The Shuk in Jerusalem
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 —
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Greetings in the name of the One who created heaven and earth and Who redeemed us to be a remnant for His Own glory. May Yeshua h’meshiach − Jesus Christ − be glorified and blessed and may you be blessed and encouraged.
What a world we live in and what a joy to know that we are in His Hands and He is neither early nor late nor taken by surprise by anything.
I went down town to the local “outreach book store” where my dear friend works. While I was walking there on Jaffa Road (Rehov Yaffo), the main thoroughfare along which our train now runs, I was struck by a strange mixture of tension and relaxation. Blue lights flashing from police vehicles that precede and follow the trains, keeping watch for suspicious people and objects, rush up and down the tracks every minute or two. The trains are constantly a target of stone throwers and there have been various incidents on the train as well. You can almost see the sinews on the necks of the police/soldiers standing out as they strain with tension, searching the crowd and the tracks.
It seems almost odd that the sidewalks along the tracks are dotted with cafés filled with umbrellas and tables full of people sipping coffee and eating, messing with their cell phones and just visiting. Now it is true that this is an Israeli strategy. The national stance is that “where one is killed, two will stand and are planted; we will live life as normal, even if the times aren’t normal.”
Having been given more than ample opportunity to practice this, we are good at it. Nonetheless a mixture of emotions hit me:
1) This is sad…
2) This is resilient…
3) Does anyone else notice this or am I the strange one here?
Frankly, I don’t know, BUT what an example of the believer’s stance was on display before me. Surrounded by enemies sworn to destroy us, we are protected and guarded by His host to stand in the gap and praise and worship Him with peace and joy while taking no thought for tomorrow.
This suddenly seemed to me to be a glowing example of faith.
And perhaps faith IS the issue here. Although granted, maybe not all of those people seated along the tracks were standing in the faith of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, BUT SOME ARE!
As I rode the train home I was surprised to see long banners of the Israeli flag being carried along with calls for repentance. We are called here to be priests unto God!
Because I believe His Word, I believe that in the end, we will see it come to pass, just as He said, not necessarily as our limited personalities interpret it. To quote just one of many promises:
Jeremiah 33:16-16 and 25, 26
14 ‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord, ‘that I will perform that good thing which I have promised to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah: ‘In those days and at that time I will cause to grow up to David a Branch of righteousness; He shall execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. In those days Judah will be saved, And Jerusalem will dwell safely. And this is the name by which she will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.’ (yes…we who are blessed to know His Name know that He has been here once…these wait for Him with anticipation not knowing that He has already come once and will return!)
25 “Thus says the Lord: ‘If My covenant is not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth, then I will cast away the descendants of Jacob and David My servant, so that I will not take any of his descendants to be rulers over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. For I will cause their captives to return, and will have mercy on them.’”
It’s amazing – but not really – how up to date His Word is because it is eternal and TRUE. Several mornings ago I was engaged in my regular reading, part of which currently is in Genesis when I read:
The Angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hand.” Then the Angel of the Lord said to her, “I will multiply your descendants exceedingly, so that they shall not be counted for multitude.” And the Angel of the Lord said to her:
“Behold, you are with child,
And you shall bear a son.
You shall call his name Ishmael,
Because the Lord has heard your affliction. He shall be a wild man;
His hand shall be against every man,
And every man’s hand against him.
And he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.” (Genesis 16:9-11)
” Then God said: “No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time next year.” (Genesis 17:19-21)
The wind was blowing just right this morning so that I heard the piercing sound of the Muslim call to prayer. I usually don’t hear it because I live on the western side of town. I thought, this is the age-old wrestling match between Jacob and Esau. The two wrestled in the womb before they continued to wrestle on earth. Yes, they’re still wrestling today.
The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob −Elohim − is NOT the god of Ishmael and Esau: Allah. Their nature and character is as different as is their expression of who they are. Elohim calls to life while Allah to death. The inscription around the top of the Alaksa Mosque is “allah is one…and HE HAS NO SON.” (Yes, this is inscribed in Arabic).
And yet: “For God so loved the world that He gave His Only begotten Son…”
It is so very evident as I walk through the streets that the ancient battle is still being fought today.
After leaving the bookstore, I noticed a different tension as I waited for the train. Then I heard it: the dreaded word ‘pe’goo’ah‘ (attack). I listened awhile and it was obvious that someone was badly injured. It turned out to be two young boarder police/soldiers. Both women. The 19 year old later died of her wounds.
Did you hear about this? Or about the many others?
I began to ask those around me for more details, which were still sketchy. The attack was just 2 stops away, at ‘Sha’ar Schem’, often called Damascus Gate in English. It seemed that there were 3 attackers with knives, guns and explosives.
Many of my fellow passengers on the train were young soldiers. I could see their emotions. They wanted to scream but that they didn’t know how to express themselves. They needed to care. They needed to DO SOMETHING and so there I was… the first available little old lady they could do something for. I became their object of attention.
“Here, can I help you? Why don’t you stand HERE?” one young soldier took my shopping cart and moved it to where he was, regardless of the fact that I had a perfectly good spot.
Another soldier standing nearby and not wanting to be outdone said, “Do you know where you are going? Can I help you find your way?”
This COULD have been offensive if I didn’t understand their need to give, to help, to find some control in the midst of these uncontrollable’ situations. That is what our soldiers are trained to do: to find the solution.
I smiled and said, “Thank you but I just live here. I’m on my way home from work.’” I thought about how I so often NEED TO DO SOMETHING when The Lord would have me sit still and wait.
How little He asks of us: to trust and obey…and die to self! Oy! Yes Lord!
Thank you for your prayers for this nation and our people. We shall see HIS glory and HE WILL BE GLORIFIED!
God bless you.
your sis J