Once again, it’s time to hear from our sister in Jerusalem about what she is witnessing there as a believer in Yeshua. Put your prayer shawls on and pray for Israel and Sister J. Now here she is …
Greetings dear sisters and brothers,
May you be blessed and may The King of kings and Lord of lords be blessed and glorified.
My husband coined a word years ago: “looksee.” I love it. I was thinking of that as I completed my time in The Word this morning with waiting on Him in the portion of scripture that was for me today:
10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, 11 saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”
12 Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lamp stands (Revelation 1:10-120
Yes Lord, may these letters be − “hear and looksee to us.”
So I thought about what I have been seeing and hearing.
The holidays are past and life has poured on us again, fast and furious. Just before it did, however, we saw a most wonderful thing.
I have described simchat torah to you before (literally joy of the Torah or Word). It is the very last day of the fall feasts and marks the end of the yearly cycle of scripture reading for the Jews. The scriptures are read by Jews everywhere, according to a prescribed schedule. It is announced in the newspapers and on bulletin boards and expounded upon there as well as in synagogues, on the radio etc. Simchat torah marks the time to begin once again in Genesis 1:1… “IN THE BEGINNING…GOD…”
As my husband and I sat and read, I suddenly heard singing and said, “Listen! There is singing. Come…let’s go and see.”
I opened the doors to our merapeset and there across the street from us, under my husband’s hair dressing shop, in the square below, were many people dressed in white. As we watched, 3 beautiful Torah scrolls appeared in their elaborate casing and were lifted high above the heads of the people. Three very elderly leaders held them up and people began to dance joyfully around them. Songs of thanksgiving to God for His Word rose with a reverent, worshipful joy. More and more people joined in. Soon several fellowships were at the core and many individuals from the neighborhood emerged from apartments and joined in. The women danced in a circle to my right and the men danced around the scrolls to my left. It went on for a full 1 and a half hours non-stop.
The very elderly men did not slow down and their worshipful joy was contagious. I stood on my merapeset, with my hands lifted to The Lord and worshipped and prayed for the full revelation of Yeshua The Living Word, to come to them. It was evident that many of them truly love The Word. May they meet HIM Who IS The Word and embrace Him with such delight.
What a wonderful end to the holiday.
In the past, at our other apartment, small groups of worshippers would pass by our window singing and dancing, but they were small groups. Only at the wall had I seen this many outside…and even at the wall they were smaller groups. I felt as if The Lord had given me a special gift. I share it with you.
And at sundown the train rang it’s now familiar bell, putting us back on schedule. It was all over for another year: The days of preparation, Rosh h’shana (trumpets), the 10 days of awe leading to Yom Kippur (the day of atonement) and finally the 7/8 days of Sukkot (feast of tabernacles) ending with Simchat torah. Whew! By this time everyone local is holidayed out.
As if to make it clear that we need to get on with it now, there have been intermittent heavy rains and winter weather. The city, filled with Christian visitors from around the world, emptied once again while the empty grocery shelves are filling up. There is a different feeling in the air.
Have we gained His strength from being renewed in His eternal promises? It gets put to the test immediately.
Ebola drills having started are stopped as 3 young Israelis die in an avalanche at Katmandu, Nepal, and many others are injured. Israel loves her young people and this turns into national mourning, particularly as one of the fatalities was the first religious woman air force pilot with whom we all celebrated such a short time ago.
America’s John Kerry again makes statements, which we actually saw him say it on film. It was NOT misread as the government spokeswoman said. His words are terribly damaging to Israel, basically accusing our stubborn stance about the land as the reason that people from around the world are joining ISIS. And speaking of ISIS, an Israeli Bedouin medical student was killed in Syria fighting against that group.
Thankfully his family was horrified and asked forgiveness of the nation and said that he had lost his way. So much grief, as awful wars rage around us, and as world pressure intensifies on every level. God is the only answer and so few want Him.
One thing has become very plain during this season: it is no longer speculation but the world HAS indeed turned the corner into the path of God’s divine judgment… or so it seems to me. We have the cry-prayer of Habakkuk’s heart, “Lord, in judgment remember mercy.” But we also have the very clear understanding through Scripture that judgment does indeed include the suffering of innocents. From the very beginning of scripture, this is evident all the way through to the end. How do we walk in the Day of Judgment? How do we stand? I believe it is time to know. It is time to hear…to look…and to see.’
A friend of mine, a pastor’s wife, called the other day and told me that she was awakened in the night by a loud knock. She got up and went to the door and there was no one there. She asked her husband if he was knocking on something and he said no. It happened again the next night and she realized that The Lord was waking her. “I don’t know what He is saying to me. I get up and wait but nothing…what do I do?”
I said, “You do just what Samuel did. You say, ‘Here I am Lord, speak for your servant hears.’ It isn’t OUR job to do anything but to present ourselves. Moses turned aside at the bush. It was THE LORD Who initiated the talking. He was to turn to The Lord and wait. It is not up to us to work up a word (usually from our flesh…) but to stand before Him, turn to Him and trust Him.”
May we learn God’s ways in judgment that we may become the body He called us out to be.
It is time to sleep and begin another week on the bus and train…back to normal in the midst of Jerusalem. I thank you so much for your gracious prayers and loving care. God be with you dear sisters and brothers.
Your sister J