John has been meditating on Psalm 118 for well over a year now. We spent the better part of this Shabbat morning in the latter verses of this psalm of David, and the LORD has blessed us with some crucial understanding for our time.
All the nations surrounded me, but in the name of the Lord I cut them off.
They surrounded me on every side, but in the name of the Lord I cut them off.
They swarmed around me like bees, but they died out as quickly as burning thorns; in the name of the Lord I cut them off.
This appears to be repetitive - three times the psalmist says "they surrounded me and in the name of the Lord I cut them off." Is this simply for emphasis, or is it three separate events, which result in the same supernatural victory? Some believe that there are three prophetic fulfillments of these verses throughout the Bible, i.e., David is surrounded by his enemies but saved by God, then Yeshua is surrounded by his enemies at the time of his trial and crucifixion, but God cut them off and brought victory, and lastly, Israel is surrounded by her enemies like bees encircling her, but they are destroyed and cut off by the Lord.
Then there is the commentary of Jewish Rabbis, who claim that this is a three-fold process of the end-time war (Gog/Magog of Ezekiel 38-39). They state that (1) the close neighbors of Israel surround her first, then (2) the nations from a distance also surround her, and (3) the whole great swarm of Israel's enemies encircle and attack her, but are cut off by God.
No matter which of these interpretations are correct, it led us to read the Scriptures again in Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38-39 and ponder the wars and rumors of wars we see and hear forming against Israel. Are we to pray against these wars? Are we even to pray against the great judgments of Almighty God that are surely soon to be poured out against His enemies?
I am careful to counsel people NOT to pray against God's Word. The things that are written in the prophecies of Ezekiel, Obadiah, Hosea, Daniel, the psalms and Revelation MUST happen, because God has already written it. The third temple must be built, in order to fulfill these prophecies. The enemies of Israel must form this Islamic Caliphate that we see coming together right now, in order to bring forth God's glory as He destroys them and supernaturally saves Israel. The fall of America must surely have to happen in order for America to seek God and His righteousness and His saving grace in Yeshua.
So, all of this led us this morning to an email posted on the internet, dated Sept 2, 2012, but with no author. It is the most powerful piece I have ever yet read to the Body of Messiah in our day, and I am compelled to share it with you. I assume that the author intended the glory to go to God and not himself or herself. Please read and understand these MOST IMPORTANT WORDS from this anonymous author in Israel, whom I believe must have been anointed by the Holy Spirit to write it! He(or she) reminds us that the awesome coming judgments are actually "the cry of those who so love God that they are willing to suffer any loss and go through any hardship in order that His glory and righteous judgments would be known over all the earth."
The Coming War
September 2, 2012 Email from Israel
Since Israel's 6 day victory in 1967, our subsequent military engagements have not gone so well. The Yom Kippur war in 1973 was a hair's breath from disaster. The fruit of our actions in Gaza and Lebanon has been less than decisive, and rockets continue to land in our southern cities.
The days of untouchable military supremacy seem to be behind us. The certainty of unequivocal US support has also vanished. Our confidence in the survival of the nation is rapidly coming down to God and God alone, and so it must be.
Iran's build-up and support of Hezbollah goes on unabated, while Hamas and the PA sit across the street watching and waiting for an opportunity to bring us one inch closer to destruction.
We cannot ignore these conditions any more than we would say that black clouds have nothing to do with rain. The longer it waits, the stronger and more determined they all become. However, it remains a foundational error to think the unfolding and outcome of this moment will be determined by the will and desires of men, as plausible as it might appear. More than anywhere else in the world, what concerns Israel will unfold according to the sovereign will and plans of God. Our perspective on war has never been if. And though the matter of when looms large on our list of questions, we sense the greater need is to understand what He is doing why He is doing it and what He wants us to do.
