If you haven’t read the following previous articles, you may want to.
“Sirens, Rockets, Fairs and Fireworks”
“So What Made the Difference? Part 1”
“So What Made the Difference? Part 2”
He begs us to cry and tell them…to show them their sins…to provoke them to jealousy (Roms 11:11). He tells us that their sin is keeping them from Him. He longs to save them. He longs to give them His shalom, his eternal peace. Yet, as I read this next verse, my heart cries out…
“And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor…” (59:16) It reminded me of the verse in Matt 9:37 “Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;” and he goes on to tell us, “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.”
As I sat there, my heart cried out because of his heart crying out that there are none to intercede for them! He longs for laborers, but says that they are few and far between. There are few laborers, but girls, the harvest truly is plenteous!! I saw so many hungry faces while there! Longing faces for something far deeper than they had! Faces that told me they are starving for something…but they don’t even know what they are looking for or are hungry for! The question is, will we be His ambassadors? His laborers, regardless as to the price? Are we willing to be His children, completely, laying each and every single thing aside, giving Him every area of our lives, even if that means being persecuted for our faith? Are we willing to do what it takes to fully serve him? Or will we keep holding onto something that isn’t ours to keep or hold onto?
I started the book of Isaiah praying that Yahweh would open my heart and my eyes to see the love that he had for Israel and the people their, and that He would give me a love like He had for them, and I ended the book feeling a deep and growing love for them. I knew without a doubt, I would one day be there, although I still had no idea how. I also knew He had called me, and that He wanted me to share His love with them and for them.
I don’t know exactly how or when this transition occurred, I only knew it did. I had never had such a longing to be in Israel as I did then, and as I do now. But little did I know what He had in-store for me.
I soon found out that some very dear friends (who are like our extended family) were all praying about returning to the land…can you guess when? I still hadn’t really shared what I felt Yahweh tell me as to when I would be in Israel, but just kept praying that if it was truly His will, he’d make a way.
In the fall I started learning Hebrew through Ulpan (an Israeli university and online course teaching people different languages, but obviously I took Hebrew :)), and Yahweh, by so many last minute things, orchestrated that I could go to Israel for a month during March/April, meeting up with our precious friends! I literally got the okay one day, bought my tickets and within a day or so flew out! Yes, I’m learning to become VERY flexible!
Another turning point in my thoughts about Israel and the Jews vs. what I had always wanted concerning Africa, was this verse…Rom 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of the anointed: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” I know it isn’t wrong to want to go to Africa and share the gospel there, we were commanded to go into all the world. But for me, this was a turning point. I realize more than ever that where Yahweh wanted my focus, wasn’t where my focus was and that HAD to change.
But I have to share another amazing story with you about Israel. I could go on and on about my time there, but I will try to keep this as short as I can, as I know I have already gone on for quite awhile already! But…I have had dreams growing up about being in Africa and what it would look like, be like, living amongst them, sharing the gospel, but also just what living conditions would be like. My friends picked me up at the bus station in Israel and as we were driving to our house, I was stunned. I couldn’t take it in quick enough! I sat there thinking to myself… “this is exactly as my dreams have always been…how I’ve always pictured it being like!” and then they told me that “this is Africa” or something along those lines. Its a section that in a lot of ways, does remind us of Africa, even though it was actually Israel. But it was something that I had to look up to Yahweh and smile about. And as I left Israel, I knew my prayers had been answered. I loved Israel and these people with an unquenchable love. It broke my heart in two to have to say goodbye, even if I know it’s only for a time. I loved them all, so very, very much and I can hardly wait to get back to them all!
This is why I sat there at the fair a mere two evenings ago, almost in tears, as I thought about all my precious brothers and sisters in Israel who are enduring these endless rockets…for as Ruth said, I can boldly say “Your people are my people, your God, my God”. But this is also why I laid down in my bed marveling at the work that Yahweh had done within my heart, because I knew I had been one of the many people not long ago, who did not have a burning desire to be in Israel, serving in Israel, loving the people of Israel.
For those of you who are afraid to go because of what is going on, I would urge you to do a study on fear. Yahweh says some 365 times (thereabouts, but isn’t that funny? One for each day of the year…I think Yahweh realized we’d need the constant reminder, don’t you?!) to not be afraid or to not fear. He tells us to not let the rumors or wars, stop us or make us afraid. He tells us not to worry what man can do, but what God can do. And really, what an honor to die serving the King of Kings, if that is what He calls us to do!! There is something far worse than dying while serving our King, and going to be with Him forever! I mean, what could be more honorable?
I’m not going to say it is easy when we decide to serve Him. Yahweh never promised us it would be, infact, he tells us the opposite! He warns us we WILL be persecuted. Read scripture. Life as a believer was not and is not easy. It never has been. YET, I stand here to tell you it is SO ABSOLUTELY WORTH IT ALL! Why would we think that it would be easier for us, than it was for the Son of God? But, remember who our God is!!! When you realize that He does not slumber or sleep, and that he is with you no matter where you are, and that when you are weak, he is strong…it brings a lot of strength and comfort to us!
As I close, I want to ask you to please continually seek Yahweh and pray for his people. If you feel a lack of love for Israel or His people, pray and ask him to give you such an unquenchable love for them! He really will answer your prayers! Pray and seek Him earnestly about how to carry out your part in the body and in sharing the good news with those around you. But always remember to pray for the peace (eternal peace) of Jerusalem, and for the people of Israel!
Thank you for letting me share. I love you all and pray this will richly bless you and help you on your own personal journey! May Yahweh richly bless you, keep you, and help you prosper in the way as you share His love with those around you!