I find myself with an ever-increasing burden to pray and intercede for Israel and for the Jewish people. I arose at 5:30 this morning with a prompting to read in the book of Jeremiah, chapters 30-31. These powerful verses describe the time that is widely known as "Jacob's Trouble" and refers to the end-time distress in the Land of Israel when the invasion of the Antichrist figure causes great devastation and sorrow. In reading these passages afresh, one Truth was confirmed very strongly in my spirit: this book of the Bible and of God's people and His Land (Israel) is forever uppermost in His mind and heart and central to all of His plans for the restoration of His Kingdom! Although it may be offensive to our "American pride," I believe God does have a favorite nation. Listen to what He says in Jer. 31:35-37:
This is what the Lord says, he who appoints the sun to shine by day,
who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar--
Adonai Elohim is his name:
“Only if these decrees vanish from my sight,” declares the Lord, “will Israel ever cease being a nation before me.”
This is what the Lord says:
“Only if the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth below be searched out
will I reject all the descendants of Israel because of all they have done,” declares the Lord.
Only if the heavens can be measured? They cannot. Only if the foundations of the earth can be searched out? They cannot. Thus does our God promise that He will never reject ALL the descendants of Israel. He speaks tenderly to them with these promises in Jer. 30:10-11:
“‘So do not be afraid, Jacob my servant;
do not be dismayed, Israel,’
declares the Lord.
‘I will surely save you out of a distant place,
your descendants from the land of their exile.
Jacob will again have peace and security,
and no one will make him afraid.
I am with you and will save you,’
declares the Lord.
‘Though I completely destroy all the nations
among which I scatter you,
I will not completely destroy you.
We have to stop and ponder those verses. America is home to over six million Jews who have been scattered into our nation. Europe, Asia, Africa and all the Middle Eastern nations have been temporary places of Israel's exile as well. None of us are exempt from the Mighty Hand of God's judgments; and the nations who abandon Israel or side against her will surely be punished in the end. So I believe the LORD is calling upon us, those who have been grafted into the "olive tree" of Israel, brought into the Covenant through the blood of Messiah Yeshua, to stand strong for our Jewish brothers and sisters in these coming days and intercede powerfully for their salvation.
Adonai Elohim, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, calls out to the Jewish people to return to Him:
Set up road signs; put up guideposts.
Take note of the highway, the road that you take.
Return, O Virgin Israel, return to your towns.
How long will you wander, O unfaithful daughter?
The LORD will create a new thing on earth -- a woman will surround a man.
"A woman will surround a man." As I read that phrase the only thing I could think of was the seven circles I made, surrounding John, in our wedding! When I completed the seventh circle, John reached his hand out and drew me under the chuppa to join with him in marriage. I wondered if that could be what this verse is illustrating? As King Yeshua establishes His Kingdom in Jerusalem, He gathers His Bride, His followers from all Jewish tribes and all Gentile tribes, and completes this Restoration of All Israel in a great marriage ceremony. "Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!" (Rev. 19:9) Is this not the LORD creating a new thing on earth? And does it not commence with a Jewish wedding, in the City of the Great King in Israel, where the Bride surrounds her Bridegroom under the chuppa?
It is a glorious picture of deliverance and restoration, but in Jeremiah 30, Daniel 12, Isaiah 6 and other biblical chapters, we painfully read of the treacherous journey of suffering, exile, torture and death the Jewish people must still go through before this wedding takes place. Will we be willing to identify with them in this time of suffering? Will we stand for Israel even if it means we ourselves will go through persecution because of it? I tell you, we must! We must because our faith is inextricably woven together with the Jewish people and Scripture makes clear that peoples and nations will be judged by how they have treated God's chosen ones. They are not without sin; they are referred to as an "unfaithful daughter" and "faithless Israel" for a reason! But that is all the more reason for our compassionate, focused intercession for the veil to be lifted from Jewish eyes, not just in Israel but in all the nations where the Jewish people have been scattered. Our ardent prayers are needed for the Messianic pastors in Israel who risk their lives every single day as they preach the Gospel of Messiah Yeshua and we must carefully watch what our own government does to either support or abandon Israel in the coming days and whether we push for a "two-state" division of the Land. As William Koenig wrote in his powerful book, Eye to Eye, "...the leaders of the United States and the world are on a collision course with God over Israel's covenant land." We know that this collision course is going to ultimately lead to the prophecy in Zechariah 12:3,9: "And in that day I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people; and all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it. And in that day I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem."
I believe that we need to humble ourselves and acknowledge that the God of Israel does have a favorite! He is eternally focused on Jerusalem and Israel, where history (HIS STORY) began and where it will come to fulfillment. As we see anti-Semitism making a great rise all over the world, we must not turn a blind eye as we did in World War II, but we must have the heart that William Koenig had when he wrote:
An Open Letter to Israel:
We want you to know that your best friend in the world is the passionate Christian who would live and die for you. Please call on us and we will be there for you whenever you need us. Out of God's love for you and desire to be everything in your life, He wants you to reach out your hand, and then He will take yours. It is time to press into the power that can only come from Yeshua your Messiah. And we will continue to stand by you, to comfort you, in the good times and the bad times, in the Spirit of His love for you."
(from Eye to Eye, Addendum 1, pp. 295-296)
The birds were SO noisy at 5:30 this morning that I could not sleep. So I arose, made my coffee, and went out to the front porch to sit in the rising sunshine. I've never heard so many active birds! It sounded like I was in the middle of a tropical jungle!
Then, as I sat in the quiet, what swept over me was the names of flowers from my youth. "Batchelor Buttons. Four O'Clocks. Hollyhocks. Pussy Willows. Zinnias." What is strange is that none of these flowers/plants grow around here and I have neither seen nor thought of them for years! Then a hymn from the old hymnal in the church where I was raised started flowing through my mind and I sang it aloud on my front porch, accompanied by dozens of little birds!
All things bright and beautiful
All creatures great and small
All things wise and wonderful
The Lord God made them all
Each little flower that opens
Each little bird that sings
He made their glowing colors
He made their tiny wings
Such a lovely praise hymn, giving all glory to God! Then He began to speak to me, in that still, small Voice I hear in my spirit. And I believe I am to share what He said, as it might resonate with someone else out there.
You ear the chirping of sparrows and cooing of doves in the trees. They are mine. I watch over every one as if they were my ONLY one. That's how I watch over you, My child. You wouldn't have such a desperate need if you would again draw near to Me and put your need only in Me. I do not disappoint. I do not reject. I am not too busy! I do not carry grudges. Stop listening to the father of lies, the Deceiver, who wants you to stay sad and rejected. Rise, my Bride! I AM coming soon for you. Make the way straight. Clear off the stones. Stop watching videos and watch ME. Listen for My Voice. Sing to Me! I loved your song! Return to Me. I am the Keeper of your soul and your very great reward. I watch you care for your husband and I write it in my Book. One day you shall sit in My Kingdom at a great family table and there will be everlasting joy!
Kelly Ferrari Mills