The Negev is Now

Construction work and roadworks are going on all around us here in Beer Sheva, and southward towards Yerucham.  The major investment and development is due to Beer Sheva being chosen as the ‘cyber hub’ of Israel, or as Ben-Gurion University of the Negev President, Rivka Carmi, quips, “silicon wadi“.  (A wadi is a dry river bed, waiting for the waters to stream into it.)   Beer Sheva and the Negev are also developing in preparation for major re-location of military bases and operations to the area.  Real estate and housing prices have skyrocketed, yet still much more affordable than in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem.   Investment in the blooming desert, anyone?

You  can read more on this story in a Jerusalem Post article here:  http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-Ed-Contributors/The-Negev-is-now-352560

The Writing on the Wall – 23 May 2014

Yesterday morning, offensive writing offending religious sensitivities was found spray painted on the wall surrounding the property used by the Messianic congregation, Nachalat Yeshua (Yeshua’s Inheritance), in Beer Sheva.   This is known as a “price tag”, property attacks of incitement against those whom extremists oppose, usually against Palestinian Arabs and against Christians.

Six months ago, during a Jews For Jesus evangelism campaign in Beer Sheva, Jewish teenage yeshiva students, with their rabbi, were filmed defacing the same property, but the police refused to take any action against them.

Here is an article in the English edition of HAARETZ online newspaper about the current obscenity, which may have been to express their attitudes towards the visit of the Roman Catholic Pope to Israel this coming week:

http://www.haaretz.com/mobile/1.592439?v=8C4355BD3CDBBC7715EFABCE19D9E289

One day they will know better who Yeshua/Jesus really is.  May God forgive them now, for they still do not know what they are doing.

Beer Sheva and Negev Development Accelerating – 13 Apr 2014

The Israeli government is promoting and enhancing development opportunities in Beer Sheva and the Negev.  The primary impetus here is military re-location of some large bases from the population center to the vast periphery of the southern desert, of which Beer Sheva is the largest and capital city.

The first Prime Minister of Israel, David  Ben-Gurion, always believed that the future of the country depended on the development of the Negev.  He lived what he believed by moving to Kibbutz Sde Boker after completing his service (twice) as PM.  The Prophets of Israel, who spoke the Word of YHVH in truth, also foresee the coming day when the Negev shall become as the Garden of Eden, the Garden of YHVH.

Here are links to some recent significant moves towards building up Beer Sheva as the information technology (IT) center and Silicon Valley of Israel:
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/179143

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Controls/SendFriend.ashx?print=1&type=0&item=179452

“Move South”, young man!

Record December Storm – 15 Dec 2013

Today in Beer Sheva we woke up to a bright sunny day, with clear blue skies, clean from all the wind, rain, hail, snow, and cold which hit the entire country from last Tuesday night till yesterday (Sat.) afternoon.  There has not been a major storm of this magnitude to hit Israel (and the rest of the countries round-about:  it even snowed in Cairo and parts of Saudi Arabia!) in the early part of December since records have been kept.  The last storm of this intensity and duration was in 1897.  It may be that we will see more record-breaking weather more frequently as the end-times progress with its troubles.  This storm even received a name — Alexa — perhaps hinting of its source in Siberia.

“In the 24 hours from Wednesday, [Dec 11], at 8 a.m. to Thursday at 8 a.m., the largest amounts of rain – between 60 and 100 millimeters – fell in the hills of Judea, Gush Etzion, the southern Coastal Plain and the northern Negev, according to IMS data.  The IMS station recorded 113 millimeters for this time period, while Beersheba measured 71 millimeters, the greatest amount of daily rainfall recorded there since 1921.”   Beer Sheva received more than 3-times the normal amount of rainfall for the whole month of December in the 4-day period.  “Out of all the water drenched regions, the Western Negev received the greatest quantities, at approximately 200 millimeters, the Water Authority said.”  “Out of all the water drenched regions, the Western Negev received the greatest quantities, at approximately 200 millimeters, the Water Authority said.  The rains also led to strong flows in the Shikma, Lachish, Basor and Ayalon streams. At Nahal Shikma, located in the Western Negev, such strong flow occurs only once every 25 years, the Water Authority said.”
http://www.jpost.com/National-News/Temperatures-remain-low-as-weekend-storm-blows-over-335049

Here is a great NASA satellite photo from today showing the snow on the mountains and cities of Israel, and round-about:
http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/satellite-photo-of-the-snow/2013/12/15/

And in the flurry of all this both wonderful and damaging weather system, our first grandson experienced his first full week of life which God gave him!

Sign Spoken Against #2: Anti-Yeshua

During the two weeks of November 10-22, the evangelism organization, Jews for Jesus, conducted a campaign in the southern cities of Israel, focused in the largest city of Beer Sheva.  Beer Sheva and Arad have seen their share of opposition to the gospel over the years, and this campaign awakened some of that antagonism.   One of the campaigners was arrested just two days before the end of the campaign, the first time in eight such campaigns around Israel that this has happened.  He was released on bail after spending four days in a prison, and expelled from the country last week on Dec. 3.  This expulsion order (which is less serious than a deportation)  is being contested by JFJ through legal channels.  We hope that the outcome will not bring a further hindrance to the Great Commission in the land, and among the people, where it was first commanded.

