What Is Determined Shall Be Done1 | VOL. 25 * NEWSLETTER * July/August, 1995 |
Dear Friends of “Or Tzion,”
the morning of Monday, July 23rd, started with a phone-call from our son Yizrael in Tel Aviv, “Mom, do you have radio or TV on?” “No.” “Go, turn it on.” I went to turn on both. “Why?” I asked. “Listen to what they are saying.” I listened. Bus # 20 was bombed at a major intersection in Tel Aviv, just a few hundred meters from where Yizrael lives. “But I am alright, Mom,” he said. “That’s why I am calling, so you won’t worry. The sound of the blast and the sirens of the ambulances woke me up. It’s at the intersection you always take when driving home.”
I sat down watching the TV coverage, joined by our younger son, Ami. My heart is becoming numb to the weekly tragedies. But my tears still flow, quietly. One learns to cry here without making a sound. One cries – and listens. Barely a few days before that two youngsters the age of our Ami were found murdered in the Wadi al-Qult near Jericho, one month before their army time. Their throats were slit open. The Wadi al-Qult is a popular hiking area, with a famous monastery built right into the rock of the mountain tradtionally thought to be the mountain of temptation. A week before that three soldiers had died in an ambush. Now another city-bus was bombed in the center of Tel Aviv, killing, maiming and injuring defenseless civilians.
How much more can a people take? How much more pain can one endure?
We have now been living in Israel for eigh years. We arrived in April 1987, and the intifada started in Novemberofthe same year.Since then the killing has not stopped. With the beginning of tthe so-called “peace” process terrorism has increasednad hasbecome aweekly occurrence,sometimes eventwice in one week.
And I observe, and wonder.
Never have I known a nation such as this one: she hates herself as much as the world hates her. She wants to be accepted – NOT by G-d, but by the nations. She wants to please – NOT G-d, but the Gentiles. She imitates their ways, above all the Amercian ways. The nations say, “Bow down, that we may passover you”; and she makes her back like the ground and like the street for them to pass over2.
Her self-hatred is self-destructive, her willingness to be victimized endless. Her depression seems permanent, although Israelis really know how to cover it up, how to escape. They live life with a wild passion, almosst ferociously – because tomorrow may never come. Their favorite color is black, the color of depression and mourning. Almost all Israeli artists without fail wear black onstage, as if there were no other color.
Because her enemies sit at the same table and speak with her, she embraces them as if they were dearly beloved friends, the sought-after lovers, I felt ashamed when I saw Israeli groups rush to Jordan the moment this peace treaty was signed, not allowing for a gradual, MUTUAL, warm-up of relations. Israelis literally flung themselves at the Jordanians, whose general feeling toward Israel is still cold animosityy.
Of course, not all Israelis are like that. As with everything else, there are always exceptions to the rule. There are those who have hope – not in the achievements of men, but in the promises of G-d. There are those who embrace and love the rich and warm Jewish culture, our destiny as a people. We have true Zionists and patriots, loving our land and our people. Yes, there is a core within this nation I am proud to identify with3. But the majority is an apostate, self-hating imitator of the Gentiles.
I watched how people took this newest bus-bombing. Everybody knew what to do, as if this was already a familiar routine, an accepted part of daily life. Eventually groups of protesters gathered, but a Knesset vote for or against continuance of peace negotiations nullified the protesters demands of halting the negotiatians. Prime Minister Rabin, of course, made the usual statements, calling this a difficult time but stating that we must not give the terrorists the reward they seek – ending the peace negotiations. No, on the contrary, Israel will continue.
To see ourgoverbnment so dekluded,so blindedm fills me with grief, anger and – holy fear. Their hearts are trapped uin a delusuion, and hardenedinto believing a lie. No matter what the wish of the majority isregarding this peace process, no matter what wise abnd discerning peoplesay – they continue down the path of destructuion. I ammore and more inclinded to elieve that the present leaders ofIsrael are G-d’s vesselsof wrath and destruction, created for this hour to fulfill His purpose, aswas pharaoh in the dauys of Moses (see Tomans 9:17-18, 22-24,, 27-29). it is indeed amost fearful thing to be caught inthesnamre of a delusion sent from G-d (see Thess. 2:11-12).
Therefore I have been praying to G-d to remember His promise: this time not to deal with His people as He did formerly according to their sinfulness and apostasy, but to save and deliver them for His holy Name’s sake4. I pray for G-d to deal with the shepherds, both spiritual and political, according to their deeds, because they are leading the people astray and down the path of destruction (see Ez 34). But to spare the flock, the sheep of His pasture.
There is so much anger, so much pain, so much frustration, and so much false hope. There are those who just cannot bear it anymore and leave the country, acting as though they were neither Jewish nor Israeli. They are just people, wanting to live in peace. But life goes on – through rivers of blood, torn limbs, mutilations, slashings, stabbings, axings, shootings, bombings – and the peace process.
G-d Neither Slumbers Nor Sleeps
But there is another process going on in the land. It is at work in the disciples of Yeshua, in those who knbow their G-d. It is an evergrowing indignatuion at the oppressors of Israel andthe betrayers in our midst, There is a power growing inside of us, not of violence, not of hatred, but of jealousy for the Lord our G-d and alove for our people and land.
“He [the Manof sin] will flatter those who hate the things of G-d, and win them over to his side [LB]. But the people who KNOW their G-d shall stand firm and take action [RSV]. Those with spiritual understanding will have a wide ministry of teaching in those days [LB] and shall make many understand [RSV]. But they will be in constant danger, many of them dying by fire and sword [shooting], or being jailed and robbed [LB – Dan. 11:32-33].”
