- You have broken down all [Your servants’] walls. You have brought his strongholds to ruin. All who pass along the way plunder him (Psalm 89:39-41)
- Oh, that my head were waters and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for those slain of the daughter of my people! . . . For death has come up through our windows. It has entered our palaces to eliminate the children from the streets, the young men from the public squares (Jeremiah 9:1,7,21)
- Therefore, I say, “Look away from me! Let me weep bitterly! Do not try to comfort me concerning the destruction of the daughter of my people.” For the Lord YHVH of armies has a day of . . . confusion in the valley of vision – a breaking down of walls and a crying to the mountain (Isaiah 22:4-5)
- This is what the Lord YHVH says [regarding Israel’s enemies]: “It will come about on that day, that thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil plan, and you will say, ‘I will go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will go against those who are at rest, who live securely, all of them living without walls and having no bars or gates, to capture spoils and to seize plunder, to turn your hand against the ruins that are now inhabited, and against the people who are gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who live at the center of the world” (Ezekiel 38:10-12)
- YHVH God of armies – how long will You be angry with the prayer of Your people? You have fed them with the bread of tears, and You have made them drink tears in large measure (Psalm 80:4-5)
The horrific and bestial jihadi terror attacks of Hamas have crystallized our understanding of the above passages. They are no longer simply poetry or Sunday School Bible readings. They are today’s and tomorrow’s news.
A breach in the walls
In the Hebrew Scriptures walls are not only part of a city’s defense; they are symbols of the deterrent that the country has: “By Your favor do good to Zion; Build the walls of Jerusalem” (Psalm 51:8).
When defenses are breached, the Psalmist looks to God in anguished prayer: “Why have You broken down its hedges, so that all who pass that way pick its fruit?” (Psalm 80:12).
Remember the miracles and fight!
In the days when the Midianites were ravaging the land (see Judges 6:11-14), the Angel of YHVH appeared to Gideon as he was threshing wheat while hidden in his winepress lest the enemy discover him and do damage:
- Then the Angel of YHVH came and sat under the oak that was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, as his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press in order to save it from the Midianites. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “YHVH is with you, valiant warrior.”
Gideon is deeply angry at the situation in Israel, and argues with YHVH about the truth of what He had just said:
- Then Gideon said to him, “O my Lord, if YHVH is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did YHVH not bring us up from Egypt?’ But now YHVH has abandoned us and handed us over to Midian.”
The God of Jacob then commissions Gideon, telling him that his faith in what YHVH had done in history past for the Jewish people in Egypt would give him the necessary strength to fight, to strike and to triumph over the enemies of the Jewish people – even if Israel was in a spiritual trough:
- And YHVH looked at him and said, “Go in this strength of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?”
The reason God could say this, is based on His covenant love, His hesed:
- “Can a woman forget her nursing child and have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands. Your walls are continually before Me. Your builders hurry – your destroyers and devastators will leave you (Isaiah 49:15-17)
Nehemiah, in his great intercessory prayer for his people, looks back to Egypt and sees the same dynamic of God’s irrevocable covenant love (see also Romans 11:28-29):
- They refused to listen, and did not remember Your wondrous deeds which You performed among them. So they became stubborn and appointed a leader to return to their slavery in Egypt. But You are a God of forgiveness, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in mercy. And You did not abandon them. Even when they made for themselves a calf of cast metal. And said, ‘This is your god who brought you up from Egypt,’ and committed great blasphemies. You, in Your great compassion, did not abandon them in the wilderness. The pillar of cloud did not leave them by day to guide them on their way, nor the pillar of fire by night, to light for them the way in which they were to go. (Nehemiah 9:17-19)
God’s reputation is also at stake
He who attacks Israel is attacking God, says the prophet: “For YHVH of armies says this: “After glory He has sent me against the nations that plunder you, for the one who touches you, touches the apple of His eye” (Zechariah 2:8).
The God of Jacob does not only sympathize with Israel when terrorism strikes; He empathizes: “In all their distress He was distressed, and the Angel of His Presence saved them. In His love and in His mercy, He redeemed them, and He lifted them and carried them all the days of old” (Isaiah 63:9).
