From Laurette: Notice that whenever the U.S. blesses Israel, there is an outpouring of God's grace. 1948 – the beginning of the Healing Revival (corresponds with formation of the birth of the new nation of Israel and President Truman's backing of Israel — his mother read to him from the Bible when he was a boy; he grew up knowing they are the people of the Book and of the Land, God's chosen people, Israel); and the “Jesus Movement” of the 1960s corresponds with the 1967 war when Israel won in a miraculous 6 days a stunning victory over her enemies — after 18 years of continual attacks from three hostile nations and, threatened with annihilation, Israel struck first, and in six days miraculously drove the armies of those oppressing nations out of Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, Gaza, the Sinai and the Golan Heights.
This is a stunning Prayer Update from Martin and Norma Sarvis. Please pray for Prime Minister Benjamin Netahyahu and the people of Israel, the children of the father of faith, Abraham.
Cloud over the Mount of Olives, Jerusalem
(The Mount lies outside of the pre-’67 borders of the modern State of Israel)
“Be Merciful to me, O God, be merciful to Me! For my soul trusts in You;
And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by.” (Psalm 57:1)
1. “The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states.”
Thus President Obama on Thursday realized the apprehensions we sought to express in last week’s Update. He is the first American leader to publically propose that Israel basically return to the borders she had between 1949 and 1967, a period within which she endured 18 years of continual attacks and harassment from three hostile nations; until, threatened with annihilation, she struck first, and in six days miraculously drove the armies of those oppressing nations out of Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, Gaza, the Sinai and the Golan Heights.
Now the President would have these borders serve as a point for withdrawal of virtually all Jews now living beyond them (in his speech, the President spoke critically of the continuing of “Israeli settlement activity”); and in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, they would become the defining lines of a new state totally unrelated to the armies which occupied them during those 18 years. Having obtained a draft of the speech beforehand, Israel tried desperately to convince the US Administration to change the“1967” wording—but to no avail. With the mention of pre-’67 borders, a line was crossed.
Before travelling to the US, Prime Minister Netanyahu responded immediately and forcefully: Israel will not be withdrawing to the 1967 borders. The next day he met for two intense hours with the President in Washington.
At the public press meeting in the Oval Office which followed, a meeting where leaders are usually expected to highlight areas wherein they have come to agreement, Mr Netanyahu took opportunity to speak out publically his strong disagreement with certain tenets of Obama’s speech the day before, “While Israel is prepared to make generous compromises for peace, it cannot go back to the 1967 lines. These lines are indefensible, because they don’t take into account certain changes that have taken place on the ground, demographic changes.”
Following Obama’s emphases that leaders must as friends “tell the truth”, Netanyahu addressed one of the “emotional” issues which the President had suggested be solved later, the Palestinian demand that millions of descendants of those who fled Israel in 1948 be granted “right of return”, a demand which if granted would effectively spell the end of the Jewish State—“It’s not going to happen!” said Netanyahu, “Everybody knows it’s not going to happen. And I think it’s time to tell the Palestinians forthrightly that it’s not going to happen.” As the Israeli Prime Minister pointedly remarked, “a peace based on illusions will crash eventually on the rocks of Middle Eastern reality.”
All of the President’s remarks and propositions were not distressing. It is not our purpose here to examine them; the speech is readily available on the internet. When President Obama the following day addressed a conference of the Jewish lobby AIPAC ( American Israel Public Affairs Committee), he had noticeably softened his rhetoric. His remarks on the ’67 borders had been misunderstood; the Israelis and Palestinians would negotiate a border which was different than the one existing on June 4, 1967; he had only been expressing publically what had been spoken privately for years, “a well known formula to all who have worked on this issue for a generation”.
And the President this time spoke of taking into account “new demographic realities on the ground”; of not expecting Israel to negotiate with the Palestinian leadership so long as it included an unreformed Hamas. He also strongly reiterated his opposition to the Palestinians unilaterally declaring statehood this fall. And he spoke of his experience at the Western Wall three years ago, when he “touched my hand against the [Wall] and placed my prayer between its ancient stones, I thought of all the centuries that the children of Israel had longed to return to their ancient homeland.”
