For Zion’s Sake – March 2018

Image result for Isaiah 62 Prayer initiative

It’s first Wednesday, so let’s dive right into the Isaiah 62 Prayer Initiative!  If praying regularly for Israel is not part of your regular practice, may I suggest that you consider what it means to be a watchman who takes no rest, and gives God no rest, until He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth?  (Isaiah 62:6-7)

Isaiah 62 has 12 verses, so we focus on one each month.  Today, verse 3 will serve as our key verse.

PROCLAIM: You will also be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.  (Isaiah 62:3)

PRAISE: Lord, Your crowning gift to us is salvation through Jesus, the Messiah, who was given to us through Your people Israel.  We praise You.  Encircle us now with Your majesty and with Messiah’s glorious presence.  Amen.

PONDER:  This verse mentions two crowns, two hands and two names of God.  “A crown of glory in the hand of the LORD,” in Hebrew, infers to a beautifully ornamented crown, designed to encircle the head of royalty.  The hand is open, signifying power.  It is Yahweh’s hand, the hand of the Eternal One.  “A royal diadem in the hand of your God,” in Hebrew, is a type of crown which is actually a cloth that is wrapped around the head, like a turban.  This diadem is in the curved, powerful palm of Elohim, God Almighty.  The Almighty One hears our prayers, and promises that one day, His powerful hand shall open, and on display there will be the emblem of His kingdom.  It is none other than Jerusalem – gleaming, embellished and glorious.  Let Him her us now.

PRAY:  Click here for this month’s specific prayer points.  You will join thousands from around the world, bowing together at the throne of our God on behalf of Israel and the Jewish people.

Be a faithful watchman!


Israel and Egypt Sign $15 Billion Gas Deal, Successful Arrow 3 Test Launch

For those of us keeping tabs on action in the Middle East, it was a busy news weekend…and it hasn’t stopped as a new week starts!

As you know, there was action on the Gaza border over the weekend.  Following a bomb explosion that wounded Israeli soldiers, reports are that Israel took out 18 high-value targets in Gaza, including a terror tunnel and Hamas military targets.

On Sunday night, another missile was fired into Israel, to which the Israeli Air Force responded by attacking additional “underground infrastructure.”  Unlike the past where Israel often warned Hamas to stop firing missiles into Israel before taking action, the IDF’s action is swift and severe these days.  As pressure mounts from Iranian aggression in both the Gaza Strip and Syria, Israel is left with little room for patience and Benjamin Netanyahu has been adamant that Israel will not allow Iran to encroach on Israeli borders or threaten their security.

In breaking news, Israel and Egypt signed an historic $15 billion gas deal, confirming the growing relationship between the two nations.  Again, Bible prophecy coming to life.  Read the entire chapter of Isaiah 19…things eventually turn out well for Egypt!  Those who bless Israel will be blessed!

Also, Israel successfully test fired the Arrow 3 defense system, designed to intercept high-altitude rockets beyond earth’s atmosphere.  Deemed a great success, the Arrow 3 is also scheduled to be tested in Alaska later this year.

The birth pangs continue, and we continue to watch world events line up with what the prophets foretold.  Keep your earthly eyes on Damascus and Iran (who is driving what we see in the Gaza Strip and elsewhere).  Keep your spiritual eyes on things above!

But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.
~Luke 21:28

EARLIER TODAY: 4 IDF Soldiers Attacked and Gaza Rocket Launched toward Israel

Image result for Gaza rocket feb 2018

UPDATE: Amir Tsarfati, via Behold Israel, provided a subsequent update.

Provocation continues in the Middle East.  Earlier this evening a bomb detonated next to an IDF patrol along the border fence with Gaza.  Soon after, a rocket launched from Gaza crashed through the roof of a Jewish family in Or HaNer.  Miraculously, the rocket failed to detonate!

The IDF responded with “large-scale strikes” on over a dozen Hamas targets, including a terror tunnel, a military compound containing weapons manufacturing sites, and another Hamas military compound in Khan Yunis.

