I haven’t really been following the events in the Middle East, I’ve been too busy guarding my heart against the issues of death but, as I read Isaiah 43 today I felt compelled to pray for Israel.
As I look up at the cloudless blue sky outside my window, I think about how big this earth is. That only 5 hours across the globe somebody else’s sky is stripped with flashing fire and black columns of smoke and I shake my head at humanity. It saddens me.
But what saddens me the most is when people forget that life is involved. People are dying, people are hurting, people are grieving, people are confused and afraid. Yet, to read the news here you would think that the only people dying are Palestinians yet, that isn’t the case. Many Israelis have and will die, war takes no preference yet, I hear words from Christians who seem to perversely rejoice in the fact that God is protecting Israel, as if they think it’s a good thing that people’s lives are being turned upside down.
I wonder whether they have even read the bit in the Bible that says, that two-thirds of Israel will be killed and only a remnant remain? Should we be happy at the stubbornness of man which causes such extreme measures from the hand of God?
Even Israel itself is divided, it seems the most have forgotten why they are fighting and the world joins them in this. ‘Give up your land’ they say, ‘compromise and have peace’. But what they don’t understand or choose to ignore is that to compromise means to disbelieve in the promise that God made to them concerning that land, and this is what the Enemy wants. If Israel compromises, if Israel lifts her hands in surrender then they give up on their promised heritage and they become like everyone else.
Israel show a strength that not many other nations would show, many have bowed under less pressure but Israel stands firm. For those within her that know and believe, they are holding on to more than land, they are holding onto what that land symbolises, the existence of the God of Israel. The God who says,
But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
3 For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.
I give Egypt as your ransom,
Cush and Seba in exchange for you.
4 Because you are precious in my eyes,
and honoured, and I love you,
I give men in return for you,
peoples in exchange for your life.
ESVUK Isa 43:1-4
Can anyone truly argue with these words? You may not understand it, but here lies the crux of it all. The resilience of Israel and the insecurity of the nations. Israel have been formed for a purpose and that purpose is to show the glory of God, this is their Great Commission. I may not agree with everything that they do, or everything that they stand for, my heart may and does bleed for the many people pulled into this battle who will die bloody and gruesome deaths and the people who they will leave behind who will pick up the pieces and I cry ‘mercy O YAH, have mercy’.
I pray for the life and death, the pain and the sorrow, the ugliness and bitterness of it all. I pray for those with the Seal of Life placed on their foreheads and pray that they will remember their God and find the Gift of Eternal life in His Son, Yahushua the Messiah and, turn towards Him as He is the only one who can bring peace in this storm and enlightenment to this darkness. I pray for their leaders to make right and wise decisions knowing that the lives of so many are at stake, and I pray against the media and those people whether Christians, Jews, Arabs or not who view this as a political circus act. How can we find entertainment in such chaos?
Prayer is the only thing that I can do, those who we have contact with in Israel have suffered the loss of friends and relatives already. This is very much real, yet pray is all I can really do, why? Because I believe in the God of Israel, and what He says will come to pass, will surely come to pass and there will be losses along the way. So, as I pray, I must remember not to forget one vital ingredient, to pray that God’s will be done in all of this.
PS: If you haven’t already, now mightbe a good time to read Isaiah 43.
Shalom in Messiah