Saturday, May 22, 2021

A Different Kind of Crisis


And the word of the LORD came to me, asking, “Jeremiah, what do you see?”
“I see a branch of an almond tree
,”(shaqed) "the watcher" tree ] I replied. 
“You have observed correctly,” said the LORD, 
“for I am watching (shoqed) over My word to accomplish it.”
Jeremiah 1:11-12

May 18, 2021: There is an explosion of intercessory prayer being made for Israel right now. We are hearing about it from many different corners of Christianity. The rockets and riots from the terrorists in Gaza and those who have been indoctrinated by their hate inside Israel have put a sharp point on the prayers of the saints for Israel. This intersection of prayers and violence is awakening the Church to pray for Israel.

But there is a different kind of crisis going on that a great many of those who know to pray against the physical warfare do not yet understand is the urgent need of the body in Israel for financial relief so its ministries can minister the light of Yeshua to their communities. 

Covid restrictions in Israel have already put many of the congregations and ministries, including the Messianic run humanitarian outreaches into extreme financial stress. With the launch of war falling on the heels of Israel lifting Covid restrictions, there are many who are facing losing their facilities and other ministers are going with any income to support their families. There are things every ministry needs to continue ministering to the people. Israel is a special case and the apostle Paul knew that the body of Messiah would not be able to raise their own full ministry finances without the help of the churches.

That is why Paul wrote to the church in Rome, “Romans 15:26-27 “For it has pleased them of the Macedonia and Achaia churches to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem. It has pleased them truly; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in material things.”

As the Church is learning to pray for Israel, we must also learn of our duty to come alongside the Messianic Israelis with financial aid. 

One of the most powerful things Paul did, in complete surrender of his life to God's purposes, was his last trip to Jerusalem to carry the financial contributions he had the churches under his oversight collect over at least a 3-year period. As he made the trip, with a representative from each church accompanying him to witness what was done, prophets came out all along the journey to tell Paul he was going to be chained and imprisoned if he continued his mission. He believed them and was emotional about it, but he said he was prepared to take it all the way regardless. Even to this day there are second guessers who believe "he blew it" not heeding the prophetic word, but that is because they don't know that the prophetic words given were not meant by God to stop Paul, they were only meant to make sure Paul understood the full cost to himself to carry his mission to the full. This is the apostle that said,

Romans 9:1-5 I speak the truth in Christ; I am not lying, as confirmed by my conscience in the Holy Spirit. I have deep sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my own flesh and blood, the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory and the covenants; theirs the giving of the law, the temple worship, and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them proceeds the human descent of Christ, who is God over all, forever worthy of praise!

Paul willingly laid down his life to establish the fund of financial relief from the churches to the use of the Messianic leaders in Israel. He did not carry those funds to the Israeli government, the Sanhedrin, the Temple upkeep. No! Paul established the churches in giving towards the ministry needs of the body of Messiah in Israel. It went on for an unknown number of years but had ceased before 318 AD.

I believe that precedent Paul established is what was so important to God not only for then but for NOW. God did not let Paul make himself accursed from the faith, but He did allow Paul to fully sacrifice freedom and ultimately his life, to model for the Gentile churches what the Israeli Messianic believers needed to flourish under harsh circumstances - in the first century and in THIS season.

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