On Tisha B’AV (the 9th of Av, August 5/6th), the day Jews fast and pray in commemoration of the many disasters that befell them on that date, such as the destruction of the first and second Temple, and the Spanish Inquisition, etc., about five thousand Israelis gathered in front of the Prime Minister’s residence to protest his policies. The people sat on the street, reading the prayers of this day and the book of Lamentations. No other voices were heard. The people sat in silence and discipline. Among them, for the first time, were also the elders of our congregation with their wives, and several members. We listened to speeches condemning the government’s policies; to calls to halt this course of action before it is too late, and to affirmations of fatih in G-d’s promise of the Land and the Jews’ rightful possession of it. We marched down Agron Street up to Jaffa Gate, around the wall of the old city passing Damascus Gate and the Golden Gate. Five thousand people, including youths, the old and children, made their way slowly toward the Western Wall [Wailing Wall] of the second Temple, in affirmation of the indivisibility of Jerusalem and her eternal status as the city of G-d and of His Messiah, the Holy One of Israel.
As it is written in Daniel, so did we. The way he and the Lord Yeshua identified with our people, we identified. With our participation we affirmed our unity with our people and declared our unity of faith. It is on the basis of such unity that we have the right and privilege to bear testimony to our people of the Messiah of Israel.
The Lord has begun to create in the hearts of His disciples both a readiness to testify to His salvation and a willingness to sacrifice. Before deciding to join in these peaceful demonstrations and in the passive resistance of civil disobedience, we sought the Lord’s guidance and direction. We searched our hearts to know whether or not we were ready to pay the price.
Daily we observe the emergence of two camps within Israel: the camp of the faithful, and the camp of the apostate. The camp that follows this government is pitted against the camp that follows G-d. We see Israeli police forces run down peaceful protesters, beating and arresting them. The mounted police even trampled them with their horses. Jewish men and women are thrown into prison by fellow-Jews for their opposition to dividing up Jerusalem, and giving up Judea, Smaria and the Golan. The demonstrators face loss and hardship as a consequence either of this government’s policies, or because of their opposition to them. If the settlers in Judea, Samaria and by Gaza are left without security services, while exposed to the rule of a gang of terrorists called “Palestinian Authority,” they will most certainly be falling by fire and gunshots, be jailed without trial and suffer the robbery not only of their homes, but of all that they have built and planted.
Jews beat and imprison Jews, fighting each other, to satisy the demands of Israel’s enemies. At the peaceful demonstration on Tisha B’Av the police was out in unpredecented force. Wherever we sat, stood or walked, the police was there in great numbers with cars, vans, horses and motorcycles. So was the border police and also the army. The people of Israel are in danger of becoming a divided people concerning Jewish sovereignty over G-d’s land, which two thousand years of exile and dispersion could not accomplish.
Thank G-d, He Who keeps Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps5. Therefore He is now strengthening those of us who keep His commandments and bear testimony of Yeshua6 to make up our minds to stand on His promises. We are not being political. Our actions testify to our unity with our people and to the truth that the Hope of Israel is realized in Yeshua haMashiach, Who alone is her salvation and deliverance.
If we, the Jewish disciples of Yeshua, keep aloof from our people’s burdens and sufferings, and passively look upon their fate and destiny, where upon would be base our right and obligation of testimony? Did not our Lord Himself make it clear that anyone who would be His disciple “… must love Me far more than he does his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers, or sisters – yes, more than his own life – otherwise he CANNOT BE MY DISCIPLE. And NO ONE can by My disciple who doess NOT carry his OWN cross and FOLLOW Me. But don’t begin until you COUNT THE COST… What good is salt that has lost its saltiness? FLAVORLESS salt is fit for nothing – not even for fertilizer. It is worthless and must be thrown out. Let him who has ears to hear understand my meaning…”7. Disciples who only talk but do not act are flavourtless. For faith without works is worthless8. Disciples who do not follow our Lord are not really disciples. They are believers who won’t – or can’t – pick up that cross of self-denial9.
Long before we emigrated to Israel I had searched my heart andcounted the cost: was I willing to give my sons and husband to the Lord to serve His purpose, whether in living or in dying, whether in honor or in prison? And was I willing to endure rejection and hatred from my people, even imprisonment, for the sake of the Lord and the Gospel? Only then did we make Aliyah. Now I have raised our sons and supported my husband to do the work to which the Lord has called him. My husband and sons don’t need me like before. But the Lord and the Gospel do, and so do my people who are ripe for the harvest. The time has come to follow Him in taking a stand for his own land, city and people. To bring them the good news of eternal life. To do this in Israel means to take up one’s cross of self-denial. As it is witten:
“…we are children of G-d, and if children, then heirs of G-d and fellow heirs of Messiah, PROVIDED we SUFFER with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him” (Romans 8:16-17).
It is a law that wherever darkness increases, so does the brightness and radius of light increase. As the night of this present evil age thickens, even the least of the Lord’s disciples will shine. Then those groping in the darkness for a ray of hope will be drawn to these lights like moths to the flame of a candle. But believers are not called to be solo-lights. They are called to shine as brightly as “a city upon a hill”10.
The Lord is readying the camp of the saints to become just such a city. Not only in Israel, but throughout the earth. The Lord is doing a new thing and I want to share it with you, so that you may also perceive it.