Please note: The Standing in the gap for Israel report will no longer be produced here. Below is an extract from my Watching over Zion report which is written for Christian Friends of Israel on a fortnightly basis.
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In the shelter of Your arms
[Above photo taken by David Soakell]
Many years ago, one of my favourite Neil Diamond songs was ‘In the shelter of your arms.’ In his rich tones he sang, “Nobody gives a hang for what I say or do, but You, and in the
shelter ofYour arms, I find peace and comfort and care, for I am wanted there.” Oh that the nation of Israel, along with the true Church would find that depth of relationship with the God of Israel to know the truth of these words.
We are now approaching the end of the Feast of Tabernacles (also referred to as the Feast of Booths, Feast of the Ingathering, and Succoth). At its most basic level, the Feast of Tabernacles is a celebration of the abundance of God’s blessings in connection with the ingathering of the Autumn Harvests. It is a memorial to the Exodus, when the Israelis wandered in the wilderness, living in tabernacles or booths (i.e. temporary dwelling places) en-route to the Promised Land to become the nation of Israel. But as they have done throughout their history, the people of Israel today often find life is tough. And life indeed is often tough, but it makes one realise that we are only here, in our temporary dwelling, for a short while.
In the New Testament in 2 Corinthians 4:18-5:2 it states, “Fix your eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal home in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling…” Tabernacles however is not a time to groan, for it is often called the “Season of Our Joy.” One reason Sukkoth is said to be a time of joy in the Jewish faith, is that after the season of repentance and the redemption of Yom Kippur, comes the joy of knowing forgiveness and the joy of walking with God.
Several years ago, some friends of ours from our fellowship – Marc and Julie – were married under the chuppah ~ being united under God’s covering. Four years ago, Marc, being Israeli, returned back to Israel with Julie and they now live in the upper Galilee and lead a fellowship of Believers there. Of course, the Jewish people have their own Tabernacle in the Prayer Shawl. Used as a chuppah (Jewish bridal canopy), the tallit (prayer shawl) sanctifies the space under which the couple are married and symbolises their future home. The prayer shawl is held up during the ceremony by four poles. The corners with the fringe are also called the “wings” of the tallit. In Numbers 15:38 the word translated border (or corner) is a Hebrew word which can also be translated wings as it is some seventy-six times in the biblical text. For this reason, the corners of the prayer shawl are often called wings. In Ezekiel 16:8, the Lord speaks to Jerusalem and likewise says, “And I spread my wing over thee, and covered thy nakedness.”
Psalm 91 states: “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge…”
Oftentimes I remember the days when our son, Matthew, was very young and when I used to have my “quiet times” I’d sit under my prayer shawl (I still do at times). And if Matthew came in wanting me to play football and saw me in my ‘tabernacle’, he would say… “Dad’s in a meeting with God… he’ll play football when he comes out of his meeting…” This is what it means to ‘tabernacle’ with the Father. By entering into the Feast of Tabernacles we can be blessed by the many benefits we get from this. However, the Feast of Tabernacles is only a foreshadow of the things to come ~ and ultimately, we need to ask, “How can we tabernacle with the LORD now?” And not just one week in the year ~ but every day?
Should Israel fight back?
The battle with BDS and lies relating to Israel being an Apartheid State are increasing. Surely Israel need to fight back? Well why… especially when those who have experienced Apartheid themselves can speak louder for Israel?
Take for example Olga Meshoe, herself a South African whose family experienced horrific apartheid. On Olga Meshoe’s Twitter account @OllieMesh she labels herself as a “Lover of Jesus Christ, energetic, passionate, attorney, consultant, entrepreneur, speaker, youth leader, community worker, dancer & politician! Wow! Well she appears to settle the question once and for all. Decades after an international boycott movement helped end South Africa’s apartheid system, Arab Palestinians in the Middle East along with the BDS campaigners are gaining traction with a similar campaign against Israel – even calling Israel an apartheid state. However these comparisons are outrageous say many South Africans like Olga Meshoe.
Olga Meshoe is the daughter of a member of the South African Parliament, who grew up under the apartheid system. She states, “When I hear that Israel is an apartheid state, when people make that accusation, depending on the mood I’m in I either break out laughing or I get really, really angry – because it’s an absolute lie.” However, she’s not content on just making the occasional comment on Social Media, for the past few years Olga has been on a mission to set the record straight about the Jewish state, and she takes to task those she claims are making a mockery of the struggle endured by those who lived under South Africa’s apartheid system. Olga Meshoe states, “If the media was actually trying to accomplish something that was going to give hope, that was going to give life, that was going to encourage, that was going to encourage peace, then let’s maybe have a conversation on that. But how dare you take that and use it to incite violence, use it to incite and encourage the destruction of a people just because you don’t like them,” she charged. “The world needs to recognize that you are not only doing an injustice to the people that are in the Middle East; you’re making what our parents went through, you’re making the struggle a mockery,” she said. Meshoe and her father, Kenneth Meshoe, have founded an organization called DEISI, which stands for Defend, Embrace, Invest, Support Israel. DEISI’s goal is to create awareness for Israel, for educating South Africans and forging relationships to the benefit of Israel, Jews, South Africans and Christians.
In a very short but to the point video, you can watch Olga Meshoe speak the truth on this subject here:
To watch a longer programme of Olga being interviewed on “Eye On Israel” by Shahar Azani (Executive Director, StandWithUs Northeast Region), click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yp7GKh6Kgl8 .
A people without a say
Hamas are a Terrorist organisation. The oppressive Fatah government has never allowed a ruling power vote since 2005? Who would you want to rule you? Mahmoud Abbas, otherwise known as 4 Abu Mazen, is the President of the State of Palestine and Palestinian National Authority. He has been the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) since November 11, 2004, and Palestinian “president” since January 15, 2005. Abbas was elected on January 9, 2005 to serve as President of the Palestinian National Authority for four years, but Abbas extended his term until the next election in 2010, citing the PLO constitution, and on December 16, 2009 was voted into office indefinitely by the PLO – not the Palestinian people of whom he is supposed to represent. As a result, Fatah’s main rival, Hamas, announced that it would not recognize the extension or view Abbas as the rightful president.
Of course when Fatah won the election in Gaza following Israel’s withdrawal in 2005, Hamas quickly removed Fatah by throwing the Fatah members off rooftops – literally.
Hamas have an annual turnover of $1 billion. Since taking over Gaza in 2007, Hamas has made the big league. Hamas relies mainly on NGO funds and foreign aid – into a multilevel organization which also governs, and taxes, Gaza. So if one thinks about it, Abbas’ Fatah group have not allowed elections for a new president for the past 12 years, and Hamas were never voted in – they merely used force to evict Fatah in 2007. And that is why these current Fatah-Hamas reconciliation talks in Egypt are quite frankly, a bit of a joke. And that is why former son of Hamas and Palestinian Mosab Hassan Yousef’s intervention in the United Nations was such an important statement.
If you missed it in my report last time, click on the link below and watch as U.N. heads turn in disbelief as PLO lies are exposed by the Palestinian Arab and former Hamas member. The stunned silence and shocked faces say it all:
And that is why Jerusalem’s Ramadan Dabbash says almost all of the city’s Arabs would prefer to live peacefully under Israeli administration. He claims that Palestinian Arabs would state that living under Israeli rule is preferable to living under the Palestinian Authority. Listen to what he says (subtitles) here:
Middle East Correspondent
(Sources: Personal sources throughout the Middle East.)