THE TIME TO FAVOR ZION

DAY 8 THE TIME TO FAVOR ZION by Wendy Beckett's 30-day devotion, God Keeps Covenant

THE TIME TO FAVOR ZION

God Keeps Covenant

Day 8
by Wendy D. Beckett

“But You, O Lord, sit enthroned forever; …You will arise and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to show favor to her; the appointed time has come.”  (Psalm 102:12 & 13)

Day 8 of God Keeps Covenant: THE TIME TO FAVOR ZION

I will never forget the gathering in the large cafeteria of a major industrial company in Cleveland, Ohio.  Derek Prince was addressing two thousand eager listeners. The year was 1971 – twenty-three years after the formation of the state of Israel. The air was electric as we heard this renowned Bible teacher expound on how this verse related to   Israel’s birth as a nation.

Profound questions were being addressed: Had 1948 been a turning point in history? One of the Lord’s “suddenlies”? An appointed time that had escaped the world’s attention, but to the Lord was of great importance?  Was He showing favor to His people, Israel, today in the midst of our modern world?

We knew the new nation had been created, but here was Scriptural insight into what the Lord thought of the event. I was in awe as my mind flashed back to mother’s words: “Maybe that’s what the prophets meant!”

The following two Scriptures give us further insights into this “appointed time.” Jesus, in His prophetic description of the history we have just studied, tells us: “Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” (Luke 21:24) Paul echoes this: “Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in.” (Romans 11:25)

With Israel’s birth, a seismic shift occurred in the heavenly realm and in the world. And many – even much of the Church with its rich depository of Scriptural truth – missed it.

How comparable to the way the world missed our Savior’s birth, which was ushered in by the great angelic pronouncement. The sky was ablaze with heavenly light for the Bethlehem shepherds. And the sleeping world yawned.

So it was also with Israel’s inception as a nation. Few understood or were even aware of God’s dramatic invasion into history. But the process had begun. For indeed, the “Lord hears the needy and does not despise his captive people. …for God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah.” (Psalm 69:33 & 35) And that is exactly what has been happening since 1948.

Father, please help us all in Your Church to see the significance of the wondrous accomplishment that You brought forth from the ashes of the Holocaust. You were true to Your Covenant and again gave Your people their land. You have had “compassion on Zion” and shown her favor at “the appointed time,” just as You promised!  You are revealing the continuation of Your love story.

Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability link. teaching

WORLD WAR II AND THE HOLOCAUST

WORLD WAR II AND THE HOLOCAUST by Wendy Becktt's 30 day devotion, God Keeps Covenant

WORLD WAR II AND THE HOLOCAUST

God Keeps Covenant

Day 7
by Wendy D. Beckett
You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest (pray continually) till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth. (Isaiah 62:6 & 7)

Day 7 of God Keeps Covenant: World War II and the Holocaust

In the summer of 2004, as I walked for the first time through Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem, what struck me most deeply was the Jewish suffering after World War II. My heart was broken not only by the gas chambers and crematoriums (which I had known about) but also by the post-war holding camps in Cyprus and northern Europe, where conditions were not much better than at Auschwitz. I wept as I thought of the survivors of the Holocaust finally landing in Haifa, Israel, only to be sent back to the holding camps because of anti-Semitic regulations.

But I don’t intend here to dwell on the horrors. If you have seen “Schindler’s List,” “Playing for Time” or “The Pianist,” you know very well the appalling scenes from the Warsaw ghetto and the death camps.

Instead, let us zero in on a small Bible College in Wales where nightly, powerful prayer meetings were occurring during the war. Rees Howells, an intercessor God had groomed with great care, would take time by himself to wait on the Lord for the prayer strategy for a particular evening.

Once he had heard the Lord’s direction, he would join others already in prayer and together they would go into deep intercession – perhaps for hours – until they sensed they had “broken through” and the Lord had achieved what He desired. Often within days the news would report a victory the Allies had needed to press on to defeat the evil Nazi regime – exactly as they had prayed.

O yes, there were prayer gatherings everywhere as the world writhed convulsively during those awful years between 1939-1945. Finally those regimes fell, and the senseless murder ceased for those whose only crime was that they were Jewish.

Can we ever answer the question “Why?” In today’s world, innocent people, children, and babies are being murdered almost daily by terrorists. We all wrestle with why evil has to be so powerful. The answers will come when we see the Lord face to face.

