Category Archives: Israel

History is Happening NOW

From the tribe of Issachar…All these men understood the signs of the times and knew the best course for Israel to take.” 

(1 Chronicles 12:32)

In the early days of my walk with the LORD, I was very curious about “End Times” (quotes used facetiously).  I was terrified about being “left behind,” and the series of the 1970-era Christian horror movies, Thief in the Night, scared the hell out of me.  Literally.  I was so freaked out about it all.  There was no way I wanted to be “left behind to face the tribulation.”  Then, at some point I came to my senses.  I thought, “Who cares if Jesus comes back pre-Trib, mid-Trib, or post-Trib…I want to know and be a part of what God is doing NOW in this day and age.  The future will take care of itself.”  I realized that if I was faithful today, God would be faithful for my tomorrows, no matter what I may have to face.

My purpose for this post is not to debate End Time doctrine, nor to engage in political debate, but to draw attention to a history changing event happening NOW.  One task I know I have from the LORD is to be a watchman on the wall for Israel—paying attention to what is happening in the natural and how the Holy Spirit is leading, and then sounding the alarm to bring attention to what is happening.  I was recently made aware of this history-changing event that will take place in Israel on April 23, 2015 that I am really excited about, and will be wholeheartedly participating in.  This is something very significant, and I pray that you will understand the significance and join in with this event.

This year, a Jewish organization in Israel, the Center for Jewish and Christian Understanding and Cooperation (CJCUC) is inviting the Christian community to join them on Israel’s Independence Day in reciting the Hallel—Psalms 113-118 in celebration of God’s covenantal love (chesed) for the Jewish nation.  For the first time, the Orthodox Jewish community is extending an invitation to the Christian community.

For many years, Christians have tried to extend a hand of friendship to Jews; however, the Jews were and still are very suspicious of our motives, and they have every reason to be suspicious due to the long history of anti-Semitic terrorism from the Church.  There is a long, painful history of forced conversions and baptism through torture, Inquisition, Crusades, pogroms, etc.  However, in our time, the tide is changing.

One of the greatest witnesses of CHESED (Hebrew for loving-kindness) Christians demonstrate to the Jewish people is the fact that they come in droves to visit Israel.  Each year more than a half million Christians from all over the world visit Israel.  Usually, the first time Christians visit Israel, they visit the key sites of Jesus’ life and ministry, follow the Via Dolorosa, and visit the empty tomb.  They go to connect with what God DID; however, what ends up happening is that they actually connect with what God is DOING in this day and age.  I can tell you that while it’s nice to visit the key sites of the past, it is so much more meaningful and powerful to connect with God’s heart in what He is doing NOW for the people and land of Israel.

God is still faithful to the covenant He made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the Jewish people are astounded to see that Christians are repenting of past anti-Semitism, recognizing the errors of replacement theology, and embracing their rightful place alongside God’s chosen people.  Jews are blown away that more and more Christians are coming to Israel who are knowledgeable of Jewish and Israeli history, and are eager to learn more and become ambassadors for Israel in their home nations.

The CJCUC is the first ever Orthodox Jewish organization dedicated to building Jewish-Christian relations through studying the Bible.  The founder, Rabbi Shlomo Riskin was awarded the honor of being named the Ambassador for Jewish-Christian relations by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  The executive director, David Nekrtuman, also served as a columnist for the Jerusalem Post Christian edition, served as the director of Christian affairs for the Consulate General of Israel in New York, and was instrumental helping to launch the Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem and other Christian initiatives resulting in millions of Christians praying and supporting Israel and the Jewish people.  He is currently studying for a Masters’ degree in Biblical Literature with a concentration in Judaic-Christian Studies from Oral Roberts University—yes, an Orthodox Jewish man is attending ORU!

For the first time, the Jewish community is reciprocating and inviting the Christian community to celebrate with them in appreciation for the overwhelming and heavenly directed love and unity shown to Israel by Bible believing Christians.  They joined us, and are now inviting us to join them.

