Israel, and we see this through the Old Testament (e.g. Ex 4:22; Dt 32:6; Jer 31:9; Jn 8:41-42). Through the gospel and the New Testament, each believer has received the spirit of adoption to call God, “Abba, Father”. (Rom 8:14-17) The veil has been rent through Yeshua’s sacrificial death, and we have direct and open access to the Throne of God, Maker of Heaven and Earth!

In this prayer for disciples and God’s family, the Lord teaches us to focus on our Father and His interests. As children of God, we are to honor Him, and to desire that His will be done, not what seems necessarily right to us. We humble ourselves before Him, being under His authority. It is an occasion of self-judgment, acknowledging our need for forgiveness of our own sins, and our obligation to be merciful and forgive others who have sinned against us.

In other religions, their gods can be anything and anywhere. The God of Israel is in Heaven! In other religions, even those who claim to worship a god in Heaven, they do not relate to Him as to a Father: there is no personal relationship, no knowledge of a Person – whether unto God, or whether Him unto us/me. Jesus teaches us to pray to our Father in Heaven.  Even Messiah prayed to God His Father n Heaven, and not to Himself, although He is God in the flesh, and the fullness of the Godhead was in Him.  Also notice, we come to God our Father as part of a larger family: we pray to our Father, recognizing that we are not alone to know Him as the Father, and we seek His interests and our needs collectively, and not selfishly. Our Father in Heaven loves each and all of us, and we are to love one another with His love.

The very first matter of prayerful priority is that our Father’s name be sanctified. As His children, our lifestyle and choices should demonstrate that it matters to us how we conduct our lives, how we dress and speak and eat, how others would think of our Father’s good name by the way they perceive us. We should take an active interest in His business. (Lk 2:49; Jn 5:16-19; Jn 6:29) This is one way we show that this element of Holy Spirit prayer matters to us as far as I have a part in it. We are not to carry His name in vain.

Another way that our Father’s name is sanctified we learn from the Scriptures by what He Himself has told us:

Eze 36:17-28 Son of man, when the house of Israel lived in their own land, they defiled it by their own way and by their doings, even as the defilement of woman’s impurity, their way was before Me. (18) So I poured My fury on them, because of the blood that they had shed on the land, and for their idols by which they defiled it. (19) And I scattered them among the nations, and they were scattered through the lands. I judged them according to their way and according to their doings. (20) And when they entered the nations where they went, they even profaned My holy name by saying to them, These are the people of Yehovah, and they are gone out of His land. (21) But I had pity for My holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations where they went. (22) Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord Yehovah: I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the nations where you went. (23) And I will sanctify My great name, which was profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. And the nations shall know that I am Yehovah, says the Lord Yehovah, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. (24) For I will take you from among the nations and gather you out of all lands, and will gather you into your own land. (25) And I will sprinkle clean waters on you, and you shall be clean. I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from your idols. (26) And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you. And I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. (27) And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My judgments and do them. (28) And you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers. And you shall be My people, and I will be your God.

Eze 38:14-17  So, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog, Thus says the Lord Yehovah: In that day when My people of Israel dwells securely, shall you not know it? (15) And you shall come from your place out of the recesses of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great company and a mighty army. (16) And you shall come up on My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land. It shall be in the last days, and I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me when I shall be sanctified in you, O Gog, before their eyes. (17) Thus says the Lord Yehovah: Are you he of whom I have spoken in former days, by the hand of My servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied in those days and years that I would bring you against them?

Eze 38:23 So I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself. And I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am Yehovah.

Eze 39:6-8 And I will send a fire on Magog, and on the secure inhabitants of the coasts. And they shall know that I am Yehovah. (7) And I will make My holy name known in the midst of My people Israel. And I will not let them profane My holy name any more. And the nations shall know that I am Yehovah, the Holy One in Israel. (8)  Behold, it is coming, and it will be done, says the Lord Yehovah. This is the day of which I have spoken.

Eze 39:25-29 Therefore thus says the Lord Yehovah: And I will return the captivity of Jacob, and will have mercy on the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for My holy name; (26) after they have borne their shame and all their sins by which they have sinned against Me, when they dwell securely in their land and no one terrifies; (27) when I have brought them again from the peoples, and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations; (28)  then they shall know that I am Yehovah their God who exiled them among the nations, but I have gathered them to their own land, and have not left any of them there. (29) Nor will I hide My face from them any more, for I have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel, says the Lord Yehovah.

Yehovah God has told us that His name will be hallowed/sanctified when His people Israel is saved and no longer profaning His Holy name, and they are dwelling safely and permanently in the Land of Israel, which He promised to give them, and when their enemies are defeated who had thought that He is less than the God Most High that He is, and YHVH is still the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob! This is written in the context of the last days. The sanctification of God our Father’s name is of the highest priority with Jesus. Is it with us? Do we know and understand the will and the plan of our God? (I thank Keith Parker for this insight.)

