Chosen at a PRICE!
Shalom Dear Friend and Partner,
The Price of being God’s chosen…? It was God who chose the people of Israel the Jews! God did not choose them because they are special …They are special because they were chosen! "For you are a holy people who belong to the Lord your God. Of all the people on earth, the Lord your God has chosen you to be his own special treasure. The Lord did not set his heart on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other nations, for you were the smallest of all nations! Rather, it was simply that the Lord loves you, and he was keeping the oath he had sworn to your ancestors. That is why the Lord rescued you with such a strong hand from your slavery and from the oppressive hand of Pharaoh, King of Egypt," Deuteronomy 7:6-8.
Did you ever wonder and think …how did Israel deserve to be chosen above all of the other nations…? It was NOT a matter of Israel’s merit but of God keeping His promise to their ancestors. It was God who chose the land of Israel and the Jewish people. Israel was intended by God to be His showcase. Israel’s strategic location at the meeting point of three continents meant that traders, travellers, and warriors en route to and from war took note of her among nations that developed all sorts of practices to appease their different gods and thus Israel would stand out as a nation to whom the "One true God" had revealed His will through the first five books of the Bible (Torah) (Genesis – Deuteronomy). Israel’s guide on how to live in right relationship with God and each other evolved others saw how their God blessed their obedience with provision and protection from invading armies.
God promised the Land to them; "Arise, walk in the Land …for I give it to you." (Genesis 13; 17)
"… the LORD made a covenant with Abraham, saying … To your descendants I have given this Land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates…" Genesis 15:18.
Other Scriptures relevant to God’s Promised Land Covenant to the Jewish people: Genesis 28:3-4; 28:13; Joshua 14:19.
The Lord said… "The Land shall not be sold permanently, for the Land is mine…" Leviticus 25:23.
"…I have spoken in My burning jealousy against the rest of the nations, and against all Edom, who gave MY LAND to themselves as a possession…" Ezekiel 36:5
The Lord changed Jacob’s name to Israel ( Genesis 35:10). Later in the Bible, Jacob’s descendants were called in Hebrew B’nei Israel … meaning sons of the children of Israel …or simply Israel.
The tribes of Israel are NO longer separate. Inter-marriage has formed Jacob’s descendants into one group called the Jewish people or Israel. Today the names of the children of Israel and Jewish people are synonymous. The promise of the Land of Abraham’s descendants is Unconditional. It is a promise between the Lord and Himself.
Did the Lord change His mind when Israel sinned….? No! He punished them and – scattered them among the nations (Ezekiel 36:19). Yet says the Lord; "For all that, when (Israel is) in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away … to utterly destroy them and break My covenant with them but, … I will remember the covenant of their ancestors whom I brought out of the land of Egypt…" Leviticus 26:44-45.
And after their punishment He will… "….Take you (Israel) from being among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land," Ezekiel 36:24. God’s promise cannot be broken! For Jehovah will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel and set them in their own land; and the stranger shall be joined with them, and they shall cling to the House of Jacob. "…God’s Message, from the God who lights up the day with sun and brightens the night with moon and stars
Then and only then might Israel fall apart and disappear as a nation before Me. God’s message - "If the skies could be measured with a yardstick and the earth explored to its core, then and only then would I turn my back on Israel, disgusted with what they’ve done GOD's Decree," Jeremiah 31:35-37 (MSG).
Did you know as believers in Yeshua (Jesus) we have been chosen too...? You see God has a plan for Israel and for the church. But the church can't replace Israel!
In 1948 Israel became a Jewish State and on the 15th May, 2008 celebrated 60 Years. We rejoice with Israel!
For Jehovah will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel and set them in their own land; and the stranger shall be joined with them, and they shall cling to the house of Jacob. Promises, are encouraged when the Lord brings Jewish people back to their Land. His faithfulness to Israel proves that He exists and that His promises can be trusted; "… I will GATHER you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been SCATTERED, and I will give you back the land of Israel again," Ezekiel 11:27.
In 1991 almost 15,000 Ethiopian Jews were air lifted into Israel in two days (Operation Solomon). Ethiopians managed to come to Israel by crossing the wastelands of Africa on foot to Sudan and faced many difficulties. Edna Yeholashet of Ethiopia gave account of this to the Jerusalem Post Magazine as reported on the 22nd May, 1992.
From Morocco, Northern Africa more than 300,000 Jews have crowded into Israel since 1948. Almost 250,000 of them arrived from what is now Morocco where Jews have lived since 586 BC.
Nearly 50,000 Yemenites who had never seen a plane before were airlifted to Israel in 1949 and 1950 just as the Book of Isaiah promised that they shall mount up with "eagle’s wings." To the surprise of the pilots some of them lit a bonfire abroad to cook their food!
Of the 105,000 Jews in 1948 in Tunisia 50,000 have immigrated to Israel. These are just some examples to mention. Most recently it is the Return from the North with many Russian Jews arriving in Israel daily!
Interestingly - Most immigrants settle in the North and that is exactly where the Lord has called Pray4Zion to be set-up and be a blessing to those He has sent back to Israel!
How did tiny, tiny Israel survive against overwhelming opposition? The Lord promised to be there for Israel. He used their weakness to show His great power to save. In our day the Lord is keeping His promise and is returning his people against all odds! The Lord is Sovereign and no one can prevent Him from doing His will. World powers that oppose God’s plan can cause pain and suffering but cannot prevent the Lord from keeping His Promises. Why not go for the blessings of Psalm 122:6….?
The attempts to physically DESTROY Israel…. The Jewish people have suffered many calamities. From the very beginning of their existence they faced Pharaoh; in the book of Ester we read of a plan by Haman to annihilate them; by far the most horrible was the Holocaust during World war 11. Today their very existence is threatened by Hezbollah who is backed by Iran – to wipe Israel from the map! We encourage you to read Psalm 83!
Is God expecting Christians to help Israel in her time of need…? Yes, most definitely so…
"Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keeps the Sabbath from profaning it, and takes hold of my covenant; Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt-offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all people. The Lord GOD who gathers the outcasts of Israel, Yet will I gather others to him, besides those that are gathered to him," Isaiah 56:6-8.
"Foreigners shall build up your walls, and their kings shall minister to you: for in my wrath I struck you, but in my favour have I had mercy on you. Your gates also shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring to you the wealth of the nations, and their kings led captive. For that nation and kingdom that will not serve you shall perish; yes, those nations shall be utterly wasted." Isaiah 60:10-12.
In the New Testament we encourage you to read the following Scriptures which bring clarity… Acts 11:28-29; 21:10; Romans 15:25 – 27; 1 Corinthians 16: 1 - 3; 2 Corinthians 8:1-7; 9:1-15. And finally; "Him who overcomes I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will go out no more. And I will write upon him the Name of My God, and the name of the City of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of Heaven from My God, and My new name," Revelation 3:12.
May the Lord bless you with Shalom as you stand with Israel God’s chosen people in these very challenging but exciting times! We would love to hear from you.
Shalom blessings always (Ruth 2:12),
Alf & Julie Saunders
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John Bunyan once said, "You have never lived successfully until you have done something for someone who can NEVER repay you!"
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