The Life of an Israeli 18-Year-Old

 

Just curious…are most 18-year-olds in other parts of the world handed automatic weapons and put in critical positions of national defense?  Only in Israel…where they can’t afford to make mistakes!

Pray for these young people…and pray for the young people serving in America’s military as well.  We owe them all a debt we cannot pay, so let’s pay our debt in prayer!

Terror Strikes in the West Bank

My heart was heavy when I heard news of the Tuesday morning terror attack upon Israeli security and police officers in the West Bank.  I was especially burdened because I was in the West Bank (Biblical Judea and Samaria) only a couple weeks ago and was so encouraged by what I saw and experienced there.

Our special trip on that day was into Samaria where I witnessed with my own eyes an incredible place where Jews and Palestinians work happily every day side-by-side in a cooperative effort we don’t often hear about in the media.  (Take time to read Into the West Bank and Jews and Arabs Side-by-Side…Despite BDS.)

I’m not so naive to think that, because I saw the “good” side of life in the West Bank, that terrorism doesn’t occur.  In fact, we went to an overlook, towering above Nablus, a terrorist haven.  So, we were vividly reminded that life in the West Bank can get messy, as it did Tuesday morning.

But the report still stunned me.  Partly because I simply can’t imagine why, when the Israelis extend the hand of peace and friendship to such a great degree, there are those who attack without provocation and for no known reason.  Please don’t misunderstand me.  Israel is not perfect…they have issues just like the rest of us.  But the reality is that many Palestinians are given decent, better paying jobs in Israeli-owned and operated companies than they would ever find in territories controlled by the Palestinians.  In fact, most prefer to work for Israeli companies where they are typically treated much better and paid much better.

Image result for har adar shootingIn this case, 37-year-old Nimr Mahmoud Ahmad al-Jamal possessed a legal work permit, but instead of making his way to work that morning, he pulled a gun out of  his clothing and randomly opened fire on Israeli security and police officers near Har Adar, killing three before being shot dead himself.  (That is the typical ending to a Palestinian attack.  One would think the payoff isn’t worth it, but the twisted mindset of those bent on terror is not easily understood.)

We did not travel through Har Adar that day, but the images of the cities and villages that we saw are still etched in my mind, as is the vivid remembrance of touring a factory where Jews and Palestinians were joyfully working together.  I’m saddened by this event, as it will almost certainly have an impact on the ease in which Palestinians are able to obtain work permits.

Image result for har adar shootingIt also heightens animosity on both sides.  While the Jewish nation mourns the loss of three brave servicemen (and another wounded), Fatah and Hamas, the ruling parties in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, applaud the attacks.  Islamic Jihad does likewise.

I am so glad I was there to witness cooperation between Jews and Palestinians, because news like this taints the reality that there are Palestinians who likely feel “stuck” in the clutches of oppressive tyranny.  It is confirmation to me of why the Bible tells us to pray for Israel.  Will you join me in turning this weekend’s Yom Kippur commemoration into a time of pleading on behalf of Jews AND Palestinians, that repentance will come, and that SOMEHOW the grace of God which has appeared, bringing salvation to ALL men (Titus 2:11), will grip the hearts and minds of Jews and Palestinians alike?

This week has been filled with debate over whether spoiled men playing a child’s game should stand or kneel.  Christian friends, let’s get on with what counts for eternity…will you kneel in prayer to the King of Kings on behalf of His chosen people and their neighbors?

Israel Reaches Out to the World, While Defending the Homeland

For those who think very little takes place in Israel, think again!  While Prime Minister Netanyahu is making speeches at the UN, meeting with world leaders and promoting the State of Israel to other countries, plenty is going on at home!

Rosh Hashanah commenced on Wednesday evening and Jews around the world celebrated the New Year.  (Biblically speaking, we know that one day Jesus will fulfill that feast when He returns to “snatch us away” (rapture) to meet him in the air.  The Bible says the trumpet will sound and we shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye! 1 Corinthians 15:52)

Related imageAmidst the celebration, however, Israeli fighter jets took care of business near the Damascus airport by destroying an arms shipment from Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon.  Israel has warned they will not be “spectators on the sidelines” while Iran arms terrorists in order to attack Israel.

Image result for idf aid in mexicoOn the other side of the globe, the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) sent 71 reservists to Mexico to assist in search and rescue, medical and construction needs following the latest earthquake to shake Central America.  Consistently a first responder to natural disasters, this relief effort happened only days after PM Netanyahu’s visit to Mexico in which he promised to offer any help necessary to bolster the growing relationship between the two countries.

Just as Ezekiel 36-37 promised, Israel is alive and well in their own land.  They are thriving, and are reaching out to nations all over the world in the spirit of tikkun olam (“fixing the world”).  We are seeing prophecy of those chapters being fulfilled right before our eyes.

That means one other thing: the prophecies of Ezekiel 38-39 (War of Gog and Magog) are next on the prophetic agenda God revealed to Ezekiel, and we are seeing the stage being set for that.  These are exciting times in which we live, because we know our Redeemer is coming soon!

We’re  studying the “False Prophet and the Rise of One World Religion” tomorrow in our Bible study, What in the World is Going On?  Come join us at either campus of Calvary Community Church (9:00 am in the NW Prayer Room or 11:00 am in Room 403 at Central).  Directions and more info here.

Shabbat shalom!

Houston Jewish Community to Receive $1M from Israeli Government

“The city of Houston was hurt badly last week, and the Jewish community, 70% of which lived in the flooded neighborhoods, was hit hard…Schools and synagogues were flooded and can’t be used. The old-age home and JCC [Jewish Community Center] were damaged, and hundreds of families will remain homeless… For years the Jewish communities stood by Israel when it needed their help; now it is our turn to stand by Houston’s Jewish community.”
~Naftali Bennett

The Houston Jewish Community will receive a big boost from the Israeli government to help in recovery efforts following Hurricane Harvey.

This comes after IsrAID and iAid, two of Israel’s most prominent humanitarian groups, were some of the very first on-scene to provide emergency relief, psychosocial support, and debri removal assistance.

On a much different, though somewhat similar note, I learned this week that medical teams are going into Syria, under cover of night, to treat wounded Syrian citizens in the midst of civil war.  It has long been news that wounded Syrians have fled to Israel for medical care, but now Israel is making it possible for medical teams to go to them.  Here is how I understand it:

The IDF (Israel Defense Forces…Israel’s military) has been working diligently and intentionally to supply food and aid to Syrian citizens, particularly near the Syrian-Israeli border in order to promote peace and friendship with the northern neighbors.  Building those bridges has now enabled the IDF to escort medical teams to the border and “hand them off” to Syrian soldiers who have vowed to take them safely deeper into Syria to provide much-needed medical assistance there.  (The IDF cannot accompany them into Syria, as that would be an “act of war” in the eyes of warring factions in Syria.)

Giving is the Israeli way…whether to Jewish or Arab communities!  We can all learn the principle of tikkun olam (“repair of the world”).