Yeshua goes on to teach us to pray for the Father’s kingdom to come, and for His will to be done on Earth as in Heaven. This is connected with the sanctification of His name, when He finally restores the Kingdom to Israel and over all the nations. The whole creation is waiting for this! (Acts 1:6-8; Rom 8:19-23; Rev 11:15) Although we have tasted of the Kingdom of God when we are born-again and baptized with the Holy Spirit, and we are being sanctified through our faith in Yeshua, the Church is not the Kingdom of God, and we know that God’s will is not being done even within ourselves as it ought, nor is our Father’s and His Son’s name being hallowed as He deserves and requires. The reality of the Kingdom awaits the return of the Lord to establish it — what is called the Millennial Kingdom — and His kingdom will never pass away.

The Lord then, after setting the highest priority, teaches us that we can ask our Father for our daily bread – physical and spiritual. Again, it is a request with the interest of our other brothers and sisters in mind, as well as our own need.   So, too, is the request for forgiveness: most of us need to be forgiven, and we are to care for one another’s peace and blessing from our heavenly Father.

But, now, there is a condition placed on this request for forgiveness: it is dependent on our forgiving others, whether financial debts or any other form of offense. This is the righteousness of God, and a condition for our fellowship with Him to be full. It is also identifying with Jesus in His sufferings for our redemption and salvation, who asked His Father to forgive us for all of our iniquity and transgressions and sin against Him. Although I do not believe this is an issue of salvation for the believer, nonetheless our fellowship with the Father and with the Son, and with one another, will not be healthy, nor will it contribute to the honor and holiness of our Father’s name. This is a great challenge for us, and also a cause of stumbling to others – even for unbelievers — when we do not forgive.  It is a condition on the unconditional grace which we have received for the price paid for our adoption.  It should of great concern to any child of God, and our own spiritual fruitfulness is dependent upon it. (Mt 18:21-35)

Next, Jesus would have us know that there is danger in the world, and that we are able to get into trouble, and to become captive to evil, including to the evil one, the devil and the antichrist. By asking our Father not to lead us into temptation, we acknowledge that there is danger, and we want Him to protect us from deception; yet we bear a personal responsibility, as well, to keep ourselves from evil in the fear of the Lord.

Lastly, the Lord closes with a ‘statement of faith’ for us to proclaim: the kingdom is not the evil one’s, but our Father’s and of His Son! And to Him is the power and the glory forever! While we are praying for His Kingdom to come, we also declare now by faith that it is already in His hands, despite what we see or feel or need now.

Let us pray again this form of prayer which our Lord has taught us, and being more mindful of the content and the intent of what we pray: our focus in the Holy Spirit is God-centered, on our Father’s holy name which is currently being profaned by His own people – both Jews and Christians – and by the Gentiles and His enemies; our vision is to be the coming again of Jesus to establish God’s kingdom back to Israel and over all the Earth; God is our primary Provider, being our Father; the absolute necessity to forgive others; protection from being led astray by deceitful temptations; the proclamation and praise of the truth that our God reigns! HalleluYah!

JERUSALEM AT PEACE, AND A PRAISE IN THE EARTH

Ps 122:6-9 Prayerfully ask about the peace of Jerusalem; those who love you shall be blessed. Peace be within your walls, blessings within your palaces. For my brothers and companions’ sakes, I will now say, Peace be within you. Because of the house of Yehovah our God I will seek your good.

Is 62:1-7 For Zion’s sake I will not be silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until its righteousness goes out as brightness, and her salvation as a burning lamp. And the nations will see your righteousness, and all kings your glory; and you will be called by a new name, which the mouth of Yehovah will name. You also will be a crown of glory in the hand of Yehovah, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. You will no more be called Forsaken; nor will your land any more be called Desolate; but you will be called, My Delight is in her, and your land, Married; for Yehovah delights in you, and your land is married. For as a young man marries a virgin, so will your sons marry you; and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so will your God rejoice over you.

I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem, who always all the day and all the night will not be silent; you who remember Yehovah, do not be silent. And give Him no rest until He establishes and makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth. 

THE GREAT COMMISSION AND THE LORD’S PRAYERS

–Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness (Mt 6:33 

Great Commission (Mt 28:18-20)
   –till end of age
   –fullness of Gentiles towards Israel’s salvation  

“Lord’s Prayer” (Mt 6:9-15)
  –actually prayer for disciples and family
  –sanctification of God the Father’s name (3rd Commandment)
  –anticipation and expectation of coming Kingdom of God to Earth over Israel and the nations
  –seeking first God’s Kingdom and His righteousness
    –must forgive
    –not to worry about most basic of human needs:  food, clothing, covering
      –serving God, not mammon
  –fear of God to shun evil
  –living faith and trust in YHVH that He – and we – will prevail, overcome over evil
    –God’s plan, not ours; God’s righteous paths in His grace and mercy, not our own sense of righteousness and judgment; God’s work – believe in Jesus – not our works  

Yeshua’s intercessory prayer for us, not for the world (Jn 17:9, 15-26)
  –Jesus now seated at the right hand of the Father (Eph 1:20-21)
    –the day is still to come for Him to stand as a Lamb, even though a Lion (Rev 5:4-6)
  –love and unity in the truth as proof of who Jesus/Yeshua is, and of the Father’s love for us in Him
    –Local believers and congregations/churches to care for each other for Messiah and the gospel’s sake  

God has something far better in mind than what any nation or government could ever accomplish.  He will even make peace with and among the animals, for example. (Is 11:6-9; Hos 2:18 Eng 20 Heb); Ezek 34:25-28 

We are called and sent out to be ambassadors of Christ, of another King, of another Kingdom.  

