In the memorable words of Bildad the Shuhite, “Dominion and awe belong to Him who establishes peace in His heights” (Job 25:2).
As Christmas lights twinkle, many people will once again have cause to remember and think about Isaiah’s Prophecy of Peace “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us. And the government will rest on His shoulders. And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
But peace is not yet breaking out in the Middle East. Truth be told, the Islamic world is not living in a state of peace. It is rent by Islamist religious wars, by vengeful nationalistic vendettas and by inter-tribal massacres. The Arab world is currently unable to invite Israel to participate in any peace process because the Arabic-speaking world itself knows no shalom.
Millennia have passed since the psalmist wrote “Woe is me, for I sojourn in Meshech. For I dwell among the tents of Kedar! Too long has my soul had its dwelling with those who hate peace. I am for peace, but when I speak, they are for war” (Psalm 120:5-7).
As we pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6) and speak peace over the Israeli destiny of Jerusalem (Psalm 125:5), let’s take a moment and consider some strategies that YHVH the Man of War (“YHVH is a Man of war, YHVH is His name” – Exodus 15:3) has up His sleeve for the Middle East.
The military strategy known as ‘pre-positioning’
A superpower such as the USA tasks its Department of Defense (DOD) with maintaining stocks of supplies and equipment, called war reserves, to support military units during a war or mobilization. These army war reserves (AWR) or army prepositioned stock (APS) are often stored, or prepositioned, overseas on land (in Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Israel, Doha, etc.) or on ships near an area of potential conflict. This prepositioning gives highly mobile forces the ability to respond quickly to fast-moving battlefield developments.
The storehouses of YHVH
The Hebrew Bible has many references to otzarot or storehouses. These were strategic warehouses where items of value were pre-positioned for times of challenge or need. Examples include:
- Storehouses of olive oil for national as well as Levitical use (1 Chronicles 27:28; Nehemiah 12:44; 13:12)
- Storehouses in Solomon’s Temple compounds for dedicated items and for holy vessels (1 Chronicles 28:11-12)
- Whole military camps/towns used for pre-positioning food items (2 Chronicles 7:12; 8:15)
One of the most dramatic examples of such pre-positioning involves Joseph in Egypt: “Let Pharaoh take action to appoint overseers in charge of the land, and let him exact a fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt in the seven years of abundance. Then let them gather all the food of these good years that are coming, and store up the grain for food in the cities under Pharaoh’s authority, and let them guard it. Let the food become as a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which will occur in the land of Egypt, so that the land will not perish during the famine” (Genesis 41:34-36).
The God of Israel paints a poetic picture of His goodness to the Jewish people, describing the rains as a gift from His good heavenly storehouse: “YHVH will open for you His good storehouse, the heavens, to give rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hand; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow” (Deuteronomy 28:12).
The military storehouses of YHVH
The Hebrew prophets tell us about some unusual works of God involving mighty winds and violent storms:
- “When He utters His voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens and He causes the clouds to ascend from the end of the earth. He makes lightning for the rain, and brings out the wind from His storehouses” (Jeremiah 10:13)
- “He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap. He lays up the deeps in storehouses” (Psalm 33:7)
YHVH can even stir up powerful manifestations of nature like ‘the perfect storm’ or destructive tornados and hurricanes for His own purposes: “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, or have you seen the storehouses of the hail which I have reserved for the time of distress, for the day of war and battle?” (Job 38:22-23).
On YHVH’s Day of Battle – the day of His vengeance and retribution – He will whip out these weapons from His divinely pre-positioned warehouse and strike His enemies with a blow from which they will never be able to recover: “Is it not laid up in store with Me, sealed up in My treasuries? Vengeance is Mine, and retribution. In due time their foot will slip. For the day of their calamity is near, and the impending things are hastening upon them” (Deuteronomy 32:34-35).
“Now YHVH saw, and it was displeasing in His sight that there was no justice. And He saw that there was no man, and was astonished that there was no one to intercede. Then His own arm brought salvation to Him, and His righteousness upheld Him. He put on righteousness like a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head. And He put on garments of vengeance for clothing and wrapped Himself with zeal as a mantle. According to their deeds, so He will repay –wrato His adversaries, recompense to His enemies. To the coastlands He will make recompense. So they will fear the name of YHVH from the west and His glory from the rising of the sun. For He will come like a rushing stream which the wind of YHVH drives. A Redeemer will come to Zion and to those who turn from transgression in Jacob, declares YHVH” (Isaiah 59:15-20).
Pre-positioning the Army of YHVH
The Bible views the Jewish people as an army, and describes YHVH as that army’s Chief of Staff.
- “For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the living God?” (David’s declaration concerning Goliath – 1 Samuel 17:26)
- Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of YHVH of armies, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted (1 Samuel 17:45)
- So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”Then Elisha prayed and said, “O YHVH, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” And YHVH opened the servant’s eyes and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha (2 Kings 6:16-17; also 2:12)
- “You, O YHVHGod of armies, the God of Israel, awake to punish all the nations” (Psalm 49:5)
The prophets spoke of a Last Days Jewish army of Israel that YHVH will raise up. Indeed, this is one of the main purposes Ezekiel gives for bringing the Jewish people back to Zion and Jerusalem before the return of Messiah Yeshua.
- Then He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says YHVH the Lord God, Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they come to life.’So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they came to life and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel” (Ezekiel 37:9-11)
Pre-positioning for the Battle of the Ages
The restoration of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel is not accident or a bothersome road bump on the secular roadmap of history. It is a deliberate act, a strategic decision of the God of Israel. It is a pre-positioning of His Last Days Maccabean warriors in preparation for the battles of Ezekiel’s army.
For more descriptions of this army consider the following scriptures:
- Isaiah 41:11-16
- Psalm 110:3
- Zechariah 12:1-9 et al.
Be encouraged at this season! Though the nations may speak withering curses over the Jewish people, over Jacob’s divine connection to the Promised Land and to Jerusalem the Jewish people’s capital city, the God of Israel laughs. He has plans of His own to set up His throne when Yeshua returns.
Why are the nations in an uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together against YHVH and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us!” He who sits in the heavens laughs. YHVH scoffs at them. Then He will speak to them in His anger and terrify them in His fury, saying, “But as for Me, I have installed My King upon Zion, My holy mountain.”(Psalm 2)
How should we then pray?
- Pray for the continuing return of the Jewish people to their homeland Israel and their capital city Jerusalem – for protection, establishment and revelation
- Pray for the spiritual equipping of this army à la Ezekiel 37:9-11
- Pray for intercessors worldwide to receive the divine burden of knowing how to pray about these matters
- Pray for a revelation of Messiah Yeshua the Light of the World to many Jewish people during this holidays season
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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