“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplication and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced and they shall mourn.” Zechariah 12:10
“In that day, there shall be a fountain opened to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.” Zechariah 13:1
Dear Intercessors for Israel:
Greetings from Jerusalem. To live in Jerusalem and Israel is to live in a state of anticipation. Other synonyms are “expectation,” “outlook,” or “having a foretaste.” To live here is to look forward with great expectancy to the Messiah’s return, true peace, the building of the Third Temple, and perhaps even soon, the long-awaited discovery of the Ark of the Covenant. Zechariah prophecies a day when the Jewish people will recognize and accept their true Messiah. What a day that will be. Zechariah declares that in that day, God will first pour out “the spirit of grace and supplication, then they shall look upon me whom they have pierced and they shall mourn.” But wait, it gets better. Then the Jewish people discover that there is a “fountain opened…. for sin and uncleanness.” Yes, in this city without oceans, rivers, or lakes, there is a great and eternal fountain free for all. It is the fountain of the blood of the Lamb which cleanses, purifies, and delivers from all sin. Jesus’ sacrifice here brought deliverance for all.
The writer of Hebrews declares that “Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaketh better things than that of Abel” (Heb. 12:24), and that Jesus “might sanctify the people with his own blood…” (Heb. 13:12).
As believers here, we earnestly look for the day also when the Messiah returns and sets up his eternal kingdom. Paul writes though that Jesus has sealed us and given us the “earnest of the Spirit in our hearts” (II Cor. 1:2; 5:5). Paul also states that this earnest expectation is found in all of creation, waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God. Not only does creation wait, but we also, “groaning inwardly… for the adoption and redemption of our body” (Rom. 8:19,23).
Israeli National Elections
The nation of Israel is just one week away from elections. The country is in a state of anticipation as to the makeup of the next Knesset and who will lead the nation. Polls show Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Likud party neck and neck with former IDF head Benny Gantz’s Blue and White party. Other minor parties also are vying for seats and have the potential to become “kingmakers” if neither leading party achieves a majority. Gantz’s Blue and White party is “Center-left” and has three individuals vying for seats who are gay.
President Rivlin will view the results and ask the winning party to form a government. Please pray. The direction of the nation depends who wins this election, which will be held April 9th. Pray Isaiah 9:7: “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”
The Gaza Strip
Israel is still “bedeviled” by its ongoing problems with the Gaza Strip. Sporadic missile fire and the constant threats of more terror attacks has caused PM Netanyahu to send additional troops and tanks to areas near this enclave. In the past week, the Israel Air Force has bombed targets (mostly empty buildings and sand dune watchtowers), in an effort to rein in Hamas. Even so Israel has not chosen to close its border entrances, thus allowing truckloads of supplies into the Strip from its port in Ashdod (Israel allows Gaza to import its goods through Israel’s main port in Ashdod). Rumors of secret peace talks are also said to be afoot. Israel, despite last week’s Fajr 5 rocket attack into Central Israel, has extended the fishing zone for Gaza and made other “gestures” to be at peace with its neighbors.
Islamic Jihad, the second largest terrorist group in the Gaza Strip, is threatening to stage a terrorist attack in Israel in the next few days. Please pray against this threat. Israel’s leadership is reluctant to go into Gaza and “mow the lawn,” as the locals say. The IDF states that attacking Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza would be what Vietnam was for America. An attack to overthrow this terrorist group would entail house to house fighting, defenses against laser guided weapons, killing of innocent civilians plus suffering heavy causalities for the IDF. Israelis and the Government are hesitant about sending their sons and daughters into a war zone that may turn into a “no win” situation. The thinking is that it is better to suffer a few missile attacks and keep the Gazans behind their fences. However, Hamas and Islamic Jihad are steadily upgrading their weapons, digging more tunnels, and refining their tactics.
Pray that those who would work evil would reap the fruit of their labors. Proverbs says, “He that seeketh mischief, it shall come unto him” (Pr. 11:27), and “He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind” (Pr. 11:29). Pray that Israel will be delivered from evil men who hate it. Pray that the current Israel government find ways to protect its own people and yet obstruct the ways of the wicked who seek to destroy the Jewish state.