Let us do all we can to give people, at the least, to respect – and even to fear —  the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, so that they might find mercy when the wrath of God is poured out on those who refuse to repent from evil and to turn to that which is good.

A PRAYER FOR THE SALVATION OF ISRAEL

Our Father in Heaven, thank-you for your goodness and long-suffering to your people Israel.  You have sent the Holy Spirit to the world to convict of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment.  Sin is not believing in Your Son, Yeshua, as the Messiah.  Our people still harden their hearts and stubbornly stiffen their necks against the truth of the gospel, despite all that we have done till now.

The New Covenant in the blood of Yeshua is the basis for the promise that You will save the full remnant of your people, as you have promised in many ways and places throughout the Scriptures, by forgiving their sins.

Act on behalf of your holy Name’s sake to show to the Jewish people everywhere in the world, and to the enemies of Israel round about Israel and anywhere else, that there is still a God in Israel!  Why should the nations say, Where is your God?!  Put Your fear in your own beloved people, and in those who would seek her destruction, that they would fear YEHOVAH, the God of Israel, God Most High.  Break the pride in Your chosen people regarding their being chosen as the first-born among the nations.  Bring them to see the futility of trying to justify themselves by their own works, rather than returning in humble confession to You in the way You have provided.  In wrath, remember mercy, O God!

Until the fullness of Gentiles comes in, You say that Israel will remain partially blinded.  Save more, and more, and more individual Israeli Jewish people now, Lord, until that day.  Save more of the Gentiles, especially round about Israel — the Arabs, Muslims — to bring us closer to that day when all Israel will be saved!  Give them a new heart, a new spirit through their repentance and faith in the gospel, that they would provoke Israel to jealousy and show mercy to Israel, rather than seek vengeance and her destruction.

Bring more Israelis to repentance for their unfaithfulness against You and Your covenant with them, in their heart’s desire to be like the Gentiles, a thing which You say will not be!  Work, LORD, for Your holy Name’s sake, through all the political power struggles and religious corruption that more and more of your people would become fed up with being like the Gentiles, who lord it over one another, and would begin to return to You; for You, YHVH God, to be King over them once again; for Your Kingdom to come — Your righteousness and Your true peace.

Act on behalf of your holy Name’s sake within the Body of Messiah here in Israel, that You would break through the impasse preventing us from going on in the truth of the one new man, in spiritual unity in love and in truth, that our testimony would be faithful to the truth of Your love and grace to us who believe in Jesus, whom You sent.  We plead, our Father, that our people would see something GOOD within the congregation and life of believers, that would draw them towards You. . .and You would run towards them.

Act, O Lord, for Your Name’s sake, that believers would feel the need for You, Lord Jesus, to come back, and that the Jewish people would begin to cry out, Blessed is He who comes in the name of YEHOVAH!  Let them see Him whom they have pierced, and afflict their souls in mourning for all their hatred without a cause towards Him — even as we have by Your lovingkindness.  Take away the curse out of their mouths, and bring them to call upon the only Savior:  Blessed are You, Lord Yeshua!  And heal them, and cleanse them — the people whom You love, and have chosen to be Your holy people, and for Yeshua to be the King of Israel, King of the Jews.

Thank-you, Father, for Your faithfulness,  in Yeshua’s name.  Amen.

O, Maker of peace in the high places,      (Oseh shalom bam’romim,
You will make peace upon us,                   (Ata ta’aseh shalom aleinu,
and upon all of Israel.                                   (ve’al kol Israel

And all say, say Amen.                                 (Ve’imru, imru Amen.

Make peace, make peace,                            (Ta’aseh shalom, ta’aseh shalom,
Peace upon us, and upon all Israel!        (Shalom aleinu, ve’al kol Israel!)

PRAYER

Why do we pray?

Even Yeshua prayed!  Did He not come to do His Father’s will?  Yet He prayed according to the Word of God for the Father’s will to be done that would accomplish the purpose for which He came.  And because He loved God His Father more than even His own life, and always desired to please Him, then God heard His prayers, and His Son had confidence that they would be answered in the way that best served God’s purpose for Him, in Him, and through Him.  

