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 with grace and mercy in The Blessed Name of our Lord, Yeshua h’meshiach, The risen Lord who IS ALIVE and has given us life in Himself. May He be blessed and glorified and may you be blessed and encouraged.
Today is regional election day across all of Israel. My husband and I joined the throngs of voters who, for the first time, were given a day off from work in order to increase voter turnout. As we made our way to the local school, we reviewed the procedure, which is so different than the ones that we grew up with in America.
There were heated discussions vibrating in the air as we approached our voting station so we knew that we were in the right place. We have the privilege of voting for the Mayor of Jerusalem. Selah! Talk about a man with a responsibility and burden. We asked for God’s wisdom as we voted and to give our new mayor HIS vision and His wisdom. We had 3 candidates to choose from on the ballot. However FIVE names appeared in the voting booth. I do not understand that, but hey, this is Israel. Why not?
We went up to a guard at the door who checked the typed list of voters for our station, checked our names, ID numbers, ID cards, addresses, and told us which room to go to. We passed a wonderful exhibit of perhaps 4th graders (‘kita dalet’) dioramas of their studies on the book of Jonah. The little 3-D shoe box scenes were hysterical! But this is a local public school, and the kids were learning about Jonah. Selah…this is Israel.
Once in our room, we approached a long table with a man and a woman. There is a sensitivity here to the practice of women dealing with women and men dealing with men. Not all do this, but the religious definitely do. They allow us to go into the room together seeing that we were “married old people.” Usually, only one is allowed into the room at a time. Again the book of names was searched and two people verified our names and numbers, again checking us against our ID photos.
I was curious about three men sitting in chairs next to a wall. Our numbers were called out to them and each of them checked us off with a pen and ruler. It wasn’t until I left that I realized that these three were independent observes, one from each party of the candidates up for election. (Hmm! Not five, but three. This IS Israel.)
To my husband’s chagrin, we had to part. I went alone behind the short curtain to confront the process. It really ISN’T that difficult, nonetheless I break out into a cold sweat each time. Before entering the booth, I was handed 2 envelopes: a yellow one and a white one (in National elections they are blue and white).
Now, in front of me on a table was a box of slots, each holding a series of slips of papers. I was to pick a name, written only in Hebrew, on the yellow papers and then a letter or a series of letters representing a party or group of parties on the white papers. (again, all in Hebrew).
My husband and I had gone over our choices at home and what they looked like. I had suggested that he take a picture on his phone of his choice but he said that he had it down.
I sealed my yellow slip into my yellow envelope and my white slip into my white envelope and exited the curtain to place them in the slit in the top of an officially sealed cardboard box. I was done.
I watched my husband enter. I waited. The people next in line waited. People looked at their watches. He poked his head around the curtain and motioned to me and whispered, “Pssst! Which envelope do I put what in?”
The workers smiled and nodded to me. We sorted it out. We came out and claimed our ID cards (teudot zehut) and left feeling really happy. Duty accomplished!
On the way back to our apartment a couple approached us and in hesitant Hebrew, with thick Russian accents, the woman asked, “Excuse me, but do you know where Yafe Nof School is? And is that where we are supposed to vote?”
Her husband watched us all nervously. This was new to them and I remembered the feeling and was thrilled to help them. New immigrants have come home and all are able to see that the days of the fishers are closing and the days of the hunters are here. JEREMIAH 16:14-21 put back into perspective things that we are witnessing with our very eyes:
“Therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “that it shall no more be said, ‘The Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,’ but, ‘The Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands where He had driven them.’ For I will bring them back into their land which I gave to their fathers. “Behold, I will send for many fishermen,” says the Lord, “and they shall fish them; and afterward I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain and every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks. For My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from My face, nor is their iniquity hidden from My eyes. And first I will repay double for their iniquity and their sin, because they have defiled My land; they have filled My inheritance with the carcasses of their detestable and abominable idols.” O Lord, my strength and my fortress, My refuge in the day of affliction, The Gentiles shall come to You From the ends of the earth and say, “Surely our fathers have inherited lies, Worthlessness and unprofitable things.” Will a man make gods for himself,Which are not gods? “Therefore behold, I will this once cause them to know, I will cause them to know My hand and My might; And they shall know that My name is the Lord.”
On the day that the Jewish community in Pennsylvania USA were burying the dead that had been murdered during a Shabbat worship, we joined the throngs of those born here and the immigrants coming home to vote. Restored Jerusalem! And the call continues to go out to all Jews around the world, “It is time to come home. The time is NOW. The time is LATE. There is no time left to tarry. DON’T LOOK BACK! The hunters are here.”
But the land of milk and honey, the land of promise is a land of giants, dry and parched and it is scary! It is hard to make ends meet. It is hard to learn the language and the culture. Don’t you realize that there are 800 MILLION Arabs, most of whom hate us, surrounding us and plotting to destroy us?
BUT GOD HAS TOLD US (and HE CAN NOT LIE) that this IS a land of milk and honey, streams and brooks, the land that HE waters, the land of promise given to us by He Who owns the cattle on 1,000 hills Who will provide for us and that we are to live by faith not fear, where God Himself has planted us, watered us, given us every nutrient with which to grow and bear fruit and that He has ALREADY conquered our enemies. “They are bread for us,” said Joshua and Caleb.
Our enemies. It is odd how they most often seem to shoot themselves in the foot. Take elections for example. ISRAELI Arabs as opposed to Palestinian NON-Israeli Arabs who are either under by their own choice PA rule or Hamas rule having full and equal rights with all other Israelis, of course have the right to vote. Here’s an example of ‘shooting oneself in the foot. Ffrom today’s Jerusalem Post):
“The fatwa (Muslim religious ruling) issued by the Council of Jerusalem Sheikhs, led by al-Aqsa Mosque sheikh Akram Sabri, forbidding Arabs from voting appeared to have impacted a sizeable portion of the 180,000 eligible voters in the Arab sector.”
I know that even those of you who get very little news from my region of the world are, nonetheless aware that it is an ever changing cinder box here. Still, we KNOW that NOTHING takes The Lord by surprise and that nothing touches the apple of HIS Eye is a mistake. What an HONOR that He calls us to pray, to seek Him face to Face for what is on His Heart.
Lately many internal alarms have been stirring within me, actually they have been rumbling for weeks now.
An unusual amount of friends from overseas who have written lately, and who do keep up with news here, have been unaware of the amount of damage that has been ongoing through the more sophisticated use of incendiary balloons and weekly and the daily massive rioting along the Gaza border. I find myself wondering where all of these tires that are being burned and all of those gas canisters filling all of these balloons are coming from.
There has been also a big increase in rocket fire from Gaza, more sophisticated rockets supplied by Iran. Please understand; the fires and massive riots are DAILY events now and I do not know how long this can continue before we really have to respond. Many things have been keeping us from that response. We ARE facing a war on a number of fronts. Iran is pressing down on us through Hezbollah to the North, Hamas from the West, massive amounts of advanced weapons have entered both Syria and Lebanon. Nothing is as simple as it looks. Prayer for our leaders is a matter of survival because they MUST have wisdom from Above as the wisdom of man fails.
My eyes are also failing and closing on me before I finish this letter, so I would like to close with the fragment of a verse from Revelation 19:7 that so touched me this week:
Let us be glad and rejoice and give the glory unto Him”…
Such simple words, but when you look at them IN CONTEXT, coming after the events revealed in chapter 18, they are truly extraordinary. Looking unto Jesus, (Yeshua) The Author and Finisher of our faith…” Looking AWAY from all of it unto Him! `
May The God of all grace and mercy keep you and us for His glory.
Blessings with love,
your sis J