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 …
Blessings, dear brothers and sisters, and all glory to Him Who is and Who was and Who is to come and Who has triumphed and will triumph! May HE be glorified and blessed and may you be encouraged.
Tensions were HIGH at the shuk (market) today. It felt like being inside of a pressure cooker even though there were very few people there for a Wednesday. The train ride from my house to the shuk was heavy as well. The Har Nof (meaning: mountain view) neighborhood where yesterday’s terror attack claimed 5 lives, is just a neighborhood or two over from the one in which we live. So, many Har Nof residents ride the same train. You could see and feel the weight of their grief.
Although CNN’s original report read: “Deadly attack on Jerusalem Mosque.” Four rabbis and one Druze policeman were axed, stabbed and shot to death during 7 a.m. morning prayers at a quiet synagogue in West Jerusalem. One of the murderers worked at the super market on the same street, another cleaned the synagogue.
As I have said and will KEEP on saying: “the battle was ALWAYS about Jerusalem, the place where God chose to put His Name.”
On the train, many eyes were red from weeping. The book of Psalms was more evident then the free newspaper this morning.
At the shuk, where the stalls are about evenly divided between Jewish and Arab merchants, the air was quite tense. Four female soldiers stood at one of the entrances, but I saw no others in spite of the announcement that there would be a large presence of police and soldiers at all public gathering places. Yesterday, Hamas called for anyone with a car, gun, a stone, a tractor, an axe, or kitchen knife to take them up and kill Jews.
I must admit, although not afraid, I kept that in mind as I passed in front of trucks and forklifts unloading produce. Greeting the Arab and Jewish vendors that I trade with regularly, I prayed for His Hand to restrain emotions that might be ready to ignite, for their own good, not for mine.
The shuk is a unique place, where people simply work hard, trying to make a living, working together year after year. Yet even here, one spark has often been enough…too often.
I overheard one vendor comment to a customer, “Where are the police? Where are the soldiers? I don’t see ANY!” He sounded more then a bit nervous.
I looked around and discovered he was right. None. Perhaps they were undercover? But then again, we were told that their presence would be evident.
I stopped for cucumbers. One Arab vendor has the crispest and freshest I have tasted outside of a garden so I am willing to pay a bit more for them. I walked over to his stand and again felt the tension.
“How is it that you ALWAYS have THE best cucumbers in the entire shuk?” I asked the proprietor as he relaxed and beamed at me proudly and smiled.
“I search them out,” he answered.
Another customer lowered the tension even further when she said, “He is also the best man here!”
I smiled at him and said, “I am usually here much later and there are others working.”
We laughed as he said, “Oh, you mean the YOUNGER ones!”
It was good to be able to leave someone with a smile. It was different at a stand further on. The young hawker there is known for his loud yelling that his prices are the best. As others and I picked out fruit, he began his usual call: “Clementine’s. Only 4 shekels a kilo.”
The woman beside me started to yell at him to stop his yelling. “I have ears that you are hurting and I have eyes to see with. Stop that.”
He said, “No. I have to tell others that my prices are better.”
She became unglued. “I have been shopping here since before you were born and we know your prices. You cannot yell in people’s ears. Stop it right now! Have you no respect for what we are suffering here?”
I was surprised at her passion, and so was he. Obviously her nerves were fraught. I was also surprised at his uncharacteristic display of sensitivity when he said, “I’m sorry,” and stopped yelling. He is a rough young Arab man and I was thankful to see him respond so gently. I will shop there more often.
Heading toward the train again, I thought about the wonderful Bible study that we had the previous night at women’s prayer meeting. A dear sister had on her heart 1 John 4:7-the end of the chapter.
How wonderfully appropriate, I thought. God is just so good to feed us with what we need. We had initially arrived at the meeting with much talk about the events of the day and two sisters in particular expressed fear concerning the rapidly escalating situation. As we turned our eyes on Yeshua again, focusing on the word, which is His Essence, our sister said that she had spent years asking just WHAT LOVE IS?
As she unfolded like a delicate flower the Truths that He showed her, in the midst of them was the reminder that – “Perfect Love casts out all fear.”
There is such peace in knowing that He has numbered our days, the hairs on our heads, hedged our paths, trained our feet, and made our ears able to hear: “This is the way, walk ye in it.” And if that way leads to a fiery furnace, what in the world do we have to fear if we know Him and are seeking to walk in His will.
There is such a great Peace in knowing that He Who made us and draws us to Himself is indeed”LOVE.” Sometimes all that we can do and be here is a vessel for His Presence in the midst of the pressure cooker.
Recently my Pastor spoke about something that my heart has been majoring in for a long time, but he said it so much better then I do. We read Matthew 24, where Yeshua speaks with the disciples about the last days. But when the disciples asked Him when it would happen and what would be the signs, His answer was very clear: “Take heed that you are not deceived.”
Living here, many people become caught up in prophecy, eschatology (whatever that is), times and seasons, signs and wonders etc.
One day a brother was speaking about these things to me and what came out of my mouth surprised me, but I listened because it was true: I said to him, “Oh my! I am still trying to learn to come, hear and obey and to love one another. Once I learn that, perhaps I’ll move on, but right now I will just trust that HE KNOWS these things and will do it all perfectly and will even be able to move me into the right place at the right time.”
So Jesus’ answer to the disciples question about when and how was: “See that you are not deceived.”
Lately I have been getting a lot of questions and comments about the way the Church is or is not embracing the things concerning the Jews and Israel. I see divisions and hear some amazing things. I feel that it’s important to address them, and yet who am I to do that? I am no authority, but I am concerned. I do have opinions that have been formed through much reading of scripture, prayer and walking, but what I want to ask is for YOU to do something. I will pray about addressing this a bit the next time that I write, but if you feel that this is at all an issue on God’s heart, will YOU pray about it too? I have told you many times that I am neither a teacher nor a prophet – just a sheep. But I am here…set in the heart of Jerusalem and I do see this as an issue close to God’s heart and therefore one that the enemy hates. I don’t want to touch the subject without prayer preparation. What do you think?
THANK YOU FOR YOUR LOVE AND PRAYERS AND PRAYERS FOR THIS NATION – FOR HIM TO BE GLORIFIED. I send you MUCH love.
from your sis J