Jerusalem Prayer List August 11, 2016

By Joseph Shulam

Last week we finished reading the book of Numbers and this Shabbat we are starting the reading of the book of Deuteronomy.   The name Deuteronomy is made up of two Greek words: Deuteron – means second (the following) and Nomos – means the Law.  In other words this book in Greek is called “The Second Giving of the Law.”  In the end of the book of Numbers the children of Israel are encamped on the plain across from Jericho getting ready to cross the river into the land of promise.  Moses is getting ready to obey God and climb up Mount Nebo – to see the Land and he never comes down from this mountain.  Moses dies at the end of the book of Deuteronomy and no one knows his grave site.  The first chapters of the book of Deuteronomy present to us the content of the book.  Moses is now ready to die and he is addressing the nation of Israel one last time: “These are the words that Moses spoke to all Israel beyond the Jordan in the wilderness, in the Arabah opposite Suph, between Paran and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Dizahab.  2 It is eleven days’ journey from Horeb by the way of Mount Seir to Kadesh-barnea.  3 eIn the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses spoke to the people of Israel according to all that the LORD had given him in commandment to them. . .” (Deut. 1:1-3)  The Hebrew name of the book is like the other books of the Torah – it is not a name it is just the first words with which the book starts: Devarim – “The Words.”
Now why is this book of Devarim called in Greek – Deuteronomy?  Because the content of this book is actually a second giving of the Torah (The Law of Moses).  What does it mean “The Second giving of the Torah?”

If we look at the content of the book we find out that actually every commandment given by God in the books of Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers, is changed.  Not one commandment is the same, not even the 10 commandments are exactly the same as in Exodus chapter 20.  Moses introduces several changes when he recounts the giving of the Torah in Mt. Sinai, and this is especially visible in the commandment to keep the Shabbat.  The Jewish people noticed this a long time ago and that is why in the prayers for the Shabbat they synchronize the two and say, “To Keep and to remember in one command.”  Because one says “Keep” the Sabbath Day and the other says “Remember the Sabbath Day.”

So, what does it mean that the commandments have changed and are different between the book of Deuteronomy and the other three books of the Torah?  Well, her is a short list of what does it mean that Moses is giving of the Torah a second time with many amendments and updates, changes, and even editions.  One example for an addition is the issue of the circumcision of the heart.  It does not exist in the other books of the Torah, but it does exist twice in the book of Deuteronomy.

There are only three times that circumcision of the heart appears in the “Old Testament” and in the Torah it only appears in the book of Deuteronomy.
Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer rstubborn. (Deut. 10:16)

And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, qso that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. (Deut. 30:6)

“Circumcise yourselves to the LORD;   remove the foreskin of your hearts, O men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem;  flest my wrath go forth like fire, and burn with none to quench it, because of the evil of your deeds.” (Jer. 4:4)

Here are some of the important reason for Moses making these changes:

  1.  There is a major change of circumstance about to happen to the children of Israel. They are about to change from a group of nomads – wonderers in the wilderness of Sinai to city dwellers.
  2. They had the tabernacle of God with them right in the center of the camp.  God actually dwelled (the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night) with them for 38 years.  They had daily guidance from God and their leaders, Moses and Aaron, spoke to God regularly and had divine solutions for all their problems, water, food, meat, equality of women . . .  Now they will be spread on a much larger territory and Tabernacle of God will be stationary. They will have to go to the Tabernacle only three times per year.
  3. They will be land owners for the first time ever.  With the ownership of land there comes a major life-style change, farming the land, life stock that is stationed on private property and common grazing grounds.  Defense issues with neighboring nations.
  4. The type of government will change from Moses and Aaron and tribal leadership – to national leadership and later on even a King like the other nations around them have.

These sociological and political changes must be addressed by the laws and therefore the commandments of God must change and adapt to the circumstances.