Isaiah 62:1-7  For Zion’s sake I will not be silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until its righteousness goes out as brightness, and her salvation as a burning lamp.  And the nations will see your righteousness, and all kings your glory; and you will be called by a new name, which the mouth of Yehovah will name.  You also will be a crown of glory in the hand of Yehovah, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.  You will no more be called Forsaken; nor will your land any more be called Desolate; but you will be called My Delight is in her, and your land, Married; for Yehovah delights in you, and your land is married.  For as a young man marries a virgin, so will your sons marry you; and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so will your God rejoice over you.  I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem, who will not always be silent all the day nor all the night; you who remember/remind Yehovah, do not be silent.  And give Him no rest until He establishes and makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.  

1 Timothy 2:1-6  First of all, then, I exhort that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,  for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who will have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.  For God is one, and there is one Mediator of God and of men, the Man Christ Jesus,  who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.  

Does God already know what we need?

Of course!  He knows everything!  He does not give us everything that we think we want, but He is glad to provide what we need, according to His call and purpose for our lives to prepare us for glory.  

Jeremiah 29:11-13  For I know the purposes which I am purposing for you, says Yehovah; purposes of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hopeThen you shall call on Me, and you shall go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.  And you shall seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart 

Ephesians 3:14-21  For this cause I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,  of whom the whole family in Heaven and earth is named,  that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man;  that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,  may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth and length and depth and height,  and to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fullness of God.  Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, forever.  Amen.  

Revelation 3:14-22  And to the angel of the church of the Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Head of the creation of God, says these things:  I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I would that you were cold or hot.  So because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.  Because you say, I am rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing, and do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked,  I counsel you to buy from Me gold purified by fire, so that you may be rich; and white clothing, so that you may be clothed, and so that the shame of your nakedness does not appear. And anoint your eyes with eye salve, so that you may see.  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; therefore be zealous and repent.  Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him and he with Me.  To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame and have sat down with My Father in His throne.  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.  

Does God already know what we will pray? 

Of course!  He knows everything, from outside and within.  

Hebrews 4:12-13  For the Word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing apart of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight, but all things are naked and opened to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.  

Isaiah 46:9-10  Remember former things from forever; for I am God, and no other is God, even none like Me,  declaring the end from the beginning, and from the past things which were not done, saying, My purpose shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure 

Exodus 2:23-25  And it happened after many days the king of Egypt died. And the children of Israel sighed because of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up to God because of the bondage.  And God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.  And God looked upon the sons of Israel, and God knew them 

So why does God want us to pray? 

God has called us to be a kingdom of priests, who will one day rule and reign with Yeshua in His Kingdom.  We are being prepared now, and prayer is a way to consciously let God know that we are actively interested in what He is doing, and that we are interested in His business. (Lk 2:49 

God is a Father who likes to hear from His children, those who honor and love Him.  Prayer, whether silent or spoken, is the language and means of communication with our Creator and Redeemer.  

Even though God already knows everything, He wants us to come to Him and talk with Him, ask Him questions, to hear what is on our own hearts and minds.  He may have a question for us, and He wants an answer:  Jesus said to the blind man, ‘What do you want?’   What do you think the Lord would have done if the blind man, who had faith that Jesus could heal him, had answered, ‘You already know; I don’t need to tell you!’    The man, in complete dependency and humility, answered, ‘I want to see!’ (Mk 10:51 

What is to our attitude when we pray or intercede? 

Self-judgment and dependency upon the one true God.  The Hebrew word for common prayer is l’hitpalel (להתפלל), which conveys the thought that we are possibly guilty of some crime, so that we come in humility to the Judge [of all the Earth].  

Ps 124:1-3   A Song of degrees; of David. Except that it was Yehovah who was for us, O may Israel say;  Except that it was Yehovah who was for us when men rose up against us,  then they would have swallowed us up alive, when their wrath was kindled against us;  

Dan 9:3-19   And I set my face toward the Lord God, to seek by prayer and holy desires, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes.  And I prayed to Yehovah my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and awesome God, keeping the covenant and lovingkindness to those who love Him, and to those who keep His commandments, we have sinned and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from Your commandments and from Your judgments.  Neither have we listened to Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings, our rulers, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.  

O Lord, righteousness belongs to You, but to us the shame of our faces, as it is today to the men of Judah and to the people of Jerusalem, and to all Israel who are near and who are afar off, through all the countries where You have driven them because of their sin which they have sinned against You.  O Lord, shame of face belongs to us, to our kings, to our rulers, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against You.  To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against Him.  We have not obeyed the voice of Yehovah our God, to walk in His Laws which He set before us by His servants the prophets.  Yea, all Israel has transgressed Your Law, and turned aside, that they might not obey Your voice. Therefore the curse has been poured out on us, and the oath that is written in the Law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against Him.  And He has confirmed His Words which He spoke against us and against our judges who judged us, by bringing on us a great evil. For under all the heavens it has not been done as it has been done to Jerusalem.  As it is written in the Law of Moses, all this evil has come on us.   

Yet we did not make our prayer before Yehovah our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand Your truth.  Therefore Yehovah has watched over the evil, and has brought it on us. For Yehovah our God is righteous in all His works which He does; for we did not obey His voice.   