The attack on the IDF patrol resulted in 4 wounded soldiers, 2 seriously.  An IDF spokesman called it a “severe terrorist attack that has the potential to destabilize the region.”  Benjamin Netanyahu called the attack “very serious.”

Biblically, what does it all mean?  Well, certainly the region appears to be gearing up for very serious confrontation, which could fulfill prophecies of Isaiah 17:1 and Ezekiel 38-39.  (Iran backs Hamas in the Gaza Strip with missiles and other weapons.)  However, what rings so obvious to me is Zechariah’s prophecy:

“Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around; and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah. It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it. ”
~Zechariah 12:2-3

Enemies all around seem intent on drawing Israel into war.  Why?  Because Israel’s enemies would like nothing better than to see Jerusalem fall.  The Holy City is indeed a heavy stone…and someone is about to be injured.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May they prosper who love you.
“May peace be within your walls,
And prosperity within your palaces.”
For the sake of my brothers and my friends,
I will now say, “May peace be within you.”
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
I will seek your good.
~Psalm 122:6-9

BREAKING: Israeli F-16 Shot Down

Image result for israeli f-16 jets

Israeli F-16

Early this morning (Israel time) an Iranian drone was discovered crossing into Israel from Syria.  An Israeli Apache helicopter shot down the low-flying drone and the IDF immediately retaliated by striking Iranian targets in Syria.

In the midst of the action, an Israeli F-16 was hit by anti-aircraft fire in Syria and turned back toward Israel, where the plane crashed in the northern Jordan valley.  Thankfully, the two pilots ejected safely and are alive.

My friends, the action is heating up.  Just days ago, Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to take whatever action necessary to protect Israel.  Iran flying drones into Israel is a severe violation of Israel’s sovereignty, and such actions will simply not be tolerated.  Unfortunately, it seems Israel will once again be drawn into a war in which they never wished.

We’ve talked much about the coming War of Gog and Magog, described in Ezekiel 38-39, but I want to draw your attention to Ezekiel 38:10-13:

Thus says the Lord God, “It will come about on that day, that thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil plan, and you will say, ‘I will go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will go against those who are at rest, that live securely, all of them living without walls and having no bars or gates, to capture spoil and to seize plunder, to turn your hand against the waste places which are now inhabited, and against the people who are gathered from the nations, who have acquired cattle and goods, who live at the center of the world.’ Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish with all its villages will say to you, ‘Have you come to capture spoil? Have you assembled your company to seize plunder, to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to capture great spoil?’”

Russia and Iran are undoubtedly the key players in the northern coalition that Ezekiel 38 describes as coming against Israel.  Indeed, they “devise an evil plan.” (v10)  Israel is the most secure they have ever been in their 70 year history since rebirth.  They are strong militarily, they are prosperous economically, they live in unwalled cities. (v11)  While Iran’s intent is to wipe Israel off the map, Russia (the leader of the coalition) is after “spoils” (oil and gas).  (v12)

But get this: look who is questioning motive, as if to say, “Hey, why are you attacking Israel!” Verse 13 refers to Sheba and Dedan (and others).  Do you know who Sheba and Dedan is?  Saudi Arabia!  Only recently has Saudi Arabia warmed up to Israel.  Until recently, Saudi Arabia could not care less if someone attacked Israel!  This prophecy could not have been fulfilled until only a few short weeks or months ago!  Yet it is in place now!

Friends, we don’t know when Jesus will come to take us (believers in Jesus Christ) out of here.  (That is known as the rapture.  See 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18)  Nor do we know if it will be before or after the War of Gog and Magog.  Regardless, it COULD be any time, and we need to live our lives in anticipation of our soon coming King!  (See Welcome the King Home)  Damascus could soon fall (Isaiah 17:1), and Russia and Iran (along with Turkey, Sudan and Libya) could soon filter right through Syria to Israel’s border (Ezekiel 38-39).  Once that happens, God’s fury will mount and He will take matters into His own hands!  (Ezekiel 38:18-23)

But fear not, Christian brothers and sisters!  We know how it ends, and we know our final destination!  This world is not our home, and we will be called to our eternal home some day.  Maranatha…Lord come quickly!