.; A compilation of news reports from the past week for the information of those committed to ..praying .. for the restoration of Israel
David’s Comment: Increasing Numbers of Messianic Believers in Israel’s Military Forces
2 Timothy 2:3 Endure hardships as a good soldier of Messiah Yeshua and do not become entangled with the things of this world
I want to share with you this week about an exciting development taking place within the ranks of the Israeli Defense Force. Over the last 30 – 40 years, Messianic Jews from the nations have been returning to the land of their forefathers at ever increasing numbers. Today immigrant Believers make up the majority of the more than 180 Messianic fellowships in Israel. and as Josie and I did, they brought their children with them, or gave birth to children after they arrived. Over the same period of time. Israeli youth groups are all blossoming with 2nd generation Messianic Jews, and now that / the older ones are beginning to marry and have children, the congregation’s creches and junior classes are blossoming with 3rd generation children who are being brought up to know and follow the God of Israel and Yeshua, the promised Messiah and soon coming King.
As these young Believers come to the end of their school years they are immediately drafted into the IDF. Hence the Israeli army, navy and air force have seen a growing number of Young Messianic Jews in its ranks, and each year as the young ones reach the age of 18, the number of Messianic Believers in the Israeli military units increases. We are not only talking about the offspring of the Messianic immigrants, but a number of young Israelis whose parents are not believers, have come to know the Lord and are also doing their army service. Many of them are being promoted into leadership positions, and we are even hearing now of young Messianic girls who are training to be pilots in the Air Force. The number of Messianics in the IDF are so many now that an annual conference is being held for the believing soldiers.
Never before has the IDF had so many soldiers who are young disciples of the Messiah. And God knows the armed forces needs the influence of this group of young Messianic Jews. I would estimate that 90% or more of army personnel are secular – they don’t even claim to be religious in any way. Both young men and women serve in the IDF. Life in the army for the 17 – 20 year old male and female soldiers can get very immoral. The female soldiers are entitled to 3 free abortions ! For young people who are in the army of a country under the constant threat of terror and war, and who are constantly in real risk of being wounded or killed, and with no Godly principles in their life, there must be a strong desire to experience all that the sinful life has to offer.
Therefore there are many challenges for the young Messianic Jewish soldiers. Firstly, not to be corrupted by the ungodly behaviour of their secular peers. And secondly to make the most of their being in the midst of such a large, yet difficult mission field. Most of the believing soldiers I have had the opportunity to speak with, have had many chances to share their faith with at least a few of their comrades.
As I wrote above, over our 25 years in Israel, we have witnessed a steady growth in the youth groups in Israel, in which large numbers of shy and inexperienced teenagers are discovering their identity as Israeli Jews who know their Messiah, and who are excited to be living in Israel in these challenging times. They are being touched by the Holy Spirit and are many are boldly taking their faith to the young people of Israel. And now many of these young people are either in their 3rd year military service, or are in the process of being drafted into the IDF. And others are approaching the age of induction, therefore the numbers can only continue to increase as time moves on.
The main reason I felt to make this the subject of this week’s comment, is that the young Believers in Israel’s military need prayer – lots of it ! We need to pray for Divine protection and that they will find favor in the eyes of their leaders and comrades. We need to pray that their conduct will be a testimony to the officers and soldiers around them – that they will be ‘walking epistles’ of the Gospel. We need to pray that the anointing of the Holy Spirit will intensify upon their lives and that the people around them will witness miracles and be ‘provoked’ to be jealous of faith in Yeshua. They are not only in a physical war, but he Devil has them in his sights too ! I want to encourage all of you to lift up these young Messianic Jews before the throne of the Father as often as you can – again I say they really need it.
The LORD bless you as you bless Israel by standing in defense of her right to exist on the land given to the Jewish people by the God of Israel. Lets pray that Israel will turn back to their God. Do not be silent, but share this with your fellow Christians, share it with your pastors, and with anyone you have a chance to speak to. Lets also pray for that breakthrough to the Muslims, and please remember to pray Divine protection for all of the soldiers in the IDF.
Shabbat Shalom …… David & Josie
This Weeks News Items
1. Israeli Killed in Stabbing Attack Times of Israel News Feb 5th
An Israeli man was killed on Monday afternoon after he was stabbed in the chest in a terror attack outside the West Bank settlement of Ariel, the army and medics said. He was identified as Itamar Ben-Gal, 29, a father of four from the nearby settlement of Har Bracha. Video from the scene showed the Arab attacker crossing a road toward Ben-Gal, who was standing in front of a bus stop, and stabbing him. Ben-Gal then fled across the street with the stabber in pursuit. An IDF officer identified the terrorist and pursued him, hitting with his vehicle, but he managed to flee. ?IDF troops are searching the area,? the army said. The emergency service and army medics treated the victim at the scene in the northern West Bank settlement. Medics tried to resuscitate Ben-Gal, who was stabbed repeatedly in the chest, medics said. He was taken to hospital, but died of his wounds. The mother of the terrorist who murdered Itamar Ben Gal has called on her son to turn himself in to authorities. ?Acts like this are unacceptable to me,? said the mother, a resident of Haifa in her forties. ?My son has no right to hurt anyone. I condemn what he did and call on him to turn himself in, because the act that he committed will not help anyone. On the contrary, he is destroying himself and he has destroyed everything.? Please pray that the attacker is apprehended before he can carry out another attack
2. ‘Palestinian’ Charged With Murder of Pregnant Israeli Lover Times of Israel Feb 5th
State prosecutors on Sunday convicted an Arab man who has confessed to murdering his pregnant Israeli lover ?because she was a Jew.? The charge sheet was amended to reflect that Nablus resident Muhammad Harouf murdered Michal Halimi for ?nationalistic reasons,? and not in a purely domestic dispute, as initially thought. Harouf was also charged with vehicular theft, criminal conspiracy, credit card fraud, and illegal entry into Israel. He is expected to get life in prison, despite signing a plea deal. The State prosecutor of the Tel Aviv District Attorney?s office described the murder as ?shocking? during Sunday?s proceedings. The defendant strangled Halimi when she was pregnant and dumped her body in the sand where she wasn?t found for two months. Halimi, a married resident of the West Bank settlement of Adam, was reported missing by her family last May. Pray that this cold blooded murdered is never released from prison.
