Psalm 78:9-11 – Run or Remember

The children of Ephraim, being armed and carrying bows:

  • Turned back in the day of battle.
  • They did not keep the covenant of God;
  • They refused to walk in His law,
  • And forgot His works and His wonders that He had shown them.  Marvelous things He did in the sight of their fathers

Despite having all they needed to fight the battle and win the victory, Ephriam turned away from battle.

This verse came crashing into my soul, convicting me of having spent the last few months running from the battle.  I preferred to murmur against God, eat comfort food, or read a good book.  O sure, I called for prayer, but admittedly I was letting others do the battle for which I was equipped!

As with Ephriam, turning away from the battle was evidence of the root of the problem – refusal to make God  God.

Where, when, and how does that rebellion begin?  Forgetfulness.  Forgetting who God is and what He has done quickly leads to forgetting Him.

Constantly the Lord God proved Himself to Israel and through their testimony, to the world.  Consistently He tells us, REMEMBER and TEACH your children.

God provided Israel with so many ways to remember and to teach.  I believe that’s the fundamental purpose of the holidays.  Certainly the worship of Israel (the Psalms) is a litany of what God did for Israel.

Nevertheless, every generation must discover and experience God for itself.

I know personally, I can sing all the worship songs written by others, I can rejoice at testimonies of other believers, I can celebrate the miracles of Israel’s history, but the ONLY way I can keep my relationship alive and vibrant is to remember the experiences I have had with God!

Admittedly when I forget, I too run from the battle.  Yes despite all the weapons God has given me, I will choose comfort food, movies, the telephone or a good book rather than fighting the battle.  Let’s be real, the battle is just that – a battle!  It’s hard and takes perseverance and determination.  But Praise Jesus, the victory has been won.

So what are our weapons:

  • Jesus: Isaiah 53:12, Hebrews 7:25
  • The Holy Spirit: Romans 8:26-27
  • Armor of God: Ephesians 6:10-18
  • Thankfulness: Philippians 4:6
  • Thoughts: Philippians 4:8
  • Remembering!

While God designed the Body to battle together and for each other, we are still equipped and called to fight for ourselves.  There is a difference between having others battle for us or with us.  No one can walk our walk for us, or do the battle for us except for Jesus.

“Lord Jesus, You won the battle, MY battle in the Garden of Gethsemane.  You battled until you sweat blood.  I will never understand that kind of battle, or that kind of love.  I was wrong to forget, You DID fight my battle.  You did the battle for me and now continue to battle with me.  Thank You my dear Savior, my Lord, and my God.”

Shabbat, May 14, 2011



Israel: Life from the Dead

“Life from the dead” was the Lord’s message through me today.

Israel has never been “my” message, as my focus has been evangelism of the lost and revival of the church.  “What” I thought “could I say about Israel that would stay in line with the focus of my life?”

The Lord’s answer came  after a week of praying and writing:

“You’ve called the Church to ‘fill the earth with the knowledge of My glory, and have mentioned Israel as one of the ways that I’ve manifested My glory, but you’ve never really appreciated the witness of Israel.

Perhaps you’ve experienced the way the Lord takes you deeper into His word…bringing “aha” moments about subjects when you thought you knew all there was to know.

That’s happened many times to me this week as I prepared for today.

I was reminded of God’s eternal love for Israel and His patient endurance while we’ve continuously rebelled and rejected Him.

I was reminded of the unique symbiotic relationship of the people and the land.

I was reminded of His promises to redeem His remnant and restore us to His land.

I was reminded of Israel’s purpose to witness God’s character to the Gentiles.

I was reminded that individuals, churches and nations will be judged by their attitude and treatment of Israel.

I was reminded that of being a Jewish follower of Jesus is a witness of God’s faithfulness.  Literally life from the dead!

But all this didn’t come easy as I prepared harder than ever before for today’s message.  It seemed that every morning God was giving me another revelation from my basic text of Romans 9-11.  Daily He led me to different passages from Zechariah, Isaiah, Hosea, Ezekiel and Jeremiah.  As much as I didn’t want to, I worked all day yesterday (Shabbat).  I awakened this morning with another download and printed off another version of the message.

Then, two paragraphs into the message this morning, I put down my notes….

The passion which came from the very depths of my being surprised me and put most of the congregants into discomfort.     Many later said that they’d never heard a message about or understood the reality of Israel.

It’s still too early to understand the impact on my life of today’s ministry.  I do know that the Gospel message was clearly presented and I believe that God was glorified.

I pray the lives of those who heard the message have been affected as much as mine has.

Rejoice O Gentiles with his people;

For He will avenge the blood of His servants

And render vengeance to His adversaries

He will provide atonement for His Land and His people.

Deuteronomy 32:43

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