Then, we will have the kind of history lesson those two disciples had on the road to Emmaus on Resurrection Day when the Lord Jesus brought His gruesome death and the prophetic Word together for them. (Luke 24) Until that day, I have to trust my Lord. In His Sovereignty, the Lord had to allow the Holocaust. The outcome was a homeland for the Jewish people – the restored nation of Israel. He used the incredible tragedy for His purposes.

To return to our opening Scripture, we see that intercessors did call on the Lord and gave themselves and Him no rest during those terrible years. Through the horrors, the Lord somehow caused His Will to be done to bring closer the Day He “establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.

Father, again we have to acknowledge that Your ways are not our ways. (Isaiah 55:8) We can only declare that You are Sovereign over all the earth. You know what You are doing as You bring about Your will and Your purposes in preparation for that great Day!

Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability link. teaching

CHRISTIANS WHO CARED

Christians who cared by Wendy Beckett's 30 day devotion, God Keeps Covenant

God Keeps Covenant

CHRISTIANS WHO CARED

Day 6
by Wendy D. Beckett
“Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.” Isaiah 40:1 NIV

Day 6 of God Keeps Covenant: Christians Who Cared.

Dr. Michael Brown has written a powerful book entitled Our Hands Are Stained with BloodThe Tragic Story of the “Church” and the Jewish People. In the midst of recounting the horrific mistreatment of Jews, Dr. Brown gives us a wonderful chapter entitled, “A Blessed and Beautiful Stream,” in which he acquaints the reader with a few of those who have stood out in history against this tide of anti-Semitic evil.

Of course many of these believers were the quiet ones who remained in obscurity. They were those who cried out to God in prayer for the Jewish people or who performed secret acts of kindness despite the personal danger. We know that many of these “righteous Gentiles,” (as the Jewish people call Christians who care for them) gave their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust. Corrie ten Boom’s family is one of the best-known examples (as depicted in the book and movie, The Hiding Place.)

Interestingly, many of the Puritans who shaped early America had a vision for Israel and held the hope that the Jewish people would return to their land and their Lord. Perhaps one of the reasons God has so blessed America has been the fact that many times through the years we have opened our arms to Jewish people fleeing the persecutions of Europe.

Samuel Rutherford, a famous Scottish Puritan, had a deep love for the Lord and His ancient people. I love this description from one of his letters quoted in Dr. Brown’s book:

O to see the sight, next to Christ’s Coming in the clouds, the most joyful! Our elder brother the Jews and Christ fall upon one another’s neck… They have been long asunder; … O longed-for and lovely day-dawn! …let me see that sight which will be as life from the dead, Thee and Thy ancient people in mutual embraces. (2)

In the early 1800s, the London Jews Society was formed. This organization encouraged Jews to immigrate to Israel and also established the first Protestant Jewish Church there. They opened schools and a hospital. The result was that, for the first time in 1,700 years, there were known to be Jewish people in Israel who came to believe in Jesus as the Messiah. During the intense persecutions in Russia in the 1880s, the London Jews Society helped the first Russian immigrants “home” to Israel.

Even Queen Victoria, who reigned on the British throne for more than 50 years in the last half of the 1800s, strongly supported a homeland for the Jewish people.

In today’s Scripture from Isaiah, whom is the Lord addressing? Could it be that He is actually stirring all of us in the Church to “comfort” His chosen people? I believe so!

Thank You, Lord, that You have always had a faithful remnant in the Church who has understood Your great heart of love for Your covenant people. Thank You that down through the centuries there have been those who have heeded Paul’s warnings and have blessed the Jews. May there be more and more Christians who are inspired to “comfort” with an unconditional love, these dear people who have suffered so much.

A LOOK INTO HISTORY

A look into history day 5 devotion by Wendy Beckett

A Look Into History

God Keeps Covenant

Day 5

by Wendy D. Beckett

“…do not boast… Do not be arrogant.” (Romans 11:18 & 20)

Day 5 of God Keeps Covenant: A Look Into History.

A devotional may seem to be a strange place to discuss history. Sadly however, many in the Church today have no idea how much persecution has been inflicted on the Jewish people in the name of Christ. So our key Scripture for today is Paul’s warning resounding down through the centuries to all who will hear: “Do not be arrogant.” Regrettably, many have ignored Paul’s plea.

