The Jerusalem Prayer List – December 15, 2016
By Joseph Shulam
In the Synagogues this Sabbath the reading is called YaYishlach. The reading comes from Genesis 32:4 – 36:43. The reading starts with the encounter between Jacob and his brother Esau. Jacob ran away from the land of Canaan in Genesis chapter 28. Rebecca his mother told him that Esau has decided to kill him after Isaac’s death. It was not a happy occasion that took Jacob from his father’s house to Laban his uncle in the great city of Haran, way up north in Syria near the Turkish boarder. Twenty-one years Jacob spent in the house of his Father-in-Law Laban. Laban was not exactly the paragon of honesty and fairness. After this 21 years of working for Laban, 14 of them working for Rachel because in the first 7 years he received Leah in place of Rachel. The last seven years he worked for wealth and God blessed him by multiplying the folks of sheep and goats. Now Jacob and his family and his wealth are all in danger. They are returning to the Land of Promise, the Land given to them by God. His greatest enemy is his twin brother Esau. The reasons for this enmity between these two brothers is that one of them, Esau, feels that he was cheated, swindled, taken as a fool by his own twin brother Jacob. Twenty-one years earlier Esau had decided in his heart to kill Jacob his brother after his father Isaac dies. Jacob runs away to Laban his uncle who lived in Haran. Now Jacob is facing the occasion that Esau his brother is still angry and still has murderous intentions. So, what does Jacob do? Here are some points that we can all learn from when we face conflict and possible threatening situations:
1. Jacob minimizes his loses by splitting his family and his camp into two. The idea is that if one of the camps falls into the hands of Esau the other camp has time to run away or build his defense.
2. The second step that Jacob takes is he prepares to make right what he wronged his brother Esau. He has amassed great wealth and he feels that in order to save his family he would be willing to part with a large chunk of his wealth in order to pacify his brother.
3. Jacob creates a controlled environment by walking toward Esau and bowing done face down near the ground seven times. He humbled himself before his brother, but also shows Esau that he is not afraid by walking toward Esau and at the same time giving Esau honor and respect. The importance in Middle East culture to giving honor is a very important tool for reconciliation and building trust.
Jacob was prepared for the worst possible scenario and hoping for the very best outcome.
Jacob was willing to pay for his earlier behavior and actually pay Esau his brother an honorable amount of his wealth to make things right with his brother.
In Jewish tradition the Rabbis have made some calculation that What Jacob gave Esau was actually the fair price for his inheritance. In the story we have the number of sheep and camels and donkeys and other goods. I am not sure that it is a fair calculation, but I am sure that what Jacob gave Esau was worth much more than a bowl of red soup.
The phrase – that what goes around comes around is clearly demonstrated in this Biblical story. The cheater got cheated, Jacob lied and cheated Laban his father-in-law cheated him. There are two prophetic passages that are related to this story from Genesis. I want to just share them with you and show you how after hundreds of years what Jacob did was not forgotten in Israel:
1. ““But you, Israel, are My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, The descendants of Abraham My friend. “Fear not, you worm Jacob, You men of Israel! I will help you,” says the LORD And your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 40:27; 41:8, 14 NKJV)
2. ““The LORD also brings a charge against Judah, And will punish Jacob according to his ways; According to his deeds He will recompense him. He took his brother by the heel in the womb, And in his strength he struggled with God. Yes, he struggled with the Angel and prevailed; He wept, and sought favor from Him. He found Him in Bethel, And there He spoke to us— That is, the LORD God of hosts. The LORD is His memorable name. So you, by the help of your God, return; Observe mercy and justice, And wait on your God continually.” (Hosea 12:2–6 NKJV)
3. “Jacob fled to the country of Syria; Israel served for a spouse, and for a wife he tended sheep.” (Hosea 12:12 NKJV)
These three texts are just a sample of how the Prophets of Israel treated Jacob. In one God calls Jacob “My servant … I have chosen” and makes wonderful promises to Jacob and his descendants. In Hosea the prophet says: “He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and in his strength he struggled with God. Yes, he struggled with the Angel and prevailed; He wept, and sought favor from Him. He found Him in Bethel, And there He spoke to us— That is, the LORD God of hosts.” (Hosea 12:2-6 NKJV)
The prophet also criticizes Jacob for his relationship to women: “Jacob fled to the country of Syria; Israel served for a spouse, and for a wife he tended sheep.”
(Hosea 12:12 NKJV) Hosea sees Jacob’s running away to Syria as a fault and even more so that Jacob served his wives and even more so that he actually tended sheep for a wife. It is good for us to know that these stories in Genesis are not just forgotten even thousand years later and their effect is still influencing the events of Israel’s history even thousands of years later – even now much of what is happening in the Middle East is a result of what seeds were sown even in our far past. We know that these stories are not for children only, they have far reaching implications for today. It would be good for us to study the Torah and learn now how to live and understand from our past our present.