So, the event is on April 23, Israel’s Independence Day, and we are invited to recite the Hallel (Psalms 113-118) at some point during the day. This is a day to set aside to celebrate Isaiah 66:8 with Psalm 113-118, and in order to understand the significance of reciting these Psalms on this particular day, I think it is important to give you a brief background of modern Israeli history.

 “Who has ever seen anything as strange as this?  Who ever heard of such a thing?  Has a nation ever been born in a single day?  Has a country ever come forth in a mere moment?  But by the time Jerusalem’s birth pains begin, her children will be born.”  Isaiah 66:8

70 AD—the beginning of the Jewish Diaspora (the dispersion, scattering). The Romans conquered Jerusalem, destroyed the Temple, and the Jews were driven out to the four corners of the earth.

Throughout the Diaspora, the Jews struggled to maintain their unique identity and uphold their traditions in the face of severe persecution and pressure to ditch all that was sacred and assimilate into the culture of the society in which they lived, all the while longing to return to their homeland.  If you want to gain insight into this, watch the movie Fiddler on the Roof.

God had a plan, and to achieve His plan, His modus operandi was, as always, supernaturally-aided human endeavor.  And in the late 1800’s, He found His man.

Modern Israeli history began with Theodor Herzl, a Jewish lawyer and journalist.  Born in Vienna in 1860, he was educated during a time of Jewish Enlightenment and initially embraced secular culture, and felt that Jewish people should assimilate into and embrace the cultures and societies in which they lived.  He held that view until he got his first real taste of anti-Semitic violence that erupted out of the Dreyfus Affair while he was living in Paris.  Dreyfus, a Jewish officer in the French military, was falsely accused of treason—targeted because he was a Jew.  When Herzl saw the injustice and the virulent hatred toward the Jews by French society, he realized his life’s purpose—to mobilize the Jewish people to establish a state of their own.

 “For I will gather you up from all the nations and bring you home again to your land.”  Ezekiel 36:24

Jews first began making Aliyah in the early 1900’s, during the rumblings of anti-Semitic violence in Eastern Europe.  These early settlers brought the land to life.  They drained the swamps, and cultivated the land so that even the deserts bloom.  They built cities, universities, hospitals, schools, and indeed had the entire infrastructure of a nation in place before World War II began.

On May 14, 1948, while five Arab armies were gathering, David Ben Gurion stood and declared the Independent State of Israel.  This was the day Isaiah 66:8 was fulfilled.  Twelve hours after this declaration was made, the Arab world declared war on the infant Jewish nation, and against all odds, Israel survived and thrived through four major wars and countless terrorist attacks.  Miraculous.  There’s no other word to account for how Israel triumphed during these wars.

There is a documentary series that is now available in its entirety on YouTube:  Against All Odds: Israel Survives.  This series outlines the historical events surrounding the birth of the Jewish nation and chronicles the modern-day miracles that occurred.  Indeed, there is no doubt that God still fights on Israel’s behalf.

With the destruction of the Second Temple, the exile of the Jewish people scattered to the four corners of the earth, trials and tribulations under foreign governments, and the near annihilation of Eastern European Jewry in the Holocaust, it seemed that Jewish history was coming to an end.  However, on May 14, 1948, God changed the course of history and the State of Israel was born in one day.  The religious establishment recognized that the restoration of Israel back to its homeland had to be acknowledged, the day was incorporated in to the sacred Jewish calendar (the date falls on April 23 this year) and Psalms 113-118—The Hallel, would be the national recognition of God’s providence working through His people.

So, I am saying a hearty “Yes and AMEN” to this invitation from the CJCUC, and I will be reciting the Hallel on April 23, 2015, and I invite you to join me.


Why Stand with Israel?

