Israel as God’s Sword and Bow – 9 Aug 2014

Once again, Hamas broke an agreed upon cease-fire, this one intended for at least 72 hours brokered by Egypt and the UN, breaking it yesterday (Friday) morning in the continuing war of Hamas against Israel, which has necessitated Israel’s heavy, yet restricted response.

Last night at our service, a siren went off during the time of the teaching on the whole-hearted commitment that Yeshua insists upon for those who would follow Him.  The congregation had to calmly go off to three locations on the property that we consider to be ‘safe’, even though we have no actual protected shelter from rocket/missile fire that might get through.  In this case, the Iron Dome intercepted two rockets in the air, which was visible from where we were.

A few members of the congregation have suffered from nervousness and anxiety during the month of rocket attacks and disrupted lives.  Some have been afraid to go anywhere with their children without some nearby shelter.  Many children have been confined to their homes, or just outside them.  Persons accustomed to go for walks have seen that curtailed, never knowing if and when a wailing siren may go off and a rocket/missile, or its shrapnel debris, may come down.  Some of the summer camps were canceled.  Many tour groups to Israel have canceled their plans to come.  Many thanks to those of you who have come over during this time despite the insecurity of the situation.

Also last night, V, young man and soldier who was in Gaza, and who came out last week, was able to come to the service, and let us know something of what he faced:  the death of three Israeli soldiers in a booby-trapped house 30 meters from him that Hamas blew up; many houses with tunnel openings, weapons, booby traps.  We are all so thankful for God’s protection over him.

It seems more and more clear that God is drawing some lines in the sand for people to choose on which side to stand.  Hamas, and other jihadi Islamic terrorists groups, are relentless in their drive and determination to “wear out the saints of the Most High” (Dan 8:25), and “to make war with the saints, and to overcome them” (Rev 13:7).  I believe that the Lord is giving us a taste and a glimpse of things to come, and for which we need to become spiritually prepared.  The things going on here, and, for now, even worse in Iraq and Syria, Egypt and Nigeria, Iran, Pakistan and Turkey, are acts of God’s long-suffering towards the repentance unto salvation of many before YESHUA HIMSELF directly intervenes for judgment on behalf of His covenant people and His Holy name. (Rev 6:12-17)  He is calling on us to persevere through to the end, and not give up on faith and hope in His coming, while learning all the more to love and to be forgiving.  (Lk 18:1-8)  Who is competent for these things?!  Thank God for the Holy Spirit within us to help us be overcomers by faith in the blood of Jesus and in the confession of who He is!

The modern State of Israel is the Israel of God in the making.  It seems that God is using Israel, the natural brethren of Yeshua/Jesus and the nation through whom He came in the flesh, as a sword, and as a battle bow (Zech 10:4-5), to bring division within the household and among the nations, just as Jesus Himself came to bring division within households and family relationships.  (Mt 10: 30-39)  Who is on the Lord’s side?

The question of whether the present re-established homeland for the Jewish people is of God, or merely of man, is not dissimilar to the question put to Yeshua/Jesus:  Tell us plainly whether you be the Messiah, the Son of God!?  One’s response and answer to that question will pierce even to the division of soul and spirit, and will have its consequences affecting our relationship with the God of Israel, our personal and church relationships, and of sifting between sheep and goat nations.

There is an important point here:  Yeshua is GOD’s Anointed One/Messiah/Christ. (Ps 2)  He is not Israel’s; He is not ours.  For the believer now in Yeshua, God’s Anointed One has become ours; yet He is still GOD’s chosen and appointed one.  Israel will accept another coming in his own name. (Jn 5:39-47)  The antichrist will be Israel’s choice of ‘Messiah’, before the remnant that is “all Israel” finally accepts Jesus to be the true Savior and King.

The Holy Spirit is working to bring to pass all that is written in the Law and the Prophets, and in the New Testament, too.

There is an abundance of information, both written and visual, ‘out there’ about what is supposedly going on over here.  At the end of the day, each person is going to have to decide for himself who he/she is going to listen to, and where and with whom they/we are going to stand.