And now, O Lord our God, who have brought Your people out from the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and have brought fame to Yourself, as it is today, we have sinned, we have done wrong.  O Lord, I pray You, according to all Your righteousness let Your anger and Your fury be turned away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain. Because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people have become a curse to all those who are around us.  And now, O our God, hear the prayer of Your servant, and his holy desires, and cause Your face to shine on Your sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake.  O my God, bow down Your ear and hear. Open Your eyes and behold our ruins, and the city which is called by Your name. For we do not present our prayers before You on account of our righteousnesses, but because of Your great merciesO Yehovah, hear; O Yehovah, forgive; O Yehovah, listen and do. Do not delay, for Your own sake, O my God; for Your city and Your people are called by Your name.   

Priority of MotiveMt 6:9-13

Love of God:  sanctity of the Father’s Name coming again of Yeshua to establish God’s Kingdom on Earth  

Love of others as oneself:
 personal need, but with concern for others
recognizing of our own need for forgiveness
–mercy towards others
–dependency upon God’s help to keep from doing evil, and from becoming captive to evil doers
–proclamation of YHVH’s supremacy, and that all is for His sake

Use Scripture, the very Word of God, to know what and how to pray, and trust the Holy Spirit to enable us.

THE INCENSE OF PRAYERS – Feb 2006

(Written for IsraelPrayer.com .  Slightly edited here.)

Replacement Theology began a long time ago, when first Jews and then Christians went to the left or to the right of the Spirit of Truth of God the Father’s Word.  We replaced the commandments and promises of God with traditions of men and hope in this world, which opposes the Kingdom of YHVH God and of His Anointed One.  The Messiah and Son of God Himself has taught us to pray firstly for the sanctification of our Heavenly Father’s name, and that HIS will be done…on Earth, as it is in Heaven.  As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ (I’m writing English, and this name honors Him), we are commanded by Him to seek first God’s Kingdom and His righteousness.  (If I may turn aside for a moment after what I’ve just written:  if born-again belieiving Christians get involved with all kinds of very unprofitable nonsense over the name of our Lord and Savior, we can certainly not expect much favor from God.  In this we show ourselves to be like the Jewish people who, too, have made a mockery of The Name of the God who chose us! – All in the interest of sanctity and reverence!)

For all her significance and importance in God’s plan and purposes, Israel is not the focus in His sight:  Jesus Christ is.  He (or the nation) who denies that Jesus is the Messiah is the liar, or, in other words, the false prophet.  He (or the religion) that denies the Father and the Son is the antichrist, or, in other words, the one who would both take the true Messiah’s place (replacement theology?) and also oppose Him.  The Messiah is anointed to be the Prophet greater than Moses; the High Priest according to YHVH God’s word to Melchizedek; and the King of kings, heir to the throne of David and to the Father’s.  Those who do not believe in Jesus/Yeshua for who He is do not have the Father either.  This is no small matter, and it is a very big matter when it comes to our prayers, which are offered as a sacrifice to God on the basis of Jesus’s death on the cross for our sins and the sin of the world.  Do we know that we are forgiven?  Is the world crucified to us?  Are we crucified to the world?

Those who do not worship God in the way which HE has prescribed are idolaters, whether they profess to believe in only one God or not.  Jesus is the Way, and He has shown us the way.  Israelis still under God’s righteous judgment despite being partially re-established in part of the land promised to Abraham, to Isaac, to Jacob, and to their descendants forever.  Israel/the Jewish people still resist the Holy Spirit of God and persecute Yeshua and His church, especially when Jews are part of the composition or are the object of the good news of God’s grace and righteousness.

On the other hand, Christians who currently believe and understand God for His purposes regarding Israel– as relevant and significant as that is – are not deemed more righteous in God’s sight than some other believer who, at present, does not.  There are many believers (and even unbelievers) who stand with Israel, but are missing His mark in other vital areas pertaining to standing with Jesus and manifesting fruit of holiness and righteousness in their life.  And, likewise, there are some dear saints and prophets of God who, for whatever reason at present, just don’t see it, but are precious to God and to many others.  Humility (in bold letters!) is the woof and web of our God our Father’s character and of His Son.

Everything that is taking place in the Middle East and the rest of the world must be seen and understood in the light of the revelation of Jesus Christ; that is, His coming again to judge the nations – including His chosen nation Israel – and to rule them in righteousness and justice.  (These terms are related, but are not synonymous, and are too often confused and misused.)  Without this perspective, our prayers and intercessions will be short-sighted or wrongly motivated.  The fervent and righteous prayers of the saints which God has been “collecting” — until the appointed time to begin answering them – have to do with the Kingdom of God and His righteousness (Lk 18:1-8; Rev 8:3-6). 

