.; A compilation of news reports from the past week for the information of those
David’s Comment: Introducing Our New Zealand Representative – Linda Cook
In this weeks’ comment I want to bless one of the most faithful non-Jewish friends of Israel that we know. Linda Cook has been the Out of Zion Ministries New Zealand office administrator for almost 20 years now. Apart from the times that Linda was serving as a volunteer here in Israel, she has sent out our family newsletters and taken care of other ministry matters, and she and her husband Vic, have been a great blessing to Josie and I, and the ministry. She also serves WIZO and has a weekly prayer for Israel meeting in her home for many years. As well as all of that, Linda is a great mother and grand-mother, and a gifted artist sculpturer, and she has just completed a book which is a compilation of more than 30 amazing paintings based on the book of the Song of Solomon.
Last week Linda asked me if I could help her by letting people on our mailing list know about her new booklet of the compilation of her paintings. In my desire to bless Linda in appreciation of all that she has done to bless us and the people of Israel, I asked her if she could share a little of her testimony as an introduction to her paintings. If you are encouraged by what Linda has written below, or if you would like to order the booklet that features many of her paintings, please contact her direct on her email firstname.lastname@example.org – David
Introduction: A compilation booklet of my paintings based on the Song of Solomon, and inspired by my love for the Bible and the people and the land of the Bible – “Eretz Israel”.
THE SONG OF SOLOMON I believe speaks of God’s undying Love for Israel. Allegorically, it pictures Israel as God’s betrothed bride. HOSEA 2 v 19 -20 I will betroth you (Israel) to me forever Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in loving kindness and mercy; I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, and you shall know the LORD.
I suffered a broken marriage which meant I had to bring up four young children alone. After the marriage broke up, I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma. I cried out to The GOD of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob asking Him to “save me and please let me live to raise my children, please have mercy on me”. Three years later GOD saved not only my body, but HE also saved my soul. At the same time HE gave me a vision of HIS Salvation and Mercy for Israel. HE placed HIS love for Israel in my heart and I began reading the Bible and asking for GOD to reveal His will for my life
My love for Israel grew stronger each day and every year, as I read His word and studied and I found myself longing to go to His Land to share His Love with His people. HE gave me a new life, a new husband , a motherless daughter, and HE added a new baby to our lives, connecting my four children with my new husband Vic and his daughter. Caring now for six children, my new husband and my widowed mother, my heart cried out with longing for Israel’s restoration. I prayed that Jewish families from every country and background would become ONE, as our mixed family learnt to love and forgive, and also become one.
After 18 years of knowing and loving Yeshua as my Lord, I had the joy of going to Israel for the first time to celebrate my 50th birthday. Two years later I returned to celebrate Israel’s 50th birthday. It was such a joyous life-changing occasion. Since that time there have been many return visits to the Holy Land including working with my husband Vic as volunteers for CMJ at a Christian guest house near the Sea of Galilee over a three year period. This work enabled us to build relationships with many Jewish people – kibbutzniks, our neighbours, shopkeepers, and we have become life long friends with many of them, including Bedouins and Arabs.
When my first marriage broke up I became a wood sculptor trained by a master carver, and at the same time began to paint portraits on velvet. After becoming a follower of Yeshua (Jesus) four years later, my LORD redirected me, asking me to lay down the sculpturing and begin to paint for HIM. Those first paintings were of the Song of Solomon chapters one and two. This gift of being able to paint led me to paint many places and people in the Bible and in the Land of Israel. They formed a visual “portrait” of the Song of Solomon. Each of the 32 coloured paintings in this booklet tell a story of God’s love. Some paintings were painted as gifts for people I met in the Land, and others I was requested to paint specifically for different people I knew. I believe this is God’s gift to me which I can now share with all those who love His creation!
GOD is faithful as we pray and trust Him to fulfill His purpose for Israel, and as we ask Him for His Heart of love for Israel to be revealed to us. HE will do more than we can dream or imagine. Sacrificial love and forgiveness and prayer is the key to open doors to ISRAEL’S MESSIAH for the Jewish people and for the nations. Please feel free to contact me by email if you want to know more about my compilation booklet of the paintings.
