Tag Archives: Hamas

What I Learned in Church Today: Pray for Jerusalem

I was glad when they said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the Lord.”
Our feet are standing
Within your gates, O Jerusalem,
Jerusalem, that is built
As a city that is compact together;
To which the tribes go up, even the tribes of the Lord—
An ordinance for Israel—
To give thanks to the name of the Lord.
For there thrones were set for judgment,
The thrones of the house of David.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May they prosper who love you.
“May peace be within your walls,
And prosperity within your palaces.”
For the sake of my brothers and my friends,
I will now say, “May peace be within you.”
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
I will seek your good.

Psalm 122 (NASB)

Not that the sermon wasn’t good or the Sunday school class wasn’t stimulating, but this is the best thing I learned in church today (yesterday as you read this). Pastor Randy returned from being away for several weeks in California and led the congregation in an impassioned prayer for Israel in these trying times. Randy lived in Israel for fifteen years and still has many Jewish friends there. One of his friends calls Randy every three days or so and gives him an update on what is really happening there, events you’ll never see reported on CNN or MSNBC.

The Iron Dome missile defense is working but when a missile was intercepted directly over the home of Randy’s friend, they heard the loud explosion followed by the rain of shrapnel hitting the roof. The missile alarms go off daily prompting everyone to go to the shelters.

The friend’s adult age daughter’s boyfriend is an officer of an elite ground unit in the IDF. This officer was leading his men (in the IDF officers don’t tell soldiers to go and do something while sitting back, they always say “follow me” and then lead their troops) through one of the thirty-eight known Hamas terrorist tunnels in Gaza when a booby trap bomb blew up literally in his face.

The three men behind him died but amazingly, this man survived. A number of bones on his face were broken, bomb fragments are in both eyes, and he’s lost the hearing in one ear.

He will regain his sight eventually but will always be partially deaf.

Randy was insistent that we must pray for the peace of Jerusalem. He also said this:

And I will bless those who bless you,
And the one who curses you I will curse.

Genesis 12:3 (NASB)

Not only did Randy speak of blessings but of curses, and he even invoked these curses against all of Israel’s enemies.

He also recited Psalm 122:6 in Hebrew and wished we could read and speak it in Hebrew as well:

שַׁאֲלוּ, שְׁלוֹם יְרוּשָׁלִָם

Remember the second half of that verse:

May they prosper who love you…

Which strongly implies the opposite to those who hate Jerusalem.

terror tunnel discoveredFrom my point of view, loving Israel and cherishing Jerusalem is a “no brainer,” but after all, my wife of over thirty years is a Jew and I have learned a deep-seated compassion for the nation and the people whom God has called His “priests” and the “apple of His eye”.

I also consider it spiritual suicide to not love Israel for in the end, God Himself will defend her against all of her enemies in war, which sadly I fear, includes the nation in which I live.

This topic wasn’t supposed to spill over into Sunday school class but when Charlie was asking for prayer requests, I mentioned that Randy fulfilled my typical request in a much better way than I ever could. That started a discussion and one fellow, who tends to have a “sparky” temper at times, inserted the “there are two sides to every story” argument.

I didn’t mind, and in fact I agreed with him, when he said that the Arab non-combatants in Gaza are as much victims of Hamas as the Jewish Israelis, but he then downgraded Israel and her current Jewish population saying they are guilty of doing many wrongs as well.

I can’t speak for the actions of every individual in Israel, but I can see that God didn’t promise to fight off the enemies of the “Palestine,” He will defeat the enemies of Israel. To stand against Israel now, even in the slightest degree, isn’t only standing on the wrong side of history, it’s standing on the wrong side of God.

I wasn’t the only one to come to Israel’s defense in class, and shortly afterward, this fellow seeing “both sides” got up and left, followed a minute or so later by his wife.

I actually feel bad about that because on many other levels, this person does love Jesus and sincerely serves him (he just returned with a group from our church who went on a short-term missions trip to the Philippines and Thailand). It’s just that so many Christians are blind as to the true focus of Christ’s love and what Jerusalem means to him.

I mentioned before that I thought John MacArthur’s current battle against the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) over PCUSA’s support of “marriage equality” was something of a Red Herring, not because MacArthur isn’t sincere (he’s always sincere), but because the center of God’s attention is always Israel.

This isn’t to say that missions trips or the many other fine endeavors of the Church are “Red Herrings,” but we can’t let all of these other activities make us take our eye off the ball, so to speak, lest we lose the prosperity that comes of loving Jerusalem and praying for her Shalom.

The rest of the world, and particularly Europe, are attacking the Jews over perceived Israeli injustices in Gaza. Sometimes those attacks include physical assaults against Jewish people. How long before European nations start marshalling their armies and physically attack the nation of the Jews: Israel?

Here in America, we have lost our way as well and can no longer see the moral chasm between Israel and Hamas (that last link leads to an article written by General James T. Conway, who retired in 2010, and was the 34th commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps). Most of us, including many in the Church, swallow the anti-Israel, anti-Jewish propaganda being pumped at us by the mainstream news media as well as social media venues. We pay attention to secular “wisdom” and abandon the Word of God. More’s the pity.