Why Stand with Israel?:  Reasons why it is important to stand with Israel and the Jewish people and to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
On August 4, 1991 I boarded an American Airlines flight for Uppsala, Sweden to attend Livets Ord Bibelcenter.  It was a pivotal moment for me as I left behind everything that was familiar to follow the call of God knowing I would never return to life as it was.  As a Bible School student I had the wonderful privilege of devoting an entire year to studying God’s word, solidifying the foundations of my faith, getting acquainted with my unique identity in Christ, and ultimately reaching back to my heritage as a Jew, but more on that later.
A few years prior to my moving to Sweden, the Lord began to open my heart to the fact that Israel is very much in His heart, and it was during the year in Sweden that I began to understand God’s heart for Israel and how important it is for the Church to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and stand with the Jewish people as well as to pray for all nations to support Israel.  In the years since, there has been little else that has so captivated my attention than what is happening in Israel today, piecing together Israel’s miraculous history, understanding the Jewish Roots of Christianity, praying for Israel and seeking the Lord for direction as to the role He cast me into in this unfolding drama.
Why should we stand with Israel?
God stands with Israel.  The Bible is so clear about God’s faithfulness to the covenant He entered into with Himself, with Abraham as witness, pertaining to the land and people of Israel.  God spoke to Abraham saying, “And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse.  And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” (Genesis 12:2,3)  God later reconfirmed this covenant with Abraham’s son, Isaac, when He said, “I am the God of your father Abraham; do not fear, for I am with you.  I will bless you, and multiply your descendants, for the sake of My servant Abraham.” (Genesis 26:24).  Yet again, God reconfirmed His covenant with Jacob saying, “…I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants.  Your descendants shall also be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread out to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” (Genesis 28:13,14).  God, in His kindness, personally reconfirmed His covenant with succeeding generations so that they would know how serious He was about this covenant.  God didn’t just leave it to oral tradition to pass it down; He did it Himself.
Tom Hess, the founder of the Jerusalem House of Prayer for All Nations, in his book, “Let My People Go,” lists over 700 verses of Scripture stating God’s commitment to the land and people of Israel.  It is often said that if someone repeats something more than once they really mean it.  I think God means it!
Jesus is Jewish and is returning as the Jewish Messiah to a Jewish Land.  I truly believe that in an effort to be “New Testament Believers” many Christians discount the validity of the fact that Jesus is in fact Jewish.  He lived a Jewish life.  He fulfilled Jewish prophesy.  Embracing Jesus’ Jewishness enlightens our understanding of Scripture.When we come to understand the Jewishness of Jesus we will come to know Him, understand Him, and experience Him in such a deep way.
As a Christian, I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the Jewish people.  The Jewish people, in their tenacious zeal to hold onto tradition, have preserved Scripture, kept their generational bloodlines pure for the Messiah to be born, preserved their unique cultural identity even in 2,000 years of exile, and have served the nations of the earth as a light and as priests (which is their calling).  It is through the Jewish people that Messiah Jesus came to earth, and their preservation of God’s covenant made it possible to recognize Him.  It is as I begin to understand Jewish traditions and who these wonderful people are that I can truly experience and understand who Jesus really is and what He came to do and what He is coming back for.
As a Christian, my heart burns to vindicate Jesus’ Name as there were many atrocities committed against Jews in the Name of Jesus, but not in the character of Jesus.  It sickens me to know that there was a time in history when the Church was the leading terrorist organization in the earth.  Atrocious acts were perpetrated on the Jews in the Name of Jesus.  Killing.  Torture.  Destruction.  All done in the Name of Jesus, and it is because of these atrocities that there are many Jewish people who have vowed never to accept the Gospel of Jesus because they believe it would be a betrayal to their identity as a Jew.  We in the Church need to come to terms with our history, repent of anti-Semitism, and reach out a genuine loving hand to the Jewish people.  I also pray for the Jewish people to see our sincerity to right the wrongs committed against them, and that they would see and experience the true Jesus through us.
Watchmen on the Wall: A Practical Guide to Prayer for Jerusalem:

Where was Love and Mercy?: Christian Anti-Semitism, Overcoming the Curse, by Clarence Wagner

As a member of the human race, I owe the Jewish people a debt of gratitude for all their contributions to humanity.  What other people group has made so many contributions to humanity in so many fields such as technology, medicine, agriculture and the arts?  I daily use my cell phone, Windows XP, and see drip irrigation systems in the fields surrounding my home.  During my first trip to Israel in 1992 I was surprised to learn that Israel exports more than they import, even supplying tulips to Holland, and they are the major supplier of fruits and vegetables throughout Europe.  When I read about all of the inventions that have come from the creativity of the Jewish people, the technological and medical advances made that were developed in Israel, and the number of Jewish and Israeli Nobel Laureates, it makes me smile.