Love and Blessings …….. Linda email@example.com
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 a 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. Close to 180 Rockets Fired From Gaza Last Weekend World Israel News July 15th
Three civilians were hurt when Gaza terrorists scored a direct hit on a home in Sderot. Nearly 200 rockets were reportedly fired into Israel on Saturday. More than 174 rockets and mortar shells were fired at southern Israel from inside Gaza. Although most of the rockets and mortars landed in open areas, Israeli officials reported that some exploded inside Israeli towns, causing damage to buildings. Three family members were injured when a mortar fired from Gaza hit a house in the town of Sderot at around 6:30pm Saturday evening. A spokesman for the Magen David Adom Ambulance Service said that three people suffered shrapnel injuries of varying degrees. A 50-year-old man suffered moderate wounds after being hit in the chest. A 20-year-old woman sustained light-to-moderate injuries to her lower limbs, and a 14-year-old girl suffered facial wounds. ?We were sitting in the living room, and the glass fell on us,? said the father. ?The entire house was filled with smoke, and we were filled with blood. We got shrapnel in us, my daughters were also injured. We were shocked.? A spokesman for the Sderot municipality said two mortars had hit the town, one scoring a direct hit on the house, while the other hit the courtyard of a synagogue without causing injuries.
In the largest strike on the Gaza Strip since the 2014 Gaza war, IDF jets hit some 40 Hamas targets Saturday afternoon after the barrage of rockets was fired into Israel. ?In consultation with the Minister of Defense, the Chief-of-Staff and the top security command of the State of Israel, we have decided on strong action against Hamas terrorism. The IDF has struck Hamas with the hardest blow since Operation Protective Edge and we will increase the strength of our attacks as necessary.?The IDF said it attacked four Hamas military compounds in a third wave of strikes following attacks overnight Friday and early Saturday morning. Pray that the IDF will continue to attack and destroy all of Hamas’ military positions
2. Iran’s Nuclear Plans Bigger Than Israel Thought Times of Israel News July 16th
The archive of Iranian nuclear documents seized by the Israeli Mossad from a Tehran warehouse in January shows that Iran?s program to build nuclear weapons ?was almost certainly larger, more sophisticated and better organized? than was suspected, unnamed nuclear experts were quoted as saying in the New York Times on Sunday, after being shown selected documents from the haul by US reporters. One of the Iranian documents specifies plans to build a first ?batch of five weapons? and discusses sites for possible underground nuclear tests, the NY Times reported after one of its reporters was given limited access to the haul last week, along with a reporter from the Washington Post, and another from the Wall Street Journal. ?None were built, possibly because the Iranians feared being caught, or because a campaign by American and Israeli intelligence agencies to sabotage the effort, with cyber attacks and disclosures of key facilities, took its toll,? said the Times. Pray that Iran will never be able to realise its nuclear ambitions.
3. Nine Iranians Killed in Attack on Syrian Military Base World Israel News July 16th
Nine Iranian forces were killed during an air attack reportedly carried out by Israel on a Syrian military base near Aleppo. Syrian rebel forces claimed that 22 people, including nine Iranians, were killed in an overnight strike in northern Syria blamed on Israel, al-Jazeera.The figure, which could not be confirmed, was much higher than an earlier report of nine deaths. Six Syrian soldiers were killed in the attack along with at least three more whose citizenship was undetermined. ?On Sunday evening explosions rocked the area of Nayrab Military Airbase, which is controlled by the Assad regime forces and gunmen loyal to them in the outskirts of Aleppo city,? the Observatory said. ?It turned out that they were caused by rocket targeting believed to be Israeli, which targeted positions of the regime forces and gunmen loyal to them in Nayrab Military Airbase and its vicinity.? The raid came hours before a major summit between Russian President Putin and US President Trump, where Syria and Iran are expected to be on the agenda. Israel has been pushing Russia to remove Iranian-aligned militia fighters from Syria and has vowed to stop them from getting a foothold anywhere in the country. Russia has reportedly only agreed to removing them from the Golan border region. Prime Minister Netanyahu, who met with Putin in Moscow last week, said Sunday he had discussed the issue with Trump a day earlier. Pray that Israel maintains are firm hand in dealing with Iranian bases inside Syria
4. Iron Dome Units Deployed in Central Israel INN News July 16th
The military on Sunday announced that it will be deploying additional Iron Dome missile defense batteries in southern Israel and in the greater Tel Aviv area, following large-scale clashes with the Hamas terror group in the Gaza Strip over the weekend. Reservists from air defense units were also called up to provide additional manpower for these batteries, the Israel Defense Forces said.
?The IDF is determined to continue to defend citizens of Israel and is prepared for a variety of scenarios that may intensify,? the army said. The air defense reinforcements were a precautionary measure, as the potential remained for renewed violence despite a ceasefire reached on Saturday night that largely appeared to be holding. The Israeli military said it would take harsh action in response to any attack from the coastal enclave, including in the form of incendiary kites and balloons, and was bracing for possible retaliation by Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip. On Sunday, the security cabinet ordered the IDF to respond forcefully to any case of Palestinians flying incendiary kites and balloons into southern Israel. As of 5:45 p.m. Sunday, the military said its aircraft had fired shots at three such cells. Injuries were reported in at least two cases. Despite the more aggressive stance by the IDF, multiple fires were reported in southern Israel on Sunday due to incendiary devices flown over the fence, with firefighters and local security officers working to contain them. Pray that Hamas stops firing rockets at Israel and if they do, the rockets will fail or be shot down.
5. Israel Closes Border Crossing After Hamas Breaks Cease-Fore Israel Today News July 17th
Israel announced on Monday that it was closing the Gaza Strip’s Kerem Shalom border crossing to all gasoline imports. Food, medicine and other humanitarian supplies would continue to be permitted through the crossing. The move was in response to a violation of the ceasefire by the terror groups operating in Gaza when they fired a rocket toward southern Israel. “Due to continuing attempts by Hamas to carry out terrorist attacks, Defense Minister Lieberman, after consultation with the IDF chief of staff, decided to halt the transfer of gasoline via Kerem Shalom until next Sunday,” read a statement released by the Defense Ministry. Israel also decided to reduce the Gaza fishing zone from six to just three nautical miles. Hamas responded by accusing Israel of unjustifiably oppressing the citizens of Gaza. “The Israeli sanctions further intensify the seize of Gaza and represent crimes against our people. The world must not remain silent in the face of these crimes against humanity,” read a Hamas statement. At the same time, Egypt announced that it would close the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Sinai. It claimed this was being done due to “technical problems,” and had nothing to do with the Israeli closure. Please continue to pray that Hamas is ejected from the Gaza Strip – the only chance of peace
6. Israel Defense Minister: “Close Embassy in Ireland”
Iraeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman has said Israel should close its embassy in Dublin. “There’s no reason to invite the Irish Embassy in Israel for a ‘disciplinary discussion,'” Liberman tweeted. “We have nothing to discuss with people who bring trouble to Jews.” “Israel must immediately close its embassy in Dublin. We will not turn the other cheek to those who boycott us.” On Wednesday, the Irish Senate approved a bill calling for the boycott of Israeli products originating in Judea and Samaria. In April, Dublin Mayor M?che?l MacDonncha entered Israeli to voost Ramallah, despite being prohibited to do so. Pray that Ireland learns the folly of coming against GOD’s nation and changes its ways
7. Syrians Asking for Israeli Protection World Israel News July 15th
Recent footage from Syria shows hundreds of locals on Israel?s border, denouncing Assad and Putin and asking for IDF protection against victorious Assad regime forces. One local resident, speaking by phone from inside Syria, stressed that Western air strikes, rather than Assad?s forces, had forced the surrender of rebel forces, and also said that the reintroduction of Assad?s army would be a ?disaster? for local residents. He added that the majority of Syrians, at least in the vicinity of the Israeli border, trust Israel and the IDF far more than the Syrian army and have called on Israel in recent days to move to protect them. ?Yesterday the Dara?a and Quneitra local councils in Golan Heights took a stand, calling on Israel to open their borders or to come into Syria to protect the Syrian people,? said the man who spoke on condition of anonymity because he feared retribution by forces loyal to Assad. Pray that the Syrian people will begin to see that Israel in not their enemy.