YHVH declared to Moses that He will not ever allow Israel to be destroyed, lest their evil enemies take credit for their own barbaric acts:
- I would have said [regarding Israel and her sins], “I will wipe them out! I will remove the mention of their name from humanity,” had I not feared the provocation by the enemy, that their adversaries would misjudge, that they would say, “Our hand is triumphant, and YHVH has not performed all this.” . . . How could one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, and YHVH had given them up? (Deuteronomy 32:26-31)
And in case the leaders of Israel stumble over aspects of that message and reject what is on God’s heart, YHVH tells Jeremiah that He has made him as strong as an unbreachable wall:
- “Speak to them all that I command you. Do not be dismayed before them, or I will make you dismayed before them. Now behold, I have made you today like a fortified city and like a pillar of iron and walls of bronze against the whole land, to the kings of Judah, to its leaders, to its priests, and to the people of the land. And they will fight against you but they will not overcome you, for I am with you to save you,” declares YHVH (Jeremiah 1:17-19)
The intercessory calling to be on Jewish walls
The walls of Isaiah 62 are not symbolic, and neither are the threats against the Jewish people. The God of Jacob has called intercessory watchmen and watchwomen to press in to YHVH, asking for His protection, watch-care and deliverance for the Jewish people at such a time as this: “On your walls, Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen. All day and all night they will never keep silent. You who profess YHVH, take no rest for yourselves, and give Him no rest until He establishes and makes Jerusalem an object of praise in the earth” (Isaiah 62:6-7).
The victory of YHVH
A time is coming in the not too distant future when the enemies of Israel will be trampled underfoot; when Israel’s walls will be rebuilt; and when Israel’s borders will encompass everything that YHVH promised to Abraham and to his sons through Isaac and Jacob (see Genesis 12:1, 7; 13:15-17; 15:7, 18-19; 17:8; 24:7; 26:3-4; 28:4, 13; 35:12; 36:6; 48:4-5; 50:5, 24):
- Then my enemy will see, and shame will cover her who said to me, “Where is YHVH your God?” – my eyes will look at her. At that time, she will be trampled down like mud of the streets. It will be a day for building your walls – on that day your boundary will be extended. It will be a day when they will come to you from Assyria and the cities of Egypt, from Egypt even to the Euphrates River – even from sea to sea and mountain to mountain (Micah 7:10-12)
In that day, Israel’s walls will no longer be broken through, and Israel’s enemies will fall before us by the sword:
- Instead, you will chase your enemies, and they will fall before you by the sword; five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall before you by the sword (Leviticus 26:7-8)
The pressure of our enemies
China, Turkey, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other countries including the United Nations are trying to force a ceasefire upon Israel, in order to rescue their clients (or erstwhile clients) Hamas and Islamic Jihad from the jaws of defeat.
The words of the Psalmist are very relevant here: “Give Your attention to me and answer me! I am restless in my complaint and severely distracted because of the voice of the enemy, because of the pressure of the wicked. For they bring down trouble upon me and in anger they hold a grudge against me” (Psalm 55:2-3).
The Hebrew word for pressure is aqah, with shades of meaning touching on, pressure, constraint or oppression. This dynamic occurs every time Israel moves from victim to destroyer of the victimizer. When Israel is raped, much of the world is sympathetic; when Israel rises to remove the rapist, the world lectures Israel on being disproportionate in its response. These international responses are in cahoots with evil. Their confused words declare a moral equivalence between the firefighters of Israel and the arsonists of Hamas!
How should we then pray?
As tanks begin to roll, here are some bullet points to be praying about:
- Pray for ‘Shock and awe’ to be successfully carried out by the IDF to thwart the years of planning that Hamas has done – tunnels, mines, commando teams whose job is to kidnap IDF soldiers, and to even make off with their dead bodies. Davidic divine strategies as in Psalm 144:1: “Blessed be YHVH my rock, Who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle!”
- Pray for clarity of strategy, purpose and resolve for Israel’s leaders to deal a final death-blow to Hamas in Gaza – total and unconditional surrender of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and total removal from Gaza for them both
- Pray for revelation to Israel’s leaders that YHVH Himself gave Gaza to the tribe of Judah (see Joshua 15:20-47) and that this is Israel’s true biblical inheritance. Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s disengagement under strong American pressure was key to leading us into this horrific situation. Here is a quote from 2005 – during the Israeli disengagement from Gaza – by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who warned Israel that disengaging from Gaza was not enough; the entire West Bank needed to be handed over to the PLO/Hamas: “Because the real point about Gaza is not to stop with Gaza. The President has been clear, we’ve been clear with the Israelis that it cannot be Gaza only” (U.S. Department of State Office of the Spokesman, Shannon, Ireland; June 17, 2005. Press briefing by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to the traveling press en route to Shannon, Ireland June 17, 2005)
- Pray for the leaders of your nation to receive a revelation of God as the Captain of the armies of Israel (see 1 Samuel 17:45): “But David said to the Philistine, ‘You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a saber, but I come to you in the name of YHVH of armies, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.’”
- Pray for minimal loss of life on all sides except for Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
- Pray for revelation and clarity to be imparted by the God of Israel to the world intelligence community who have not yet understood what jihad is all about and are fogged as to how to deal with it decisively
- Pray that God would hold back a regional war involving Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria, Iran, Turkey, the Yemenite Houthis and other superpowers
- Pray for the physical rescue of the many Israelis (perhaps over 200) who have been kidnapped
- 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,
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