This article was first published here on January 1st 2018.
Eitan Shishkoff Director - Tents of Mercy Network
Israel often becomes a geopolitical
argument or a matter of detached theological controversy. To avoid these I
believe it is vital to connect with the Lord's HEART regarding this
The first priority is to receive Yeshua's heart and then live through
His heart regarding perspectives concerning Israel.
I remember praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Suddenly tears swelled
up in my eyes. I looked at the Orthodox men around me, dressed in
traditional Chasidic garb. I couldn't contain a deep sorrow for the
lostness of this people. They cannot see the Salvation that is theirs.
I live with the daily awareness of beginning to personally know Israel's
Messiah myself, and the daily awareness of Israel's very evident NEED
for Messiah. He has revealed Himself to us, yet we live in the midst of
people blinded to His surpassing love and sin-conquering power. The only way
to carry this tension is to connect with the heart of the Lord Himself.
This connection between Yeshua and Israel is woven throughout God's word.
Before Yeshua was born His mother, Miriam, received this declaration of her
son's purpose in Israel.
"You will conceive in your womb and bring forth a son, and shall call His
name Jesus (Yeshua). He will be great and will be called the Son of the
Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And
He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will
be no end" (Luke 1:31-33).
Then, she made the following declaration to her relative, Elizabeth. "He
has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to
our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed forever" (Luke 1:54,55). What
Miriam heard and declared was echoed by Zacharias, Bethlehem shepherds, and
devout intercessors in Jerusalem, Simeon and Anna.
Imagine how you could change the whole world by even such a small
investment of fifteen minutes in daily, concentrated, faith-filled prayer
for key people in government, business, religion and media! Pray for those
who shape others' opinions.
These descriptions of the mission of Messiah regarding Israel are followed by
Yeshua's own declaration of His purpose in the Nazareth synagogue.
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach
the gospel to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim
liberty to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at
liberty those oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord"
(Luke 4:18,19). He is quoting from Isaiah 61:1-2 to which verse three adds
"to console all who mourn in Zion." The entire context of
Yeshua's announcement from Isaiah 61 is that He is the Healer and
Liberator, the Redeemer of Israel. That's why those who heard Him tried
immediately afterward to throw Him off the cliff!
Yeshua said that He came for the lost sheep of the House of Israel (Matthew
10:6; 15:24). He agonized over Jerusalem. "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the
one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her. How often I
wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her
wings, but you were not willing" (Luke 13:34). My personal view of the
father waiting for and embracing his lost son in Luke 15 is a similar and
even more compelling image. In Luke 19:41 our Lord "saw the city (of
Jerusalem) and wept over it." The intercessory tears of Yeshua are of
enduring effectiveness. His heart is no less broken over Jerusalem and Israel
now than 2000 years ago - perhaps more.
Our Privileged Role is to join Him as Weeping Priests
The prophet Joel implores us to "Turn to Me with all your heart, with
fasting and weeping and mourning" (Joel 2:12). He addresses the priests
(which we all are, according to 1 Peter 2:9), seeing the desperate need of
Israel for revival. "Let the priests, who minister to the Lord, weep
between the porch and the altar. Let them say 'Spare your people, O
Lord, and do not give your heritage to reproach'" (Joel 2:17). The
promises that follow (vv.18-19) should surely motivate us. "The Lord will
be zealous for His land, and pity His people ..." He will send "grain
and new wine and oil." Joel next announces God's ultimate plan to
send the early and latter rain. Here, then is our way of joining Yeshua in
His broken-hearted intercession for Israel. In seeking His heart and entering
His longing, we become companions to Moses, Jeremiah, Nehemiah, and Paul the
Apostle. What a stunning privilege, opportunity, and responsibility. May we
be faithful to the end and see Zion's deliverance!
to support the work and vision of Ohalei Rachamim.
There have been comments to this article ...
10:05pm 02Jan18, Ron Blake: This article is spot on. Have you read Rabbi Itzhak Shapira's
book? I am not Jewish, but I am investigating the Jewish roots
of my faith and Rabbi Shapira's book is very helpful and God
11:21am 03Jan18, Roger Eben: This is such a confirmation! Some of us at Kol Dodi Nashville,
this Thursday, are starting a prayer hour for Israel. I pray yes
specifically for unbelieving Jewish people all over the world,
and also in the land. But I pray for the empowered remnant of
Believing Jews to there people and to Arab people.
12:44pm 03Jan18, Miriam Maranzenboim: My tears came when looking at the Isaiah scroll for the first
time. I couldn't imagine Jewish people not believing the clear
words of the prophet - particularly Isa. 53:6 "The Lord has laid
on Him the iniquity of us all."
8:21pm 03Jan18, HansPeter Ehrsam: Thank you so much for standing in the gap for Israel to whom we
are grafted in as Followers living in the disperson, waiting for
HIS calling to return to our homeland. May our Lord and Saviour
grant us the endurance to stay with HIM until the very end.
8:27pm 03Jan18, Mitch Deener: What a blessing to be able to read such insightful writings. It
is sobering to know that the Scriptures say that "Jesus will rule
over the House of Jacob for eternity". I need to spend more time
praying for the Peace of Jerusalem. I believe Jesus is that
08:30am 03Jan18, Darla Ellyson: My husband & I pray for Israel every day and long to spend more
time there. We sometimes feel lacking in powerful prayers because
we do not yet have Jewish friends personally and cannot see our
prayers being answered in families. But we still pray believing
His Word. And we know we will make friends in the days ahead
because we love Israel with a deep love that has been kindled
-- Eitan Shishkoff replies: Thank you for receiving Yeshua's heart for His people, Israel.
This is evidence of your sensitivity to the voice and will of
God. I can relate to what you are saying about needing
relationships with us in order to pray for us. I actually felt
the same thing back in the 80s when I was still living in the
States and trying to connect with the believers in Israel.
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