There are many important issues in this article, including this powerful two minute testimony by Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of one the founders of Hamas. He has become a Christian, and speaks clearly and succinctly about Hamas’ real nature and intentions in and beyond the present conflict.
When you see the horrors caused by the rocket attacks in Gaza, the intense violence of ISIS, the renewed violence in Libya, the 170,000+ casualties in Syria, (now threatening to spill over into the Lebanon), to say nothing of the savagery in Ukraine, it does indeed feel as though we are once again in a day when the fiery red horse is at loose, taking peace from the Earth. (Rev. 6:4)
The tunnels had to be found, and those that were known about have been – although the nature of the soil is so favourably for tunneling that there is every chance it could happen again: see the-long-history-of-the-gaza-tunnels, the rocket launchers had to be tracked down, but the Israeli policy of operating by the only law it has ever known (an eye for an eye) has made it more unpopular than ever, not only with nations such as Iran, but also with countries usually more favourable towards it. The split in the British cabinet is an obvious example of this, and an important subject in itself for prayer. It becomes ever easier to see how Israel could swiftly find itself internationally isolated, as end time scenarios appear to indicate will happen . . .
See Israel astonished at the number of underground terrorist tunnels for a detailed overview, which explains the significant role North Korea has been playing in the building of these sophisticated Palestinian tunnels.
As somebody warned in an interview on CNN, “Nobody can break the will of [Hamas’] resistance, and no one can get rid of its weapons.” Since Hamas has also been quoted as saying that nothing will stop them from firing rockets until Israel itself is demilitarised, there is limited room for manoeuvre in negotiating peace terms, but the latest truce is holding at the time of writing, and we can only offer this to the Lord.
It was encouraging to hear the Presidents of France and Germany speaking together on August 4th celebrating the friendship that has come to nations that, not so long ago, were involved in such brutal wars with each other.
Friends from Israel visited soldiers on the border with Gaza, and told them that as Christians we were praying for them – which most really appreciated – especially the older officers. We also offered N.T.s with Psalms to those who wish to receive them. A number did.
However, someone contacted the organisation that opposes this kind of work and a young man turned up, stood right in front of me and angrily told me to stop. He started to tear up a N.T. and said it is all lies. I asked him how he was going to stop me and he said, ‘like this’ and stood right in front of me.
So I said ‘Ok, I will talk to you then’. I kept talking about the Gospel and the Commandments and asked him what his favourite passage from Scripture was. (I don’t think he knows the Scriptures at all). Eventually he called the Police. They asked us what we were doing and we told them. After looking at my passport, one of the Policemen began telling us about the great holiday he had just had in London. He then told us it was ok for us to carry on doing what we are doing as long as we do not force anything on anybody. Isn’t God good?
I am sure the young man was furious, because he followed us in his car after we left!
We were near enough to the action to see a rocket shot down, and to hear several loud explosions. Some of those soldiers that we met might well be facing death in the conflict with Hamas. It is nasty.
Do pray for the people of Gaza who are caught in the middle of all this – it is terrible for them. Hamas do not really care about the civilian deaths – they see it as good propaganda. However, the Israelis need to really think about how to deal with Gaza. There needs to be compassion for the people there, and I think we should pray for the members of the Knesset, that they will be thinking of long term plans to help ease the situation for the civilians there.
This next section comes from Christians who are farming just a few kilometers from the border.
“In these difficult days, it is a comfort, encouragement and strength, knowing that many, around the world, are lifting Israel as a whole and us specifiy in prayer before our mighty and faithful God, who neither slumbers nor sleeps but continues to watch over Israel.
School is out and summer camps in the south of been canceled because of the situation, so our kids are home all day. Caring for our lively three boys (ages five, eight and ten) and baby girl is a full time job, and because of the rockets, I have not been leaving home with them at all, as I don’t want to be caught on the roads with them, so they are very bored. But, let boredom be our biggest challenge…
There is more than anecdotal evidence to suggest that there has been some genuinely supernatural protection concerning the trajectory of incoming rockets, and remarkably few civilians killed so far: one Jewish man who came to bring food for the soldiers at the border with Gaza, one Bedouin man and most recently, a foreign worker from Thailand on a farm near Gaza. We also have three workers from Thailand, working for us on our artichoke farm near Gaza and we continue to request much prayer for them as they are naturally stressed out, especially after the death of the Thai worker.
Each of the IDF soldiers killed has given their life to protect our nation, and especially, the residents of the southern region of Israel. They are heroes – but they are not heroes of by choice. They do not love war, but they do love their country. Each one that falls – we all feel the pain.
On Monday I called my good friend, an Arab women, mother of four kids who went to school with my kids and were good friends, at the Arab-Jewish bilingual school in Beer Sheva, where my kids studied for four years, before we moved back to the farm. I could tell something was wrong. It turned out that the son of a Jewish friend from work (my friend is a nurse at a hospital in Beer Sheva) had been killed in the fighting in Gaza. She asked me if I would go with her to the “shiv’a”. the following evening, which was the day of the funeral, I went with two other friends, to the home of this family, who live in Beer Sheva and who lost their son in Gaza. He was 23 years old. He had been called up for reserve duty. His name was Nadav. He left behind two brothers, one older, one younger and a little sister . . . so so so sad.
