By Myles Weiss
Shalom from Jerusalem, the city of the Great King!
As a precious gift to our group last night, we arrived to the tune of “Jerusalem of Gold” as our bus pulled into the Mt. Scopus overlook exactly at sundown and the beginning of shabbat. Orchestrated by Him, the sun dipped behind the hills as the golden city shone and the moon appeared. We read Psalm 122 and worshipped making the praises of God overcome the Muslim call to prayer. There wasn’t a dry eye in the group.
We had just visited Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were unearthed on November 29, 1947. That “happened” to be the day the UN voted on the creation of the modern State of Israel! What a birthday present … and the fulfillment of the Isaiah 66:8 prophecy that a nation would be born in a day!
Who has ever heard of such things?
Who has ever seen things like this?
Can a country be born in a day
or a nation be brought forth in a moment?
Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children.
Never in the history of the world had such a thing happened before—but God keeps His word. As definitely foretold here and in Ezekiel 37:
21 Then say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the nations to which they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land.
22 And I will make them one nation in the land, upon the mountains of Israel, and one King shall be King over them all;
God substantiated His regathering of the Jewish people with the gift of the most extravagant scrolls of intact Scriptures in the history of mankind.
Israel became a recognized nation, actually “born in one day.” After being away from their homeland for almost 2,000 years, the Jews were given a national homeland in Palestine by the Balfour Declaration in November, 1917. In 1922, the League of Nations gave Great Britain the mandate over “Palestine.” (Remember, Palestine was the derogatory name given to the Jewish state by the Romans after they leveled it in the first century.)
Several months later, the public declaration followed the November vote and on May 14, 1948, Great Britain withdrew its mandate, and immediately Israel was declared a sovereign state, and its growth and importance among nations became astonishing! The next day, all surrounding Arab nations attacked the new, re-born, baby Israel.
Our eclectic group is off to Bethlehem today to explore the difference between religion and relationship.
When I think about Bethlehem, I am saddened by the persecution and manipulation that has whittled down the Christian population over the last number of years. They have been bought out, driven out, and threatened out of the historic city. The remaining Believers suffer to stand for the Lord in His own birth city! That is why it is our privilege to stand with the genuine Arab Christians in Bethlehem. Katharine and I raised funds for them for years before we came to ZLM. What a blessing to find that ZLM also supports the Christians in Bethlehem! Check our series Acts: Then and Now … the Story Continues to see my interview with Bethlehem pastor Naim Khoury.
Daily life goes on here in the center of the world. Today is shabbat, so the streets are quieter in the Jewish sections of Jerusalem. The peace of God hovers over the city and it seems impossible that rockets are poised to follow the vitriolic words aimed at Israel from every direction. Clearly, “kingdoms in conflict” describes the day in which we live.
Behind the weapons hardware lurks the three mindsets struggling for supremacy: The Barbarian, the Greek, and the Hebraic (biblical) approaches inform all thought that drives the actors on the world stage.
We know that the biblical paradigm will triumph, but the cost will be severe.
Thank God for His Word and the assurance that He releases through His love.
Romans 8:28–Now we know that all things work together for good, to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.