Israel, how do I describe you to a world that believes you to be irrelevant, a Church that largely rejects you as her roots and an enemy, Islam, that daily calls for your destruction.
How do I describe your incomparable beauty – a Nation so small but mighty and yet filled with every contrast. From the snow-capped mountains of Hermon and the Golan to the Californian like beaches of Tel Aviv, Netanya and Caesarea, not forgetting the gorgeous Galilee. From the deserts and caves to floating on the Dead Sea, the old rugged walls of Jerusalem to the futuristic city growing out of your midst. Beauty so awe-inspiring for the reality is you simply should not exist! A beauty that mists my eyes with tears and causes me to look heavenward to the One, the Almighty One, and only reason you are here!
Israel, you are a sign and wonder on the earth today! The thousands of years you spent scattered as outcasts in the Nations, to the Holocaust that couldn’t break you but became the making of you, and the proving of God’s Word to be true when He brought you home and now before our awestruck eyes we watch Him building and restoring you! Israel you should not exist! Surrounded by enemies calling for your destruction on every side and within, yet you grow in strength, flourish in the face of opposition and instead of destruction you’re reconstruction is unstoppable!
The world says “show me your God is true”! Israel I point to you! Infallible proof!
I see the prophetic fulfilment everywhere of the words carved into your walls as we drive into and out of Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum:
“I shall put my breath into you and you shall live again. I shall set you upon your own soil”. Ezekiel 37:14
Israel we share your glory and your pain, it is the reason we came. With my husband and our 5 children, we are on the highest alert as we walk your streets and eat in your restaurants. Your security forces are among the best in the world! You bring your children from the 4 corners of the world and we bring ours too – they, like yours, see God’s power and hand at work on your behalf as we teach them to love, bless and honour you!
We heard the gunfire from our hotel room and instantly knew…. terror had struck again; how our hearts ache for all you go through! Two Israeli Police officers were shot dead by three Muslim Palestinians who ran to the Temple Mount for refuge. If it wasn’t for the quick, sacrificial and protective action of the Israeli defence Force this could have been a rampage.
Despite that, I listen in amazement to Jewish families visiting from New York in our hotel at breakfast – my husband tells me off (with a smile) for being nosey and eves dropping! For all your American ease and comforts you speak of what you can only describe as a ‘calling’ to return – your young people go willingly to the army and children as young as my daughter who is eight, cry at the thought of leaving you – the drawing so clearly ‘God’s calling’ prophesied in His Word, not a ‘coincidence’ but a ‘God-incidence’, so much stronger than fate!
Israel, how do I describe my horror at the news of yet another fatal truck ramming in Jerusalem this week – killing four instantly at what was described as a horrific battle scene and terribly injuring seventeen! If this had happened in the UK, USA or Europe the news would be everywhere – instead, to my disgust, as it happened to Jews in Jerusalem, there is silence from there! Well I will not be silent! Israeli lives matter – you are invaluable and there are many who care!
How do I describe you Israel, a people so rejected, betrayed, persecuted and although hated, today accepted by your Father again? You must be among the most difficult, stubborn, sometimes arrogant and hardest hearted people I have ever met! You frustrate me and sometimes cause my heart to scream but deep within every part of my heart chooses to love you still! There is love not dependent on reciprocation or feelings but obedient love to God’s will! There is a term in Israel that describes the Jewish people like a Sabra – a type of cactus fruit – prickly on the outside but soft and sweet on the inside. When I lived among you how I found this to be true! You took me in as your own and treated me like family – I saw beyond your heart of stone; that in order to survive you had learned to trust no-one!
Thank you for letting me in – may I be faithful to your memory, my once boss who became my Israeli “Abba”, General Zvi Givati! May I give the world a glimpse of the wonder that is you, your people and the truth that the media conceal and refuse to reveal! Indescribable, Israel, is my love for you and God’s love too, not dependent on what you say or do! Although faithless, God will remain faithful to you!
Jerusalem… how do I describe your beauty? From our balcony I could watch and pray endlessly – you fascinate and captivate me like nowhere else on Earth!
So what about your so-called irrelevance? You make up a mere 0.2% of the world’s population and yet per capita you contribute more to the world than any other people group on the planet. Astounding fact! Nations seek to boycott you – well perhaps they should ban your medical advances, technological innovations and even their mobiles and iPhones too! I, for one would like to say “thank you”!
So what about the Church’s so-called replacement theology and rejection of you, well that proved unfounded and untrue when you came back from obscurity – go ahead and flourish Israel, arise and shine – it’s what you do!
As for your enemies on every side and within calling for your destruction, well, since you were reestablished as Israel’s sovereign nation in 1948, in spite of every battle that rages against you and evil that seeks to take you out, Israel you always win – you always will – the prophetic pages of God’s Word leave no doubt!
What about the age-old dispute between the Arabs and the Jews, more recently the Palestinians too? In the wise words of my Palestinian friend many years ago now, that welcomed the freedom and opportunities afforded by Israel, “Who better to settle a dispute between two brothers than the Father!” Arabs and Palestinians, God has great plans to bless and prosper you, lay aside your hatred and raging anger and get ready to be amazed at what your Heavenly Father will do!
On the Jewish controlled beach in Caesarea on this trip, I watched as Palestinians enjoyed the sand, sun and sea – the clean, cared for beaches, freely. Surrounded and accepted by the Jewish people this is the way it should be. Sadly this would not be reciprocated to an Israeli that ventured, even mistakenly, into a Palestinian controlled zone, an unfair and wrong reality that you won’t hear reported on by the BBC! The tragic truth is that often what is given over to the Palestinians becomes hostile ground, a springboard to attack Israel from and in all honesty, desecrated and filthy – visit the Temple Mount and you’ll find graffiti and weeds growing in their Holy Place – under Israeli control this would not happen – it would be a disgrace!
