Thorns, snares and the fire of judgment

 

The God of Abraham said to Adam in the Garden of Eden, “… Cursed is the ground because of you. In toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you…” (Genesis 3:17-18). Since that day, the destiny of mankind has involved dealing with thorns, sweat and trouble.

YHVH spoke to Moses on the plains of Moab opposite Jericho (before Israel crossed the chilly Jordan), saying, ‘But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall come about that those whom you let remain of them will become as pricks in your eyes and as thorns in your sides, and they will trouble you in the land in which you live” (Numbers 33:55).

  • The Scriptures talk much about how these enemies would be thorns in the side of Jacob’s children, and that destiny of the Jewish people would be intertwined with thorns, sweat and trouble – from the Canaanites and from all the other peoples who would temporarily occupy the Promised Land.

Edom in prophecy and the Palestinians today

The God of Jacob has spoken much through the prophets about Esau’s (Edom’s) deep and murderous hatred for Israel. 

  • “Thus says YHVH God, Because Edom has acted against the house of Judah by taking vengeance, and has incurred grievous guilt, and avenged themselves upon them, therefore thus says YHVH God, I will also stretch out My hand against Edom and cut off man and beast from it. And I will lay it waste; from Teman even to Dedan they will fall by the sword. I will lay My vengeance on Edom by the hand of My people Israel. Therefore, they will act in Edom according to My anger and according to My wrath; thus they will know My vengeance,” declares YHVH God” (Ezekiel 25:12-15).
  • “Because you have had everlasting enmity and have delivered the sons of Israel to the power of the sword at the time of their calamity … Because you have said, ‘These two nations and these two lands will be mine, and we will possess them,’ although YHVH was there, therefore as I live, declares YHVH God, I will deal with you according to your anger and according to your envy which you showed because of your hatred against them… And you have spoken arrogantly against Me and have multiplied your words against Me. I have heard it!” (Ezekiel 35:5,10-11, 13).
  • “Thus says YHVH God, Surely in the fire of My jealousy I have spoken against the rest of the nations and against all Edom, who appropriated My land for themselves as a possession with wholehearted joy and with scorn of soul, to drive it out for a prey” (Ezekiel 36:5).

In 601 B.C. the Edomites invaded the Land of Israel, cutting across south of the Dead Sea and pushing up into the regions south of Jerusalem including Hebron and Halhul (see Joshua 15:53, 58). That region would later be named Idumea (‘the land of the Edomites’). Herod the Great was the most notorious of the Edomite rulers.

Today’s Palestinians are significantly connected to these ancient Edomites. Their enmity, scorn and joy in murdering the Jewish people and occupying Jacob’s inheritance have made them world-famous. The PLO and the Palestinian Authority are centered in these areas, while the terror jihadi group Hamas draws its spiritual strength from these same sources.

The thorn called ‘Hamas’

For those who would like to understand the history, Islamist origins and vision of Hamas (Gaza’s jihadi terror group), this link from our February 2006 e-letter may be helpful https://davidstent.org/hurtling-through-the-fog-of-war-a-messianic-perspective-on-the-new-hamastan/.

Hamas has been a thorn in Israel’s side since its inception. Their murderous tactics include the kidnapping and murder of hitchhikers/soldiers, suicide bombings of supermarkets, shopping malls and holidaying civilians and school buses, initiating of intensive rocket and mortar bombardments of Israeli farms, kibbutzim and cities/towns within range. Their motive and perspectives are taken directly from the jihadi texts of Hadith and Quran. They are seen by their constituency as ‘lions of jihad’ and defenders of the mujahidin faith.

For nearly one year their newest tactic has been to bring thousands of violent rioters to the edge of Israeli territory and then to attack IDF troops or kibbutzniks with IEDs, deadly slingshots, bunches of children’s balloon with explosives and warheads attached, starting fires on Israeli farms –all the time attempting to breach the Israeli security fences in order to murder or kidnap Jewish civilians and soldiers.

Monday, Monday

Today before dawn a new type of Qassam rocket (J-80, with a range of over 120 kilometers/75miles) was fired from the Gazan city of Rafah toward the municipalities north of Tel Aviv. The rocket struck a civilian community at 05:20 am and destroyed a house with 7 people in it – grandparents, parents and three children. Though a dog was killed in the barrage, the family sustained light and moderate injuries. The Iron Dome anti-rocket defense system was not fired. Evidently the system was not covering this territory at that specific time.

This is the second Islamist rocket fire attempt directed at Israel in the past few weeks. In each case Hamas has turned a blind eye to the firing, sloughing off responsibility while claiming that the rocket attack was a freak accident.

Israel responded to the previous attack with over 100 bombing sorties. Twelve hours after today’s attack, the IDF began to bomb Hamas Intelligence HQs, Naval Commando bases, long range rocket warehouses, etc. These attacks are currently happening, and it is expected that Hamas and Islamic Jihad will respond with concentrated rocket barrages on Israel’s civilian population. This would likely lead to intensified IAF bombings and a possible ground incursion of Israeli Special Forces, tanks and infantry into Gaza.

Thorns meet the divine flame

The Psalmist calls out from the depths to the God of Jacob, asking for His help in smashing the shield and sword – the thorns – of the enemy.

  • “They surrounded me, yes, they surrounded me. In the name of YHVH I will surely cut them off. They surrounded me like bees; they were extinguished as a fire of thorns. In the name of YHVH I will surely cut them off. You pushed me violently so that I was falling, but YHVH helped me” (Psalm 118:11-13)

Isaiah prophesied a declaration which in his day applied to Assyria. Today perhaps you would like to apply it to the enemy who is currently raising his head to destroy Jacob: “And the light of Israel will become a fire and his Holy One a flame, And it will burn and devour his thorns and his briars in a single day” (Isaiah 10:17).

How should we then pray?

  • Pray for clarity, divine perspectives and strategy for Israeli political and military leaders (as in 2 Kings 6:8-23)
  • Pray for safety for the Jewish people and for all Israeli citizens and residents
  • Pray for the fear of the Lord to come upon the enemies of Israel in Gaza (see Judges 8:12; 1 Kings 20:13-15)
  • Pray for the raising up of Ezekiel’s prophetic Jewish army throughout the earth

Your prayers and support hold up our arms and are the very practical enablement of God to us in the work He has called us to do.

In Messiah Yeshua,

Avner Boskey

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