God Keeps Covenant Day 4

Blog

God Keeps Covenant Day 4

ENGRAVED ON THE PALMS OF HIS HANDS

by Wendy D. Beckett

A Thirty-Day Study on God’s Love for Israel

“For the Lord comforts his people 
and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.
But Zion said, ‘the Lord has forsaken me…’
Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget, I will not forget you!
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.”
(Isaiah 49:13-16)

I remember a tense moment in a gathering of Christians and Jews just before the movie, “The Passion of the Christ,” was released. The question was asked, “Did the Jews put Jesus on the cross?” Every eye was riveted on the speaker. “No!” he said. “Our sins put Jesus on the cross!” Oh! If only the Church had given such an answer down through its history!

So many Christians through the centuries have believed not only that the Jews were responsible for Jesus’ death but also that God has utterly forsaken them. These Christians think the Church has completely taken the place of the Jewish people as the “Chosen” of God. The history of most of the last 2,000 years would seem to support their belief. 

However, we have examined the Lord’s promises that His love and His Covenant are forever. Does “forever” not apply as well to the last two millennia? Perhaps the following Scriptures give us a clue. 

For a brief moment I abandoned you, (Remember 1,000 years is as a day)
but with deep compassion I will bring you back. 

…I hid my face from you for a moment,
But with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you.”
(Isaiah 54: 7 & 8)

“No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate.
…for the Lord will take delight in you.”
(Isaiah 62:4)

“I will plant her for myself in the land;
I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.’
I will say to those called ‘Not my people,’
‘You are my people’;
and they will say, ‘You are my God.’” (Hosea 2:23)

Paul asks the believers in Rome who were struggling with anti-Jewish emotions: “Did God reject his people? … Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery?”
“Not at all!” comes his resounding answer. (Romans 11:1&11)
—————-

Lord, thank you that You have not forgotten or rejected Your ancient people. You are a faithful God who keeps Covenant and loves unconditionally. Thank You that You are again showing Your compassion to the Jewish people. Help us to love those whom You love – those who are “engraved on the palms of (Your) hands.”

Why Israel Chapter 2

Why Israel?

by Derek Prince

God’s Heart for a People, His Plan for a Nation

Chapter 2

Distinct Features

In our last chapter, we discussed Israel’s unique positioning. This chapter will continue the discussion of some of this nation’s distinct features.

In Exodus 19:6, we see God’s promise to Israel while they were gathered at the foot of Mount Sinai—before He had given them the law and the commandments. God tells Moses to inform the Israelites:

And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.

There is no other nation to whom God has ever spoken those words.

Messiah Came through the Jews

In Romans 9 verses 4 and 5, Paul lists a number of distinctive features which apply only to Israel and to the Jews. In speaking about his kinsmen whom he calls Israelites, Paul makes the following points:

  • To whom pertain the adoption, [God adopted them as a nation, as His people]
  • the glory, [that is the manifest supernatural presence of God which was with Israel as long as they walked in obedience]
  • the covenants, [all the covenants in the Bible are made with Israel except the ones made before Israel was a nation]
  • the giving of the law, [the law was given only to Israel]
  • the priestly service of God, [was given only to Israel]
  • and the promises; [the promises were also only given to Israel. And then Paul says,]
  • of whom are the fathers, [let’s remember that all the patriarchs are from that lineage, from no other stock but that of Israel. And finally]
  • of whom, according to the flesh, Messiah [Christ] came

This last point is the most distinctive of all the features. It was through the Jewish people—through Israel—that Jesus Christ, the Messiah, came to the world. His coming was not through any other people than the Jews.

Salvation Is of the Jews

Another distinctive feature about Israel is revealed in a most important statement about the Jewish people in John 4:22. Jesus is speaking to a Samaritan woman:

You [Samaritans] worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.

This last statement consists of just five words: “salvation is of the Jews.” But they are five breath-taking words. Where did salvation come from? From the Jews. This is the startling reality: no Jews, no salvation

I am a Gentile. But I freely declare that my whole spiritual inheritance, and every spiritual blessing I have ever enjoyed, I owe to one people—the Jewish people. As I have said, without them there are no patriarchs, no prophets, no apostles, no Bible, and no Savior. How much salvation would you or I have without those five components? None! Salvation is of the Jews. We had better remember that truth and conduct ourselves accordingly. 

God Keeps Covenant Day 3

Blog

God Keeps Covenant Day 3

THE LAND IS INTEGRAL TO THE COVENANT

by Wendy D. Beckett

A Thirty-Day Study on God’s Love for Israel

“The Lord said to Abram ‘…look… north and south, east and west. All the land that you see I will
give to you and your offspring forever.’” (Genesis 13:14 & 15) NLT

Without smog, Abraham could see a very long way from the mountains of Israel! In the Genesis 17 passage we studied on Day 2, the Lord continues in v.8, “The whole land of Canaan, where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you.”

