(Spoken at a ‘Tribe of Judah’ joint service in Beer Sheva on Jan 12, 2019)
Beer Sheva and the rest of the Negev have a key role in God’s plan of redemption and salvation of His people Israel, and of all the Gentiles who are called by His name. We are also part of His plan and history, most of us being immigrants from somewhere who have returned home on Earth in these last days, according to YHVH’s promise.
“Listen to Me, you who pursue righteousness, seekers of the LORD: look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the hole of the pit from which you were dug. Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah who bore you; for I called him alone, and blessed him and increased him.”
‘For the LORD will comfort Zion; He will comfort all her waste places; He will make her desert like Eden and her wilderness like the garden of the LORD. Joy and gladness will be found in it, thanksgiving and the sound of melody.’ (Isaiah 51:1-3)
Beer Sheva has a history of nearly 4000 years: the City of the Patriarchs of the Israeli people; the city named by Abraham, the father to the Jews, to the Christian believers, to the Arabs. Beer Sheva’s future is full of hope because she has deep roots in the past Messianic promises of the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob – the God of Israel. Believers in Jesus from all nations confess their own faith in the God of Israel’s fathers, who all lived in Beer Sheva.
Both Judaism and Christianity place great spiritual significance on the binding of Isaac, when Abraham believed and obeyed God to go together with his son from Beer Sheva up to Jerusalem, and then, after such an historic and dramatic event, to return again to Beer Sheva full of living faith, thanksgiving, praise, worship, hope: the wells of salvation were opened in Beer Sheva, the city of the “Well of the Seven” (or, “Oath”). Beer Sheva offers the hope of true peace and reconciliation: it was here that Abraham made a peace covenant with the Gentile Philistine king; it was here where the one true God of Abraham and of Isaac also blessed the Egyptian Hagar, the concubine of Abraham, and their son Ishmael, considered the father of the Arab nations. It is here from where, and to where, Abraham went up to Jerusalem with his “only son, whom he loved”, Isaac, to offer him up as a sacrifice to YHVH. Because he did this, YHVH swore a covenantal oath to Abraham that all nations would be blessed through his seed/descendant — whom we know to be Yeshua the Messiah.
The modern city of Beer Sheva rose again back in 1900, when the Moslem Turks built the beginnings of what is today the “Old City”, the historic downtown which also has British Mandate influences, and the Jewish presence which has predominated since the 1948-49 independence of the homeland for the Jewish people. The great and courageous victory of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (the ANZAC) in capturing Beer Sheva from the Ottomans on October 31, 1917, during WW1 was the break-through victory that opened the gateway once again up to Jerusalem. Many Christians, together with the Jewish Zionists, believed what was written in Moses and the Prophets concerning these times in which we live,and helped open the way for thousands of Jewish people to return to the Promised Land from Dan to Beer Sheva – the Land of Israel.
Today Beer Sheva remains, as always, the Capital of the Negev, and has a population of around 210,000, and a large student population, with active building to make it Israel’s third largest city: we are Sephardic Jews, Mizrahi Jews, Indian Jews, Ashkenazi Jews; Jews from the North and from the South, and from all the nations where we have been scattered. Besides our unifying language of the Hebrew Bible, we speak Russian, Spanish, Amharic, English, French, Persian, Hindi, Arabic, German. The vision of the Prophets of Israel inspired the modern nation’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, who saw the Negev as a key to Israel’s future, symbolized by the desert springing forth in streams of water and fruitful fields.
Beer Sheva and Jerusalem have been joined together forever: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, whose blessings will flow down to the waste places and out to all the world; and, when the dry places bloom and blossom as a rose, it will be as life from the dead! Without the true peace in Jerusalem, which only Yeshua can give in righteousness when He returns, there will be no true peace in the nations, or in the Negev, either. When Yeshua breaks through the highest heavens to put His feet on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, this will be the breakthrough that brings the salvation of Israel and life from the dead. The Negev will become like the Garden of YHVH, the Garden of Eden, with much singing and rejoicing and thanksgiving and gladness!
Walk in the footsteps of our father Abraham; see the wells which remain, but in need of being “released”; follow Abraham, from where he dwelt in tents in his city of Beer Sheva, up to Jerusalem, the intense City of the great King! A voice is crying in the desert to prepare a highway of holiness in the Holy Land. Let us each pray for our own Holy Spirit breakthrough into our own hearts and minds, so that our lives as believers in Yeshua will prepare us for His coming, and strengthen our witness to others until He does.
Ezek 20:45-48 “Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face toward the south, and drop thy word toward the south, and prophesy against the forest of the south field; And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein. And all flesh shall see that I the LORD have kindled it: it shall not be quenched.”
Revival fire will come from the LORD, and it will begin in the Negev, and move northward. It will purify the saints, and destroy all that is not the Lord’s. Let’s be ready for a big breakthrough!