In the wake of the campaign, once again around the Hanukkah holiday, ultra-orthodox Jewish young men (teens, overseen by an adult rabbi), spray-painted blasphemous graffiti on the walls of the meeting place of Yeshua’s Inheritance Congregation.  The police have not yet taken any decisive action, despite the perpetrators being photographed by security cameras.  And on Nov. 27, Yo-Yakim Figueras, the pastor of Hasdey Yeshua in Arad, was interviewed on Radio Darom (Southern Radio), along with a religious political leader who is also on the Beer Sheva mayor’s council.  The calm, Holy Spirit-controlled spirit of Yo-Yakim stood in stark contrast to the livid outbursts by the other.   The interview can be heard here, but without translation:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5k4mOelzHKA  We thank the Lord for the opportunity given to Yo-Yakim, who says,  “In the interview, the (name of political party) member was outraged for the fact I was given a stage. On the other hand, I tried to challenge the people to check for themselves the biblical prophecies and decide who Yeshua is.”

YHVH God still speaks through His servant, Simeon, a righteous and devout Israeli Jew waiting for the consolation of Israel, who knew that He would see the Lord’s Messiah (Anointed One; Christ) before He would die.  Simeon spoke these words more than 2000 years ago by the Holy Spirit to Mary/Miriam, the mother of Yeshua, not long after the Lord’s birth:  “Behold, this [child] is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against . . . that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed”. (Lk 2:25-35)

Here are some links to articles related to the evangelism campaign and reactions against it:

http://roshpinaproject.com/2013/11/21/the-jews-for-jesus-negev-1-british-jews-for-jesus-campaigner-arrested-in-israel/

http://www.israeltoday.co.il/Default.aspx?tabid=178&nid=24278

http://www.charismanews.com/world/42024-israel-releases-jews-for-jesus-evangelist-on-bail

Although Israel is still an enemy of the gospel so that more Gentiles can still be saved before all Israel is saved, she also remains beloved for the fathers’ sakes, that He may have mercy upon all. (Rom 11:25-36)  Such is the wisdom and sovereignty of the one true God!

RELIGIOUS POLITICAL LEADERS TODAY AS YESTERDAY – 18 Oct 2012

As in the days of Yeshua’s ministry in Israel about 2000 years ago, when the religious political authorities were led by Annanias and Caiaphas, so today the coalition-maker SHAS party, whose spiritual leader is Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, and political leaders Eli Yishai and Arieh Deri, reflect the corrupting influence of violent men who would take the kingdom by force.

On a Channel 2 television interview this evening, Deri and Yishai were interviewed together.  This was a momentous occasion, for both these men were cooperating for the first time in 13 years since Deri was convicted of bribery in his political office of cabinet minister, and served a three-year prison sentence from 2000.  Whether these two men will be able to maintain the conciliatory air presented publicly now remains to be seen.  Deri said that he saw Shas as a party representing the “have nots” in a country whose social gaps were widening out of control.  Both emphasized in the interview that they have compromised their personal viewpoints for the sake of party unity and the upcoming elections, now scheduled for January 22, 2013.

For those who have taken an interest in the Messianic community in Beer Sheva, the Chief Rabbi of Beer Sheva is Yehuda Deri, the brother of Arieh.  The Israeli Police Chief responsible for Arieh’s indictment for bribery in 1993 was Yaakov Terner, who became the Mayor of Beer Sheva in 1998, the same year that Yehuda Deri became the Chief Rabbi.  In November of that year, the Beer Sheva Chief Rabbi, with the help of Yad L’Achim (an anti-Messianic organization) organized an attack against the Nachalat Yeshua Messianic Congregation in Beer Sheva.

Will the leading Israeli political figures continue to make their pilgrimage to Rav Ovadia Yosef, now that he has brought back an unrepentant convicted criminal to the top of Israel’s power-brokers?  Will the major political parties, led by the Likud, continue to seek SHAS participation a government coalition in the event of a political victory in the upcoming elections?  Will the Israeli voters protest the corruption at the top — and not only of SHAS — in their choices in the next election?  Will  Messianic believers in Yeshua continue to find hope in such a state of affairs, or will we look to the One whom has been appointed by God as His choice of King in Zion?  Jesus says that all who come before Him [to presume to take His rightful place] is a thief and a robber.  May the true Son of the Father return in our days!

