Living Waters

“But the land, whither you go in to possess it, is a land of hills and valleys, and drinketh water of the rain of heaven. A land which the LORD thy God careth for: the eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year.” Deuteronomy 11:11-12

“For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” Jeremiah 2:13

 “For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe always all tears from their eyes.” Revelation 7:17

Dear Intercessors for Israel:

Greetings from the believers in Jerusalem!  Marylois and I are back in Engeltal after a brief visit with family in North Carolina.  We are busily preparing for the ETH&S 40th World Convention.  It is our hope that we can see you there and enjoy some sweet fellowship with you. This week, I want to focus on Israel’s need for living waters, both natural and spiritual.

Living Waters
Israel is in the fifth year of a drought, and the land is dry and thirsty, despite the winter’s rains.  The Lake of Galilee has hit record lows as well as its streams and rivers. This past week, Israeli Cabinet ministers approved a NIS 105 million ($30 million) emergency drought recovery program in an effort to rehabilitate seven streams in northern Israel, taking the unprecedented step of bringing desalinated water directly to the Sea of Galilee, which is dangerously low.  Benjamin Netanyahu said it was “an urgent plan to deal with the drought problem, stemming from climate change.”

According to the Israel Water Authority, a five-year-long drought has plunged water tables to the lowest level in at least 98 years since scientists first began taking measurements in 1920. The Water Authority has estimated that the country’s water tables are now currently in a deficit of some 2.5 billion cubic liters of water, compared to non-drought years. The new plan will bring desalinated water directly to the Sea of Galilee to deal with the lake’s plunging level. “We are turning the Sea of Galilee into a reservoir for desalinated water,” Netanyahu said last Sunday.

The Sea of Galilee is currently at 213.46 meters (689 feet) below sea level, half a meter below the danger zone of the lower red line. In 2001, the Sea of Galilee was at an even lower level, 214.87 meters (705 feet) below sea level, which was christened as the lake’s “black line.” The black line is a dangerously low level that can create irreversible ecological problems, including an increase in the water’s salinity and algae blooms that can do permanent damage to the water quality, and flora and fauna. Last year, the Water Authority had to pump  17,000 tons of salt out of the Sea of Galilee to ensure that the lower water levels did not cause the water to get too salty.  Up to 100 million cubic meters of desalinated water could be pumped directly into the Sea of Galilee (www.timesofisrael.com).

Israel is still bound by water treaties with Jordan and must transfer large amounts of water to feed the Jordan’s needs from the Jordan River.  Desalination also is not a perfect answer to all of Israel’s problems.  It leaves the water nutrient poor. Public health announcements have warned Israelis of magnesium shortages from drinking desalinated water only.  A shortage of magnesium in your body adversely affects the heart rate among other areas.

Pray that this drought affecting Israel, and its Northern regions, will end.  Pray that the Lake of Galilee will once more be filled to overflowing.

Declare the LORD’s promise to Israel, over this land.  “But the land, whither you go in to possess it, is a land of hills and valleys, and drinketh water of the rain of heaven. A land which the LORD thy God careth for: the eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year” (Deut 11:11-12).

Unusual Rain
Israel was hit with heavy torrential rains this week, causing power outages and severe flooding throughout its Southern regions.  This rainfall ranging from one to three inches was highly unusual, as it was out of season.  Much of this rain fell in areas where crops and nature reserves have been damaged by so called Hamas “fire kites” and propane gas balloons. These primitive weapons have already consumed some 4500 acres of fields and parks near the border with Gaza. This rainfall will help renew the nature reserves and the fields.  Hamas is again threatening Israel with the launching of 5000 incendiary devices, to celebrate the end of Ramadan. Israel has mounted counterattacks by using IDF drones but the fires continue to rage.

Pray against these arson attacks by Hamas, and that Israel will find successful ways to counter them. Pray for a ruakh (Hebrew for “wind” and “spirit”) of God to blow over the Gaza Border—driving back the fires sent for destruction. Pray that “GOD, the God of the Spirits of all Flesh” (Hebrew: El Elohei-haRukhot l’Chol-Basar ; Numbers 16:22) would silence the spirits of hate, murder, and violence which bind and rule over the Arab people in the Gaza Strip.

A Broken Cistern
Last week, the Israeli City of Tel Aviv held its 20th annual LGBTQ pride parade.  Here an estimated 250,000 people joined in to support this lifestyle. The parade marked the end of two weeks of revelry—film festivals, concerts, exhibitions.  The parade is the largest of its kind in the Middle East.  The city has for a number of years been listed among the prime “gay destinations” in the world; and each year tens of thousands visit from abroad. Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai was on hand to launch the event, declaring, “I am proud to stand here before you. I remember how it was 20 years ago when we started this parade, and I am thrilled to see the wide audience here in the street…we will walk together and we will break down the barriers of hate, of separation… and we will reach a situation where—in the free and sovereign State of Israel—every human being will be equal.”  The Chairman of Israel’s LGBT Task Force, in inviting all to the parade, released the call, “Come and be proud, as men and women, come and be more political.  Come to the rally because together we will prevail over darkness.”

The LORD word to Jeremiah regarding His people Israel still applies, especially to those who live in Tel-Aviv and support the “Gay Lifestyle.”  They are like broken cisterns, holding no water.  They have in their pride forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters.

The LORD told Ezekiel regarding Sodom that pride was their first sin.  He sent his judgment, declaring that “This was the iniquity of your sister Sodom:  She and her daughter had pride…they were haughty and committed abomination before Me; therefore, I took them away as I saw fit” (Ezek. 16:48-50).

The LORD God is still calling Israel, the Jewish people, and us to live holy lives.  Israel was to be a light to the gentiles, but even today, they as a people are pursuing darkness.

Pray for citizens of Tel-Aviv and for all those who have chosen to hewn out broken cisterns. Pray and declare God’s word to Ezekiel over Tel-Aviv and the nation and leaders of Israel: “For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.  I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God. I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses…” (Ezekiel 36:24-29 NKJV).

Pray God’s Word in Revelation for Tel Aviv:  “For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe always all tears from their eyes” (Rev. 7:17). Pray that all of Israel would soon recognize and follow Jesus their Messiah, who declared: “He that believeth on me, as the Scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” (Jn. 7:38).

Shabbat Shalom,

Gene and Marylois/House of Peace