We must remember that the Torah is deposited in our hands but it is God’s Torah and it is HIS instructions for us to live by.  So, He can change things any time He wants to change things.  In fact God has changed many of the laws many times.  If you look at Jeremiah chapter 31, and I know that most Christians know that the term “New Testament” or “New Covenant” is taken from Jeremiah chapter 31:31, “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenantwith the house of Israel and the house of Judah . . .”    However, many people don’t know that just in the preceding verses God actually changes one of the important laws of the Torah and the same is recorded in Ezekiel chapter 18 and elaborated upon by the prophet.
“And it shall come to pass that jas I have watched over them kto pluck up and break down, to overthrow, destroy, and bring harm, jso I will watch over them lto build and to plant, declares the LORD.  In those days they shall no longer say: “the fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’  But everyone shall die for his own iniquity. Each man who eats sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge.””  (Jeremiah 31:28-30)

It is not accidental that the prophet Jeremiah precedes the announcement of the giving of a “New Covenant” with this prediction of a change of the law of relationship between our sin and our offspring.  So, the book of Deuteronomy is actually the second giving of the Torah to the children of Israel.  It has the laws for the kings that did not exist in the other books of the Torah because a KING was not relevant during the 40 years of wondering in the wilderness; God Himself was their King!

Well, the situation in Israel is the same as it was last week, and last week it was the same as last year, and last year it was the same as in the last decade.  Israel really needs much prayer.  There is some wonderful and unique things about Israeli society that are very special, and that is true for the wonderful things and also for our astonishing short-comings as a nation that has survived two thousand years of diaspora, inquisition, pogroms, holocaust, and Arab aggression for the last 100 years.
Please pray for Israel!  Pray for every aspect of Israeli life, industry, Hi-Tech, – Military, internal politics that so much of them is based on lack of love and appreciation for those who are a little bit different from you.  Pray for our government and our parliament.  Pray for God to bless this nation of survivors.  The prophet said it with the following words over 1750 years ago: “I overthrew some of you, as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and you were eas a brand* plucked out of the burning; “yet you did not return to me,” declares the LORD.”(Amos 4:11)

Israel is really like a “brand plucked out of burning” and unless God is with us and blesses us – this nation will fall apart from inside.  We need your fervent prayer and your clear stand with Israel.

On the other hand there is so much good in this nation that is also very unique.  Israel is the only nation that has a deep community mentality.  We are connected and united against the outside enemies.  In every place that there are Israeli citizens in trouble and in danger Israel is the first to send the military and the doctors to bring our citizens home safe.  This was true in as far away as Nepal last year, and it was true in other places where Israeli backpacking youth in danger.  We have a deep sense of unity and accountability for each other that no other government and nation has for their citizens.  In a way I wish that the whole Body of the Messiah internationally would have that kind of sense of unity.  When all is well we could fight with each other, say mean things, and hurt feelings, but when there is trouble we come together.

Please pray for Netivyah and the Roeh Israel Congregation.  We are overwhelmed by the amount of work and the opportunities that the Lord has blessed us with, but we need your prayers, your help and your support.  We have plans to increase the number of people who receive food from the food bank, and in fact the quality and the variety of the food that we are distributing has already increased dramatically.  We are planning a new web page that will have better updates and more material. We are praying for Kol HaYeshua Radio broadcast to be blessed with more people to hear the message and more responses.

We have now every Sabbath afternoon a short broadcast on the Netivyah facebook page that gives a teaching on the weekly portion of the Torah and the prophets that is read in the synagogues around the world.  There are so many other things that we are doing for the Aliyah and for the future settlement of the Negev.  All these things are in concert with what the Almighty ONE of Israel is doing and dependent on HIS blessings.

This next Shabbat evening is the 9th day of the month of AV according to the Hebrew Calendar.  This day is a day of fasting and soul searching for all of Israel.  It is a day in which both the first temple and the second temple in Jerusalem were destroyed.  It is the same day that in 1492 the Catholic Kings of Spain expelled all the Jews that would not convert to Catholicism out of Spain.  It is a bit strange that on this same day there are at least 16 major catastrophes that occurred to the people of Israel.  It definitely looks like SOMEONE has orchestrated our history and proven that these events are not accidental but have been done in order to prove and demonstrate that God exists and cares about us enough to love us and punish us as a good father punishes HIS children.  We will fast and pray for Israel and for our brothers and sisters around the world who are still suffering from hate, prejudice, discrimination, and persecution.  Please join with us and with all of Israel in this day of prayer and fasting from food, from water, from the sound of joy and the happiness of marriage.