Avi accompanied our friend from Hands of Mercy, a ministry based in Sderot that is devoted to helping victims of terror, injured soldiers and the poor and needy of Sderot, a town that has been under rocket fire for years. Avi and our friend, Yeshi, went to some army bases near Gaza to see what the soldiers need and arrange to come bless them with singing.
Everyone, all over the country is sending things for the soldiers- food, candy, underpants, socks, all kinds of things, including regular infra-red flash lights so that they can see in the dark. (they cost about $30 apiece). I was able to mention this to a friend who was able to purchase and donate 200 of them to an entire battalion. Praise God!
The following night (Thursday), Yeshi and his team took a singer/worship leader, Elihana, to sing for the soldiers at this base. We hope to be able to help bring other singers and bless more soldiers in this way.
On Friday I went with Yeshi and the singing team to Soroka Hospital to visit the injured soldiers. Elihana came with us to sing for the soldiers if it seemed suitable . . . People from all over had come to bring gifts, food, drinks and balloons – anything that could make the soldiers happy. It was amazing to see. There were three other people we saw who came with guitars to sing. There was a drive to give blood going on. At one point, an army person, came in and read a Psalm. He would read a verse and then everyone else would repeat the verse after him as a prayer for the soldiers’ healing.
We went to another department that was much quieter. There were three soldiers in good enough condition to be sitting on the balcony eating sandwiches. At first we were going to move on, as we hoped to find more soldiers in one place, but then, I thought, hey, we came for them, so why not sing to them? Elihana sang to them from the balcony about the God of Israel.
As she sang, I looked up and saw that on the floor above us, many people were looking down from their balcony and through the windows, visitors and patients alike. A team from a mobile phone company that had come to bring gifts to the soldiers also joined us. It was a precious moment of unity, peace, and strength in our God!
- Pray for our government, especially our prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and for our army commanders, for much wisdom as they make decision on how to continue this operation, how to protect our nation from those who would wish to destroy it.
- Pray for the people in Gaza to know their true God, not Alla, who is NOT great, but the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, and yes, He is also the God of Ishmael, the one and only true God, that they would LOVE Him and know His Son! Pray for supernatural revelation for the people of Gaza, including the Hamas terrorists.
- Pray for the people of Israel to draw closer to God and to see His protection and care for His people. For their eyes to be opened to know their Messiah, the only one who can bring true peace – the Prince of Peace!
I have mentioned before that one of the serious dangers right now, probably more than the rockets are the tunnels. These tunnels are an intricate system- more than 100 tunnels, meant for smuggling goods and arms into Gaza, meant for the armed Hamas and other terror organization’s soldiers to traveling underground within Gaza and not be at risk and for terrorist to enter into Israel in order to kill and / or kidnap Israelis. There have been several attempts of these terrorist to enter into Israel the last week. The IDF has been able to discover and destroy more than 30 tunnels already. Pray for these tunnels to be revealed – even supernatural knowledge of where they are and protection for the soldiers as they are working in very difficult and dangerous conditions.
Rockets have fallen near to our greenhouses and we pray continued protection.
There is so much to pray about, but the most important thing is to listen to the Lord, and ask that He guide you, as you stand, as watchmen on the walls, praying for the peace of Jerusalem.
- From friends in Jerusalem, yesterday….
“For months, even years, we have had rockets fired from Gaza by Hamas into Israel, hitting the southern region. However, the range of these missiles is now increased to 100+km which poses still more problems. We were attending a wedding at Christ Church two weeks ago when one of the first missiles was directed at Jerusalem; we saw 4-5 intercepts by Israel’s Iron Dome defensive missile system in the skies above; with good humour all the assembled guests then found themselves packed liked sardines into a stairwell beneath the Rectory……
…… The loss of life is tragic. As we know that Hamas uses many as human shields to encourage Israel to increase this. approximately three THOUSAND rockets have been fired from Gaza during this month”
As the family from the Gaza boundary wrote, we must seek to follow the Lord’s leading in prayer on these complex issues that arouse such strong passions. You might find this background information helpful, as much of it is is not widely reported in mainline news.
A most concerning arms deal with Qatar
I am not sure if most Americans even realize this, but the US just signed an $11 billion arms deal with Qatar, a country that has become a strategic centre for exporting what it calls the soft face of Islam. This may be why Kerry is insisting that Qatar be the one to broker a cease fire between Israel and Hamas instead of Egypt, who shares many joint interests with us in wanting to destroy Hamas.
America wants to sell extremely advanced armaments to Qatar, but what are Qatar going to do with $11 billion of arms? Their army numbers only 11,000 men; the country has close ties with al Qaeda leaders, and was indeed listed as being the least effective in taking measures against terrorism in 2010.
There is every chance therefore that these weapons will end up in the hands of Israel’s enemies, including Hamas. Why, asks the person who sent me this email, should Qatar broker the cease fire, while they are buying arms to pass on to groups such as Hamas for the next round?!?!!!
Once again we see the need to pray for Israel’s leaders to have the wisdom and courage to do what is right for Israel and for the world leaders to lay off!
Finally, as we continue to pray for ALL who are caught up in this conflict, can I encourage us to remember the wider picture of what God is wanting to do in Israel itself?
Romans 11 – Again I ask: did they (the Jews) stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring!
Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!
I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, and in this way all Israel will be saved.
As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies for your sake; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable.