Last night, Hamas called for a third intifada and the Palestinian Authority called for a "Day of Rage". As riots broke out last night around Jerusalem, sadly two Palestinians died in the riots. Riots will probably break out today throughout Judea and Samaria, so what should our response be? Simply, be a watchman standing on the walls!
Abraham's rescue of Lot and his household from the four Mesopotamian Kings in the middle of the night was an act of holy chutzpah! Israel's first patriarch demonstrated great faith, courage, family loyalty, and military strategy during this successful rescue operation.
As we enter into day 16 of Operation Protective Shield, we read how a "ceasefire" is proposed by different countries in order to settle the conflict. However, it's not a 'true' peace they want to achieve, but just a pause in the violence. A ceasefire in the eyes of Islam is called a 'hudna', which is understood as a time to regroup and rearm before rising to its ultimate victory. So how does one truly achieve peace?
As the war continues in Israel, much has been made of the success of the Iron Dome defense system which shoots down incoming rockets from the Gaza Strip. While we are very thankful for the protection this system affords, it does present a certain public relations challenge for Israel. Somehow, regardless of the differences in both size and intention between Israel and the Arab world, the global media frequently emphasizes what they call, “moral equivalency”. The perception of Israel's military strength and technical superiority somehow makes her the aggressor with an unfair advantage.
At the beginning of the recent conflict with Hamas, we discovered an app called "red Alert", which we, (along with millions of others around the world), installed on our iPhones. The app sounds an alert warning each time a rocket is fired into Israel, and identifies the city or area where the rocket(s) are expected to land. On the first day of "Operation Protective Edge" we were amazed at how often the alert sounded as hundreds of rockets flew out of Gaza. Driving with friends from the Galilee region back to our home in the Negev, the eerie warning sounded over and over again. With each warning we knew that potentially hundreds of people were in danger. And this has continued day after day for the past 11 days. Even today my phone has gone off incessantly.
We've now received literally hundreds of emails from readers around the world who are lifting Israel and specifically the believers here, in prayer, and what an encouragement this outpouring of support has been to us.
Throughout the history of the modern state of Israel, there have been accounts of angelic interventions protecting Israeli soldiers in the midst of intense warfare. One instance recounted by an Israeli military historian after the 1973 Yom Kippur war, describes an Israeli soldier in the Sinai taking captive an entire Egyptian column and leading them to where the Israeli troops were. The Egyptian commander was asked why he and his men gave themselves up to the lone Israeli soldier. He responded with surprise, ”One soldier? There were thousands of them.”
As some of you may know, a bomb exploded in a bus within blocks of our Jerusalem apartment when we first moved to Israel. That morning, my wife and I, along with our newborn baby, were heading to the city center to run a few errands when suddenly we heard the explosion. Within minutes, the sirens were screaming from every part of the city as officials quickly made their way to the scene. Later that month, the bus I was supposed to be on drove away as I watched it carry away the 50 or so people who would be critically injured and the 8 who would be dead seconds later, when that bus exploded before my very eyes. So, to put it mildly, we have seen firsthand how terrorism works and how it affects people.
The Lord gave us His promise to send us a helper — the Holy Spirit. The word for "helper" in the NT Greek is "paraclete". This word has more meaning then simply "helper" — it was also an ancient term used in warfare. When Greek warriors went onto the battle field, they went out in pairs, so when the enemy attacked they could stand back-to-back, covering each other's blind side. The battle partner in Greek was called a "paraclete" — he was there to watch your back!
We've been encouraged by numerous phone calls and emails over the past few days, telling us that people are praying and fasting for Israel and believers in the land — and we so appreciate it, more than words could ever express!
As the war continues in Israel, I'm finding believers throughout the land filled with peace in spite of the conflict. How is that possible, one may wonder? Could it be these believers are going deep?
by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions 2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us. When the apostle Paul compared our lives to clay pots, he focused not on the earthen vessels, but rather the contents of those […]
Rockets are flying through the skies of Israel and many are landing on the ground. Emails are also flying through cyberspace as people all over the world express support through prayer for us and our nation. Words cannot express our gratitude for your care and concern. In times like these the best and the worst are brought out in people: either the peace, confidence, and strength which come from faith, or the fear and panic which overwhelms the souls of worldly men.
During the days of the Temple, the Levities were in charge of keeping the Temple holy. So throughout the night, the captain would make his rounds to make sure that those assigned were watching attentively, so that no one would defile the Temple during the night. If a watchman was found sleeping, he was beaten and his garments were set on fire so that he had to return home naked in his shame!
As we've been watching the news recently, it seems the word of the hour is crisis! It seems everywhere we turn we hear it — it's a "financial crisis", a "political crisis" — international, environmental, spiritual crisis!
Throughout the United States today, everyone will be celebrating the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence — a document through which leaders of the colonies in the New World broke free from the King of England.
As the United States celebrates the 4th of July tomorrow – Independence day – we're often reminded of the price that was paid for our freedom. But today, in that spirit, I want to recall a time when a heavy price was paid for a translation of our Bible.
We continue looking at Jonah, and find him in Chapter 4 displeased with God's mercy toward Nivevah. The Assyrians were arch-enemies of Israel and among the cruelest nations in history. Instead of being elated that God spared 120,000 Ninevites Jonah preferred to see his own pronouncement of judgment executed by the Lord. "Let those Assyrians get what's coming to them…
When the prophet Jonah entered Nineveh, he gave a message of hopelessness — in 40 days your city will be destroyed! He did not say, Nineveh will be destroyed "unless", but emphatically prophesied destruction to the people of the city — seeming to say their situation was hopeless. Yet hearing this message …
Jonah preached his 8 word sermon and the Ninevites were struck with the fear of the Lord and moved to complete repentance.
The king stood up (a sign of his serious intent), removed his royal robes (a sign of humility)…read more