God’s plan for Israel and the Jewish people is still playing out.  We are continuing to witness the fulfillment of prophesy as we pay attention to the current events in the land of Israel and with the Jewish people in all nations.  Some of what we see isn’t pretty, and we need to stand and pray and support and love them.  God is by no means finished with them, and the culmination of His plan for them will have such incredible blessing for all of us.

“For if their rejection be the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?…And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in; for God is able to graft them in again.”  (Romans 11:15, 23)

I am Jewish, and as a Jew, I cannot deny my heritage.  Earlier, I alluded to the fact that my year in Sweden was a time when I reached back to my heritage as a Jew.  Here’s what happened:

My father was a Jew, albeit a secular Jew.  My mother was raised in a Methodist church.  When they married they agreed that God would never be spoken of in our home.  Christmas was all about Santa Claus and Easter was the Easter Bunny.  To make a long story short, my father, upon receiving a diagnosis of malignant melanoma, called out to the Lord and received Jesus as his Savior and Messiah.  My mother too received Jesus.  I already received Jesus a few years prior thanks to the witnessing of one of my school friends.  My father died one year later when I was twelve years old.

In the next few years, I became familiar with the events of the Holocaust by reading The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom and The Diary of Ann Frank. I read many other books on the subject as well as watched movies and documentaries to educate myself.  I was so fascinated with how such evil could be allowed by a seemingly civilized people.  As I learned about the tremendous suffering the Jewish people endured during that time, I always thought, “Those poor people.”

Then I grew up and learned a whole lot more.  There was a lot of teaching about this during my time in Sweden, and I continuously found myself struck by the many accounts of Christians who risked their lives to hide the Jews during this time.  One day, while waiting for a bus in downtown Uppsala, I found myself praying, “Do I have what it takes?  If Hitler were to rise to power today, do I have the character of Jesus to the degree that I would risk my life to hide the Jews?”  The Lord spoke to me, and what He said shook me to my core and completely changed my paradigm.  He said, “You’re Jewish.  You would have had to be hidden.”

That truly never occurred to me.  “Those poor people” could have been me and my family!

I have spent the greater part of the last 20 plus years studying to gain an understanding of all of this Scripturally and historically, and I feel that I’m just beginning to scratch the surface.

