God’s Hand of Protection over a Jewish Family in Ashkelon

Last week, rockets rained down on Israeli towns and villages near the Gaza Strip, as Hamas fired off over 400 rockets in a single day.  (The most ever in the long-standing rocket war from Gaza.)

Thankfully, despite the heavy barrage, not a single Jewish Israeli life was lost (though one Arab Israeli was sadly killed by a rocket).  Year-after-year rockets are fired, but year-after-year there are incredibly few casualties. 

To fully understand the miracle, you must consider the proximity of Jewish towns and cities to the Gaza Strip.  Several are easily within 5 miles of the border with Gaza, giving residents virtually no time to seek shelter once a rocket is launched.  Furthermore, for the most part, we are not talking about remote homes that may be difficult to target and hit.  We are talking about well-established villages with fairly densely populated neighborhoods.

If you have ever thrown a ball or fired a weapon, you know that large targets at short distances greatly increase your likelihood of success.  Yet thousands of rockets over the years, at nearby, relatively large targets have yielded extremely few casualties.

How is that so?  

It can be explained only one way: the protective hand of the Lord. In fact, in 2014, even the terrorists recognized God’s intervention on behalf of His chosen people.  

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This past week produced other very specific examples of God’s hand of protection.  One instance is of a Jewish family who decided that fateful night to pull a mattress into the safe room and sleep there “just in case.”  Check this out:

God never ceases to amaze me!  How about you?

Rockets Rain Down on Israel

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IDF airstrike inside Gaza (Times of Israel photo)

Since Sunday night’s IDF special ops raid into the Gaza Strip, activity has ramped up in and around Gaza.  A top Hamas commander and several other terrorists were killed as a result of that mission, though it came at a cost.  Israeli sources have now confirmed that an IDF special ops officer was killed in that mission into the Strip on Sunday night, and another soldier was wounded.

Since then, Hamas has rained down at least 300 rockets on Israeli cities (perhaps the largest one day total ever), and the IDF has targeted over 70 Hamas and Islamic Jihad sites (backed by Iran) in the Gaza Strip.  Air raid sirens have gone off almost continually in cities throughout southern Israel and the Gaza Envelope (areas surrounding the Gaza Strip).  You will find a timeline and several videos here.

Meanwhile, other interesting things relative to the region are happening elsewhere.  During an official state visit to Paris to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.  It was the first meeting between Netanyahu and Putin since the Russian-made S-200 missile system (operated by Syrians, in Syria) shot down a Russian plane.  Israel was ultimately blamed for the incident.   Though no details of the meetings were reported, it is probable that Iranian influence in Syria and the region (including their backing of Hamas in Gaza) was a focal point in those conversations.

It is currently in the best interest of both Russia and Israel to cooperate at least to some degree militarily, in terms of not getting in each other’s way.  However, as we see events around the world, particularly in the Middle East, confirm Bible prophecy day-after-day, we know the stage is being set for end time events.  We see evidence suggesting the imminent destruction of Damascus (Isaiah 17:1), setting of the stage for the War of Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38-39), and the rise of the Antichrist out of Europe (Daniel 2, 7).

In fact, one cannot help but think the spirit of lawlessness, described in 2 Thessalonians 2, is already at work.  As I look at what’s happening in our world…and even America and evil things for which so many stand…I am reminded that our time is short.  What we see are signs of the tribulation,yet our rapture occurs before that terrible time of hell on earth.

As we see these things, we must be alert,  be about our Father’s business (as Jesus was in Luke 2:41-51), be watchmen on the wall (Ezekiel 33:1-6, Isaiah 62:6-7), sound the alarm (Joel 2:1, Jeremiah 4:5-6), and be ambassadors of Christ while still on this earth (2 Corinthians 5:20).

How are we doing?

PS: For a timely commentary on why Gaza is such a problem, check back later today.  Blessings!

Pray for an IDF Lone Soldier

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Most of you know that practically every Israeli 18-year-old is required to serve in the military.  (Girls for at least 2 years, boys for 3.)

However, did you know there are Jewish young people all over the world who choose to go to Israel for the specific purpose of serving in the IDF?  It’s true!  Each year hundreds come from across the globe to fulfill a duty to their homeland.  Those young people leave family, friends and everything they know to serve.

Here is the story about a lone soldier from right here in Phoenix!

We talk about supporting Israel, but do we really do it?  I’ve often said there are many tangible ways to do so, and here is one: how about praying specifically for a lone soldier?  Imagine bowing before the throne of God praying for a specific soldier!  What an incredibly tangible way to stand in support of Israel.

Click here to become a prayer warrior for a lone soldier.  I pray for Eitan, Daniel, Avraham and Naftali.  I hope you’ll commit to pray for your own lone soldiers!  We may never know just how greatly God uses our simple offering of prayer.

PS: While you’re at it, why not pray for the brave soldiers of your own country as well!

Shalom…and amen!

Arab-Israelis Come to America to Combat the BDS Movement

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Last week I followed a very intriguing story.  An Arab-Israeli group, Reservists on Duty/The Minorities Project, completed a lecture tour on American college campuses, where the purpose was to combat the BDS Movement.

Hear the fascinating details from project coordinator,  Jonathan Elkhoury:

I find it ironic that, while America seems to unravel, truth-speaking Arabs are coming out of the woodwork to speak truth in a nation that was founded on the Word of God!  Sadly, America has lost its moral compass.  Thankfully, God is sending others to help us see Biblical truth.

Focus here is often on the special call God placed upon Israel: to be the vehicle of world redemption.  However, it is also true that God gave America a special role in history as well.  Why do I say that?  Because, in His divine sovereignty, our founding fathers established America on very firm Biblical principles, then grew us up to be a “missionary nation” to spread the good news of Jesus the Messiah around the world in a season of time the Jewish nation did not recognize Him.

Along with that, America served as a sort of guardian for Israel.  The US was the first to recognize the nation of Israel in 1948, provided timely military aid to ensure Israel’s survival when neighboring nations attempted to wipe them off the map, and recently moved the US embassy to Jerusalem after recognizing the Holy City as the eternal capital of the state of Israel.

Just as Genesis 12:3 promises, God has blessed our nation because we have blessed Israel.  Yet, we test the resolve of God when we turn against Israel, as though the promise does not apply in reverse.  Sure, those who bless Israel will be blessed.  But those who curse Israel cannot expect to get by without God removing His hand of blessing.  Indeed, we risk being cursed when we condone the BDS Movement or other antisemitic words and behavior.

Friends, pray for our nation.  Pray also that the Lord will continue to send “missionaries” such as Reservists on Duty, who will lend their voices and influence to combat things such as BDS.  Most importantly, pray for the Spirit of the Lord to send revival.  Personally, I believe the Spirit is stirring and there is an effort to bring about revival, but there is tremendous opposition.  Right now it looks political, but the reality is that it is not a battle against flesh and blood, or between political parties and candidates.  It is a SPIRITUAL battle that requires spiritual weapons.

We find those weapons on our knees, at the foot of the cross.  Meet you there!