3. Warmest December in 18 Years Israel Today News Feb 2nd
It is not only rabbis and priests, but even Muslim sheikhs have been calling for prayer for rain over the past few weeks. In December, the flow of the northern rivers that feed the Sea of Galilee was at an unsustainable low-point. These rivers typically replenish the lake during the winter months. During December, they were flowing at just over 90 cubic feet (2.6 cubic meters) of water per second. This is less than half of the 234 cubic feet (6.6 cubic meters) per second needed to just maintain the current water level of the Sea of Galilee. Please continue to pray for much more rain before the end of winter
4. Hamas: War With Israel Just Days Away World Israel News Feb 7th
An Arabic-language London-based newspaper, reported that the leaders of Hamas in the Gaza Strip are calculating that the chances of war with Israel are ?at 95 percent? and assume it could erupt within days. The paper further said that the military wing of Hamas has declared a state of the highest alert, evacuating its headquarters and various sites in the Strip, such as the border areas, and spreading its armed forces in civilian areas for fear of an Israeli attack. Other Gaza terror groups, including Islamic Jihad, were reportedly preparing in a similar manner. The possible cover for such an offensive, they claim, could be the biennial Israeli-American Juniper Cobra training exercise, which is set to take place in the coming days. The drill involves thousands of soldiers and will simulate a major conflict in which Israel is attacked with thousands of missiles from the northern and southern borders at once.
Israeli jets have struck the Gaza Strip twice in the last few days. However, this was in retaliation for two rockets fired from Gaza, one on Thursday night that caused alarms to go off in the Ashkelon Regional Council, and one on Friday night, when sirens sounded in the Shaar Hanegev Regional Council. Three Hamas terror targets were hit in response, the IDF said. Israel is not known for invading Gaza preemptively.Since Israel removed every Jewish citizen from Gaza in 2005, all military conflicts there have been in response to massive rocket fire and terror attacks instigated by Hamas. Before his weekly Cabinet meeting Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made it clear that Israel is not interested in a war with Hamas, but will ?do whatever is necessary? to defend itself. Pray that Hamas is not so foolish as to start another conflict with Israel.
5. Israel Moves Closer to Silencing Mosques Israel Today News Feb 4th
Prime Minister Netanyahu’s coalition partners are again pushing a bill that would prohibit mosques from broadcasting the Muslim call to prayer over loudspeakers. Known as the Muezzin Law, two versions of the bill passed their first readings in the Knesset last March. However, fearing a local and international backlash, the government put the breaks on the legislation by introducing restrictions, primarily that the two versions of the bill be combined and be submitted for approval by Netanyahu’s cabinet. One version of the bill would prohibit the use of loudspeakers overnight and during the early morning hours, while the second forbids the use of loudspeakers altogether. Both versions refer only vaguely to the use of loudspeakers by “places of worship,” but since churches and synagogues do not impose their calls to worship on the general public, the obvious targets are local mosques. Please pray that this law passes and is effective in silencing the horrible amplified sound coming from the mosques in Israel.
6. US Envoy to Abbas: Stop Denying Jewish History Israel Today News Feb 8th
As far as Israel is concerned, denial of the Jewish historical and religious connection to this land, and especially to Jerusalem, is the primarily roadblock to peace at present and it seems that the American government agrees. President Trump’s special Middle East envoy, Jason Greenblatt blasted Mahmoud Abbas for failing to mention that Jerusalem’s connection to the Jewish people. Abbas addressed a Palestinian youth festival and repeatedly told the young Arabs that Jerusalem is and always has been a city for Muslims and Christians. No mention of Jews. According to Greenblatt, that kind of rhetoric only pushes peace further away. “Abbas states about Jerusalem: ?it is Arab, Muslim, and Christian.? And he makes no mention of any Jewish ties. Nothing peaceful or productive can come from statements like this,” Greenblatt wrote on Twitter. “Lasting peace will not be achieved by denying Judaism?s thousands of years of ties to Jerusalem. Jerusalem is holy to Muslims, Christians, and Jews,” he added. All of the Palestinian Authority’s most hard-line positions are based on the premise that the Jews have no right to be here. Israel believes that a genuine, long-lasting peace can only be achievable if it’s built upon a foundation of truth and acceptance of documented historical fact. Pray that the impossible peace process remains in limbo
7. Iranian Missile Facility in
Analysts looking at Prime Minister Netanyahu?s Sunday briefing to the Cabinet on the subject of his recent talks with Russian President Putin pointed at the particular significance of a remark he made after usual comments about Israeli readiness in the face of military threats. Netanyahu told the ministers that he and Putin, discussed ?Lebanon, which is becoming a factory for precision-guided missiles that threaten Israel. These missiles pose a grave threat to Israel, and we will not accept this threat.? Netanyahu went on to say that the weapons factories are currently ?in the process of being built? by Iran and Israel is ?determined to do whatever is necessary to prevent those two developments.? Indeed top Israeli analysts say that the Iranian missile factory being built in Lebanon is a game changer that has placed Israel and Hezbollah on a collision course that could lead to a third Lebanon war. Pray the the missile factory will be destroyed before it becomes operational.