Gene and Marylois/House of Peace
“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most high, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him will I trust. Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence” (Ps. 91:1-3)
“See that you are not troubled, for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in varous places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” (Mt. 24:6b-8)
Dear Intercessors for Israel:
Israel and the world is in the midst of mega-crisis, the likes of which few have seen in their lifetime. The rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus (Corona virus) has caught many nations and their leaders unprepared. Israel, in an effort to isolate this virus and protect its citizens has imposed a series of severe measures. Air travel to this nation has been suspended for the next 14 days, leaving Ben Gurion Airport, a virtual ghost town. Tourists and tour groups have been turned away and sent home. The government has also advised its citizens to avoid making any non-essential overseas travel trips. Over 200 hotels, have been closed, schools and universities shut, as well as theaters. Thousands of people have ordered into “self-quarantine.” Gatherings of over 100 people also have been forbidden. This ban, also includes synagogue services, and weddings. The chief Sephardic rabbi has urged Israelis to avoid mass prayers at the Western Wall. Authorities have also ordered municipalities to cancel all future events such as Independence Day, Memorial Day and Holocaust Day where gatherings greater than 100 people are expected.
The border with Egypt is now closed as well as Jordan’s Allenby border crossing. Cities in the Palestinian Authority are closed. Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity is shut. Israel has in many ways self-quarantined itself, and become an island. And yet in a nation of some 8 million people, only 109 cases of this virus have been identified.
Marylois and I are in a “holding pattern”, waiting as if it were for a great and effectual door to be opened to us, to return to Israel. We were supposed to leave next week, but instead find ourselves like so many others placing our future plans on hold. “But God!” It is He who is “the way-maker,” and whose ways are higher than ours. In these times of trouble we have placed our trust in him. He will deliver us and you also, “from the perilous pestilence.” We were listening to Sid Roth’s program, the other day, and were greatly encouraged by his words. He counseled everyone to pray and declare Psalms 91 in faith, over you and your household every morning and evening. We have been entering into communion daily as well, for this is ours and your covenant meal with healing. And yet, let us rejoice, for in these great times of crisis, men and women’s hearts are open to the gospel. Be lead of the Spirit, and speak the words of encouragement to those who heart’s faint.
Activities at the House of Peace in Jerusalem, are continuing. We have had some tour groups cancel staying with us, but we are still holding weekly prayer. Peter and Margaret Jones are watching over the House and being an encouragement to many. We pray this world wide pestilence will soon run its course. We would love to return to the House by Passover and Resurrection Sunday. Pray with us that God would open a great and effectual door for our return, that no man could close.
Israel held its 3rd election within a year, March 2nd. The results were about the same as the first two. Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Likud party won 36 seats this time, and its chief challenger Benny Gantz’s Blue and White party took 33 seats in the Knesset. Again, a majority of 61 seats are needed to form a government. Neither leading party can assemble enough seats to form a majority. The main “sticking point” in Avigdor Lieberman, reluctance to join either side. Lieberman, Russian born, is leader of the Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel our Home) Party. His electoral base consists of overwhelmingly Russian speaking immigrants. Lieberman’s who has played “king-maker” in forming Israeli governmental coalitions in the past, has hold currently seven seats in the 23rd Knesset. He refuses to join Netanyahu’s Coalition because of the support by the religious Jewish Orthodox parties who seek to avoid the draft. Lieberman also has difficulty aligning his party with the left-center Blue and White party. Gantz is trying to form a minority coalition government with the support of the Joint list Arab parties. Gantz’s hopes for minority party were somewhat dashed when Gesher (Bridge) party head Orly Levy-Abekasis announced that she would not support a minority government led by the Blue and White party that was backed by the Arab majority Joint List. One of the Arab alliances demands of their loyality has been the rejection of President Trump’s peace plan. Gantz has endorsed this plan. And so, a fourth election may be in the future. Until then Prime Minister Netanyahu remains in power.
However, PM Netanyahu’s corruption trial is due to begin March 17th. The court has rejected his bid to delay this trial. President Rivlin has until March 17th to delegate which leading party can go forward to lead the country and form a government. And so the nation waits, and contends with this corona virus as well.
Forming A Unity Government
Defense Minister Neftali Bennet, as well as Avigdor Lieberman, and Aryeh Deri of the religious Shas party issued a joint call for Israel’s leaders to come together to form “a national emergency government led by Prime Minister Netanyahu, in response to the corna virus outbreak” (www.israelnationalnews.com ) Bennett said that what is needed is “Unity now and arguments later.” Bennett proposed passing a law that would “freeze the entire political process for six months, and after that, we can all go back to exactly where we were and continue to argue. No party will lose its power or ability to negotiate”
Bennett re-emphasized that “this virus does not detect political opinions and this requires us to have broad national unity.” He urged all his friends in both Zionist parties, right and left to “join a national unity party now.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu also called for the “creation of a national unity government, to deal with the Corona crisis” (www.jpost.com) At a press conference, Netanyahu spoke of a hour when one must “put politics aside and focus only on the health and lives of the citizens of Israel.”
Late Night Thursday, March 12th
Blue and White Leader Benny Gantz met with PM Netanyahu, late Thursday night to discuss the possibility of forming a Unity Government. Gantz though voiced that he would enter such a coalition if, and only all eight political parties were a part of it, including the Arab Joint List. The Arab factions then declared they would not participate in a government where their conditions were not met. PM Netanyahu then announced that he would not form a government with “supporters of terrorism.” (i.e.: Arab Joint List) (www.jpost.com )
Please pray that Israel can find unity in the midst of its political divisions.
A Shabbat Blessing
Marylois and I would like to bless you with the priestly blessing given by the LORD to bless the children of Israel:
“The LORD bless you and keep you (from the Corona virus) The LORD make His face to shine upon you, And be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace”
We also close with a beautiful hymn of blessing. Just open this link: