Weekly Update | The Feast of Tabernacles: God is faithful

editor - 18 October 2019

As the Feast of Tabernacles – one of the great three feasts that the Lord commands the Jews to observe – comes to a close, we can reflect on its significance for the world.

Jews are commanded to spend this week in temporary shelters covered by palm and other branches through which they can observe the sky. This is to remind them of their dependence on God – and His loving providence – as they made their exodus from Egypt through the wilderness towards the Promised Land. And so we gentiles also learn about what it means to rely on God and trust in His providence.

Because it is celebrated at the time of the harvest, the Feast of Tabernacles is also prophetic of the future restoration of the Jews to the land, and the ingathering of the gentiles. The prophet Zechariah predicts the time when the Jews will have been restored (at least partially) to the land, and the nations will gather against Jerusalem. But the Messiah will come to destroy those nations that seek to destroy Jerusalem. Then those nations that survive will go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord Almighty.

The Lord has been gathering His people from the four corners of the earth over the last 150 years, and He continues to do so today. And today we also see the nations preparing more and more to “attack” Jerusalem – so far only with words (for example, the constant condemnation of Israel’s reunification of the city since 1967) but there will come a time when they will attempt to “fight against” the city with military might.

And so these prophecies of Zechariah are being fulfilled before our very eyes.

Just as the Lord is faithful to fulfil His promises towards the Jewish people, so too He will be faithful to gather the gentiles into His great harvest, when the Son of Man will come in glory to gather his elect (Matthew 24:30-31). This speaks to us of a time when the owner of the vineyard will return to see which of His servants are faithful, doing the things He has commanded, “producing fruit” (Matthew 21). And of the owner of the house who returns unexpectedly, hoping to find his faithful and wise servants “giving others their food at the proper time” (Matthew 24). It reminds us of the ten virgins who were waiting patiently with their oil lamps filled (Matthew 25), and of the marriage of the Lamb with His bride (Revelation 19).

Let us praise God for His faithfulness to the Jewish people, through which He is showing the glory of His name to the nations. Let us be found faithful, waiting and watching for the coming of the Lord, doing those things the Lord has commanded us to do.

Why Are Palestinians ‘Disappearing’ in Saudi Arabia?
In a recent article published by Gatestone Institute, Khaled Abu Toameh, an award-winning journalist based in Jerusalem, and Shillman Journalism Fellow at Gatestone Institute, reports:

  • The Geneva-based Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor (Euro-Med), a youth-led independent organization that advocates for human rights across Europe and the Middle East, said it has collected names of about 60 Palestinians detained by the Saudi authorities in recent months
  • Euro-Med said it considers the “practices of the Saudi authorities a flagrant violation of the requirements of justice, which guarantees everyone the right to a fair trial, including knowing charges against and the right to defense and access to a lawyer… [and] affirms that the relevant authorities do not comply with the international legal rules that guarantee the simplest rights of litigation for any individual…”
  • The Saudi authorities have offered no explanation for the widespread campaign targeting Palestinians in the kingdom. It appears that PA President Mahmoud Abbas and his officials in Ramallah fear that any criticism of this behavior would jeopardize the financial handouts and political support they receive from Saudi Arabia…. For Palestinian leaders, Saudi money and political backing far outweigh the fate of a few dozen Palestinians held without trial in an Arab country.
    Read more..

Architect of UN’s first anti-Semitism report says it is ‘long overdue’
Last month, Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, released the first UN human rights report wholly dedicated to anti-Semitism. In his report, Shaheed found that anti-Semitic incidents have created a “climate of fear” among Jews and refers to anti-Semitism as a threat that is “toxic to democracy.”

In a New York conversation with People of the Pod co-host Seffi Kogen, Shaheed said that prior to writing the report he had observed how disengaged the UN was on the subject of anti-Semitism and, at the same time, how violent the increasing anti-Semitic attacks were. His report, he said, is “long overdue” and a good starting point for the UN to use its global reach to address the issue.
Read more..

The Palestinians, Happiness, and the “Occupation”
Prof. Hillel Frisch (Bar Ilan University, BESA) writes that “in an academic ranking of countries according to happiness level, the “Palestinian Territories” are far from the bottom of the list – something of a surprise, as the never-ending lamentations about the “Israeli occupation” would suggest a different outcome. The real tragedy is Tunisia, which achieved democracy but has not registered expected economic dividends. Its citizens are more discontented than the Palestinians.”
Read more..

The Iranian Schindler
Marie-Louise Weissenböck (Christians for Israel Austria) has written a fascinating article about Abdol Hossein Sardari, an Iranian diplomat stationed in Paris, who went to extraordinary lengths to protect Iranian Jews from Nazi persecution.
Read more..

Weekly teaching by Rev. Willem Glashouwer – “the Times of the Gentiles”
When you read the Bible you see that creation will eventually evolve into the Kingdom of God. In Luke 21:20 Jesus speaks about the future. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the gentiles until the times of the gentiles are fulfilled. The times of the gentiles will be over when the great Prince of Peace will come to Jerusalem and will establish his Kingdom to the end of the earth. In this video Rev. Willem Glashouwer explains what the Bible says about the future.

Shabbat shalom,

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


Scripture for the week: Matthew 24:36-51

“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.
“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
“Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.


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