Greetings dear brothers and sisters in Yeshua,
As the last Shabat of the year 5776 begins to approach, may His Shalom, His Peace, flood your hearts and minds and anchor them in His Presence. May you be blessed and edified and may He be blessed and glorified!
“Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, ‘All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.'” Matthew 4:8
“Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!’” Revelation 11:15
The train has begun running again and the many kilometers of barriers are being swiftly removed. Roads are all re-opening and an extraordinary day is passing into the shalom of shabat.
From my front row seat, just 3 blocks from Har Hertzl (Mount Hertzl), the kings, presidents and prime ministers from more than 80 nations of the world assembled to bury Shimon Peres…master statesman, philosopher, brilliant orator, man of peace, scholar, wise man among the wise, co-author of the failed Oslo peace accords and the list goes on and on. At 93, Shimon Peres was the last of the greats, and sadly, the last of the founding fathers of this, the modern state of Israel.
I was unable to go to work today as we were totally blocked off (sequestered, quarantined) and although I could have walked the distance TO work, coming home would have been far more difficult, so I passed. Instead I listened to the speeches and watched the faces and wondered at the swift running changes and upheavals taking place all around me. Gathered before me was our entire government sitting with leaders from the Palestinians, most of the European nations, African nations, nations from every continent, America, Canada, more then I could keep track of. Presidents Obama and Clinton both gave eloquent speeches, as statesmen do, moving speeches, reflective words, nothing to be mocked, noble human thoughts.
And that snapped me back to the scriptures that I had read the morning before Peres passed from this world.
I have shared many times that when I first came to know Him, it seemed to me that I had to ask Him, “How do You want me to read YOUR book?”
He answered that I was to read every day, in order, beginning at Genesis and Matthew together, reading daily, morning by morning, straight through, from beginning to end and then repeat again, and to CONTINUE that way until He changed it. So I did. For 40 years.
Then He ADDED a Psalm and the Prophets (4 sections, in order, beginning to end…over and over) AND wherever I was also meditating (which HAPPENS to be Revelation right now.) ANYWAY, over the years I have OFTEN stood amazed at the juxtaposition of scriptures that I would read in a day, how they dovetailed and spoke together to the events of the day. I marveled at how He did that as I read in order. So it was on Tuesday morning as I read of the enemy’s temptation to Yeshua and THEN the triumphal heavenly voices proclaiming, “THE KINGDOMS OF THIS WORLD HAVE BECOME THE KINGDOMS OF OUR LORD AND OF HIS CHRIST, AND HE SHALL REIGN FOREVER AND EVER!”
Well, I stopped. If I didn’t fall to my knees, well, my heart surely did.
This is why we are instructed to pray: “Thy KINGDOM come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…” The battle is on, the battle rages between KINGDOMS, and although we KNOW the outcome, we are not yet living in it but only in part.
Different kingdoms. Completely. The god of this world appears to me to be secular humanism. Man sits in the seat that belongs to God, proclaiming himself to be the center, the wise instructor, the leader, the one purpose worthy of praise.
It will NOT be this way in The Kingdom of God!
Shimon Peres was not a man who chose to follow God. His vision was a world of peace under one leadership of men’s wisdom. He was truly a king of secular humanism, at its best – noble men who seek wisdom. How sad that the imitation is not the goal, but how easy it is to be drawn away from our goal by the glow of other lights.
And so, the great rulers of this world gathered and yes, applauded a man who did indeed do noble things, yes, REALLY noble things. In spite of being the leader of the far left wing and trying to lead Israel away from God’s plan for her, his long history included many important if not great achievements for this country. How very appealing nobility is apart from God’s majesty. Perhaps we get a glimpse of this phenomenon when John marveled at the whore clothed in scarlet and purple and riding on the beast and was reprimanded by the angel who said, “WHY DID YOU MARVEL?”
“Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.” So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement. But the angel said to me, “Why did you marvel? (Revelation 17:1-7)
The kingdoms battle around and within us. We choose the kingdom of God and our KING. Yet we still walk in this world, don’t we?
You can’t IMAGINE a more inconvenient day for a great man to die or place. PICTURE, please, the entire city of Jerusalem running around like crazy trying to prepare for Rosh h’shana, which begins on Sunday night. THAT MEANS: The last shabat of the year, Friday night and Sat. Shop and prepare like crazy Friday morning and Sunday morning and SUDDENLY…FORGET FRIDAY! Not only that, but BEFORE all of the friends and relatives converge around your table, and you give out all of your gifts, and you say all of your prayers and you make ALL of those preparations. MANY OF THE KINGS OF THE EARTH COME TO THE CITY!
Well, they pulled it off.
Shimon Peres was a very controversial figure in life, a lot in so many ways like Barak Obama, who admired him deeply. Indeed, he was admired MUCH more by the statesmen of the nations than the people of Israel. But as all men of flesh, the time is so short and it is over.
What a GREAT GIFT we have received. This mystery of the cleansing of sin through belief in The Blood of Yeshua – the gift of eternal life. How HUGE! My entire nation turns at this season of renewal and repentance and seeking to be written in the book of Life for The Answer that we have so freely received. May we be refreshed by a flooding of our first love and a vision that keeps us from the snares that the kingdoms of this earth have for us.
My own earthly father passed away between the first and last sounding of the shofar on Rosh h’shana. The sages say that those who die during these days of the high holidays are tsadikim (holy). They also say that during the days between Rosh h’shana and Yom Kippur (the “days of awe” – deep soul searching and repentance) THE BOOK OF LIFE IS OPEN AND ALL OF THOSE WHO WILL BE INSCRIBED FOR LIFE ARE WRITTEN, but those not inscribed for life will be taken.
MAY EACH OF YOU FIND NEWNESS OF JOY IN THE FIRM KNOWLEDGE THAT YOU ARE INSCRIBED IN THE LAMBS BOOK OF LIFE…AND MAY HE BE GLORIFIED IN OUR LIVES! MAY HIS KINGDOM COME AND HIS WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN!
I send this with much love,
Your sister J in Jerusalem