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This morning, church, our pastor gave a message on the importance that the church should give to supporting and comforting Israel. The basic crux of the message was that in the scriptures we see that Israel is a priority to God...and so Israel should be a priority to the Church.

I was struck by the current relevancy of God's word as we read aloud together from Psalm 83. It reads like a commentary on the images and reports being flashed across our television screens right now. [This is in the midst of the fighting between Israel and the Hizb'Allah after the Israeli soldiers were captured.]

Quote:1 O God, do not keep silent;

      be not quiet, O God, be not still.

2 See how your enemies are astir,

      how your foes rear their heads.

3 With cunning they conspire against your people;

      they plot against those you cherish.

4 "Come," they say, "let us destroy them as a nation,

      that the name of Israel be remembered no more."

5 With one mind they plot together;

      they form an alliance against you-

6 the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites,

      of Moab and the Hagrites,

7 Gebal, [a] Ammon and Amalek,

      Philistia, with the people of Tyre.

8 Even Assyria has joined them

      to lend strength to the descendants of Lot.


9 Do to them as you did to Midian,

      as you did to Sisera and Jabin at the river Kishon,

10 who perished at Endor

      and became like refuse on the ground.

11 Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb,

      all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,

12 who said, "Let us take possession

      of the pasturelands of God."

13 Make them like tumbleweed, O my God,

      like chaff before the wind.

14 As fire consumes the forest

      or a flame sets the mountains ablaze,

15 so pursue them with your tempest

      and terrify them with your storm.

16 Cover their faces with shame

      so that men will seek your name, O LORD.

17 May they ever be ashamed and dismayed;

      may they perish in disgrace.

18 Let them know that you, whose name is the LORD

      that you alone are the Most High over all the earth.

As we spoke these words out loud, I wondered how many people realized that the references to Moab speak of modern day Jordan--the Ishmaelites...all the arab tribes, and Philistia to modern day Palestinians. Hizb'Allah who uses the city of Tyre as a base to plot evil against Israel.

The behind-the-scenes involvement of Syria: "Even Assyria has joined them

to lend strength to the descendants of Lot.

The images of the hillsides set ablaze after the attacks of the Katyushka rockets: "As fire consumes the forest or a flame sets the mountains ablaze,"

Before our eyes, Psalm 83 unfolds in the news today. It is amazing, and yet as I looked around the church I could tell that people were just saying words. The meaning of what they were saying was beyond them, unrevealed, behind a veil. They were just reciting words. I'm sure many were wondering why we were spending so much time talking about Israel. My spirit wept and I began to ask God to honor his Word even though is was being declared without understanding.

After the communion, the music team sang a song

"Be with me, O my strength, and watch over me through the night....

that I might be found under grace.

My High Tower, You will build a wall to cover me

when darkness falls....

The Holy Spirit prompted me to put on my tallit and to dance in proxy for Israel, making the declarations that God is her strength and tower, and to lift up the tzit-tzit (fringes) of the tallit in proclamation that Israel calls on and clings to the Name of the Lord. The Holy Spirit was directing a powerful intercession. Again, behind a veil. I would venture to say there were very few in the room that "saw" what I was saying in the dance. I know that because I know that there is little depth of awareness in our parish (except in some leadership) of our connection to the Jewishness of our faith.

I'm not saying that people are not aware of the Spirit moving among them when this sort of thing happens, but what I am saying is that it happens without an impartation of understanding....the revelation does not seem to come. That, of course, does not negate anything God chooses to do with those prophetic words and movements, and if that is how He chooses to use our ministry, then so be it.

But I have also been in situations where there was immediate recognition of the prophetic language and the revelation would gloriously unfold from several sources. I suppose that is my basis of comparison and my longing. But I wonder how many of us minster "behind the veil" in this way. And what people really "get" out of the presentation of the prophetic ministry. I really yearn for others to receive the fullness of the the groaning banquet table that the Lord spreads before us in our corporate worship times. But in the end, we have to accept that it is God's business how He reveals himself to each heart and just continue to be faithful and obedient when we discern that call to prophesy in this way.
Must be brief, but on the subject of Psalm 83 and Israel, download this file <URL url="http://www.acwitness.org/movies/psalm83presentation.zip">here, unzip and run it (readme file included). It's 8MB, but well worth it, trust me!