OOn a Friday several weeks back,
an estimated 180,000 people descended on Tel Aviv to participate in the
annual "Gay Parade." There is an international effort to make Tel Aviv the
"Gay Capital" of the world.
The same day we were meeting in our Tel Aviv congregation, Tiferet Yeshua,
for our weekly assembly. During the praise time, the verse came to mind
about God hearing the "cry of Sodom" rising up before Him because of
the greatness of their sins (Genesis 18:20).
I suggested that maybe we should sing just a bit louder so that God might
hear our praise songs above the cries of sin and sodomy around us. Tiferet
Yeshua numbers just over 100 members. How could we have any influence
compared to 180,000 militant homo-lesbians?
We recalled that God told Abraham that if there were only 10 righteous in
Sodom, He would spare the city. (While we have no righteousness of our
own, we do love the Lord.) Joy filled our hearts as we realized that God
receives our prayers for grace on behalf of the city.
Just a few dozen kilometers down the coast from Tel Aviv is Gaza. A new
ISIS cell there took credit for several rocket launches toward Israel last
week. No damage was incurred. Israel responded with restraint, knowing
tension exists between Hamas and ISIS. Hamas will take care of stopping the
There are also divisions between ISIS and Syria on Israel's northern
border, and between Sunni and Shiite forces in Yemen to the south. Israel
could be easily wiped out by all these Jihad groups. However as they
fight between themselves, our survival for the time being is
Defeating Enemies through Praise
In II Chronicles 20 we find the children of Israel in Jehoshaphat's
time also surrounded by enemies. A prophetic word came that the Israelites
were to take position on the battlefield and praise the Lord, because
"He is good and His mercy endures forever" (verse 21). This seemed
like a suicide tactic for sure.
However, the moment they started praising, God caused the enemies to attack
one another (v. 22). The spiritual worship led to a military victory. If
they had not praised the Lord, they might have been wiped out. We in Israel
today also feel the urgency to lift up praises to the Lord. In the
meantime, we keep worshiping and the enemies stay divided. We're not
willing to stop praising to check out whether it is having an effect or
Praise has often been connected with military. What was the first example
of biblical praise from a group of people? - The song of Moses after God
destroyed their enemies at the Red Sea (Exodus 15). I wonder what their
praise looked and sounded like. I imagine it was not a low key, somber and
serious worship time. No doubt it was exuberant, victorious, joyful and
perhaps a bit wild.
Let's keep worshipping the Lord and trust that our praise is having
an effect on the situation around us.
This article was previously published 19Jun15
on the Revive Israel website
Praising at Tiferet Yeshua Congregation