The Jerusalem Prayer List – September 22, 2016
By Joseph Shulam – From Osaka, Japan
This next Shabbat the reading in the Synagogues will be from the Deuteronomy 26-29, and the Haftara reading from the Prophets is Isaiah chapter 60. This chapter in fact is my very favorite text in the Bible. It starts with this very grandiose opening: “Rise up, shine forth, for your light has come,The glory of THE LORD has dawned over you! Though darkness covers the earth and deep gloom the nations, THE LORD shines over you like the dawn, his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light,and kings to the radiance of your dawn.” For me this text embeds in it the whole END TIME (Eschatology) essences of the Bible. All through a history of more than 3800 years the Abrahamic family, Israel and his children have forever been under the shadow of war, persecution, darkness, and the hate of the Nations. There is always someone who wants to destroy God’s chosen people. There has always been some enemy of God and enemy of Israel who wanted to stop the fulfillment of God’s promises to His people. As the promised child Isaac was born to Abraham and Sarah at the sunset of their lives his half brother tried to destroy him by sexually abusing him. (I realize that most of the readers don’t understand this. For this reason I must explain it although I don’t really like to explain this sordid affaire.
Gen. 21:9-10, “And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, scoffing (metzahek). (the same word in Genesis 26:8 is translated “showing endearment” – having sex with his wife.) Therefore she said to Abraham, “Cast out this bondwoman and her son; for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, namely with Isaac.”
Gen. 26:8, ״Now it came to pass, when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked through a window, and saw, and there was Isaac, showing endearment (metzahek) to Rebekah his wife.״
Some Jewish Rabbinical commentary use the word “fondling” (metzahek) in this place. SARA was a righteous woman she would not have insisted that Abraham just cast out a poor Egyptian Servant and her young son into the scorching desert out of pure prejudice or racist motives. In fact it was SARA who gave Hagar to Abraham to give him a son and Ishmael was born. SARA raised Ishmael as Abraham’s son, why would she suddenly want to cast him out of Abraham’s camp. Ishmael was wanting to “play with Isaac’s body” just like Isaac was “playing” with Rebecca his wife when Abimelech looked through the window and saw that Rebecca was not Isaac’s sister but his wife.
If you think that this is far-fetched look in Gen. 39:14 Potiphar’s wife complained falsely about Joseph and said: “she called to the men (servants) of her house and spoke to them, saying, “See, he has brought in to us a Hebrew to mock (metzahek) us. He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice.” If you have any doubt that this is the right interpretation read the story of Joseph in Potiphar’s house and the relationship that his wife wanted to have with Joseph and it will make it clear also from Genesis 39:17 where the same word in Hebrew is used that the meaning of this word in this form is not Scoff or “Mock” but it is to have sex. Ishmael until this very day is working hard to deny the fulfillment of God’s promises to Israel. This is actually the main reason for the war of the Arabs against Israel and it is nothing new and the issue is not really the land. In fact the land is only the excuse and not the cause. The real cause is that our enemies just don’t want us to exist because of God’s promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – promises that are confirmed in all the prophets and wonderfully so in Isaiah chapter 60.
I got a bit carried away with this issue. My point is that through the ages even from the beginning of God’s choice of Abraham and His seed through Isaac, Jacob, and the children of Israel, there is an attempt by the enemy to stop the fulfillment of God’s promises to Abraham and to all of Abraham’s children, those in the flesh and those in the spirit.
So, Isaiah chapter 60 start with this great proclamation of God, “Rise up, shine forth, for your light has come,The glory of THE LORD has dawned over you! Though darkness covers the earth and deep gloom the nations, THE LORD shines over you like the dawn, his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the radiance of your dawn.” I am in Japan now and this is the last station of this teaching journey in Asia. I am traveling with two young men from our congregation in Jerusalem, Reuven and Teruto. Reuven is Jewish and Teruto is Japanese. Both of them are students in the Hebrew University, and both of them are active in our congregation in Jerusalem. We have been almost a month on the road. We started in Korea, and continued to Hong Kong, China, and now Japan. We are teaching two seminars one on the highlights of the book of Leviticus (an important book in the Bible that only very few Christians study and try to understand) and also the story of King David and more specific answering the question why God loved David so much in spite of David’s sins. What we have seen in Asia is simply a partial fulfillment or the beginning of the fulfillment of God’s promises in Isaiah chapter 60. This is one reason why I am so excited about this chapter.