BIBLE VERSES FOR BEER SHEVA

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 YHVH, 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  —  YHVH 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

Josh 15:21,28; 19:1-2; Neh 11:25-30 — Beer Sheva originally given to Judah, but Simeon received it, but later was absorbed back into Judah

1Sam. 3:20  —  all Israel reckoned from Dan to Beer Sheva, the land’s major southern city in the northern Negev

1Sam. 8  —  Samuel’s sons were unjust judges in B-S, resulting in Israel asking for a king like the gentiles (other nations) had to rule over them

1Kings 19:3-8  —  Elijah ran for his life from Jezebel, and in his despair found rest, direction, comfort in B-S from the LORD, and rested under a white broom tree

Is. 35:1-6; 51:3  —  the desert will bloom and blossom as a rose and become as the Garden of the LORD, 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 ofIsrael:  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 Beer Sheva”

–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 YHVH God has determined to place His Name, to blessIsrael (including B-S and theNegev) 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.  [Neh 11:25-30]);  also true in Yeshua’s day (John 7:1; 11:7-8)

SOME INFLUENCES UPON BEER SHEVA IN PERSPECTIVE

The Faithfulness of God to Beer Sheva, the City of the Fathers

  • Good and hopeful beginnings
  • Troublesome present
  • Glorious future

ISRAEL:  The People and The Land

Gen. 50:24  — Israel promised the Land of Canaan by the Word of – and on oath from-  YHVH God

Rom. 9:4-5  —  To Israel belong the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the Law, and the service of God, and the promises; whose are the fathers, and of whom concerning the flesh Messiah (Christ) came.

Is. 42:6; 49:6  —  Israel to be a light to the nations through the Light

Is. 41:8-9  —  Israel to be the servant of the LORD through the Servant

Deut. 28:13  — Israel to be the head, and not the tail, of the nations

Mal. 4:6  (3:24 Heb.)  —  the land blessed only through obedience and faith of its people (the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob)

Lk. 1:67-75;  Acts 3:13-26  —  the fullness of blessing only through repentance and faith in God’s appointed and anointed authority:  the throne of David and the rightful heir, the Lord Jesus Christ (Yeshua the Messiah)

2Kings 22:13; Amos 2:4; John 7:1; 11:7-8  —  Judah (Judea), in which portion lies Beer Sheva (as Simeon’s portion was absorbed by Judah’s) is hardened to the Word of the Lord

Jer. 3:8; Rom. 10:2-3  —  Pride of Judah heightened through self-righteousness as being the visible remnant after the division and subsequent exile of the northern kingdom

Acts 7:51  —  Israel/Jews have always resisted the Holy Spirit of  God

Jer. 9:22-23  —  Boasting in wisdom, might, and wealth, rather than in understanding and knowing YEHOVAH and His truth, love, holiness

Deut. 7:6-8; Jer. 3:18; Dan. 11:29-45  —  The chosen Land and People of God, therefore embattled

Lev. 26:30-35; Rom. 11  —  in physical and/or spiritual exile, due to not sanctifying God’s provision of the Sabbath rest, through idolatry and rejection of– and consequent apostacy against and blasphemy of– the true God and His Son:  all resultant from unbelief, unrepentance (stubborn and stiff-necked; hardness of heart), tending towards dishonor, disobedience, rebellion

Hos. 4:12  — Israel full of spirit of harlotries (unfaithfulness, immorality, uncleanness)

Hos. 4:6; Ezek. 36:20-23; Mal. 1:10-14; 2:11;  1John 2:22; 2John 7  —  prevailing lying spirit (Jesus not the Messiah in Judaism) and antichrist spirit (denial of the Father and the Son in Islam, and also in Judaism concerning the specific truth of Messiah in Jesus):  hence the Name of the Lord is profaned and made a reproach through  misrepresentation (betrayal in some degree) and through false religion and worship done in God’s name.

Rom. 11:11-32  —  “Replacement theology” is prevalent among all three major religions, promoting pride and self – whether individually, nationally, religious affiliation – rather than humility and thankfulness  for the sovereign grace, mercy, wisdom, and faithfulness of God.  The LORD our God is one LORD, and He is the Creator and the Savior through (in) the Man Christ Jesus.

Matt. 25:3; Rev. 3:1, 15-17  —  nominal Christianity:  dismissing or de-emphasizing of new birth by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit; of Jesus being the Messiah, the unique and only-begotten Son of God; of theKingdom ofGod literally being fulfilled on the earth by the return of the Lord Jesus

JERUSALEM  (“inheritor of peace”)

Deut. 12:21; Ps. 76:3; Zech. 12:2-3; Matt. 4:8-10  —  the chosen city for theTemple and Throne of God on Earth, and so embattled for the rule over the world (either satanically or divinely)

Ps. 48:2; 122:6-8; Is. 62:1-7; Jer. 33:16  —  to be the city of peace and of righteousness:  the city of the great King

1Kings 11:13  —  represents allIsrael as seat of power and authority:  capital ofIsrael and of the Earth

Rev. 11:8  —  presently has spirit ofSodom andEgypt (immorality, pride, bondage to lust and sin, enmity against YEHOVAH God and His people)

Matt. 5:12; 23:37; Lk. 13:34; Rev. 11:8  —  city which kills the prophets and crucified the Lord

1Chron. 11:4; Lk. 21:24  —  a Jebusite city in origin and spirit;Jerusalem is trodden down (in order to reveal and establish God’s foundation) until the time of the Gentiles be fulfilled

Ps. 122:6-8  —  Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, that Beer Sheva will have her peace, too.