Ancient Seal of King Josiah Discovered
A 2,600-year-old seal from the Kingdom of Judah bearing the inscription “(belonging) to Nathan-Melech, Servant of the King” was recently discovered by Archaeologists digging in the City of David. Nathan-Melech was an official in the court of King Josiah and is mentioned briefly in the second book of Kings. This tiny seal proves from a historical viewpoint that King Josiah actually existed. Archaeologists are reluctant to accept the Bible as proof that such a King existed. Now they have it: King Josiah actually existed! This latest historical discovery furnishes one more proof that the Bible is the Word of God and is truthfully written.
Chinese–Israel Port Agreement
The nation of China through its business ventures has been actively seeking contracts around the world so as to offer assistance and upgrading of various nations’ port facilities. Many African and Pacific nations have signed agreements with Chinese businesses who then manage these port facilities. And if the nation defaults payment in these contracts, China takes control.
Israel in 2015 also signed an agreement between the Transportation Ministry and Shaghai International Port Group (SIPG). Effective in 2021, China will take over control and management of Israel’s main ports at Haifa, with Ashdod and Eilat soon to follow.
Only now has this agreement raised intelligence and security concerns prompting a governmental review. The agreement signed in 2015 granted the Chinese company (SIPG) control over Israel’s ports for 25 years. The Chinese company has committed $2 billion to the project and, according to state-run media, plans to transform Haifa’s port’s bay terminal into the largest harbor in the country.
The US Navy has acknowledged that its longstanding operations in Haifa may change once a Chinese firm takes over the civilian port in 2021. A representative of the Sixth Fleet said the navy’s partnership with Israel remains “steadfast.” “Our US Navy ships frequently visit Haifa, Israel, for both US-Israel bilateral military activity and port calls,” Commander Kyle Raines told the Jerusalem Post, when asked whether China’s coming presence might affect fleet operations in the Mediterranean city.
“For now, there are no changes to our operations in Israel,” the commander continued. “I can’t speculate on what might or might not occur in 2021.” Three sources familiar with the matter said that due to concerns that US defense officials privately shared with their Israeli counterparts, the Israeli government has launched “a review of the agreement at a high level,” specifically among members of the inner cabinet. According to one source, several members expressed worry that sensitive infrastructure matters have not been properly vetted by Israel’s full national security cabinet prior to approval. “You don’t want a decision that was made ostensibly for business reasons to have an impact on Israel’s relationship with the American navy,” the source said.
The deal was signed off by Israel Katz, who was serving as transportation minister at the time and has remained in the position since. He occupies a seat in the national security cabinet. A senior IDF officer confirmed that the review is under way. But it is unclear whether Israel has any recourse to allay US concerns with the China project, which is already sealed and in motion (www.jpost.com).
Please pray for wisdom for Israel and its government officials. Pray that all darkness concerning this contract will be brought into the light. Pray that China’s true agenda be revealed.
Marylois and I, Sharon and Philip Buss, plus nine other intercessors have just recently returned from a week-long journey praying throughout the land. Our prayer assignment took us from the Southern city of Eilat to the most Northern tip of Israel: Rosh Hanikra. We prayed over the three ports of Israel and all of it sea borders. We also stopped at Abraham’s Tel in Beersheva and prayed over this covenant land. Many thanks to those who helped us accomplish this prayer assignment. ETH President Sharon Buss will be writing more on this prayer assignment.
Two believers we know and one worker here at the House of Peace have recently suffered from grievous falls, resulting in one having a fractured femur and another a broken elbow. Another intercessor fell on some stone steps and badly bruised her leg and side. Please pray for us, for the Lord’s angels and continued watch care over us. The inclement weather makes the stone surfaces here very slippery. Pray against accidents, incidents, falls, and demonic assignments, that they would not be successful. Please declare and pray Psalm 91 over us.
Anticipating the soon coming day when Messiah Jesus will return. Come quickly, Lord!
Gene and Marylois
House of Peace, Jerusalem