JACOB BECOMING THE ISRAEL OF GOD – 29 Feb 2012

Today, Israel is acting like Jacob — caring for the things of God, but seeking them by their own abilities in their own strength, rather than by the Spirit of YHVH, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac. (Gen 31:42; Zech 4:6)

Jacob received his new and spiritual name, Israel, only after he had struggled with the Man all night, the night before he would meet again his brother Esau after deceitfully obtaining the birthright and blessing from their father Isaac. (Gen 32)  Jacob knew from early on in his life that the covenant of God with his father and grandfather was something of great value.  Esau did not care for such things of future destiny.  He cared only about the present moment. 

Jacob had struggled with his uncle Laban; with the knowledge that his brother wanted to kill him and deprive him of the inheritance which he himself (Esau/Edom) would never inherit.  Now Jacob, hoping to find favor in Esau’s eyes — hoping that he might not kill him, and allow him to live peaceably — was rightly fearful. (Gen 33)

Jacob met ‘the Man’ — who was Peniel/The Face of God — and struggled with Him all night.  Jacob would not let Him go until He blessed him.  The Man, whose name is Wonderful, gave Jacob — who acknowledged his name as such — a new name:  Israel, meaning “He will reign with God”, or, “God will reign”. (Gen 32:28;and reminded again at Gen 35:9-12

Israel will reign with the God who reigns after he has persevered in the continuing struggle with man and God . . . and prevails when she at last sees Him whom they have pierced, and all their sins are forgiven and put away.  (Zech 12:10-14; Rom 11:25-36)  Then, the natural strength of Jacob will be forever broken — as typified when The Man merely touched the socket of Jacob’s hip, laming him for the rest of his life as a reminder — and in their weakness and dependence upon their God, Israel will know His mighty ability and strength, who could have overwhelmed him. (2Cor 11:22-30; 12:7-10; Mt 26:30-35,69-75)  Both Peter and Paul are given to us to learn the way of the cross as we follow the Lamb.  Thank God for His grace!

Israel has been given as an example to the Church.  The God of Jacob (Gen 3:13-15; Acts 3:12-13) works His redeeming glory in Christians just as He does in the Jewish people.  Not all Israel is Israel; not all the Church is the Church — but those, like Jacob, who overcome — by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony.  Not by ability, nor by power, but by the grace of our God.  And we will rule and reign with Messiah Yeshua! (Rev 12:10-11; 2:24-28; 3:19-22)

Our struggle and tribulation with man, with nations, within families, with history, with God will go on until the end, just as Israel’s and the Jewish people. (Mt 24:9-14)  Let us press on in faith in the goodness of our Father, and His exceedingly great and precious promises which He has given us through Jesus, enduring, so that after we have done the will of God, we may receive the promise of the resurrection and eternal life. (2Pt 1:1-4; Heb 10:3239

Psalm 129:1-5  A song of ascents

‘ “Many a time they have afflicted me from my youth,”, let Israel now say — “Many a time they have afflicted me from my youth; yet they have not prevailed against me!   “The plowers plowed my back; they made their furrows long.”

YHVH is righteous; He has cut in pieces the cords of the wicked.  Let all those who hate Zion be put to shame and turned back. . . .’

Praise the Lord!

HUMBLING OURSELVES – 7 Aug 2011

A call for a national fast by the believers in Israel has gone out for this week, Aug 8-9, coinciding with the Jewish day of mourning over the destruction of the two temples, and for other calamitous events which have occured on or near the same Hebrew calendar date of the 9th day of the 5th month.

The Body of Messiah, as a priesthood representing our peoples before God, is called to intercede for our nation in the face of all the existential threats she faces.  For us to have any authority before God on behalf of our unbelieving people, the believers must face squarely our own sins as God’s people under the blood of the New Covenant at this time.

Not only are there external enemies and threats to seek to destroy Israel from being a nation anymore, but there are both external and internal agents seeking to prevent Israel and the Jewish people from being what God has created and redeemed her for.  We still, even as born-again Spirit-baptized and -filled believers in the truth of who Jesus Christ is, too often show a likeness to Israel who did/do not want to have the living God be her King, but wanted/want a king like the Gentiles have.  We want to be like the Gentiles, rather than a holy people serving the Holy One, and being a servant nation as a royal priesthood to bless other nations and peoples for the glory of our Father in Heaven and the Lord Yeshua Messiah/Jesus Christ.  Too many Christians — or by any other name that clearly identifies any and all believers with Yeshua/Jesus — want a Jesus that is like the ‘holy’ men of other religions, and not the unique and only-begotten Son of God who alone is the Mediator between God and men.

As we humble ourselves and seek God’s face, let us acknowledge our own sins first — as is required of the priests serving YHVH God — according to the calling and ministries we have in Messiah/Christ, so that there might be healing and deliverance and revival within the household of faith.  Then, perhaps those outside will come and see what the Holy Spirit is doing that brings lasting hope in the God of hope.  All their sins are a consequence of not believing in the name of the Son of God; all our own sins are for not believing what He says.