If you want to know more about the 9th day of the Hebrew month of Av – look at the following link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tisha_B%27Av

Please pray for our dear brother Jacob Damkani.  He is in the hospital again with some very serious Infection in and around his heart.  He had an open heart surgery in the beginning of this year and now he is again hospitalized with problems.  Jacob needs our prayers and your prayers.  He is toward the end of making a major full-featured film about his life and his faith.  This event no doubt is because “some-one-down there” has intentions of disrupting and hurting the production of this film.  The idea is for this film to be shown in Israeli movie houses as a full featured drama.

Marcia my wife was released from the hospital yesterday afternoon.  She too needs your intense prayer for healing of her body and strength.  She was in the hospital for near three days for problems with her diabetic.  Please keep Marcia in your prayers!

Please keep me too in your prayers.  Both Marcia and I will be traveling in September and I will be traveling again in the middle of October.  We need God’s favor upon our body and soul and a safe travel.  Marcia is first going to visit our daughter and granddaughter in California, and I will join them in the middle of October after the Biblical Holidays.

Pray for the Roeh Israel congregation in Jerusalem.  We have a wonderful place to worship and we have really great brothers and sisters who love God and love to serve the people of Jerusalem.  We need your prayers and your intercession for us and for all of Israel.  Pray a blessing on this community and on our worship and prayer to be acceptable before the throne of Glory with peace and purity of heart in all things great and small.

Pray for those of our congregation who are serving in the Army and for all of Israel’s military.  Pray for their safety and protection of these wonderful young men and women.

Please don’t forget to especial pray for healing and strength for our dear brother Tom from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and also in the same town pray for Bobby, and Emet, and Joe, and Gloria D., these are all very precious brothers and friends are battling serious health issues.   I am adding a young four years old girls who is fighting leukemia her name is Hayden.

Our dear brother Gary in Jerusalem is doing much better and I ask you to keep praying for him.  Aharon (Don and Nancy’s Son) is fighting with the tumor in his brain keep him in your prayers please! Also keep his family in your prayers. Yuri Marianenko is fighting a prostate cancer.  Our wonderful older brothers and sisters need our prayers:  Ahuvah Ben Meir, David Stern, Marcia Shulam, Sarit, Miriam, Ilana, and Leah.  Pray for healing of my family Danah Shulam, Barry Shulam, and Marcia.  We lift up our dear brothers and sisters Ruby, Clara, Paulo, Naomi, Tim Tucker, Anna, Anne-Mirijami, Satu-Maria, Anna-Majia, Sinni Tuuli, Erki and Sirpa, and Evelina, Eva H., Liz in Georgia, and Horace and June Marcia’s parents.

We especially lift up before your throne of mercy Marcelo’s father and mother in Belo-Horizonte.

We pray for the following dear brothers and sisters: Pastor Curita in Tokyo, Toru San, and the husband of Yumi, Sadako San, Shoko San, Takeo Sensei and Tomoko San all in Japan.

We have brothers and sisters who are not physically sick, but they need the hand of God’s blessing on their lives and business:  Michael Knezevich in Portland, Laurel S., and please add to this prayer all those people whom you know and ask the Mighty God of Israel and Yeshua our Messiah to show their mercy and grace on these fine disciples of Yeshua.  Please don’t forget our dear brother Raymond and his family in Singapore.  Pray a special blessing on Raymond’s work and especially for his zeal for truth and a faithful walk with the Lord and blessing of Israel.  Pray for two sisters one in Japan and the other in London who have been looking for work for some time now and have not found satisfactory work yet, Alise and Blue.

Especially pray for the new congregation in Vitoria, E.S., Brazil and their leadership, and for the Teaching from Zion Ministry in Brazil, and the Har Zion Congregation in Belo-Horizonte, and for the Sar EL congregation in Curitiba.

May the Lord richly bless you with health and joy and protection under HIS wings!  May He be gracious to you and reward you with good in this life and eternally.  Thank you so much for your faithful prayer and faithful service in His Kingdom.

Joseph Shulam

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