From our hotel balcony we hear the gunfire now every night as riots continue to break out. The peace of Jerusalem is shattered as the sirens sound again. We watch as Police cars race through your beautiful gates of the Old City to reinstate calm in the storm of further uprisings. The Media reports the Palestinians are being oppressed and not allowed to go to worship on the Temple Mount. A far cry from the truth. The Palestinians and Muslims refuse to go, saying Israel has changed the status quo by placing increased security measures, metal detectors and cameras, there! Hello, wake up world, after last Friday’s terrorist attacks in the Old City our holiday status quo and that of every tourist and Israeli, shifted too. What about the weapons concealed and found by Israeli forces on the Temple Mount – why does the world not report on that?
No wonder Muslims oppose increased security measures that are there to protect not only my children but bring security to innocent tourists, Palestinians and Jews. If they had nothing to hide and were not ashamed to reveal what goes on in secret, they would not worry about security measures bringing anything to light. It is nothing more than common sense and the basic protective measures you would expect any democratic and responsible government to take. Oh world, when will you awake?
Israeli security forces risk their lives to protect their Nation continually against Islamic extremism – that is the truth and heart of it. They lay their lives on the line to preserve and protect yours and mine – the Jewish people, tourists and the Palestinians too – yes, Palestinians too – who rage against Israel and yet Israel you continue to do what many, but thankfully not all Palestinians, refuse to do – value, respect and honour the gift of freedom and life! Israel gives their lives and youth for me and you! As a tourist, your smiles, heartfelt “Shalom” to us and presence are a welcome relief, like an ice cream to my children in the blazing heat! Thank you!
We live in unprecedented times – danger is all around us. God wants to encourage you today, as I have encouraged my precious children all holiday, that there is no safer place to be than in the will of God! “There is no need to fear when you dwell here!” Psalm 91 describes this haven as “living in the secret place of the most high God, abiding under His protection!”
Driving from Nazareth to Galilee my eyes were closed, resting, in the front passenger seat after our early start from Jerusalem. I suddenly felt impressed to pray, that there was impending danger on the road and a clear strategy had been laid out by the enemy to take my life. My eyes darted open as I prayed! What I can only describe as the beautiful Holy Spirit spoke to my heart the scripture “with long life I will satisfy you and show you my great salvation”, followed by “to see God’s promise of long life you need God’s great saving power (salvation) every day”. As I declared this truth a huge lorry lost control, swerving across the road in front of us, it’s back-end lashing back and forth ferociously and threateningly before our eyes. David let out a loud “Woa” – slamming his brakes. Miraculously we and the lorry in front were safe! I saw the power of God’s Word and great saving power at work first hand and my family witnessed His miraculous salvation again!
One closing word to you Israel and Jerusalem… it is such a paradox how it breaks my heart to leave you. In all honesty, my mother’s heart wants to fly my children safely away, my ‘lion’ heart aches to stay – for Israel you and your children refuse to run safely away…. Israel, I will love you and pray everyday. You are running at speed towards your greatest destiny and victory – I have heard heaven say “with longevity I will satisfy you and show you my GREAT SAVING POWER – Israel this is your finest hour!”
Israel, you gave us the prophets, our values, our concept of law, and even our hygiene standards come from you; with your lives you preserved God’s Word! We owe you so much – how can I be silent in the midst of so many lies and the propaganda against you? May many come and see for themselves the wonder you are – the truth needs to be seen and heard!
Israel you have risen from the ashes, ascended from the ruins, what once was a distant dream is now a very present reality! From the realms of the impossible, you’re resurrection is a modern-day miracle….!
Israel, you inspire me, never cease to amaze me, speak of history to me and our prophetic destiny that is entwined with your victory! Whether Arab, Palestinian, gentile or Jew – you are invited to bless Israel for then God promises to bless you too! (Will you join me? I’ve proved it to be true)!
Genesis 12:2-3 NLT
I will make you into a great nation (Israel). I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.”
“The watchmen shout and sing with joy, for before their very eyes they see the Lord returning to Jerusalem. Let the ruins of Jerusalem break into joyful song, for the LORD has comforted his people. He has redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord has demonstrated his holy power before the eyes of all the nations. All the ends of the earth will see the victory of our God.”
Father God, I pray for the peace of Jerusalem today as your Word encourages us to. May there be blessing, protection and prosperity within her ancient walls – through your strength and favour, cause her to stand out and shine brightly among the Nations – strong and tall! Impenetrable against all the attacks of the enemy – through your miraculous power she will not fall! Arise and shine Israel – this is your appointed time – as I bless her today I thank you that blessing rebounds back on all that is mine! Burst every dam – its double portion time! In Jesus almighty name. Amen.
Isaiah 62:6-12 (NLT)
O Jerusalem, I have posted watchmen on your walls; they will pray day and night, continually. Take no rest, all you who pray to the LORD. Give the LORD no rest until he completes his work, until he makes Jerusalem the pride of the earth. The LORD has sworn to Jerusalem by his own strength: “I will never again hand you over to your enemies. Never again will foreign warriors come and take away your grain and new wine. You raised the grain, and you will eat it, praising the LORD. Within the courtyards of the Temple, you yourselves will drink the wine you have pressed.” Go out through the gates! Prepare the highway for my people to return! Smooth out the road; pull out the boulders; raise a flag for all the nations to see. The LORD has sent this message to every land: “Tell the people of Israel, ‘Look, your Savior is coming. See, he brings his reward with him as he comes.'” They will be called “The Holy People” and “The People Redeemed by the Lord .” And Jerusalem will be known as “The Desirable Place” and “The City No Longer Forsaken.”