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 —
Greetings in Yeshua h’meshiach, Jesus The Lord, Who saved and redeemed us with His Own Precious Blood for His purposes and His glory. May He be blessed and glorified, and may you, my sisters and brothers in Him be blessed and edified.
FIRST, I WANT TO GIVE HIM THE GLORY AND THANKSGIVING. And also thanks to you for your prayers, for experiencing the BEST healing that I ever have throughout a long history of surgeries and surprises. THIS surprise was the best: NO COMPLICATIONS AND A MIRACULOUSLY RAPID HEALING!
Although the surgeons did not use the word miraculous, that is exactly what it was. I was told initially that it would be 6 weeks at home (to the panic of my boss), but with all of your prayers, that has changed.
My appointment with the surgeon was on the 30th. She looked and was WELL pleased. She said, “Great! Looks wonderful. You can go back to work TODAY if you like.”
I yelled in horror, “Has v’ha leelah!!” (literally “GOD FORBID!”) The look of horror on my face caused her to burst out laughing. “PLEASE can I have another week?”
I didn’t need to beg much as she quickly replied, “No problem,” with a big smile and wrote out a sick note for me. Yes, we need sick notes for work here. The note covered me until this rapidly approaching Wednesday when I must (to the great joy of my boss) return to work again.
I am exceedingly grateful for the touch from The Lord upon my body. And I apologize for what may SEEM like ungratefulness for the speed with which I am able to return to work. I constantly battle my flesh, which The Lord in His graciousness convicted me of YEARS ago through Proverbs 18:1
“A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment.”
Yes, I had the heart of an avowed hermit and The Lord convicted me of this a long time ago, putting a heavenly magnifying glass up to it for me and letting me see roots of self-will, fears, pride, arrogance, contentiousness, self self self! And so, yes, these couple of weeks at home, albeit accompanied by pain, had enabled me to read, rest, knit, listen. Oh my, I enjoyed it.
Thank You Lord for not letting me enjoy it TOO much and now I prepare to re-enter the arena of service before me.
And here in Israel, as always, and actually in the entire world now, a time of uncertainty and many are fearful.
While I have been at rest, the Lord has laid two areas of prayer on my heart that I never would have come up with myself. One has to do with our internal struggle concerning a particular group of some 40,000 Africans seeking “refugee” status here, specifically from Sudan and Eritrea. The second I will mention first, concerning Holocaust survivors.
Several years ago, Holocaust memorial days were adopted around the world. The observance here was established at the beginning of our modern nation and is observed 23-24 April this year. The date floats between April and May because of the differences in the Hebrew and Gregorian calendars.
One morning as I was spending time with The Lord, I felt Him whisper to my heart, “Pray that they be able to let go.”
I was shocked as this scene unfolded as if it were in front of my understanding. These people are called SURVIVORS and THAT has become their identity, character, and nature. They have fought with everything that they have to remain alive and to carry the torch of LIFE through the fires of death. Now, so many of them are in their late 90s, very ill, suffering AND THEY ARE UNABLE TO LET GO.
I am almost afraid to write these words. My mind immediately goes to Kala Zeltzer. Oh what a precious lady! I have written about her many times. She has a room in the Holocaust Memorial (Yad VShem) here, that contains the few items she smuggled with herself through the camps. A room where she sits and tells others, classrooms of children and soldiers, and tourists and anyone who will listen, her story of struggle to survive and to believe and to live. This talented, sweet, gentle, positive woman who said to me once, “If there was no God, how could I have survived such horrors? He was with me through it all.”
She came out through the flames to build a life and family here in Israel and now at 96 she cannot let go, although she is suffering physically and emotionally. She is one of the few that I have gotten to share with about Him. I wish that I could say that she embraced Him. She listened attentively and then we talked about “God with us.”
I also think of Ya’akov and Ruth Lorkh – atheists, actually ‘haters’ of God – who say, “If there was a God, where was HE when we were in those places?”
What different attitudes and responses. I don’t pretend to know what makes one bitter and one sweet. I dare not be so arrogant but to plead for my own heart and the hearts of others to choose “sweet”in the face of great horrors that we don’t understand. They also are in their late 90s in pain and torment as is Geveret Simchovich, who tells me each time she sees me, “Why am I alive? I don’t want to be alive anymore!”
And yet they can NOT “let go” because they have MAJORED in survival.