When we grasp that the justified believers from all history who will have part in the first resurrection will be reigning priests with Messiah over Israel and the other nations, then it is evident that neither is the Church Israel nor is Israel the Church!  Replacement theology has made void the manifold promises and blessed hope of all creation with false expectations and fables!  Jesus asks if He will find the faith in God’s own elect (us!) when the Son of Man returns?

The religious and secular who trouble the believers in Israel (and elsewhere) are a mixture of God-fearers who really believe they are doing God’s will, and of “worthless, lawless people” (bnei belial), or rabble rousers.  By the grace and power of God, some (many?) of these will ultimately repent and be saved, and many not.  Better to be saved NOW through repentance and faith and to have part in that blessed and holy  first resurrection, than to wait in uncertainty whether God will show mercy on them or not.

Under the Torah, a false prophet was to be killed.  According to rabbinic Judaism, Jesus is considered the false prophet deserving of death.  Therefore, we who believe and follow Him in our worship of God are likewise under a death sentence.  As the Lord informed us, there will be those seeking to kill us, thinking it to be God’s will.  This is what the “great” Jew Saul was doing before he “saw the Light”, and became “little” (Paul, translated in Roman/Latin, which was his native citizenry) in his own eyes.

While God has warned that He will judge those who divide HIS land, He also allows room for its being divided as long as the Jewish people are unrepentant and refuse to return to Him through Jesus, whom He sent to restore not only the tribes of Jacob and the preserved ones of Israel, but also the Gentiles who are called by His name.  “Stumbling will come, but woe to him through whom it comes!”  The Israeli Jewish people do have claims of sovereignty in the land from the LORD.  But without receiving Jesus, who alone comes in the name of YHVH, they have no blessings and no peace or security.  The Arabs do have a right to live within the State of Israel and to be treated justly. 

The “strangers in the land” are those gentiles (non-Jewish Israelis) who are with the people whom God has chosen and who honor the God of Israel.  The “alien, or foreigner in the land” is a “thorn in the side”, ones who do not join themselves to the calling and destiny of Israel.  The Arabs and other gentiles have no claims of sovereignty over the land of Israel, but the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob is offering both Jews and Arabs much more in Christ now than what both sides are in fear and conflict over now.  This is our message to them:  the gospel of Yeshua the Messiah and the Kingdom of God as they receive the forgiveness of their sins, are baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit, and receive the free gift beyond all imagination of eternal life with God the Father and with Jesus His beloved!

Our prayers and intercessions for the salvation of Muslims – who deny the Father and the Son – is of major concern to God.  Being gentiles, the one true living God will give them a new heart and a new Spirit with which to show mercy to Israel and to provoke Israelis to jealousy for their God.  What a deliverance from darkness to light, from revenge born of bitterness to love born of the triune God!  The gospel is the power to save both Jews, Arabs, Greeks, Iranians, Americans.  Christians are not Israel’s savior, but are witnesses of the One who is, and are serving Him in God’s wondrous plan of redemption.

What we are facing in Beer Sheva, in Arad, in Rishon LeZion, in the Galilee around Tiberias is not something strange.  Many other believers in Jesus as Lord and Messiah have suffered – and are even now suffering – for His name’s sake.  The enemy is waging a war of attrition to wear down the saints.  Praise God for Jesus in Whom we have the victory through His resurrection and the hope of our ultimate redemption!  May we all be filled with the Holy Spirit in order to love and to bless those who now hate us and curse us, even as we pray and proclaim the truth.  We want to be faithful to Him who has shown such love to us, and be so used of God that the Holy Spirit will convict them of righteousness, of sin, and of judgement.  Let our salt be salty, our light shining, and our fragrance of Messiah.  Even so, come Lord Jesus!

STRIVING TOGETHER IN PRAYER

We have been speaking lately of the importance of our prayers and actions being for the sake of the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.  We saw how Phineas acted with his zeal and with God’s to stand in the gap for the glory of the Lord in the midst of Israel.  We saw, too, how God is collecting the prayers of the saints over the centuries:  prayers which cry out for God to judge and avenge His people for the unrighteous deeds done against them because they have believed and trusted in YHVH.  

Today let’s look together at another aspect of prayer and action for the sake of God’s Kingdom and His righteousness:  

Rom 15:25-33   striving together for the sake of the Lord Jesus Christ and of the love of the Spirit, so that the giving of donations from believers to the poor believers will be in – and result in – the peace of God  

Gal 2:9-10   of primary importance to remember the poor (not necessarily building projects, whether personal or congregational.  This is a major precept throughout the whole of the Bible.  

2Cor 8:1-7   sacrificial giving – a living sacrifice – for the sake of the Lord and of the brethren   

1Tim 5:3-16   take care of those who are really widows

We are one body working together for the building up of the church in love, in accord with what the Holy Spirit teaches us through the Scriptures.  Many of us here are “poor” in the estimation of the world, but we are truly rich in Messiah which the unbeliever knows nothing about.  But being in the world, we are dependent upon the mercy and grace of God and of our brothers and sisters in the faith, while, at the same time, we are to do all we can not to be a burden to the congregation.  Each of us can examine himself in this matter; as the Lord Jesus has said, “It is better to give than to receive”.  May we learn to give sacrificially, trusting in God for His provision, for the sake of the Lord and of our brethren.

