“Consider my Lament” Update # 6: Israel at War

“Listen to my words, Lord, consider my lament. Hear my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray.” Psalm 5:1, 2

“… but let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as a shield.” Verses 11, 12

Precious Brothers and Sisters in Yeshua Messiah, we have been waiting patiently since sending you update # 5, in the hope we would see a ‘turning of the tide’ in our war with Hamas and with our regional conflicts. Our hope was (and still is) for a cessation of all hostilities, the release of the hostages, whether dead or alive, the ability of all our citizens to return to their homes and jobs in the south and north and for Palestinian Gazans to begin rebuilding their lives. It seems we are still far from seeing these prayers answered, hence the choice of Psalms as our chief Scriptural focus right now…

Reading the headlines of leading Israeli media outlets (January 25) gives us cause for pause:

“’We will continue to fight,’ vows IDF chief following incident in which 21 Israeli soldiers killed.” All Israel News

“Lebanon: Two anti-tank missiles were fired at northern Israel, according to the IDF.” HaAretz

“Yemen’s Houthis ordered U.S. and British UN staff to leave the country within a month. The U.S. military said it carried out two more strikes in Yemen early Wednesday, destroying Houthi anti-ship missiles prepped for launching aimed at the Red Sea.” HaAretz

 “Israeli sources involved in negotiations for a potential hostage release deal (are saying) that Israel and Hamas are still far from agreeing on terms and that talks may take time.” HaAretz

“140 women’s groups called for a new hostage deal in protests across Israel on Wednesday, and blocked intersections in several Israeli cities.” HaAretz

Suddenly, the next day (January 26) the main headline provides a ray of hope!

“Israel and Hamas have reached agreement on the basic principles for a 35-day ceasefire, the release of all Israeli hostages and of an unspecified number of Palestinian prisoners and detainees from Israeli jails. Biden is dispatching CIA chief Bill Burns to Europe to meet with the head of the Mossad, the Qatari PM, and Egypt’s intelligence chief to broker a truce. Qatar slammed PM Netanyahu for saying he doesn’t trust Doha’s mediation efforts. Ahead of the ICJ’s ruling today (Jan 26) Israel sent the Court declassified documents to show the steps it is taking to minimize civilian casualties in Gaza.” HaAretz

Does this signify ‘good news?’ Are these words, indications that God is answering our prayers? We sincerely hope so! Other headlines today indicate that Lebanon and Israel are seeking international help to negotiate a clearer definition of the border between our nations and signifying an end to hostilities, at least for a while. “Blessed are the Peace Makers” Matthew 5:9.

Dear Brothers and Sisters, whether or not these encouraging signs develop into tangible changes in the coming weeks, please let us continue to ‘press in’ to our Heavenly Father in lamentation and in supplication. There is simply way-too- much blood spilt in the Land. Because Biblical history teaches us so, we have good reason to be deeply concerned for the long-term consequences!

One thing is certain, regardless of the fragile nature of negotiations over peace in times of war, there will be long-term consequences for all that has taken place in Israel since October 7.

As we pray, we need to be looking ahead:

  • For the social and psychological rehabilitation of our nation and of our neighbors.
  • For the courage to face the outcomes of accountability – in both the political and military leadership of the nation.
  • For wisdom to forge new strategies and policies to ensure co-existence based on Biblical principles of justice and forgiveness and concern for the needs of others before our own (Philippians 2). These must replace former policies based on a ‘zero-sum mentality’ (in order for there to be a winner there must be a loser) that simply have not worked!
  • For the Body of Messiah to continue providing a strong testimony to the nation in all of the above prayer points. We must learn from the past three months how crucial our testimony of unity of prayer and purpose between the local Jewish and Arab followers of Yeshua.

Finally, our last prayer point for this update: Maala and I have managed to slip away to NZ for a break. Without let-up since April last year, we were in need of respite. Our son-in-law’s parents (retired pastors) kindly flew in from Sweden to relieve us on the home front. In addition to the refreshment we are receiving in a very quiet location, Evan is able to focus on the challenge of fundraising correspondence for the project. Please keep us in your prayers, that this would prove fruitful and that we could return to Israel with our ‘batteries fully charged!’

We send this with our love and sincere gratitude for all your efforts on our behalf and on behalf of God’s Kingdom in Israel!

Evan and Lev