God’s pattern is suffering before victory and glory. Yeshua/Jesus tells us this plainly when He told the two disciples on the way to Emmaus that they should have known that the Messiah needed to have suffered before entering into His glory. And the apostle Paul tells us that the present suffering that believers have is nothing to compare to the glory that is to come. The writer of the Letter to the Hebrews also says that Yeshua, for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is now sitting at the right hand of the throne of God. This is our pattern if we are walking as He did in the world, and this is also the pattern that YHVH has established for His chosen people Israel, even though they — as a people and nation — do not yet recognize the way of the cross, and what He is preparing them for — both the final suffering and the glory to follow.
Last week was Holocaust Remembrance Day. It is always extremely moving to hear testimonies from those who survived the concentration and death camps that the Nazis built to destroy especially the Jewish people, also including other “undesirables”. I heard just recently from the British historian and author, Tom Holland, that one reason for which Hitler hated the Jews was because through the Jew Jesus they brought Christianity to the world. Hitler was anything but a Christian, and he (with the Devil’s help) used false teachings of Christians to justify his efforts. The suffering of the Jewish people was the ‘final straw’ which gave the world powers to finally give in to allow the Jews to legally return to their ancient homeland here in Israel; and even then, the additional suffering of war at the outset of the State preceded the celebrations of victory afterward. The victory over Pharoah at the crossing of the Red Sea was preceded by fear and the suffering of slavery and the pursuit of the enemy, and the threats of the plagues. The celebration of rejoicing in the Feast of Tabernacles follows the solemn Day of Atonements.
This week, Israel remembered all of the soldiers, and others, who have died in the many wars and terror attacks since the founding of the State of Israel, before celebrating the 75th Independence Day right afterwards. Suffering before the joy of victory. Without a return to the true God of Israel, Israel’s suffering is not finished. The victory and celebrations are like a sporting event when the home team goes ahead in the middle of the game, and the team and crowd roar with excitement as if the game or match is over. It may be that the other team winds up the winner, and the gladness turns to sadness and disappointment. We do know that God will save ‘all Israel’, but the time of her greatest trouble is yet to come, to be the ‘final straw’ to break their own will that will get them to cry out for the Lord Yeshua/Jesus to save them, and to bless Him who comes in the name of YHVH (Now, we curse Him, even if in ignorance.). Then the victory and joy will resound around the world, and last forever! Praise God! Please continue to pray and to act on behalf of the salvation of Jews now, that they may have even a better hope now, and celebrate in the joy of their salvation now, giving glory to the name of the Lord ‘today’, before the night comes.
At this time the nation is torn over political, cultural, and heart issues regarding who and what the people and the nation of Israel is. It is bringing much acrimony into all levels of society, and threatening even the unity normally expressed in remembering those whose lives have been sacrificed to keep Israel alive and free. The Arabs and the Jews both need to be reconciled with the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob/Israel, and the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ/Yeshua the Messiah. This is our prayer: that they would be given to see the glory of the suffering and death of the Savior, and the power of His resurrection — for He truly is the Son of God — and that the Father sent Him for this that they, as we, might live eternally with Him, our very Creator and Redeemer, who has always loved each and all of us. He is worthy of all thanksgiving, praise, and worship!
Now, even within the Messianic body there is a tearing and wounding over internal sin and accusations and assumptions. We are not exempt from these things, yet it is always painful, even shocking, when they come to light. We are certain, though, that our Father in Heaven knows how to bring up and chasten His children, so that we will become more sanctified — more like Him. It is painful for a time, but reaps fruit of righteousness and humbles us, bringing us to trust even more in His amazing grace and sovereignty. All things that are hidden, Yeshua said, will be brought to light. For those in willful sin, woe! For those whose sins are unintentional, much mercy and grace to enable us to overcome. And yet still a hope offered through repentance for those who defend and justify themselves. This is a spiritual law that affects us all. Glory to God!
Many families in Israel, and the collective nation, have just completed a three-week period (a similar period as during the Fall appointed times) of remembering the sufferings in our history — the Passover and deliverance; the Holocaust and its heroes; Independence Day, with those who paid with their lives throughout the present 75 years — which precede the joy of the victory which YHVH, the God of Israel, has given. Till now, the Jewish people do not tend to thank and glorify the LORD for those victories, but tend to blame Him for all the suffering. He is the Scapegoat; and many people and nations make the Jews and Israel the scapegoat for the ills of the world.
We — the Jewish people; the State of Israel; the disciples of Jesus/Yeshua — are His witnesses in the world, and as Messiah said to His disciples: if they hate Me, they will hate you. If they hate Me, they hate the One (the Father) who sent Me. If you love one another as I have loved you, the world will know that I have come from the Father, and He loves you.
May our light so shine that the name of our holy and righteous Father is glorified. Thank God for Jesus/Yeshua!