What is a Watchman? Part III–Sound the Alarm

“Blow a trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm on My holy mountain!  Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming; surely it is near.” Joel 2:1
This is the moment the Watchman waits for, what he’s been looking for all along…the moment when he can sound the alarm.  And, there are generally two reasons for a Watchman to sound an alarm:
  1. To warn of an approaching enemy
  2. To announce the arrival of the King
As a side note:  This past week, the Lord called me into a season of “purposeful prayer.”  There are several ministries and churches that He laid on my heart to hold before Him in intercession on a regular basis.  The demands of my life don’t allow me to spend hours in prayer or even to attend prayer meetings at this time, but I’m so grateful that the Lord gave me a strategy to participate with Him in prayer and in the unfolding of His plans in the earth.  Some of these ministries I pray for weekly, but most every other week.  I pray in tongues throughout the day and keep my ears attentive to the leading of the Holy Spirit in how to pray, and I’ve been amazed at how He has led me.  When I’ve shared with the ministry leaders what the Lord revealed to me, they told me that those things are exactly in line with how the Lord is leading them–and there’s no way I would have known that.  I really believe that this is a season of training for me.  The pressures and demands of life are not going to go away, and it is still possible to give myself to the work of the Lord while trusting Him to take care of the burdens of my heart.  I was even pondering that it is often easier to carry someone else’s burden than my own.
Back to the topic…
One of the clearest pictures of watchman intercession is the story of Esther.  And it is so appropriate for me to write about Esther now as it is the time for the Purim celebration.  Friday, March 18, 2011 is the date for the celebration to start.
I’ve heard so many allusions to Esther in the past few years.  People long to be like Esther–lavished with love in the palace of the king.  Sounds good, doesn’t it?  However, I have a different take on the matter.  Let’s look at the Biblical account in Esther 4 and set the stage.  Esther is established in the palace.  She’s spent her night with the king, and he delighted in her and crowned her queen.  Outside the palace, Mordecai (who I believe is the true hero of the story) offended Haman, and Haman hatched a plan to annihilate the Jewish people.  Upon hearing of Haman’s evil plan, Mordecai and all of the Jewish people cry out in mourning over their impending doom–they sounded the alarm about an approaching enemy.
Where’s Esther?  In the palace, enjoying its luxuries, self-absorbed and completely oblivious to all that is happening outside the palace.  It was her servants who heard Mordechai’s cry and told her about it, and her first reaction to hearing about Mordecai in sackcloth and ashes was to be embarrassed by his behavior and send him clothes.  It was only after he refused them that she sent her servants to find out why he was mourning.  When she finally heard his true cry, and understood what was happening, she felt powerless to do anything.  She had a lot going against her.  Although she was queen, she had little to no power to influence or change anything.  She saw her predecessor deposed, and there was no reason for her to believe she wouldn’t face the same fate.  Mordecai admonished her, and his admonition shook her to the core:
Mordecai sent this reply to Esther:  “Don’t think for a moment that because you’re in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed.  If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die.  Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?”  Esther 4:13-14
Esther needed to become actively attentive to Mordecai’s cry, his admonition aroused her to a state of being awake, alert and aware of her responsibility.  She was also awakened to her identity.  Although she kept it hidden, now was the time for her to reveal who she truly was–a Jew.  And now that she was actively attentive, awake, alert and aware it was time for her to sound the alarm.  The “such a time as this moment” occurred when she sent her reply to Mordecai:
“Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me.  Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day.  My maids and I will do the same.  And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king.  If I must die, I must die.”  Esther 4:15
She was so convinced of her responsibility to intercede on behalf of her people, that she was willing to lay down her life.  And we know the rest of the story.
Are we convinced enough of what God is asking of us to be willing to lay down our lives?  Yes, there are times to enjoy the presence of God and allow Him to pour out His great love for us, and for us to respond to Him in adoration.  Yet, there is also a time when we stand with him as covenant partners and work with Him to establish His Kingdom on the earth.
God has His watchmen placed in various places in the earth at this time.  We are called to pray purposeful, passionate, strategic and intelligent prayers as God imparts wisdom so we can partner with Him to accomplish what is on His heart.  Intelligent prayers–know what is going on around you.  Be up to date with current events and what God is drawing your attention to.  Study Scripture.  Develop an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit, who searches the deep places of God’s heart.  Pray out those things that God highlights to you.  There is tremendous power in prayer, which is why the enemy does all he can to keep God’s people from praying!!
Finally, when all is said and done, watchmen get the awesome privilege of announcing the coming King.
“Lift up your heads, O gates, and lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in!”  Psalm 24:9