Strive together in prayer that those who have the responsibility to know needs and to disperse donations will have the love and the wisdom from God to do so righteously.

WHY PRAY FOR ISRAEL?

A commandment from the Holy Spirit!
     —Ps 122   Pray for (Ask about) the peace of Jerusalem
                      –this present Jerusalem (the heavenly New Jerusalem does not need any prayers!)
                      –still being trodden down by the gentiles

Understanding the times
 —1Chron 12:23 (24 Heb), 32 (33 Heb)   those prepared for war; . . .the sons of Issachar who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do

Dan 9:2   in the first year of [Darius’s] reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of years by the word of YHVH through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations ofJerusalem
                          —Dan 9:24   seventy weeks of years to accomplish God’s plan forIsrael’s redemption

 —Mt 16:1-4   the Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus, seeking a sign. . . .You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.  A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah   . . . .(Jon; Hos 6:1-3; Ezek 36; Mt 24; Lk 19:42,44; Rom 9 – 11)
                                    –returning to the whole of the Bible (Mt 5:17-18; 2Cor 1:20)
                                    –it is high time to awake. . . and put on the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom 13:11-14)        

     —1Cor 10:11   Scriptures written for us living at the end of the age

For the sake of the Name of YHVH God and of His Son, Messiah Yeshua
     —Ezek 20:5-44   I acted for My name’s sake (9,14,22,44), that it should not be profaned amongst the Gentiles. . . .I will rule over you. . . .Then you (they) shall know that I am YHVH (19,26,38,42,44,48) when I have dealt with you for My name’s sake, not according to your wicked ways nor according to your corrupt doings, O House of Israel, says the Lord GOD.  
                                            —Ex 32:9-14  attitude of Moses with God for His (his) people

     —Ezek 36   . . .I will also require of the House of Israel to do this for them
                                    –Blessed is He who comes in the name YHVH! (Mt 23:38-39)  
                                    –Come, Lord Jesus!

Israel’s salvation connected to the Church’s reigning with Messiah 1000 years
     —Rom 11:11-36   For if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the gentiles, how much more their fullness!. . .For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 
                                  –(blessings for other nations—Egypt,Assyria,Lebanon, isles– bound withIsrael’s) 
                                
                                    If God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. 

Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are    beloved for the sake of the fathers. . . .For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. . .that God might have mercy on all.   For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever!

      —Mt 19:28   Jesus said to His disciples, . . .in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes ofIsrael.

      —Rev 19:1-6   Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. . .they shall be priests of God and of Messiah, and shall reign with Him a thousand years over this earth.   
                             —1Cor 15:22-28  no more rule, etc., in the new heavens and new earth

Message to Jewish and Israeli People The Same Now as at the Beginning of the Church 
     —Acts 2:22-24,36-39  personal and national responsibility by the Jews andIsrael for the crucifixion in sovereignty and wisdom of God for His eternal purposes 
                                               –Jesus the stone of offense 
                                               –cross a necessary cause of stumbling (1Cor 1:17-25)
                                               –God’s judgment for sin – rejection of Jesus as Messiah and the Son of 
                                                  the Living God – remains; we ‘always’ resist the Holy Spirit of  God ( Jn 16:8-9; Acts 7:51)
                                               –repentance required 

     —Acts 15:10   Jews given a yoke (Law) which no one could bear. . .so have mercy on them 
                                 –they will not see Jesus until they bless Him and call upon His name for salvation

     —Acts 15:11   through grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, we Jews/Israelis will be saved in the same manner as you who are gentiles (i.e., not Jews/Israelis). . .so provoke them to jealousy for Israel to fulfill her calling to be a holy nation unto YHVH God, a kingdom of priests (not a western democracy) 
                                 —Rom 10:14-15   How will they hear without a preacher who is sent?!

Prayers and Intercessions for Beer Sheva

–We are in the world, and God commands us to pray for and to bless those in the society, for He loves them.
–We are all priests in Christ, and we are called to intercede on behalf of the Lord for all nations, and to reflect His qualities.
–It is a principle that the LORD works with and through His people in order to bring knowledge of Him to others and so to show mercy and to bless a city,  region, a nation.  (see Gen. 12:1-3; Rom. 10:11-15; Ps. 144:15)
–We are exhorted to pray for kings and all who are in authority in order both to bless our own lives and to glorify God through the salvation of others (1Tim. 2:1-6).
–In all things God gives reasons and promises and hope to do His will and to participate in both the power of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and also in the fellowship of His sufferings, as well as to partake of His holiness.  Even now God is training us to rule with Messiah in His kingdom to come.

