–We are in the world, and God commands us to pray for and to bless those in the society, for He loves them.
–We are all priests in Christ, and we are called to intercede on behalf of the Lord for all nations, and to reflect His qualities.
–It is a principle that the LORD works with and through His people in order to bring knowledge of Him to others and so to show mercy and to bless a city, region, a nation. (see Gen. 12:1-3; Rom. 10:11-15; Ps. 144:15)
–We are exhorted to pray for kings and all who are in authority in order both to bless our own lives and to glorify God through the salvation of others (1Tim. 2:1-6).
–In all things God gives reasons and promises and hope to do His will and to participate in both the power of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and also in the fellowship of His sufferings, as well as to partake of His holiness. Even now God is training us to rule with Messiah in His kingdom to come.
Viewing Beer Sheva from God’s perspective
Gen. 21:31-33 — named Beer Sheva by Abraham, who planted a tamarisk tree and called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God
Gen. 21:12-20 — Hagar and Ishmael encouraged and comforted and blessed in the wilderness of B.S., after being cast out of Abraham’s and Sarah’s house
Gen. 22:19 — after offering up Isaac, Abraham and his seed were blessed by God, and Abraham with his son returned to and lived in B.S.
Gen. 26:23-33 — YEHOVAH confirmed His covenant to Isaac in B.S., who built an altar and dug a well. Isaac’s servants found a well with water (“revival”) after the Philistines had filled in (“contention and quenching”) all the wells which Abraham had dug, and the place was confirmed as Beer Sheva.
Gen. 28:10 — Jacob also had lived in B.S.
Gen. 46:1,5 — on the way to Egypt with his sons and their families, Jacob (Israel) sacrificed to God in B.S. and received revelation, guidance, comfort, and hope
1Sam. 3:20 — all Israel reckoned from Dan to Beer Sheva
1Sam. 8 — Samuel’s sons were unjust judges in B.S., resulting in Israel asking for a king to rule over them, just like the gentiles (other nations)
1Kings 19:3-8 — Elijah ran for his life from Jezebel, and in his despair found rest, direction, comfort in B.S. from YHVH
Is. 35:1-6; 51:3 — the desert will bloom and blossom as a rose and become as the Garden of YHVH, even as Eden
Beer Sheva was destroyed as a city in 701 B.C. by Sennacharib in the days of King Hezekiah. (2Kg 18:13)
After the return from Babylon, Beer Sheva was also re-settled. (Neh 11:27-30)
In l948 the city again became a Jewish Israeli city.
–a place of divine revelation, comfort, direction, worship
–a place of praise (wells of living water), thanksgiving, gladness, life, sources
–seat of government representing all of the south of Israel: intended to be a seat of righteousness and judgment (justice)
–judicial, administrative, commercial, and religious center
A Closer Examination of Amos 5:5; 8:14 : “The Way (Manner) of B.S.”
–Amos preached and prophesied during time of divided kingdom – Judah and Israel – between c. 760-750 B.C.
–concerned with unrighteousness and injustice in the society, even while people practiced their religion without regard for the LORD’s love of lovingkindness (grace), righteousness, and justice
–a separation of “church and state” in the lives of the people, thereby severing the connection between faith, religion, worship, and daily life
1Kings 12:28-29 — false worship instituted at Beth-El and Dan to draw people away from Jerusalem, as well as to exalt an alternative way and place to worship God
2Kings 23:8 — Beer Sheva, with its wells from the Patriarchs, became a center for many to venerate some shrine (holy site) and to make pilgrimage there. [see 2Chron. 19:4; 34:6,7,37 for kingly initiative to restore true worship; also 2Chron. 24:1 (the mother of King Joash was from B.S.)]
–thus from Dan to B.S., the land and the people strayed from the one place and manner to worship and to offer sacrifices to the one true living God, and in doing so became less united as a people, and positive influences of the fear of the LORD within the society broke down.
–“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem….” (Ps. 122:6) From Jerusalem YEHOVAH God has determined to place His Name, to bless Israel (including B.S. and the Negev) and the world.
—Superstition: vain (unsalted) faith (demon worship; pagan god worship; fear of demons)
–may be reverent, but without knowledge (ignorance)
–generally a practice of religion through slavish fear and of strong cultural or family traditions, not readily accepting the truth which sets one free and sanctifies. (The Father is seeking worshippers in spirit and in truth).
–Hardness of Judah (the southern kingdom and royal tribe) to the Word of God ( 2Kings 22:13; Amos 2:4 — B.S. was located in Judah after Simeon’s tribal inheritance was absorbed by it.); also true in Jesus’ day (John 7:1; 11:7-8)
Beer Sheva Region Today
–superstitious (e.g., shrine of Baba Sali in Netivot; “holy sites”)
–strong family bonding through traditions and customs
–heavy folk Islamic influences through Ottoman history up till 1917, and through the many Jews here who immigrated from North Africa, as well as, of course, from the local Bedouin tribes
–strong Sephardic and tribal Judaism (e.g., Ethiopians) and “ethnic pride” vis-a-vis Ashkenazic, European, Western Jews and Judaism
–physical separation from mainstream of life in Israel, so tending towards isolationism, self-sufficiency, sense of being neglected or forgotten (Ben-Gurion’s vision not carried through: “out-of-sight, out-of-mind”)
–weak influence on physical and spiritual development of Negev due both to external and internal factors within Israel; desert research and economic forces (including large immigration of Russian-speakers) motivating present development plans
Spiritual Warfare Strategy for Beer Sheva
–oppose prevailing spirit with the opposite spirit
–overcome evil with good
–love your enemies
–the proud are resisted by God; the humble are exalted
–Examine and judge ourselves, admitting, confessing, and repenting of sins – receiving and granting forgiveness through the shed blood of Messiah – and then act!