- The Practice of Honor
- 2017 Baruch Haba
- Meeting the Spiritual Needs of Returning Exiles
- A Special Tribute
- Download June Newsletter as a PDF
We learn how to honor God by practicing on our fellow (imperfect) humans. The act of honoring is very important. It is “the first commandment with a promise” (Ephesians 6:2). “Honor your father and your mother…that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you” (Deuteronomy 5:16, Ephesians 6:2-3). Honoring is directly linked to things going well for those in the Land of Israel, and by extension in whatever sphere of influence we are being given.
Conversely, since the opposite of honoring is rebellion, attitudes of rebellion and presumption prevent us from moving into the next stage of inheriting the Promised Land and the Promises: “… you would not listen, but rebelled against the command of the LORD, and presumptuously went up into the mountain” (Deuteronomy 1:43).
Rebellion far predates the modern era. “Son of Man, I am sending you to … a rebellious nation that has rebelled against Me…to this very day” (Ezekiel 2:3).
More recently, in the 1960s, rebellion against the status quo in Western society went full throttle, with more than a fair share of Jewish participants. That rebellion is still going on all around the world, and has spilled over into additional arenas such as gender identity. Several generations have already grown up in cultures of dishonor. Very recently I was again taken aback at how the tendency toward dishonor rose up in me. I tried to find excuses and persuade myself it was something else, but the tendency to rebel is still alive and well – certainly in society, and even at times in us.
Now, to clarify, a willingness and desire to change the status quo can be positive and even righteous. However, as soon as it is combined with dishonoring others, building “my” ego and spurning all authority, the mixture becomes poisonous.
Many young people tend to rebel against the wise advice of their elders – as did the newly appointed king Rehoboam, son of Solomon. In the spurned advice of these elders we see what could have been a beautiful picture of mutual honor, humility and service: “If you will be a servant to the people today, and serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever” (I Kings 12:7).
This is a precursor of New Testament injunctions: “Submit to one another out of reverence for Messiah” (Ephesians 5:21 NIV) “…give preference to one another in honor” (Romans 12:10 NASB). It’s not too late. Let us practice honoring others and thus learn how to honor God. The outcome will be no less than length of life in the “Promised Land.”
Hearing that I chose to accompany a 10 day, two bus, 90 person, 10 nation intercessory tour 24/7, several of my Israeli Messianic leadership colleagues cautioned me against overexertion. But, honestly, I had a blast. We laughed, learned, prayed and praised our way from the Mediterranean Sea to the Sea of Galilee and from Yeshua’s Mount of Beatitudes to the desert of the Patriarchs.
Most memorable were our encounters with indigenous Israeli Messianic congregations and the apostolic team served by Asher Intrater. On the ancient walls of Akko, we prayed passionately for pastors Guy and Hani—a Jew and an Arab both serving in that city (see photo). Then, in Yeshua’s boyhood home, Nazareth, we experienced the powerful presence of God amidst prophetic intercession for the pastoral couple there, Vakif and Tanya, and their growing congregation of Russian immigrant Israelis.
Please consider joining us on our next *Baruch haBa tour.
*”Baruch haBa” means literally, “Blessed is he who comes,” or in everyday jargon, “Welcome!”
Israel was exiled and scattered in judgement according to God’s words (Leviticus 26:14-33), but now in our day the exiles of Israel are being regathered, also in accordance with God’s words.
“For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean…” (Ezekiel 36:24-25).
Our ministry to new Israeli immigrants (the returning exiles) was established at the end of 2013. Since then, God has given us many opportunities to minister to them, and today we serve more than 1,300 families by supplying food, blankets, heaters, housewares, educational tours and more – with no strings attached.
In 2017, we began to pray for a breakthrough in the spiritual area. In addition to providing for their practical physical needs, it was our desire to help these fledgling Israelis find God as the answer to their spiritual needs. In addition, we put together an outreach team, a group of people who serve new immigrants by visiting them at home, listening to their problems, praying with them and arranging evangelistic events for those who want to hear the Gospel.
We are seeing tangible results come from this endeavor. After just two weeks of outreach, new families began visiting the congregation. They were thirsty to hear the Word of God. A week later, a couple came to the Lord with a prayer of repentance.
In April, during Passover, our team arranged the first trial event for new immigrants. Fifty people came to hear the Passover story and the message of Messiah, and their common denominator of the sacrifice lamb. During this event, fifteen people came forward to pray a repentance prayer.
These early fruits fill us with new energy and a desire to see more. We ask for your support in prayer that God would multiply this first fruit and that hundreds more would come to receive Him. We hope to develop this project further in order to bless many who have both practical and spiritual needs.
A spiritual hero of mine has gone on to his reward. Nearly 30 years ago, David Davis left a successful ac ting/teaching career in New York, and came to Haifa with his wife Karen. They began by reaching out to drug addicts, a ministry still bearing life-transforming fruit. He was a man of unflinching dedication to Yeshua who, by his loving example, inspired multitudes.
The Haifa night in 1991 when David announced the founding of Carmel Assembly, we were there. Later, his prophecy over us anticipated the ministry that became Tents of Mercy and sent us out with enthusiastic prayer to launch the congregation in December 1995.
David’s confidence in the power of the Gospel to redeem ruined lives leaves an enduring legacy. Thank you, David! You gave your all and we are so enriched by the sacrificial way you lived your life for the Lord and for this nation.