IF this was a revelation from The Spirit of God, then I pray that you will confirm it in your own hearts. And if not, reject it, but I have begun to pray that they will be able to “let go.” AND that even now, HE will reach them and guide them home to HIMSELF.
The second prayer is more complicated perhaps, and perhaps even more controversial. Those seeking refugee status.
Maybe you are well aware of the awful wars in Sudan and Eritrea. AND of the many Christians, some VERY strong believers, and some are here. They walked across the desert to get here. But also there are Sudanese and many other Africans seeking work, but some are “terror plants.”
We are specifically speaking of those who are from Sudan and Eritrea who are seeking asylum. It is a fairly small number out of the entire group. The two ‘arguments’ are: ‘This is the one tiny Jewish’ nation on earth and we must maintain her Jewish identity. The other side being the command in the Tenach (Old Testament) to LOVE THE STRANGER IN YOUR MIDST AND NOT MISTREAT THEM FOR YOU MUST REMEMBER THAT YOU WERE A STRANGER IN EGYPT … THEREFORE LOVE THE STRANGER.
It is a STRONG often repeated COMMANDMENT and there has been a huge rift in our nation over this. Strangely, it is the religious party that is initiating forced deportations.
There are HUGE refugee questions around the entire world right now and HUGE problems and multi layered questions. I do NOT NOT NOT want to get into all of those. I am speaking specifically about ISRAEL and ONLY the 40,000 possible refugees from Sudan and Eritrea who have escaped the wars there.
I have NOT wanted to get into this battle either, but I do see both sides. Yet SUDDENLY I FELT AS IF THE LORD WAS TELLING ME THAT – YES – THIS WAS MY BATTLE TOO ON MY KNEES AND THAT HIS COMMAND TO LOVE THE STRANGER WAS A COMMAND.
My reading that day took me to 2 Samuel 21. This is the story of David seeking The Lord as to WHY there had been 3 years of drought in Israel BECAUSE HE KNEW THAT THE LORD REPRIMANDS US IN MANY WAYS, INCLUDING THROUGH THE WEATHER. The Lord told him that it was because of the treatment by Saul of the Gibeonites. I’m sure that you recall in Joshua 9 how an unwise treaty was made with the Gibeonites BECAUSE Joshua NEGLECTED to consult The Lord at this step of his battle for the land. They went by sight and not by The Spirit and made a covenant, an alliance with the Gibeonites whom The Lord said to destroy, for they were a NEAR TRIBE, although they disguised themselves to look as if they were from a distance.
2 Sam 21:2 states:
“…the children of Israel had sworn protection to them, but Saul had sought to kill them in his zeal for the children of Israel and Judah.”
Now, this is NOT the same situation. We have entered into no covenant with these people. BUT! The Lord brought this up to me. ASIDE from politics…ASIDE from liberal/conservative (forgive me but I hate politics!). ASIDE from all else. I could not deny that I believe The Lord was telling me that Israel was ABOUT TO MAKE A VITAL ERROR AND THAT I MUST PRAY THAT WE NOT ADD THIS SIN TO OUR ALREADY MANY sins.
I remind you that NEITHER of these subjects (the asylum seekers nor the survivors) were at all on my mind that morning. So I do believe that these were both burdens from The Lord’s heart and I am sharing them with you if perhaps He should put an agreement in your heart and also move you to pray.
And I DO hope that you pray for our nation and people and GOD GIVEN WISDOM for our leaders. NOT because we are so nice or romantic or so awful and sinful or so anything, but only because OF THE LORD, HIS WORD, HIS ETERNAL PURPOSES FOR HIS OWN REASONS AND NOT OURS, CHOOSING ISRAEL AND SETTING SO MUCH BEFORE US IN HIS WORD CONCERNING HIS HEART AND PURPOSES. THAT I AM SURE THAT HE EXPECTS US TO PRAY FOR THESE PURPOSES TO BE FULLFILLED.
AND, we have an enemy and I am not talking about Hamas or Hizbollah or Iran or Syria or Russia or Turkey but a far more enduring enemy who hates whatever God loves, and who hates whoever God sets His heart on, (which, yes, includes you and me and His body…and Israel). I’m only writing to you who KNOW that we are in a never ending battle for HIS GLORY ALONE.
May YOU be used of Him for the very same. Our poor world is so filled with darkness and lies and sin. But HE is The God of Truth and Mercy, Judgment, Light, Love and the extended Hand.
I do send you LOVE,
Your sis J