“Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good so shalt thou dwell in the land and verify thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD, and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” Psalm 37:1-4
Dear Intercessors for Israel:
Greetings from Engeltal. Marylois and I are down to our last few weeks here in the States before we make our return trip to the House of Peace. Although the month of August is traditionally in Israel a time of vacation and religious preparation for the fall feasts, a “peace” agreement between Israel and its enemy Hamas seems to be in the making.
Just last week Hamas, the Iranian supported terrorists who hold power in the Gaza Strip, pummeled Israel with over 200 rockets. Israel in return responded with over 140 airstrikes. Yet this two-day war quickly subsided as Hamas’ leaders appealed to Egyptian powers to save them from a full-blown war with Israel. Israel’s leaders are also reluctant to send the IDF into Gaza as well. However, it appears that Hamas again has won a “victory” over Israel, by “cutting” a peace deal and getting more benefits. David reminds us in the 37th Psalm to “Fret not because of evildoers…. They shall be cut off, but those who wait upon the LORD shall inherit the earth” (v. 1, v. 9). Pray Psalm 37 against the “evildoers” of Hamas.
Hamas’ Proposed Peace Agreement
Reports coming from those involved in arranging a “ceasefire” or “hudna” (temporary Islamic truce), say that a one-year agreement has been reached between Israel and Hamas rulers in Gaza. The agreement would see Qatar pay for Gaza Strip’s power supply and the salaries of Hamas workers (the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah refuses to pay for electricity that is generated by Israel and transmitted to the Gaza Strip). This “hudna” plan calls for construction of a seaport located on the coast of Egypt’s Northern Sinai and an airport. If the cease-fire holds it may be extended to five years.
Please pray for these ongoing “negotiations.” Pray that the LORD ‘s perfect will, be manifested. After years of vowing not to negotiate with terrorists, PM Netanyahu’s government is reaching out to Hamas’ leaders through Egypt and hoping a ceasefire will take hold. Whether Hamas can control its terrorists who launch incendiary balloons and rockets into Israel also remains to be seen. Whether Hamas can achieve all of its goals of a seaport and an airport as well as rebuilding projects also is debatable. Scripture says that “the plans of the wicked shall come to nothing” (Job 5:12, Ps. 21:11, Ps. 112;10, Is. 8:10).
The proposed agreement includes establishing a shipping corridor between Cyprus and Gaza by which cargo can be transported into the Gaza Strip. The London based Arabic newspaper Al Hayat reported that the next 48 hours would be crucial to achieve a cease fire. The newspaper also stated that the issue of a potential prisoner exchange would be discussed only after a viable truce was in place, but without giving a time frame.
Hamas is holding the remains of IDF Staff Sgt Oron Shaul and Lt. Hadar Goldin killed in Israel’s Gaza’s Strip battle in 2014. Currently two Israeli citizens, Ethiopian Avera Mengistu and Bedouin Hisham Al-Sayed, are also being held in captivity by Hamas. Both men illegally crossed over the Israeli-Gaza border in 2014 and 2015 and were captured. These two individuals were reported to have mental health issues.
A senior Israeli official denied that an agreement with Hamas would exclude the freeing of these Israeli captives. “There can be no true agreement with Hamas without the return of our citizens and soldiers and a guarantee of a long-term calm on the border.” The spokesman said that “the current calm is the result of determined IDF operations that will continue as needed in accordance with the understandings reached by the Egyptians and the United Nations. It is in light of these understandings that the Kedem Shalom crossing was opened and the Palestinian fishing zone was expanded. As long as this quiet is maintained, it will be possible to deal with humanitarian issues including the return of our Israeli captives.”
Residents of the Israeli communities near the Gaza border harshly criticized the ongoing negotiations with Hamas. These residents have already experienced five broken cease-fires in recent months. They said that they believe a large military operation in the Gaza Strip is unavoidable. (www.israelhayom.com 8/16/18)
The Sixth Month, THE MONTH OF ELUL.
This following report on ELUL comes from Martin in Jerusalem
Sunday August 12th began the 6th month in the Hebrew religious calendar, the month of Elul, and the 12th of the civil year. This is traditionally a month of self-examination and repentance before the Lord in preparation for the High Holy Days of Yom T’ruah (The Day of Trumpets/Rosh Hashanah) and Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement). As a call to this, it is customary in some Jewish circles to blow a blast on the shofar each morning (except the Sabbath) throughout the month.
“The LORD is my light and Salvation whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid…” Psalm 27.
A further ancient practice is to recite Psalm 27 each day from the First of Elul through the “Last Great Day” of the Feast of Tabernacles (Hoshana Raba, 30 September this year). This wonderful psalm reaffirms our trust in the Light and Salvation of our LORD (vs 1), the importance of seeking His face, dwelling in His presence and gazing on His beauty (vs 4,8), our place of safety in His sukkah (shelter) and tent (vs 5), and our utter dependence on Him to deliver us from our adversaries (vs 12).
It was during this month of Elul that Nehemiah finished rebuilding the Wall around Jerusalem (Neh. 6:15). We see this as a time for inspecting our “walls,” securing all breaches, asking God to expose to us all places of vulnerability along our “borders”…and to show us how they may be repaired and made strong.
Finally, Hebrew commentators long ago pointed out that the letters in Elul happen to form an acronym for the first Hebrew letters of Ani l’Dodi v’Dodi Li: “I am my Beloved’s and My Beloved is Mine.” (Song of Songs 6:3). A month of penitential prayers and mercy, observant Jews feel a certain closeness to God, who loves His people Israel “with an everlasting love, and has drawn her with lovingkindness.”(Jer. 31:3)
- That during this month, many Jewish people will sense the Holy Spirit drawing them and will respond. Pray for revelation that it is the Lord’s loving kindness that leads us to repentance (Rom. 2:4b)
- For an awareness amongst believers of the importance of examining and securing our spiritual borders.
- That as with the returned remnant from Babylon (Ezra and Nehemiah), the LORD release spiritual guidance and leadership upon His returned people in our day.
- That He define Israel’s physical borders and the lines of Jerusalem according to His desire (Ps. 147:14), in such a way as even Israel’s enemies will “perceive was done by God” (Neh. 6:16).
- That the LORD Himself become a “wall of fire” around Jerusalem, and her Glory “within” (Zec. 2:5)
Gene and Marylois / House of Peace