Beloved, let us fervently pray for the body of Messiah in Israel and the nations to be made ready. If our mind and heart are not rightly aligned with the thoughts and purposes of God, we will be of little use in the hour of testing. It’s like when a plane is getting ready for takeoff and the cabin crew gives the emergency instructions. Parents are directed to first put on their oxygen masks, and then their childrens. Though the nations be shaken to their foundations, they are not at the epicentre of the coming quake. We are...and we are going to need your help. Beyond what we may or may not understand, we believe that the single most determining factor in how we walk through the coming days will be the depth of our passion for the revelation of His glory. The manifestation of His glory is in the revelation of His nature. The revelation of His nature is in the knowledge of His ways. A living knowledge of His ways is only truly actualized in and through God’s righteous judgments. So why do we cry out for God to withhold His judgments as if they were a bad thing? They alone reveal things for what they are. They are the measure of truth. They are the foundation for sowing and reaping. They are the foundation of eternity. God’s doesn’t just say things. He doesn’t just show things. He gives us to experience the essence of what things are by allowing us to eat the fruit of the seeds we’ve given our lives to nurture. King David understood this, praised God for His judgments, and was helped by them. Psalm 119:164,175
Often we pray according to our own understanding...how things affect our loved ones, our nation, and us. Is it right to ask or even expect God to bring forth good fruit from good seed and hold back bad fruit from bad seed? Are we more concerned with how things affect us or how they affect Him? Who are we really living for? Adam and Eve experienced the fruit of their actions immediately. Why should it be any different for us? God has not changed. Every action having an equal and opposite reaction is a law applying to all of life, not just the visible realm. Yet God has chosen, for a time, to suspend the laws of nature and hold back the forthcoming judgments, which are indelibly inscribed into every atom of creation. When we cry out for the Holy Spirit to come, what we are asking for? What do we envision? In that day the world will know sin, righteousness, and judgment. As long as God holds back that which is rightfully due, the wicked think they are fine and the righteousness of God is held in derision. This grace to us costs Him dearly.
Generally speaking, when disaster comes we grieve for a time, maybe go to a few special meetings, and then it’s back to life as usual. But for some, as in southern Israel and areas of grave natural disaster, life does not snap back to normal. However, for most of the Western world the arena of battle, conflict, and judgment is still “out there somewhere.” This dynamic is about to change...it needs to change. Whether by war, natural disaster, economic collapse, or obama-nation, everyone will know if his house is founded on the Rock or built on sand. For a long time we thought Maranatha meant “Come, Lord Jesus. “ Well, it does, with one small addition. It is an exclamation as the Lord draws near for judgment (Strong’s #3134). It is the cry of those who so love God that they are willing to suffer any loss and go through any hardship in order that His glory and righteous judgments would be known over all the earth. It is the cry of those who are ready to stand in the gap, knowing that the enemy is quite accustomed to going through that hole in the fence. It is the cry of the Spirit and the Bride.
In closing, we want to be very clear and specific about our personal perceptions and expectations. Only a small percentage of the Body is ready for what is about to happen in the world. Most are asleep dreaming they are awake. The condition of Israel naturally is a reflection of the condition of the Body spiritually. On all levels…personally, corporately and nationally…we tend to be issue-oriented and not get to the root problems and dysfunctions. Israel, as a nation, is far from God and not getting closer. The politically motivated, unprincipled ways of our leaders exhibit no signs of meaningful change in the foreseeable future. The religious system continues as an instrument of darkness to bind the minds and blind the hearts of many true seekers. In the past two weeks, due to a dire frustration with our social system, three people attempted to set themselves on fire. Two succeeded and one has died. Prior to this, such actions were unimaginable in our society. We take this as an indicator of a spirit of hopelessness and desperation prevalent in the nation, yet not fully acknowledged by those in positions of influence and power. Maintaining the status quo works to the advantage of our enemies and will increase our casualties in the coming war.
Contrary to how it might appear, God is the one moving the pieces on the game board. The voices claiming prophetic unction are quite diverse in their predictions. We expect things to soon change dramatically and forever. We have no specific word concerning when, but expect it could be anytime from a few months to a few years. The Spirit of the Lord may say nothing specific about dates until just before it happens. We are to be ready starting now. We expect that the cost of America’s compromise of truth for life style may run as high as their freedom. We expect the losses to be suffered by Israel in the coming conflict will be of a dimension never before experienced. We expect Tel Aviv to be the enemy’s primary target. We expect the fear of the Lord to be released in our midst. We expect lovers of truth everywhere to awaken and seek the Lord. We expect God’s judgments to bring comfort to all those that long for His Glory.
Psalm 118:10-19 All the nations surrounded me, but in the name of the Lord I cut them off.
11 They surrounded me on every side, but in the name of the Lord I cut them off.
12 They swarmed around me like bees, but they died out as quickly as burning thorns; in the name of the Lord I cut them off.
13 I was pushed back and about to fall, but the Lord helped me.
14 The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.
15 Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: “The Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!
16 The Lord’s right hand is lifted high; the Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!”
17 I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done.
18 The Lord has chastened me severely, but he has not given me over to death.
19 Open for me the gates of righteousness; I will enter and give thanks to the Lord.
Kelly Ferrari Mills