What is a Watchman? Part II–Awake, Alert and Aware

During the past week as I was meditating on the topic of “Awake, Alert and Aware,” I couldn’t help but be amused because, as a mom of young children, more specifically an older mom of young children, I am in a perpetual state of feeling tired.  I can’t remember the last time I had a good night sleep and felt fully awake, alert and aware through the day.  It seems as if I’m holding on for dear life continuously asking the Lord for grace and strength.
The demands of having young children are tremendous, and it is awesome training for being a watchman.  My husband and I are in a constant state of watchfulness over our children.  My husband, particularly, is continuously working to make our house safe, and it’s a never-ending job.  Gone are all of my beautiful decorative candles, sculptures and vases, even our living room tables are now in storage to prevent injuries.  Everyday we are surprised at what our children discover they can now get into.  We can’t let down our guard for a moment.  If we do we usually regret it.
In this state of perpetual tiredness, I find that I am not at my best.  My judgment is clouded and my temper is short.  My patience is worn thin trying to deal with my three-year-old’s tantrums and my almost one-year-old’s fussiness.  There are objects thrown across the room, doors slammed, screaming…and I realize that I’m throwing a bigger tantrum than they are!  I don’t like me at those times.
However, God understands that we get tired, and His grace is sufficient.  As watchmen, no matter how stressful the situation we find ourselves in, we are to cultivate an attitude of wakefulness, vigilance, readiness and caution.  We cannot give into slumber which produces indifference, lethargy and insensitivity.
1 Thessalonians 5:6 states, “So be on your guard, not asleep like the others.  Stay alert and be clearheaded.”
When you’re awake, alert and aware your eyes are open and you can see.  Awhile ago, I heard the Lord say, “I don’t want you to miss the significance of each moment. For what I want you to see can happen as quick as the blink of an eye.”
We can move through our daily routines blindly because they are so familiar. We don’t look. We don’t see what is right before us. Two dramatic examples I can think of:
1.      A physician I heard speak at a fund raiser for the Robbinsdale Women’s Center. She claimed the dubious distinction of having opened the first abortion clinic in the state of Mississippi. She described her routine for each procedure. She had to lay everything out and count each part to be sure nothing was left behind. She did this day after day for years, and then one day she saw. She saw that what was laid out on the table was a baby.
2.      A sea boat captain engaged in the slave trade in the nineteenth century. He made the journey to and from Africa many times carrying his cargo and pocketing the profits and then going back for more. Then he met Jesus and he saw. He no longer saw cargo, he saw men, women and children. That captain left his profession and went on to pen one of the most recognized anthems of worship, Amazing Grace. And, although he lost his sight later in life, he could truly see.
With a simple change of perception the courses of these lives were altered.
“The eye is the lamp of the body; so then, if your eye is clear, your whole body is full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness.” Matthew 5:22, 23
The way you look at things is the way you will live.
Rabbi Saul was on a mission.
“But Saul began ravaging the church, entering house after house, and dragging off men and women, he would put them in prison.” Acts 8:3
Did he do these things because of his hatred toward God? No! He did these things out of his zeal for God. He actually thought that what he was doing was honoring God and His word. He was on his way to Damacus…
“…still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?…Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; and leading him by the hand, they brought him into Damascus.” Acts 9:1-4, 8
Then the Lord appeared to a man named Ananias and instructed him to go lay hands on Saul, and he did…
“And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he got up and was baptized;” Acts 9:18
And we all know that Saul became Paul and with the same zeal he preached Jesus, suffered persecution and imprisonment, and penned letters to the Church that are still relevant and contain truths still being revealed. When Ananias laid hands on Paul and he received his sight back, and he never saw things the same again.