Barry our son had a very difficult surgery last week. The doctor said that this is one of the most difficult surgeries that he has preformed in many years. Barry was told that his recovery will be difficult and long, but today his situation got worst and much more complicated. His surgery was opened and there is a big hole in his stomach. The doctor gave him a dose of anti-biotic and left his wound open. Barry really needs your prayer prayers. He needs your prayer for healing, for strength, for patience and closing of the big wound in his stomach. We trust in God’s healing power and in His faithfulness and in the faithfulness and power of your prayers.
We had news this last week that Trans World Radio our partner in the Kol HaYeshuah Radio broadcast has to cut their budget for the Hebrew Broadcast by roughly 30%. I am asking you to pray for Trans World Radio, it is one the biggest Radio ministries in the world and it reaches into many countries partnering with the native brothers and sisters to present Good News around the whole world. Netivyah and Kol HaYeshuah have been working with TWR for 20 years, and we will continue to broadcast high quality even with a cut budget, but we do ask you to pray for this unique and special venue for presenting the Jewish Good News to the Jewish people in a Jewish way by Jewish Disciples of Yeshua. This formula is special and I believe that only this way the Jewish people can hear and evaluate and take seriously the Person and the Teaching of Yeshua the King of the Jews. The majorities of the Jewish people know the Christian Message and the Missionary scams and frankly are not interested in them. The historical Yeshua who died on the cross as King of the Jews and never became a Christian, just like Paul, and Peter, and any of the Apostles themselves who never said “We are Christian!” In fact Paul said many times, “I am a Jew,” “I am an Israelite,” “I am a Pharisee.” I will not list here all the places in the book of Acts and Paul’s letters in which Paul made such proclamations. This will be homework for you to look up these places in the book of Acts and in Paul’s letters and see them in context. But, Please pray for Israel and for the Jewish people and for the seed of goodness and grace that needs to be sown into the land of Israel. After rain falls even the desert blooms if good seeds are in the grown. Help us continue the teaching on Kol HaYeshuah radio broadcasts.
It seems that our Palestinian neighbors are not so interesting in making peace with Israel. They have come to the conclusion that they can use terror and murder and hate to win this battle against Israel and the Jewish nation. They don’t know God’s promises to the people of Israel and they don’t know the real times that we are living in now. You please pray that God’s promises to Israel and to the World in the Bible be fulfilled and become the new reality that we believe in and wait for their fulfillment.
Please pray for the young generation of leaders in Netivyah and in the Roeh Israel Congregation. These young leaders are wonderful, talented, capable, and very trustworthy. Pray for the future of Netivyah and the Roeh Israel Congregation. The future of Netivyah and of the congregation is much brighter than our past. I ask you to pray for Netivyah and for the leadership and also to stand with Netivyah.
As I travel around the world I see the influence and the contribution of Netivyah to the Kingdom of God around the whole world. I could share with you literally hundreds of notes and letters of people from Australia to Norway from China and South Africa that pray and stand with Netivyah and praise God for what Netivyah is doing in Israel and around the World. We need your prayer and we need your support so that our future will be secured and the Lord’s Work will continue until Yeshua returns.
Pray for my health and Marcia’s health and for the great need for energy and stamina to continue doing what we are doing for Kingdom of God in Israel and around the world.
We continue to pray for brothers in Africa: Catherine Karungu – breast cancer, Mary Wavomba – first breast cancer and now spread to lungs and kidney, Rosemary Mutua – leukemia, Jane Munyao – breast cancer. I know that the God of Israel hears the prayers of His righteous children, let us lift these prayer requests and lay them at the feet of Yeshua.
Please keep praying for the sick brothers and sisters from all around the World. I would like to ask you to pray for some friends who have a need for God’s blessing on their work: Chung and Sister Lee, brother Goh and his family and company, Sister Christy, Sister Laurel, and Brother Michael Kenzevic. Now especially I ask you to pray for Brother D. Lee and his work. There are major economic challenges that these brothers and sisters have and I pray for the LORD to show his grace and goodness to these brothers.
Our dear brother Tom from Murfreesboro is gone to be with the Lord. Now we need to pray for Ann his wife and for his children and grandchildren that the Lord will comfort them and strengthen their faith and resolve to follow the path that Tom walked. Pray for Bobby, and Emet, and Joe M., and Gloria D., and for Marguerite G., these are all very precious brothers and friends are battling serious health issues.
We continue to pray for Gary in Jerusalem, Aharon (Don and Nancy’s Son) is still struggling with a 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. Please lift up in your prayers all the suffering and sick that are on this list and all those whom you know need healing and comfort from God.
We lift up our dear brothers and sisters in the USA, and Finland, 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 pray and ask God for mercy and healing for Marcelo’s father and mother in Belo-Horizonte. We also lift Paulo a very special and wonderful young man who is in need for a divine touch of the Lord’s hand for healing, 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.
May the Lord bless you all and give you Peace on this Shabbat and carry you on HIS promises and blessings and give you the opportunity to be a blessing to those around you.
Thank you for your intercession and for your prayers and also thank you for your moral and financial support for the work and message of Good News in Israel, Finland, Brazil, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and in all the countries that Netivyah has influence and disciples. God bless you all!