 

Viewing Beer Sheva from God’s perspective 

 Gen. 21:31-33  —  named Beer Sheva by Abraham, who planted a tamarisk tree and called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God

Gen. 21:12-20  —  Hagar and Ishmael encouraged and comforted and blessed in the wilderness of B.S., after being cast out of Abraham’s and Sarah’s house
Gen. 22:19  —  after offering up Isaac, Abraham and his seed were blessed by God, and Abraham with his son returned to and lived in B.S.
Gen. 26:23-33  —  YEHOVAH confirmed His covenant to Isaac in B.S.,  who built an altar and dug a well.  Isaac’s servants found a well with water (“revival”) after the Philistines had filled in (“contention and quenching”) all the wells which Abraham had dug, and  the place was confirmed as Beer Sheva.
Gen. 28:10  —  Jacob also had lived in B.S.
Gen. 46:1,5  —  on the way to Egypt with his sons and their families, Jacob (Israel) sacrificed to God in B.S. and received revelation, guidance, comfort, and hope
1Sam. 3:20  —  all Israel reckoned from Dan to Beer Sheva
1Sam. 8  —  Samuel’s sons were unjust judges in B.S., resulting in Israel asking for a king to rule over them, just like the gentiles (other nations)
1Kings 19:3-8  —  Elijah ran for his life from Jezebel, and in his despair found rest, direction, comfort in B.S. from YHVH
Is. 35:1-6; 51:3  —  the desert will bloom and blossom as a rose and become as the Garden of YHVH, even as Eden

Beer Sheva was destroyed as a city in 701 B.C. by Sennacharib in the days of King Hezekiah. (2Kg 18:13)
After the return from Babylon, Beer Sheva was also re-settled. (Neh 11:27-30)
In l948 the city again became a Jewish Israeli city.

Beer Sheva
–a place of divine revelation, comfort, direction, worship
–a place of praise (wells of living water), thanksgiving, gladness, life, sources
–seat of government representing all of the south of Israel:  intended to be a seat of righteousness and judgment (justice)
–judicial, administrative, commercial, and religious center

A Closer Examination of Amos 5:5; 8:14 : “The Way (Manner) of B.S.”

–Amos preached and prophesied during time of divided kingdom – Judah and Israel – between c. 760-750 B.C.
–concerned with unrighteousness and injustice in the society, even while people practiced their religion without regard for the LORD’s love of lovingkindness (grace), righteousness, and justice
–a separation of “church and state” in the lives of the people, thereby severing the connection between faith, religion, worship, and daily life

1Kings 12:28-29  —  false worship instituted at Beth-El and Dan to draw people away from Jerusalem, as well as to exalt an alternative way and place to worship God
2Kings 23:8  —  Beer Sheva, with its wells from the Patriarchs, became a center for many to venerate some shrine (holy site) and to make pilgrimage there.  [see 2Chron. 19:4; 34:6,7,37 for kingly initiative to restore true worship; also 2Chron. 24:1 (the mother of King Joash was from B.S.)]
     –thus from Dan to B.S., the land and the people strayed from the one place and manner to worship and to offer sacrifices to the one true living God, and in doing so became less united as a people, and positive influences of the fear of the LORD within the society broke down.
     –“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem….” (Ps. 122:6)  From Jerusalem YEHOVAH God has determined to place His Name, to bless Israel (including B.S. and the Negev) and the world.
     —Superstition:  vain (unsalted) faith (demon worship; pagan god worship; fear of demons)
        –may be reverent, but without knowledge (ignorance)
        –generally a practice of religion through slavish fear and of strong cultural or family traditions, not readily accepting the truth which sets one free and sanctifies.  (The Father is seeking worshippers in spirit and in truth).
     –Hardness of Judah (the southern kingdom and royal tribe) to the Word of God  ( 2Kings 22:13; Amos 2:4 —   B.S. was located in Judah after Simeon’s tribal inheritance was absorbed by it.);  also true in Jesus’ day (John 7:1; 11:7-8)

 Beer Sheva Region Today

–superstitious (e.g., shrine of Baba Sali in Netivot; “holy sites”)
–strong family bonding through traditions and customs
–heavy folk Islamic influences through Ottoman history up till 1917, and through the many Jews here who immigrated from North Africa, as well as, of course, from the local Bedouin tribes
–strong Sephardic and tribal Judaism (e.g., Ethiopians) and “ethnic pride” vis-a-vis Ashkenazic, European, Western Jews and Judaism
–physical separation from mainstream of life in Israel, so tending towards isolationism, self-sufficiency, sense of being neglected or forgotten (Ben-Gurion’s vision not carried through:  “out-of-sight, out-of-mind”)
–weak influence on physical and spiritual development of Negev due both to external and internal factors within Israel; desert research and economic forces (including large immigration of Russian-speakers) motivating present development plans

Spiritual  Warfare Strategy for Beer Sheva

–oppose prevailing spirit with the opposite spirit
     –overcome evil with good
     –love your enemies
     –the proud are resisted by God; the humble are exalted

–Examine and judge ourselves, admitting, confessing, and repenting of sins – receiving and granting forgiveness through the shed blood of Messiah – and then act!