IsraelRandy said that in the days of the Temple, many of the songs of ascents would be sung by those who were going up to Jerusalem, to the House of the God of Jacob, He asked us to imagine going up the steps with Psalm 122 on our lips. Imagine the Levitical priests singing the songs as you entered the Temple court. Imagine the anticipation, the grandeur, the beauty, the thrill of approaching a tangible encounter with God in the only place in the world He has placed His Name.

I reminded my Sunday school class that in modern Judaism, you can pray the Psalms for different occasions. This is a good occasion to pray Psalm 122 for the peace of Israel.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; those who love you will be serene. May there be peace within your wall, serenity within your palaces. For the sake of my brethren and my comrades, I shall speak of peace in your midst. For the sake of the House of Hashem, our God, I will request good for you.

Psalm 122:6-9 (Stone Edition Tanakh)

“Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city of Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God…

Revelation 21:9-10 (ESV)

One last cautionary note. Verse five of Psalm 122 says, “For there sat thrones of judgment.” There will be a judgment against those who do not seek Israel’s peace. Choose a blessing and not a curse. Choose life.

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Reposted: Missiles Fired on Nuclear Reactor in Dimona

I’m reposting this news item from VirtualJerusalem.com

Palestinian terrorists have fired missiles at the Nuclear Reactor in the Israeli city of Dimona.

The missiles fell in an open field and did not cause any injuries, nor did it hit the intended target.

The missiles were launched shortly after the IDF launched operation “Amud Anan” early on Wednesday, November 14th with the targeted assassination of the commander of Hamas’s “military” terror wing, Ahmed Jaabari.

“Amud Anan” was launched in response to the hundreds of rockets that the residents of Southern Israel have encountered in the past week.

Prime Minister Netanyahu held a press conference on Wednesday evening stating that Israel will not “come to terms” with the attacks on its citizens.

The alert level in Israel was raised to “gimel”

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, the safety of the nation of Israel, and all of the souls she nurtures and protects.

Release from Darkness: Gilad Shalit

Gilad and Noam ShalitThe Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisonersIsaiah 61:1

A teary-eyed Israel, headed by the Shalit family, welcome Gilad back home to Israel Tuesday after 1,941 days in captivity at the hands of Hamas and allied terrorists, some of whom continued to urge more kidnappings. He has undergoing [sic] medical tests before returning to his family home in the Galilee.

-From IsraelNationalNews.com

I’m writing this “extra meditation” because I have a selfish reason for being glad Sgt Gilad Shalit was finally released from his captors. My son David is the same age as Gilad and for the entire time Gilad was a captive of Hamas, David was in the United States Marine Corps. David was deployed twice, including a seven month deployment in Iraq. My son, thank God, was never in combat, never shot at, never captured, never injured in an act of war, and was honorably discharged just a little over a year ago. He now lives here in Idaho with his wife and 2 1/2 year old son.

But on David’s dog tags, along with the other usual information about him, it identified him as a Jew.

I’m not Jewish, but my wife is, so that makes my children Jewish. That makes David Jewish. Of course I feared for my son’s safety when he went into war zones but I especially feared that, if captured by the enemy, he would be treated with particular cruelty because he’s Jewish.

I have some small idea of how Gilad’s father, Noam Shalit must have felt when Gilad was in the hands of Hamas.

I also have some small idea of the elation Gilad’s parents must be feeling right now, seeing their son alive and whole for the first time in over five years. Gilad was only 19 years old when he was captured by the terrorist organization Hamas. I can’t imagine what he was put through, though in the days and weeks again, I’m sure the full story of how he was treated in captivity will be released.

But amid the joy of Gilad’s return to his homeland and his family, there are these sobering consequences as reported by the IsraelNationalNews.com story:

The happiness of the fulfillment of the mitzvah of bringing back a Jew from captivity was mixed with the pain and fear that more Israelis will be murdered by the 1,027 terrorists and security prisoners who were freed in exchange for Shalit.

In Gaza and Ramallah, thousands of Arabs wildly celebrated the return of the first batch of terrorists, except for those to be deported.

Hamas leaders, including one of those released from jail, continued to call for more kidnappings of Israeli soldiers to gain the freedom of terrorists who were not included in the swap.

What will happen and how will Gilad and his family feel the first time one of the freed terrorists commits another murder? I’m not saying that Israel shouldn’t have accepted the deal. As a parent, I selfishly would have done anything to free my son from the band of murderers who were holding him and tormenting him daily. But this young soldier’s freedom comes at a very high price.

Gilad is free and he’s home and he’s safe and I thank God for His kindness and His providence, but I must now pray that the criminals who had to be released in exchange for this one young man are prevented from hurting anyone else. I must also pray for all the other IDF soldiers who are in danger of being kidnapped by terrorists, held, tortured, tormented, and finally released years later in exchange for another thousand killers who are dedicated to the extermination of all Jews and the eradication of Israel.

“A Jew never gives up. We’re here to bring Mashiach, we will settle for nothing less.” –Harav Yitzchak Ginsburgh

How many sons and daughters will be killed and kidnapped before the Messiah comes? We want Meshiach now.