When the Arameans plotted to capture the prophet Elisha, the king of Aram “…sent horses and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city.” Elisha’s servant panicked, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” (see 2 Ki 6:15,16)
“Then Elisha prayed and said, ‘O Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see!’ And the Lord opened the servant’s eyes and he saw; and behold the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” 2 Ki 6:17
We think we know what is going on by what we see around us; however, there is a whole other realm of reality. In Psalm 89, the psalmist begins with worshiping the Lord for His faithfulness, yet in the middle of his praise he laments over God’s seeming unfaithfulness. Circumstances appeared that God had forsaken His covenant. When we are in the midst of trial and turmoil, we are short-sighted, as this psalmist was. We cannot see beyond our current circumstance, but we must trust that God sees much further than we can. There is much that He is doing that we cannot see, but when all is revealed we will know that God was faithful all the time.
“But I will not break off My lovingkindness from him nor deal falsely with my faithfulness. My covenant I will not violate, nor will I alter the utterance of My lips.” Ps 89:33,34
In Chaim Potok’s novel The Chosen, sight is a powerful symbol throughout the story. In one part of the story, the father has just returned home from the hospital after suffering a heart attack. His teenage son is worried about all of the work his father is doing and how it is affecting his father’s health, and his father says:
“We live less than the time it takes to blink an eye, if we measure our lives against eternity. So it may be asked, what value is there to a human life? …I learned a long time ago, Reuven, that a blink of an eye in itself is nothing. But the eye that blinks, that is something. A span of life is nothing. But the man who lives that span he is something. He can fill that tiny span with meaning, so its quality is immeasurable though its quantity may be insignificant. Do you understand what I am saying? A man must fill his life with meaning. Meaning is not automatically given to life. It is hard work to fill one’s life with meaning. That I do not think you understand yet. A life filled with meaning is worthy of rest. I want to be worthy of rest when I am no longer here. Do you understand what I am saying?”
“…a blink of an eye in itself is nothing. But the eye that blinks, that is something.”
What happens in the blink of an eye? Blinking is an essential function of the eye that helps spread tears across the surface of the eye to provide moisture and remove irritants from the cornea and conjunctiva. It is a cleansing process. Blinking irrigates the eye, the eyelid provides suction, and the eyelashes provide a line of defense that catch most irritants before they reach the surface of the eyeball. That’s what happens when we blink. However, what happens when God blinks?
“Keep me as the apple of the eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.” Ps 17:8
Speaking of Jacob/Israel, Moses sang, “He found him in a desert land, and in the howling waste of a wilderness; He encircled him; He cared for him, He guarded him as the pupil of His eye.” Dt 32:10
God assures us, “For thus says the Lord of Hosts, ‘After glory He has sent Me against the nations which plunder you, for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye.” Zech 2:8
Safety and refuge are in the blink of God’s eye. The Scriptures above refer to Israel as being the apple of God’s eye, and as believers in Jesus, we get to join in and partake of this promise. The pupil is also referred to as the apple of the eye, and some translate it to mean the daughter of the eye. Think of how a father protects His precious daughter. That is how God protects and closely watches over Israel and you. He is aware of everything, and He cares about every bit of it.
In the same way, He wants us to be awake, alert and aware of all He is doing. He admonishes us by instructing us to:
“Keep my commandments and live, and my teaching as the apple of your eye.” Pr 7:2
Guard as most precious the words spoken over you, the promises He’s made. Guard them as the apple of your eye. Blink! Keep them fresh and clean. Blink! Keep your vision clear. Blink! Defend against any irritant that can cloud your vision and cause pain. Blink! Stay awake.  Be alert to all that is happening around you.  Be aware of all God is saying and showing you. Value it. Treasure it. Honor it. Don’t miss it. It all can happen so fast, so slow down, and take the time to see.
Next post:  What is A Watchman?  Part III–Sound the Alarm

