Jerusalem, Israel • March 8, 2006
Shalom from the City Whose Name means “Peace”,
“When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:38). Are you guilty as I am in quoting only part of that verse? It’s easy to omit “lift up your heads”. Can we actually “look up” with our heads hanging low? Hum-m-m! We often express ourselves, like, “Oh, I’m so tired of this life; I want the Lord to come back.” Our heads are hanging low and the body language we display is discouragement.
And when we listen to the news, there IS much to discourage! Iran has threatened to wipe Israel off the map and now is threatening the GREAT USA! The enemies of Israel are about to take charge of our ports and with our permission. -- I say “enemies” because any that join in the Israel boycott, no matter what else they profess, are enemies. That is a good litmus test: for anyone who curses God’s people will be cursed (Gen. 12:3). That is not only a Bible verse, but history proclaims it over and over. The Lord said that he that touches Israel touches the apple of God’s eye (Zechariah 2:8). Who dares try to blind God?
One may respond, “Why? God is nor a respecter of persons.” No, but HE IS a respecter of His covenants, and He is the God of promise Who always keeps His. WE have the same God and the same Book; if He went back on His promises to them, how can we hope? Don't worry and lift up your head, for He will not fail either of us.
Here in Jerusalem, I meet with several groups for Bible studies and prayer. I hope you are joining us in spirit there to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Last night, a couple who live in Arad were at the meeting. They told of a young woman from Sudan who with her little son (and expecting another child) bravely found her way to the border of Israel and cast herself on the mercy of the border guards. Since she is a Christian seeking refuge, Israeli authorities have asked Christians to take her in. This couple had us praying about that situation. Who among us will step forth and take her in? Genocide is taking place Sudan and other places, and incidents like this bring it home.
In other news: It is so foreign to our culture to read about the mother of a woman suicide bomber being disappointed that her daughter was caught and blew up herself before she could kill a lot of people. The mother wasn't grieving for her daughter but rather that she failed in her mission!! Why do we have these values - that of sanctifying life - while others do not? We got it from the Jews’ Bible, of course. But our country’s history of how we have treated Israel is not lily white by any means.
I could go on and on, but you are too busy to read it all. However, you can see I’m gathering “steam” for the next Bible Light on the News.
I know you have concerns and I do not mean to ignore them nor scold you for not doing more for Israel and the rest of the world. Living here, somehow makes me more conscious of the hurting in the rest of the world, too. Yes, let us lift up our heads and our eyes and seek with all our hearts to be like Him Who is The Great Shepherd of the sheep. He is calling and training us to be under-shepherds who “have the mind of Christ” (Phil. 2:5) - that mind and heart full of love and compassion for others. We are all so self-centered that, as Elmer used to say, “A toothache bothers us more than a war somewhere else.”
My time is drawing near when I must go back to Kansas for a few weeks. There are a couple of doors open to me in Kansas and in Texas and then I will return, God willing, as soon as possible.
May the Word of the Lord be your daily strength and His indwelling presence keep joy bells ringing in your heart.
In His Love,