Weekly update: A spirit of grace and supplication

editor - 20 September 2019

All eyes are on the Israeli politics this week. The second elections in only 6 months have failed to produce a clear winner. The country is in a stalemate, and no-one has a simple solution, or is able to predict what will happen in the coming weeks. The reign of PM Netanyahu – who has dominated Israeli politics for two decades – may be coming to an end. Never has the political leadership of the nation seemed so fractured. President Rivlin will need a lot of wisdom to navigate the nation through this crisis in leadership.

But of course we only see the outside – the visible manifestations of unseen realities. Like the reverse side of tapestry, it all appears chaotic, frayed and unorganized. But the weaver of the tapestry is completing His perfectly designed creation.

What is God doing behind the scenes?

This week, we reflect on the words of the prophet Zechariah. In chapters 12-13, speaking of the time when Jerusalem will become a “cup of trembling” and a “burdensome stone for all nations”, and the nations will come against Jerusalem, the Lord will intervene to save Judah and Jerusalem. After that the Lord will cleanse the land of all uncleanness and idols.

God is restoring Israel not because the Jewish people are perfect, but in order to reveal His holy name to the nations. “Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the Lord.” (Ezekiel 38:23).

To achieve this goal, the Lord is doing a number of things in Israel in these last days. One is to bring His people back from the nations, plant them in the land, and settle them there. Second, He will destroy Israel’s enemies. Third, he will give unity to the nation. Fourth, He will cleanse it of all its idols and uncleanness, and pour on it a spirit of grace and supplication.

There will be no true national unity without repentance, cleansing and supplication.

We have no idea how this will play out. But I do believe that we have a calling to intercede to our High Priest on behalf of His people at this time of national crisis. Let us pray that the Lord will have His hand of grace over this people, give a spirit of sorrow in Israel for all that is unclean and unholy, and raise up (new?) leaders who can unite the nation and give honour to His holy name.

I suggest we pray especially for President Reuven Rivlin – a fourth generation Jerusalemite, whose beloved wife recently passed away, and who has a special heart for his nation.

Elections update
Read this report on the current state of affairs by our correspondent in Israel, Yochanan Visser:
New Israeli elections don’t solve stalemate in coalition forming

Unity and disunity

Here is an insightful comment by the Jerusalem post’s Editor-in-Chief on the lack of unity in Israel at the moment. It is a cry from the heart for a restoration of respect and unity in Israeli politics. Read article..

Jordan Valley

Israel’s security has been a recurring theme in the election campaigns. In this article, Maj. Gen. (ret.) Gershon Hacohen reflects on the strategic significance of the Jordan Valley, both from a military/security perspective, as well as its significance for the development of the nation. Read article..

Shabbat shalom,

Andrew Tucker
Editor-in-Chief – Israel & Christians Today


Scripture for the week: Zechariah 12

“1 The burden of the word of the Lord for Israel, saith the Lord, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.
2 Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.
3 And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.
4 In that day, saith the Lord, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness.
5 And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the Lord of hosts their God.
6 In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem.
7 The Lord also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah.
8 In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them.
9 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.
11 In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon.
12 And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart;
13 The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart;
14 All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart.”


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