This implication that Israel actually had an ancient connection to the land was a welcome new public acknowledgment from this Administration.
Today (Monday) Prime Minister Netanyahu himself gives a speech before the AIPAC; and tomorrow (Tuesday 24 May) he has been asked to address the joint chambers of Congress. In mentioning our concern about what took place this past week, we are certainly not seeking to bring accusation and condemnation against America as a whole. However, we believe that the President’s latest proposal may have moved not only Israel but America into very dangerous territory.
From now on, Israel must face a negotiating partner who will demand for a starting point its interpretation of what the President verbalized on Thursday. And for America—we believe that God takes what happened in 1967 very seriously: When special things happen in Zion (the name is related to another word meaning “signpost”), there is a special significance released for the world to see.
When in that year Israel, for the first time in over 2,400 years, was granted sovereignty over the heart of its ancient homeland, including Jerusalem, the Temple Mount and the Mount of Olives, there followed a powerful new release of the Holy Spirit which circled the globe, leaping across denominational boundaries; the “Jesus Movement” was ignited; perhaps most telling of all, for the first time in two millennia Jews began coming into the Kingdom in great numbers, Jews who, within a generation would along with the recognition of Yeshua (Jesus) as their Messiah and Saviour, find also awakening within themselves an awareness of their connection to God’s ancient Covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob regarding the Land—and a Messianic Body in Israel would awaken!
God was the author of this, and anything which presumes to attempt to turn it back will find itself in great danger. Although we suspect that a breach may have been made in the heavenlies over America by what was declared last Thursday, we do not think that the situation is hopeless!! We have seen how entire governments can be changed by the influence of the godly; witness what has taken place in Canada in recent years since a godly leader took a stand on behalf of God’s purposes for Israel. It is time for the godly leaders elected by the people in the U.S. to take a stand for Truth while there is still time for their influence to be felt.
*For Prime Minister Netanyahu as he speaks to the two chambers of the US Congress on Tuesday—that God give him more courage, and words which ring of integrity and truth.
*For men and women in the houses of Congress to have ears to hear how God is guiding right now…and to move courageously in that direction.
*For President Obama to realize when he has stepped in a direction which is false, and to have the mercy to be led to change direction when that direction will not bless the nation he has been raised up to lead.
*For revelation and guidance from the Most High in Israel to know what to do regarding the lands taken in the ’67 War.
*Mercy for the Palestinian peoples in Judea, Samaria, Gaza, Lebanon, Jordan and other places—to find the Source of Life which cleanses and sets them free inside, and also cares about their need for a place of acceptance and prosperity and a future hope for their families.
THIS WEEK’S TORAH PORTION:
From ancient times there has been a weekly portion (Parashah) from the first five books of Moses (The Torah) and an ending (Haftarah) from the Prophets read on the Sabbath in synagogues around the world. This portion is given a Hebrew name drawn from the opening words of the Torah passage.
An illustration of this practice appears to have been recorded in Luke 4:16 where Yeshua (Jesus) arrived in the synagogue in Nazareth and was asked to read the portion (Isaiah 61) from the Prophets. We have found that in perusing these weekly readings, not only are we provided opportunity to identify in the context of God’s Word with millions of Jewish people around the world, but very often the Holy Spirit will illumine specific passages pertinent that week in our intercession for the Land and people of Israel. All texts are those of English translations of the Scriptures.
The reading for this week May 15-21 is Bemidbar—“In the desert”:
TORAH: Numbers 1:1—4:20
HAFTARAH: Hosea 1:10—2:20
Bemidbar (“In the Desert/Wilderness”) is the Hebrew name for the book called “Numbers” (after the census lists of Chs. 1 & 26) in most English Bibles. The book describes key events taking place between Israel’s leaving Mount Sinai and her arrival at the borders of Canaan some 38 years later.
