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Weekly Update: A spirit of grace and supplication

6 October 2022

This week the Jewish people celebrate Yom Kippur. For the Jewish people, it is the most holy day of the year. It is a day of repentance, prayer and fasting, closing the ten Days of Awe that commenced with Rosh Hashanah ushering in the Jewish New Year.

Together with Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles, which falls next week), this period points forward to the time when the Redeemer shall come forth from Zion, the times of the gentile nations shall be completed, the Jewish people shall mourn, and all Israel will be saved (Romans 11).

The scriptures speak clearly of a final outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Jewish people in the last days. It will be a time of humiliation, repentance, and refreshing. The time of that outpouring must be near, because we are living in the generation in which Jerusalem has become a “cup of trembling”, an “immovable rock for all nations” (Zechariah 12). God has promised that ‘on that day’ He will pour out His spirit of grace and supplication “on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.”

There is much happening in and around Israel at the moment, which are perhaps signs of this time of shaking.

The government announced this week that it is moving ahead with negotiations with Lebanon concerning the long-standing dispute between the two countries about rights to the exclusive economic zone off the coast of Israel and Lebanon. The deal will protect Israel’s off-shore Karish gas field, but gives Lebanon exclusive rights to exploit the massive Qana field.

Lebanon is controlled by Hezbollah, a proxy of Iran. Some are concerned that this deal will only serve to strengthen Hezbollah’s power in Lebanon – and thus also give Iran a stronger foothold in the region.

Tensions between Israel and radical Islamist Palestinians are high in many parts of Samaria, where there are regular clashes.

In Israel, all eyes are on the upcoming elections planned for 1 November. It seems unlikely the new election will resolve Israel’s deep political crisis that began with the fall of the government of Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu in 2021.

A positive sign is the renewal of Association Council meetings between Israel and the EU, suggesting a growing European appreciation of the important role Israel plays in promoting prosperity and stability in the region.

It is important that the Church is praying for the outpouring of the “spirit of grace and supplication” on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem (Zechariah 12).

The Editorial Team – Israel & Christians Today


Palestinian gunman killed in exchange of fire with IDF
JNS reports: “Israeli troops came under fire from multiple locations after entering Deir al-Hatab to detain a suspect in connection with a shooting near Itamar.”
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Israel’s devastating capitulation to Hezbollah
Caroline Glick writes at JNS that the Israeli government’s  is a”protection deal”; the Israeli government has “capitulated” to Hezbollah, and thus also Iran.
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Russia Will Use Its Ally, a Nuclear-Armed Iran, to Better Threaten the West
Con Coughlin writes at Gatestone Institute: “One of the more alarming global developments in recent months has been the deepening cooperation between Moscow and Tehran as they seek to challenge the West on a number of fronts.”
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Why Israel-Azerbaijan ties matter to the region – analysis
Seth J. Franzman in Jerusalem Post: “Ties with Azerbaijan may be controversial for some, but for Israel’s leadership, these are strategic relations that will be invested in. With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a new world order has emerged that is more chaotic. This means there will likely be more conflict in the region and adjacent areas. There could be more clashes between Baku and Yerevan. Turmoil in Iran could spill over and it is only a matter of time before more clashes in Iraq; and in Yemen. Given all these realities Israel not only wants the ties with Baku to flourish but to cement them publicly.
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ANALYSIS: Political Turmoil in Israel Will Likely Continue After November Election
Yochanan Visser writes at C4Israel: “Israel will go to the polls again on November 1, which will be the fifth time in three and a half years that parliamentary elections will be held in the Jewish state. However, it appears that the new election will again fail to resolve Israel’s deep political crisis that began with the fall of the government of Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu in 2021.”
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Israel-EU annual meeting after decade hiatus – opinion
Shany Mor writes in Jerusalem Post: “Israel and the European Union held an Association Council meeting for the first time in a decade.Israel is today a regional trading power, an energy exporter and a global technological leader. This necessarily changes the Eurtopean aproach to Israel in times of relative calm in the region, but will also necesitate a different approach even in times of trouble.”
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All Israel | Romans 9-11 with Johannes Gerloff #66

The Bible says that all Israel will be saved. Is “all Israel” every Jewish person? All the Jews that ever lived on earth?

 

SCRIPTURE FOR THE WEEK:

Zechariah 12

A prophecy: The word of the Lord concerning Israel.

The Lord, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the human spirit within a person, declares: “I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves. On that day I will strike every horse with panic and its rider with madness,” declares the Lord. “I will keep a watchful eye over Judah, but I will blind all the horses of the nations.Then the clans of Judah will say in their hearts, ‘The people of Jerusalem are strong, because the Lord Almighty is their God.’

“On that day I will make the clans of Judah like a firepot in a woodpile, like a flaming torch among sheaves. They will consume all the surrounding peoples right and left, but Jerusalem will remain intact in her place.

“The Lord will save the dwellings of Judah first, so that the honor of the house of David and of Jerusalem’s inhabitants may not be greater than that of Judah. On that day the Lord will shield those who live in Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the Lord going before them. On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem.

10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. 11 On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be as great as the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. 12 The land will mourn, each clan by itself, with their wives by themselves: the clan of the house of David and their wives, the clan of the house of Nathan and their wives, 13 the clan of the house of Levi and their wives, the clan of Shimei and their wives, 14 and all the rest of the clans and their wives.