This is confirmed to Jacob. “I am God Almighty…The land I gave to Abraham and Isaac I also give to you, and…to your descendants.” (Genesis 35:12)

The book of Deuteronomy describes the Lord’s comments and final instructions before Israel entered the land after their forty years of wandering in the desert. The Lord is very forthright: “It is not because of your righteousness or your integrity that you are going in to take possession of their land;” (Deuteronomy 9:5) in fact, He says in chapter 31:21, “I know what they are disposed to do, even before I bring them into the land I promised them on oath.”

We know from history that Israel rebelled against God until finally He sent them into exile. The first exile was for seventy years to Babylon, and the second has lasted for almost 2,000 years – beginning 40 years after Jesus wept over them and warned them of what was coming. 

But even before they entered the land the first time, Moses’ words to them provide us with a glimpse of the Lord’s future plan.

When all these blessings and curses (see Deuteronomy 28 & 29) come upon you…wherever the Lord your God disperses you among the nations, and when you and your children return to the Lord…God will…have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations. …God…will bring you to the land that belonged to your fathers, and you will take possession of it.” (Deuteronomy 30:1-5)

This covenant is not void! It is indeed forever! And it includes the land, a portion of which we again see in Israel’s possession today.

Have all those Israelis who are now back in the land “returned to the Lord”? (Deuteronomy 30:2) No. But many have. Others are coming to Him as they settle in their ancient towns and cities. Congregations are springing up everywhere, and Israeli friends tell us that there are now more followers of Yeshua (Jesus) in the land than there have been since the first century AD.

There are also many godly Orthodox Jews who trust in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob with all their hearts, who are waiting for Messiah to be revealed.

Lord, we join the many Jewish people in the land who are praying these words of David: “Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When God restores the fortunes of his people, let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!” (Psalm 53:6 ESV)

Why Israel Intro/Chapter 1

Why Israel?

by Derek Prince

God’s Heart for a People, His Plan for a Nation

If the Lord had not been on our side—let Israel say—if the Lord had not been on our side when people attacked us, they would have swallowed us alive when their anger flared against us; the flood would have engulfed us, the torrent would have swept over us, the raging waters would have swept us away. Praise be to the Lord, who has not let us be torn by their teeth. We have escaped like a bird from the fowler’s snare; the snare has been broken, and we have escaped. Our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 124 NIV

INTRODUCTION

As we begin our teaching on this very important subject of Why Israel, let’s start by
asking a question of ourselves: On what basis are we praying for Israel? The simplest answer is that “Salvation is from the Jews” (John 4:22). As Christians, we need to acknowledge our unfathomable debt to Israel and to always pray on the basis of that total indebtedness.

In my booklet, Our Debt to Israel, I make the following statements:
Without the Jews, we would have no patriarchs, no prophets, no apostles, no Bible and no Savior! Deprived of all these, how much salvation would we have left to us? None!

The nations of the earth owe all that is most precious in their spiritual inheritance to the Jews. This is true of all of us – whether we be Arabs, Africans, Asians, Europeans, Russians, Americans or Chinese. We all owe a spiritual debt to the Jews that cannot be calculated.

One of the best ways we can begin to repay that debt of love is by prayer and intercession. As our awareness of Israel’s place in God’s plans grows, let’s open the Scriptures to gain a clearer understanding of the significance of the land and the people of Israel. To pray effectively for Israel and the Jews, we need to be informed about them. The information we need does not come from the world’s perspective or from the media. It comes from God’s viewpoint, which we find in the Bible.

Chapter 1

The Uniqueness of Israel

There is no other nation like the nation of Israel. The Holy Scriptures make this abundantly clear. 

The name Israel describes the nation descended from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Remember that Jacob was renamed Israel, and from his twelve sons are derived the twelve tribes of Israel. Later on, the people of Israel were called Jews. So really, Jews and Israel today are synonymous. 

In the New Testament, the name Israel occurs seventy-seven times, and these references are never, never applied to the Church. Please hear that again very clearly—the name Israel occurs seventy-seven times in the New Testament and never once is it a description of the Church. The word “Jew” occurs seventy-five times in the Old Testament and one hundred eighty-eight times in the New Testament. On the other hand, the term “Christian” occurs only three times in the New Testament. These numbers indicate the significance the Lord has placed on the people and nation of Israel.

A Unique People 

I want to emphasize in this first chapter that Israel is a unique people. There is no one else like Israel. As we consider the uniqueness of Israel, let’s begin by examining what is stated by David in 1 Chronicles 17:21. Praying to the Lord, David says: 

Who is like Your people Israel, the one nation on the earth whom God went to redeem for Himself as a people—to make for Yourself a name by great and awesome deeds, by driving out nations from before Your people whom You redeemed from Egypt? 

