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July 11, 2006

Note: When I endeavor to teach something from Scripture as I see it, I am not demanding that you see as I do. Rather, I ask that you consider it from where you are in your learning from “the Spirit of Truth”. Then whatever it is, I’d be glad to hear from you, from your point of reference. Thank you - and in the bond of love, Chris J.


Shabbat Shalom (a Sabbath of Peace) from Jerusalem,

Please read Psalm 15.

I’m literally dwelling in Zion, but in Psalm 15 there is - as so often in the Bible -a second meaning which encompasses not only Zion, but believers everywhere in the world. It is a spiritual AND a physical place.

The Psalm tells how to steady our lives - how to keep our ship from rocking! In the first verse and the last (verse 5), it speaks to those who abide and dwell in Zion and shall not be moved. That sounds like security!

I counted eleven identification marks of such stable persons:

1. Walks upright

2. Works righteousness

3. Speaks truth in heart. (This reminds me of the poet’s line, To thine own self be true and thou canst to none others be false.)

4. Backbites not with his tongue. (Let’s read James 3 again - and memorize it - again!)

5. Nor does evil to his neighbor;

6. Nor takes up a reproach to his neighbor. (Does not keep repeating gossip.)

7. In whose eyes a vile person is condemned. (Held in check.)

8. Honors them that fear (in reverence) the LORD.

9. He that swears to his own hurt and changes not. (Tells it like it is and witnesses to the truth no matter how it may go against oneself - and whatever others may think.)

10. Puts not out money to usury (to the poor, or to one’s own brethren, according to Exodus 22:25)

11. Nor takes reward against the innocent. (Can’t be bribed.)

The meaning of those 11 can be developed a lot - but it give us something to chew on now.

Israel News

The first week-end I was here, The Jerusalem Post contained items we had touched on in our current Bible Light on the News

  • It is now completed: Magen David Adom (Israel’s “Red Cross”) is a full and official member of the International Red Cross after a 57 year wait. The conference amended its statues to incorporate a third official emblem, the “Red Crystal,” a diamond standing on one corner with the Star of David within, that now has the same status as the red cross and red crescent. The MDA has always been there at every disaster anyway, and now it will not be an “outsider” but have equal participation. The article went on to say that creating the red crystal was an additional protective emblem for the movement.

Interesting? The emblem appears as the Star of David within a Jewel (Jew-El - to make a play on words, which I first heard from a friend). The tribes of Israel are represented in the Bible as jewels in the breastplate of the High Priest.

Let your mind and Bible knowledge meditate on that one.

We had an item about Knesset Member Otniel Schneller in our last Bible Light on the News, concerning a map he’d drawn regarding the settlements in the West Bank. Now he has stirred up controversy over “gay rights” by stating they should be barred as a group visiting the Knesset.

Showdown With Hamas - Natan Sharansky (We were living here in 1985 & 86 -- when he was released from Russian prison and came home to Israel. Read his fascinating true story of being a Rufusnik, suffering in Russian prison because he taught Hebrew.) A key source of inspiration for US Pres. Bush’s foreign policy, Sharansky has consistently warned against the dangers of blindly promoting elections in societies that do not meet the “town square test” - whether people can freely say what they want in the town square without fear for their lives or freedom. Israel’s action in Gaza has focused the spotlight where it belongs: on the Hamas regime.

Operation Summer Rains was launched to retrieve kidnapped Cpl. Gilad Shalit, but the operation has progressed beyond a hostage retrieval mission. There have been months of incessant Kassam rockets fired on Israeli western Negev towns, especially Sderot which has been reeling with these attacks, yet told to be quiet.

The Prime Minster is still adamant on the realignment of settlements in the “West Bank” (Biblical Judea/Samaria). And since Gaza’s constant attack has come to a showdown, many are asking the question; “How will Israel be able to prevent similar Kassam attacks from the West Bank after realignment?” Sound familiar? Israel’s Bible-believing friends have asked that question many years. See our website with the map about the mountains being strategic areas for Israel’s enemies to attack virtually all Israel.

All this in Gaza came after PM Olmert met with Palestinian Authority President Abbas in Petra where Ohmert said, “I am ready to put everything on the line for one purpose, to achieve peace.” It is my opinion as a friend of Israel that putting everything on the line to the enemy will not bring peace. During this Gaza incident, Olmert tried to get Abbas to bring Hamas under control - but he could not and seemingly would not.

Well, dear Bible Light friends, this letter is already too long to relate my personal news, which I will do, God willing, in another letter in a few days.

I trust all is well with you. I love to get your return e-mails. In fact I thrive on them for I need to know I’m not alone. And if you prefer to not continue receiving them, I’d like to know that, too.

                    In His Love,

                  Chris Josephson