Isaiah 60:3-5, “The Gentiles shall come to your light and kings to the brightness of your rising. “Lift up your eyes all around, and see: They all gather together, they come to you; Your sons shall come from afar, and your daughters shall be nursed at your side. Then you shall see and become radiant, and your heart shall swell with joy; because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, the wealth of the Gentiles shall come to you.”
How are these things going to happen? Who is the ONE who is going to bridge the gap of understanding and the chasm of anti-Jewish and anti-Israel hate that is promulgated throughout the world from B.D.S. and from the United Nations, and even from the present White House. There is only one human bridge that spans this great chasm of some of the nations against Israel and the Jewish people – Yeshua the Messiah. He is the only Jew who has and continues to bridge this gap and connect Jews with non-Jews with the bond of love that was revealed to the World both in His teaching and in His death, burial and resurrection.
Just one more thing: If you want to know what The Apostle Paul meant when he commanded the non-Jews in the Church to provoke Israel to Jealousy in Romans chapter 11, read Isaiah chapter 60, you will get a revelation of what Paul intended for the church to do and also how to do it. This is the only way that the church can fulfill Paul’s command in Romans 11, and it is the only way to partner with God in fulfilling the wonderful promises that He made to all of us in Israel chapter 60. Of course when you read this chapter, and please do read it, you will see that there is some indemnity for those of the nations that refuse to comply and be obedient to God’s expectations as they are lined up in Isaiah in general and in chapter 60 specifically. Please pray that we who are alive today see these promises of Isaiah and the other prophets will be fulfilled soon and in our own eyes we shall behold His Glory.
Please keep praying for the whole Middle East – the situation in Syria and Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, and with the Palestinian Arabs, be resolved and the blood shed in vain stops. The nations like Russia, the USA, Turkey, and the rest of the world has already proven that they don’t really care for the citizens of these blood thirsty despots who indiscriminately keep killing and killing more with their bombing from the air. These nations don’t seem to really want to stop the killing and beheadings, crucifixions, burnings, and drownings that are filmed and proudly shown to the world. These human animals know that the world power are not really intending to stop them. If they intended to stop the terrorism in the Middle East they could do it in a week. Just remember how fast these same nations brought down Sadam Hussian and his empire. WE the disciples of the Messiah are God’s ambassadors in this world and we must pray and knock on the door of the Almighty Creator interceding for our governments, and crying for the victims of terrorism and hate. If we don’t do it who will do it in our place?
Pray for my family, especially for Marcia, Barry, Danah, Noaam, Joey, and Beth. They will need your prayer and your blessings.
Pray for the Roeh Israel Congregation in Jerusalem and for Netivyah. This holiday season we expect to have many guests from around the world and we need God’s grace to have the strength and the inspiration to host and welcome and find space for all our guests. Pray also that our prayers and worships will be acceptable and received in the highest heavens and be brought before the Lord’s mercy seat and be accepted by the Almighty ONE of Israel.
Pray for the leadership of Netivyah and the Roeh Israel. We are all in the process of growth and establishing the future leaders of this one of the oldest ministries for Jewish Disciples of Yeshua in Israel and we need God’s blessing and the guidance of the Spirit of God.
Pray for the state of Israel and the leadership of this country. The state of Israel needs strength and stamina to stand against this latest wave of international hostility. It seems like there is a kind of ganging up against Israel and building up pressure in the United Nations, the White House and the French Presidency to force Israel to compromise and give the terrorist organizations the advantage and a prize for their murderous intents against Israel and the Jewish people.
Pray for the State of Israel to open the doors for the Anussim/Marrano Jews who have been victims of the Catholic Church for over 500 years and now it seems like they continue to be victims of the internal politics of the State of Israel and concessions to the Orthodox Jewish Political parties. God has to open up the gates of Israel to the lost children of Abraham who need to come home and Israel needs them at home to settle the Negev and refreshes the Aliyah movement.
Please pray for my safe travel back to Israel next week. Pray for Reuven and Teruto as they continue to be in Japan for a little longer and bring them back to Jerusalem safe.
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. Sister Christy. Sister Laurel. Michael Kenzevic.
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.
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.
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.
I ask you to pray for our brothers in Brazil and for all of Brazil. This is a time of great political and economic turmoil in that great country. We have dear brothers and communities in Brazil and in Venezuela and other South American countries that because of coruption have brought these countries with so much natural wealth to their knees. Let us pray for these countries and not forget to pray for 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.
God bless all of you our dear brothers and sisters and a give you all that you need to continue to serve and pray and bless all those around you and also not forgetting us in Israel.