In this prayer, David is saying there is no other nation whom God set out to redeem. He portrays Israel as a nation set apart from other nations. One unchallengeable fact emerges from this text: Israel is unique. The remarkable fact is that Israel did not choose this uniqueness; God chose it. This means if we pray for them just like we pray for any other nation, we are not praying with insight or understanding. In other words, we would not be praying in line with Scripture. 

Let us look at the previous verse, verse 20, which states the uniqueness of Israel. I realized for the first time in a recent study how directly verse 21 relates to the previous verse. It is important to recognize that the uniqueness of Israel springs out of the uniqueness of God. 

Verse 20 says,
“O Lord, there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears. And who is like Your people Israel, the one nation on the earth whom God went to redeem for Himself as a people.” 

We cannot pray effectively for Israel if we classify them with other nations. They are a unique people with a unique destiny expressing the uniqueness of their God. We cannot pray effectively if we pray a general prayer for all nations, including Israel. The facts of Scripture bear out their uniqueness.

God Keeps Covenant Day 2

Blog

 Day 2 of God Keeps Covenant

A FOREVER COVENANT

by Wendy D. Beckett

A Thirty-Day Study on God’s Love for Israel

“I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come.” (Genesis 17:7) people, his treasured possession… because the Lord loved you.”

(Deuteronomy 7:6 & 8)

In ancient times, a covenant was the most binding contract one could make with another – far more serious than anything we can understand today. Modern society has nothing that comes close to its equivalent. The possibility of breaking covenant was unthinkable.

In the passage above, Almighty God Himself was making a covenant with Abraham that was to last forever. He renewed that everlasting covenant with Isaac, (Genesis 26:3 & 4) and then with Jacob. (Genesis 28:13-15) By the Lord’s sovereign choice, He was setting His attention on a man, Abraham, and specific descendants of his, Isaac and Jacob, and their posterity.

In this age of egalitarianism, the Lord’s Sovereign choice is a difficult concept. Perhaps it helps to look at this choice as a difference in function. God was calling Israel – the name first given to Jacob and by extension, to his descendants – to a specific purpose in history. In the midst of a totally pagan world that had no remembrance of the one, true God, He injected Himself into the life of a man and his family to make a covenant with them that was designed to go on forever, in order to accomplish His will on the earth.

The word “forever” is used numerous times throughout Genesis and other Scriptures regarding this covenant. In spite of Israel’s rebellion, the Lord declared in Judges 2:1, I will never break my covenant with you.”
In Psalm 89:34 the Lord vowed: “I will not violate my covenant or alter what my lips have uttered.”

King David reminded his nation the day he brought the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem: “He (the Lord) remembers his covenant forever, the word he commanded to a thousand generations.” (Psalms 105:8 & I Chronicles 16:15)

In light of these declarations by the Lord God, can we doubt that He will keep His covenant with His ancient people? “God is not a man, that he should lie.” (Numbers 23:19) If the Lord does not keep Covenant with Israel, what assurance do we Christians have that He will be faithful to us, the Church?

 

Lord, we’re at Day 2 in this study, and we’re already being stretched as we try to grasp these challenging concepts. We acknowledge that we need Your help. Speak to our hearts so that we can understand this special covenant relationship You have with Your ancient people, Israel.

May we know that Your keeping covenant with them is visible proof that You will also keep covenant with the Church You bought with Your own blood.

OPERATION EXODUS USA STANDS WITH ISRAEL

OPERATION EXODUS USA STANDS WITH ISRAEL

ADONAI brings to nothing the plans of nations, he foils the plans of the peoples. But the counsel of ADONAI stands forever, his heart’s plans are for all generations. How blessed is the nation whose God is ADONAI, the people he chose as his heritage! A king is not saved by the size of his army, a strong man not delivered by his great strength. To rely on a horse for safety is vain, nor does its great power assure escape. But ADONAI’s eyes watch over those who fear him, over those who wait for his grace to rescue them from death and keep them alive in famine. We are waiting for ADONAI; he is our help and shield. For in him our hearts rejoice, because we trust in his holy name. May your mercy, ADONAI, be over us, because we put our hope in you.

Psalm 33:10-12, 16-22 CJB

Operation Exodus USA stands with Israel and her people as they face this horrific war imposed upon them. We are united in prayer, trusting and believing in the LORD to once again deliver Israel and its people from the devastating scourge of terrorist attacks and the grim shadow of war that has fallen upon them. Our hearts are heavy as we witness the courage and resilience of our Jewish brothers and sisters in the face of this perilous crisis. Their strength and determination are an inspiration to us all.

