Tag Archives: Peace

Always remember, never again!

6a00d83453e66269e201b8d2863f46970c-320wiBlessed Easter Season to you.  April is a big month for our ministry, and I’ll plan to go into more depth in the newsletter, but April 1, Easter Sunday, is during Passover celebrating the deliverance of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt.  That’s no surprise as we know that Jesus’ death and resurrection were accomplished during this festival.  It is these events that are the fulfillment of the prophetic events of the Exodus.  Our Passover Seder this year hosted over 112 guests, both Jewish and non-Jewish, and both those who celebrated this fulfillment and those who as yet, do not believe.  At the end of every Seder, everyone joyfully cries out, “Next Year in Jerusalem,” expressing the ancient hope and the modern aspiration of returning to Jerusalem.  And those of us who have received the deliverance from sin that Messiah effected, express the sure hope that we will celebrate together in the New Jerusalem too.

But that doesn’t keep me from wanting to be in Jerusalem now.  It is a beautiful city filled with wonderful people and cultures.  But it is a city that is constantly reminded that the world and those in it are full of disdain for this city, country and people.   A Jewish lady who is a friend of mine often commiserates about the world’s antipathy for the Jews.  Her plaintive refrain is often, “Why does the world hate the Jews so much?”  And the only answer I can give is that the prince of this world, Satan, hates the Jews because it was the King of the Jews who gave him his greatest defeat.  Since that historic Passover, Satan has taken his rage out against both the ethnic and the spiritual family of Jesus.

April 11 is Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day.  The determined refrain of this day is “Always remember.  Never again.”  In Israel, sirens are heard and everything stops in remembrance of this tragedy that in many ways, led to the establishment of Israel.  It is a Jewish homeland that is thought to be a place of safety in the world.  Yet, the world’s attack on this place of safety is clear evidence of Satan’s rage, but he is more subtle than even this.  For he continues to blind many of those who survived and those of us who came after to the reality of a holocaust to come in the time to come.  We are blessed to be able to serve many holocaust survivors, though their numbers are dwindling.  Please keep praying that their eyes would be opened to the truth, that they would truly find their peace in Messiah Y’shua.

May the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts and minds in Messiah, Y’shua!

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The Six-Day War, Nes Gadol Hayah Sham!

UntitledYom Yerushalayim was last month on May 23 in Israel.  Otherwise known as “Jerusalem Day,” it is an Israeli national holiday commemorating the reunification of Jerusalem, which happened following the Six-Day war.  Because of the differences between the Jewish calendar and the Gregorian calendar,  we mark the observance of Jerusalem Day in May (this year), but June 5-10 marks the 50th anniversary of the Six-Day war.  I can’t believe that it has been that long, and I remember it like it was yesterday. We, the American Jewish community, were sure that this was the end of Israel, and yet, much like our dreidel proclaims at Chanukkah, “a great miracle happened there!”

Many people debate about whether Israel has any historical right to the land that they are in.  Some make a biblical argument based on God’s promises to Abraham, others refute that and base their refutation on theological arguments and spiritualize Israel as only the Church and the promised land as “heaven.”  (Certainly Paul, uses Israel to refer to the Church, but also to the land and to the ethnic people…see Romans 9-11.)  Still others refute such a right because they see Israel as an oppressive government that has displaced an indigenous people, the “Palestinians.”  No matter what, Israel is a lightening rod that draws a lot of opinion, anger and attention.

While this is not an excursus on Israel, I just have to say that regardless of all the opinion out there,  there is a modern, historic foundation to Israel’s right to the land that is hard to refute.  It started on November 29, 1947 when the United Nations adopted a partition plan for Palestine following the British withdrawal from the region in 1948.  Effectively, the United Nations gave the area a “two-state solution” that we hear so much about today.  Israel and Palestine were created and the Jewish Agency for Palestine accepted the plan, despite the fact that the newly created Israel would have “indefensible” borders.  But the nations that surrounded Israel, Egypt, Transjordan, Iraq and Syria, along with the newly created “Palestinians,” rejected the plan and attacked Israel.  Anyone who believes a two-state solution would bring peace to the Middle East just needs to study history!

A dear friend of mine was an American military observer in Israel during the Six-Day war.  I remember him saying that the Israeli victory was nothing short of miraculous, that with God there is no such thing as “indefensible” borders, and clearly God is not done with His Jewish people.  These observations are also hard to refute.  Thank you for helping us share the Gospel here and in Israel!




Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem

shapeimage_3It seems that the events in Cairo have moved many to pray for Jerusalem.  And certainly, the riots and subsequent resignation of Hosni Mubarek do not bode well for a secure border on Israel’s southwestern flank, especially as Gaza also shares a border with Egypt.

The overthrow of the Mubarek regime has long been a goal of militant Islamists, both from within Egypt and from outside.  Many of radical Islam’s splinter terrorist organizations have come from Egypt, and some have probably been born from Mubarek’s iron hand in Egypt.  It is certainly a scary time for Israel, and for us in the United States.

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!”  A very appropriate thought right now.  It comes to us from one verse of Scripture, Ps. 122:6.  And yet, it has spawned countless ministries that will show you how to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.  One such ministry is Save Jerusalem by Dr. Mike Evans.

I got a phone call from a supporter of ours in Oklahoma, a retired pastor upon whose heart is to pray for Jerusalem.  He called me to “check out” the legitimacy of Save Jerusalem, and whether I thought that he should support them.  As I told him, I never want to be the determiner of which ministries receive support, but we must be discerning with our support.  Supporting Save Jerusalem and many other such ministries do nothing to bring people to faith.  They are good for Israel’s economy, and often gain the “imprimatur” of the State of Israel (such as Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu), but do nothing to share the Gospel.  More often than not, they participate in the error of “politically correct” ecumenism that builds good relations between Christians and Jews, as long as Jesus is not mentioned.  There is a good article on this tension written by David Brickner, Executive Director of Jews for Jesus, that I will post on our website here.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love Israel and have great respect for Benjamin Netanyahu, and we should pray for peace, and perhaps especially in Israel.  But I love the gospel more.  I don’t want to minimize David’s cry to pray for Jerusalem, but I am reminded that as Y’shua stood outside Jerusalem, praying for her, he lamented “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, …How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!  …For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'” (Matt 23:37-39)  The only peace that will come for Israel is the Sar Shalom (Prince of Peace), Y’shua, Jesus.  We must be intentional in our outreach to Jewish people for the sake of the gospel and the Sar Shalom.

http://www.ChaivShalom.com http://www.BurningBushLCMS.org