What is a Watchman? Part I–Actively Attentive

First of all, let me tell you what a watchman is not.  Being a watchman is not a ministerial office or position.  It does not take a special calling or gifting to be a watchman.  All of us are watchmen.  To be a watchman is to take a position of humility and devotion in service to the King and the Kingdom of God.  I define a watchman as one who climbs to a high place so he can see far and is:

  • Actively Attentive to all God is saying and doing
  • Awake and Alert even in the darkest time of the night
  • Aware of times and seasons
  • sounding an Alarm to warn people of either an approaching enemy or the returning King

Actively Attentive

“The true watchman is someone who watches God, Who is the Chief Watchman–beholding Him in His awesome majestic glory, and what He is doing.”  –Tom Hess, founder; Jerusalem House of Prayer for All Nations

So, when we watch God, what is the amazing thing that we see?  That He Himself is watching! What is He watching?  He watches over His Word, and He watches over us.

“Then the Lord said to me, ‘You have seen well, for I am watching over My word to perform it.”  Jeremiah 1:12

The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.”  Psalm 121:8

If God is watching over His word, then we, as watchman, should study Scripture so that we know what He said that has been fulfilled, what is in the process of being fulfilled, and what is yet to be fulfilled.  We also need to be people of worship and prayer who dwell and abide in the presence of the Lord listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit.  We need both–knowledge of the Scripture and intimate knowledge of the leading of the Holy Spirit to remain balanced.  When we know His word, we can stand in agreement with Him, declaring and decreeing His precious promises and the desires of His heart until all are accomplished.

Knowing that God is watching over us and is fully acquainted with all our ways and all that is happening in our lives should give us tremendous comfort, as well as cause us to watch our lives to ensure that we are bringing Him honor, even during the times when we are alone.  When we are alone we display our true character, and it is God who rewards us for what we do in the secret place.  We also need to remember that people are watching us: our family, our friends, strangers, and especially our children.  Our children watch us, learn from us and imitate us.  The picture below is very precious to me.  My husband, Bruce, sitting at our kitchen table reading his Bible, and our three-year-old son, Aaron, got his Bible and joined his Daddy.

I want to be like Aaron–always watching to see what my Daddy is doing so I can imitate Him!!
Next post:  What is a Watchman?  Part II–Awake and Alert

Ask of Me the Desires of My Heart

On January 1, 2011, I heard the Lord say to me,

“Ask of Me the desires of My heart, and I will show you the Kingdom.
Ask of Me the desires of My heart, and I will reveal mysteries.
Ask of Me the desires of My heart, and I will explain hidden knowledge.
Ask of Me the desires of My heart, and I will join your heart to Mine, and My desires will become yours.
Ask of Me the desires of My heart, and your eyes will see what I see, and your ears will hear what I hear–the cry of My people for Me.  I hear their cry, and I will act.”

People may wonder why I’m so preoccupied with Israel, Jerusalem, the Jewish people, the Middle East, Jewish Roots of Christianity, Hebrew, etc.  Years ago I made a commitment to the Lord to lay down my own dreams, desires and plans and take up His.  I knew that if I gave myself to make His dreams come true that He would take care of fulfilling my dreams.  I have not been disappointed.

Why do I stand for Jerusalem?  Simple.  Jerusalem is dear to God’s heart.

When Solomon completed the Temple in Jerusalem, during the time the Temple was consecrated and dedicated to the Lord, God appeared to Solomon and said, “For I have chosen this Temple and set it apart to be holy–a place where My Name will be honored forever.  I will always watch over it, for it is dear to My heart.” (2 Chronicles 7:16 NLT)

Referring to this Scripture, 2 Kings 21:4 states that Jerusalem is “the place where the Lord had said, ‘My Name will remain in Jerusalem forever.”  Then again in verse 7, “…My Name will be honored in this Temple and in Jerusalem–the city I have chosen from among the tribes of Israel.”

The city of Jerusalem is mentioned over 800 times throughout the Bible and God’s people are commanded to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.  May all who love this city prosper.”  (Psalm 122:6)

It is quite an experience coming into Jerusalem driving from the desert.  As you approach Mount Scopus you enter a tunnel.  It’s quite a long tunnel that gets darker and darker, and then all of a sudden you come out of the tunnel and the first thing your eyes see is the Old City of Jerusalem, and its beauty takes your breath away–even though you see the dirt, grime and the wear and tear of the city, nonetheless it is beautiful.  Then you get out of the bus on top of the Mount of Olives and walk down a steep winding path that ends at the Garden of Gethsemane.  Within the garden, the tour guide points out two olive trees.  One is 2,000 years old and the other is 3,000 years old.  Then you glance over your shoulder and see the Temple mount, and all of a sudden it hits you.  Those trees were here when Jesus wept and prayed and lamented over Jerusalem, and your heart breaks as you hear His voice crying, “O Jerusalem! Jerusalem!”  Then you get it.  Jerusalem is not a metaphor.  It is a very real place, and it is dear to God’s heart, and His desire is for Jerusalem to be restored and to recognize her Messiah and cry out “Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord.”