Israel urgently needs our fervent and unceasing prayers, love, and support as never before! Join us now as we stand together, proclaiming and declaring God’s eternal plans and purposes to restore and redeem all of Israel! We thank God that Israel is walking in unity as they protect themselves against the destruction of their enemies.

Our prayers will bring comfort and strength to the people of Israel. We are thanking God for each one of you standing on the wall in passionate intercession for Israel—your highly anointed and effective prayers are a sweet aroma unto the LORD! Thank you for your love, friendship and support.

For those who are not members of our national prayer network, we extend an invitation to join us in praying for Israel and her people through specific and impactful prayer points.  You can participate by clicking on the following link: https://operationexodususa.org/pray/

For the latest news from Israel, please read CBN’s report below:

Israel Prepares for Long and Drawn-Out War
CHRIS MITCHELL – CBN NEWS ISRAEL – Latest Report as of 10/12/2023

JERUSALEM, Israel – President Isaac Herzog told foreign journalists Thursday that Israel is preparing for a “long and drawn-out campaign against Hamas” as the Israel Defense Forces continued to hammer Hamas targets inside the Gaza Strip and amassed troops on the border for a potential ground invasion. Israel says the heavy airstrikes are crippling Hamas despite the terror group still firing rockets into southern Israel. “We are destroying Hamas’s ability to function as a sovereign; it is no longer managing to administer Gaza,” Israel’s top military spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said Thursday.

Casualties Rise as War Rages On
Meanwhile, the death toll continues to climb. More than 1,300 Israelis have been killed since Hamas’ assault began, and Gaza officials say at least 1,200 people have died in the airstrikes. Israel ordered a “complete siege” of Gaza after Hamas went on a murderous rampage in southern Israel. Egypt has rejected proposals to establish humanitarian corridors out of Gaza for Palestinians fleeing the fighting, raising concerns about a humanitarian crisis. Energy Minister Israel Katz said Thursday that no electricity or water will be supplied to Gaza until the hostages Hamas took are returned. “Humanitarian aid to Gaza? No electrical switch will be turned on, no water pump will be opened and no fuel truck will enter until the Israeli abductees are returned home,” he posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Humanitarianism for humanitarianism. And no one can preach morality to us.”

Netanyahu Forms Emergency Unity Government
On Wednesday night, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a national emergency government with Benny Gantz, former IDF Chief of Staff, and head of the National Unity Party. “People of Israel, tonight we created a national emergency government. Israel is united, and tonight its leaders are united too. We’ve put aside every other consideration because the fate of our country is laid on the table,” said Netanyahu. Netanyahu expressed horror at what Hamas has done, saying, “We saw boys and girls bound, who were shot in the head. Men and women burned alive. Young women who were raped and slaughtered. Soldiers who were beheaded.”

Hamas’ Terror Exposed
After a three-day battle, IDF forces took back the village of Be’eri. Major General Itai Veruv described what happened, saying, “People that were captured, their hands were locked, and someone kills them, children in the same room, and someone came and killed them all. Fifteen girls, teenagers, were put in the same room, they threw a hand grenade, and it’s over. This is a massacre. This is a pogrom.” Israeli leaders compared Hamas to ISIS and found an ISIS flag in a kibbutz taken over by Hamas terrorists. Up north, a false alarm sent a million Israelis into bomb shelters on Wednesday night, but the situation remains tense with many wary of an attack by Hezbollah and a two-front war. The IDF has deployed reservists to the Israeli towns on the border with Lebanon to ensure the safety of the residents.

US Working to Rescue Hostages & Supply Military Aid
Israel estimates Hamas kidnapped more than 160 hostages from numerous nations, including Israelis. President Joe Biden told a roundtable of Jewish leaders that he is “doing a lot” to rescue those Americans held hostage by Hamas, stating, “We want to make it real clear we’re working on every aspect of the hostage crisis in Israel, including deploying experts to advise and assist with recovery efforts … I have not given up hope of bringing these folks home.” The U.S. administration is rushing resources to Israel, including a carrier strike group, F-35 and F-15 fighter jets, needed ammunition, and interceptors to replenish the Iron Dome aerial defense system. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived Thursday in a show of US support and meetings with Netanyahu.

Meanwhile, concerns are growing of further violence after former Hamas leader Khaled Mashal called on Muslims worldwide to stage a day of jihad holy war on Friday, October 13th.    

In God We Trust!

John Prosser and the OEUSA Team

Pray for peace in Jerusalem. May all who love this city prosper. O Jerusalem, may there be peace within your walls and prosperity in your palaces. For the sake of my family and friends, I will say, “May you have peace.” For the sake of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek what is best for you, O Jerusalem.  Psalm 122:6-9 NLT