The apostles were scarcely in their graves when key leaders in the early church began turning against the Jews. By the time Christianity became accepted throughout the Roman Empire, every vestige of Jewishness had been erased from the Church. Jewish people who became Christians were forbidden to keep Saturday as the Sabbath, or to celebrate the feasts commanded by the Lord through Moses.

Expulsion, forced conversion and violence mar the pages of the history of Christian Europe as the separation between Christian and Jew continued to widen. Even many of the holiest and most respected church fathers were virulently anti-Semitic. (1)

The Crusades, between 1000 and 1200 AD, became an excuse to eradicate as many Jews as possible as fanatic knights and their followers rampaged through cities and towns on their way to the Holy Land. Once in Jerusalem, these men, convinced they were doing God’s will, slaughtered Jews as well as Muslims until the blood literally ran through the streets.

In Europe in the late 1200s, a story circulated widely that Jews were kidnapping Christian children, slaughtering them, drinking their blood and using it to make their Passover bread. Untold thousands of Jewish people lost their lives in the ensuing centuries because of this preposterous lie. These accusations continued in Eastern Europe well into the last century and still surface today in Muslim countries. How difficult this is to comprehend!

Down through the centuries, persecutions and mass expulsions took place in England, France, Spain, Russia and Eastern Europe. Between 1440 and 1808, 30,000 Jews were burned at the stake in Spain and thousands more in Portugal and Mexico.

Even Martin Luther (1500s) in his later years joined the ranks of those who vilified the Jews and desired their destruction.  It has been said that Luther’s angry outbursts against them helped Hitler justify his purges and death camps.

 It is estimated that in the centuries before the Holocaust 7,000,000 Jewish people were slaughtered by those confessing to be Christians. Then during World War II another 6,000,000 were annihilated.

Where was the Lord in all those centuries of suffering? I believe He was weeping with His people. In all their affliction He was afflicted.” (Isaiah 63:9 NKJV) He was also weeping over His Church. He had left such clear instructions to love.

Lord, what horrors You have looked upon! Our hearts break that Paul’s warning was not heeded and that the Jewish people have had to suffer so intensely for so long! Cleanse us, Your Church, from any remaining arrogance.

Ari & Lanie

our olim stories - Ari & Lani. Read more about the Jewish people who've made Aliyah (immigrate to Israel) from the USA to their home in Israel. Operation Exodus USA is an Aliyah organization.

We are a family of 6 that has always loved the Land of Israel…, and want to live among our people and for life to revolve around Judaism rather than needing Judaism to revolve around American life.”

Maya

One of our olim Maya B. - Made Aliyah - returned to Israel. We are a Christian ministry that helps Jewish people make Aliyah (immigrate to Israel) from the USA to their home in Israel. Operation Exodus USA is an Aliyah organization.

“I was born in Israel and moved to the U.S at the age of four. Growing up as a child, we still kept up speaking Hebrew at home, and keeping Israeli traditions. We also would visit around every year to visit family and friends. My oldest brother, Idan, made Aliyah in 2013… Going into my senior year, I knew I would have to make a decision whether I wanted to move back to Israel, or continue to college. It was extremely tough for me to decide, so I took a gap year and spent 5 months living on a kibbutz in Israel. These were hands down the best 5 months of my life, and when I got to the airport in Tel Aviv, and practically cried the whole way back to Milwaukee, I knew what my heart wanted. I always waited for a sign, something to tell me what to do, but in the end, my biggest sign was myself and I am excited for this next journey in my life. And I think what your organization is doing is absolutely amazing!”

Tzvi Family

Operation Exodus USA - our olim Tzvi & Family - Made Aliyah - returned to Israel. We are a Christian ministry that helps Jewish people make Aliyah (immigrate to Israel) from the USA to their home in Israel. Operation Exodus USA is an Aliyah organization.

We have always been Zionistic and felt a strong desire to move to the land of our forefathers, to raise our family in our homeland. We got married in the USA and our first two children (soon to be three) were born here. We have always felt that something was missing. We now feel it is the best time for us to make Aliyah and join our Jewish brothers and sisters in our homeland. We are excited to raise our children in the same land as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”