*Numbers 2:2-3: “The sons of Israel shall camp, each by his own standard…On the east side, toward the rising of the sun, those of the standard of the forces with Judah shall camp according to their armies; and Nahshon the son of Amminadav shall be the leader of the children of Judah.” The tribe of Yehuda (Judah), along with Issachar and Zebulun, was to camp facing the East.
The Hebrew root for Yehuda is related to hands or arms raised in the giving of praise or thanks (cf. Gen 29:35). Judah was to camp on the side of the Tabernacle facing eastward—as though to “awaken the dawn” with praise (Ps 57:8). Psalm 63:1-4 bears a beautiful picture of this holy principal being demonstrated hundreds of years later by David (himself a descendant of Nahshon and Amminadav).
He is also “in a desert” –and his Hebrew literally says, “Elohim, my God are you, I will ‘dawn’ you…my lips shall praise you…I will lift up the palms of my hands in Your name.” Numbers 10:14 will show that the tribe of Yehuda was also God’s choice to be in the lead when the camp broke up and moved forward. And hundreds of years after David, Jehosophat would place singers in front of his army (II Chronicles 20:21) heading out to engage an overwhelming foe, singing “Hodu la’Adonai ki tov, ki le-olam hasdo!” (Give thanks with the raising of your hands to the LORD for He is good, for to forever is his lovingkindness).
PLEASE PRAY: For praise, thanksgiving and worship to again rise to its place in the forefront of Israel—whose call includes being a praise in all the earth. Pray for strength and inspiration for those in houses of worship and prayer which have been raised up in recent years. Pray for believers in the Israeli Defense Force and police to have grace in making praise and thanksgiving a priority.
Since Nahshon was to be Judah’s leader—his name has come in modern Hebrew to be one of the synonyms for “pioneer” (Tradition says that he was the first to place his foot in the Red Sea after the command came to cross over). Pray for those called to pioneer worship in resurrected Hebrew in restored Israel today! There are many, both old and young, male and female, Jew and Gentile through whom praise and worship in the ancient language has been released during the past 30 years.
*Hosea 1:10: “Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered. And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ there it shall be said to them, ‘You are sons of the Life-God.’”
PLEASE PRAY: For more and more of the millions of returned Children of Jacob to be awakened to their true identity—to recognize that they are not merely an ancient people related to certain Patriarchs, they are, in fact, beloved children of the Life-God Himself (Heb: “El-Hai”), Who has sent forth His Son that they may “have life, and that they may have it more abundantly (John 10:10)!
*Hosea 2:16; 19-20; 16: “ ‘And it shall be, in that day,’ says the LORD, ‘that you will call Me “My Husband,” and no longer call Me ‘My Master’…I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and justice, in lovingkindness and mercy; I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, and you shall know the LORD.”
PLEASE PRAY: For awakening of a longing in Israeli hearts for these wonderful attributes with which her God is wooing her—righteousness, justice, loving kindness, mercy and faithfulness. Pray that grace will be released on that longing which will result in the ‘knowing’ of her Lord at the end of the verse! It is interesting that in verse 16, the substituted word “my husband” is “ishi”, which literally means ‘my man’. This knowledge can only come in the knowledge of “the man” Messiah Yeshua.
*Hosea 2:14-16 (NIV): “Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will sing as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt.” Achor means ‘trouble’. “Door (or ‘Opening’) of Hope” is Petah Tiqva (There is a large city by that name in central Israel).
PLEASE PRAY that Israel will find grace to lift her eyes from her troubles to the God of Hope (Romans 15:13), finding entrance into His life through the Door which He has provided (John 10:9).
[The Torah and Haftarah portions for next week 29 May –4 June will be Naso—“Raise—a census” : TORAH: Numbers 4:21—7:89 ; HAFTARAH: Judges 13:2-25]