15th of November
I was recently in Israel for my third time. I had two trips in the year of 2008 and one trip I got almost free. The Israeli airline had sold more seats than their capacity and I had to return home by another route. I arrived home only half an hour later. For this inconvenience I got a free ticket. I mention this so that you can see their generosity. This is not common.
I travelled with a Finish/Swedish group this time. My friend and I travelled to Israel for the purpose of attending the Feast of Tabernacle. This is arranged by the Christian Embassy in Jerusalem. I will write a little about Israel and about my experiences from the last trip.
The theme for the Feast of Tabernacle this year was: Israel – a light to the nations. It is built on the text from Is.49:6. There the Lord is saying that He will make Israel a light to the Gentiles. We must remember that Jesus was a Jew and He knew the texts in the Old Testament. He referred to Is.61 where we can read: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.” You can continue to read on and also to read the same in Luke 4:18-20. Jesus did not come to delete the old covenant that God had made with His people, but He came to fulfill what was promised. Jesus is the Light of the world and its Rescuer.
We can read in Acts 26:23 that Christ would be the first to rise from the dead and Paul would proclaim this Light for the Jews and the Gentiles. Many of the Jews rejected Jesus in His time. They thought He should play another role than what He did. They expected one who would act as a King and a Lion, not as a Lamb. They did not reject God. When I stand praying at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, I am reminded of the fact that the Jews and I pray to the same Father. The Jews pray while they are in constant movement. The Bible says that we should praise Him with all that is within us. We Gentiles have to be thankful that the Gospel reached us and not only the Jews. In Christ there is no Jew, nor Greek, no man nor female, but we are all one in Him. (Gal.3:28) We Christians must bring the Light back to the Jews. Many Jews are coming back to Jesus as their Savior and more and more Messianic groups are formed in Israel. I talked to a guide in the garden of the empty tomb of Jesus and he said that everyone who worked there believed in Jesus as their Savior. Many Christians gather there for Communion and Jesus becomes very real. He is alive and the tomb is empty.
Almost 100 nations are gathered at the Feast of Tabernacle and almost 7000 were registered. They had different speakers in the afternoon and in the evening. Highly qualified dancers, singers and musicians participate in the evenings. One could not get better performances at any highly paid concert. We receive very good information about the works of the Christian Embassy and the Word is preached by anointed preachers. Many Israeli officials participated also. They are very thankful for the fact that we are there to support and bless them.
Our group was one day in the desert by the Dead Sea. The other delegates joined us in the late afternoon and we were all fed. In the evening we had our meeting in Ein Gedi under the open heaven. It was really an open heaven over us. The anointing was very strong and the worship accompanied by dancing took hold of most of us. The Africans danced on my right side and the Russians in front of me. We all danced for the Lord. I get very moved when so many nations come together to praise the living God. It was like a foretaste of heaven. A Brazilian pastor with a congregation of 70 000, preached. Absolutely fantastic.
All the delegates could participate in a march through the streets of Jerusalem. The Israeli from different groups and organizations come first and then the foreign guests. We go behind the flags of our country and we have flags and other gifts that we give to the children along the route. I had a very tall hat on my head and many wanted that. We shake hands with many and we sing songs both in Israeli and in our own language. The people watching are deeply moved over the fact that we love them and bless them. They feel hated by the majority of the world. Some of the old survivors from the last war sat along the route and it was moving. The Christian Embassy supports a home for them. Some of them were forgotten and so poor that they really needed help. They have really tasted so much of the evil and they need all the warmth and love they can get. This march means a lot for the Israeli as well as for us. It makes us see how important it is that we support and love them. I think I can hear some of you saying: “Isn’t it just as important to show everybody this love?” Yes, Jesus says that He is the Savior for the whole world and He has given His life for everybody. I am personally called to the nations so I love everybody, but the Jews are persecuted and hated by so many and so much wrong information is spread through media. The anti-Semite spirit is increasing.
As Christians we know that God has made a covenant with Abraham and He has never broken that covenant. We can read in Genesis12:1-3: “Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation. I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” God repeats many times in the Bible that He will bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel. I pray for politicians and pray that they should understand that they bring curses over their countries when they hate Israel and make decisions against the Word of God. I do not know enough about the Biblical prophesies for Israel, but I do know that God will keep His promises and He will give a final victory. I can see one of the speakers calling forth nation after nation and God is saying: “Just come against Israel, and you will see what happens.” They will not succeed. We can read Joel 3:1-2: “For behold in those days and at that time, when I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all nations, and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; and I will enter into judgment with them there on account of My people, My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; they have also divided up My land.” The Bible describes the sins and idol worshipping of God’s people, but still He promises to protect them and He promises full redemption.
God has from the beginning of times loved this people and used them as examples of the nature of man. The Bible has never said that the Jews are perfect and we find a lot of ungodliness in Israel even today, but in spite of that: God’s blessings rest over this land. The Israelis have succeeded in many areas and as an example we can look at the prospering agriculture in spite of water shortage.
In the prophecies of Joel God says that He will judge because of the fact that the land has been divided and the people has been scattered. In Ezekiel 36 the Lord says that He will gather them out of the nations and bring them back into their own land. He will sprinkle clean water on them and they shall be cleansed from all filthiness and from all their idols. God will put a new heart, a heart of flesh and He will give them a new spirit. He will also make the desolate land into the Garden of Eden. Then the nations around will recognize the works of the Lord. He will also make them increase like a flock. Since it was holiday when we were in Israel, we saw all the families that were out to celebrate the feast and they had lots of children, especially the orthodox Jews.
Jesus lived in Israel and He is coming back there. I think a lot about that when I am there.
LET US BLESS ISRAEL AND GOD’S PEOPLE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!