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Weekly Update: Waiting on God’s next step

Andrew Tucker - 9 April 2020

This week the Jewish people celebrate Pesach – commemoration of the Exodus from Egypt – in the midst of the global COVID-19 crisis. In Israel the government has introduced a total lock-down. All citizens are prohibited from leaving their towns. Instead of travelling to be with their loved ones, families will remain at home in their houses, isolated, in anxious expectation of what comes next.

What an amazing similarity with the first Pesach (Passover) in Gosen. The Israelites remained as separate families in their own houses on the last evening, prepared for a hasty departure; during the last plague, the death of the firstborn, they sprinkled the blood of the lamb they had slaughtered on their door posts and the Lord passed over them, sparing them the death that came upon the Egyptians.

In the coming days Christians will also remember this event as they observe Good Friday and Easter. We believe the Exodus foreshadowed the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is a reminder that Christianity was born in Judaism. As Rev. Cornelis Kant explains further (below), our identity as Christians is inexorably connected with that of the Jewish people, and always will be. The willing separation of the church from the synagogue that resulted in a disastrous division of Christians from Jews has caused immense damage to both. Centuries of persecution of the Jewish people in the name of Christ. A church that on the whole has become worldly and lost its calling to proclaim God’s coming Kingdom.

It is time as Christians to rejoice that God is today fulfilling the prophecies of Jeremiah 23: the exodus of the Jewish people from the nations, much more magnificent than the exodus from Egypt.

We are living in momentous times. God is preparing us all for His next step. Around the world many have a sense that God is about to do great things in the coming days.

May we as Jews and Christians become ever more united as together we look forward to the coming of the promised Messiah to redeem this broken world.

May Israel and the Jewish people experience protection from all disease this Pesach.

A final word. It is possible some may have read last week’s Update as suggesting or even supporting anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Nothing could be further from our thoughts. The point we were trying to make was that we should be aware Satan is coordinating current affairs to oppose the purposes of God. We also did not in any way intend to downplay the seriousness of this virus or the importance of fighting to save lives. We apologise for any offence we may have caused.

Shabbat shalom,

Andrew Tucker
Editor-in-Chief – Israel & Christians Today


Virus deaths soar in US, Europe as Trump sees light at end of tunnel

Times of Israel reports: The head of the World Trade Organization, Roberto Azevedo, issued a dire warning, saying the economic fallout from the health emergency could be “the deepest economic recession or downturn of our lifetimes.” Germany and France, the EU’s two largest economies, are bracing for a painful hit. Gross domestic product in export powerhouse Germany is expected to shrink by nearly 10 percent in the second quarter, the country’s leading research institutes said. France is already in a technical recession, the Bank of France said. Its first-quarter performance was its worst since 1945. Read more..

No new government yet in Israel

Coalition talks between Netanyahu and Gantz have stranded, in disagreement about annexation and Supreme Court appointments. Discussions are expected to continue after the Pesach celebrations. Read more..

Passover celebrations

Rev. Cornelis Kant writes: “It is impressive how the details of the Passover Lamb on the exodus from Egypt refer to the coming Messiah who will deliver His people Israel and us as believers out of the gentiles from death.” Read more..

 

Be blessed and bless others with this beautiful song ‘Vehi Sheamda’, composed by Israeli singer Yonatan Razel, and performed by musicians from Israel and the Netherlands, each from their homes because of the coronavirus restrictions:

 

The text of the song is taken from the Hagadah:
“This is what kept our fathers and what keeps us surviving. For, not only one arose and tried to destroy us, rather in every generation they try to destroy us. The Holy One, blessed be He, delivers us from their hands”.

This makes us realize that the God of Israel provides: always!



“Focus on the future” – Video teachings by Rev. Willem J.J. Glashouwer

Rev. Willem Glashouwer helps us understand God’s prophetic word, and how prophecy is being fulfilled in our generation.

Volume 3 episode 11:

What does this unfulfilled prophecy in Joel 3:1-2 tell us? Does the Valley of Jehoshaphat still exists today and if so, where is it located? What exactly is going to happen there? When and why?

 

“The Promise of the Land Stands” – Video teaching by Johannes Gerloff

Episode 19 in the series of teachings by Israeli-based Bible teacher and journalist Johannes Gerloff:

God pursues His plan, irrespective of human efforts to find political solutions.

 

 

Scripture for the week: 

Jeremiah 23:1-8

“Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the LORD. Therefore this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: “Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done,” declares the LORD. “I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the LORD.

“The days are coming,” declares the LORD,
   “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch,
a King who will reign wisely
    and do what is just and right in the land.
In his days Judah will be saved
   and Israel will live in safety.
This is the name by which he will be called:
    The LORD Our Righteous Savior.

“So then, the days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when people will no longer say, ‘As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,’ but they will say, ‘As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the descendants of Israel up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had banished them.’ Then they will live in their own land.

 

Revelation 8:1-5

When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.

And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.

Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar in front of the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand.

Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.

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