Shalom… to you this Passover – Easter Season from the Rawlings in Israel!
You see to the above, an ancient menorah carved out of rock found by a friend during our recent tour of Yodfat, a village destroyed by Roman legions in 60 CE/AD.
David alone in the wilderness of Judah wrote: “When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches. Because You have been my strength.“ Ps 63:6a. When David asked questions he expected answers. The on going war against Messiah and His Kingdom is found in Psalm 102. David carried the title, Messiah, as did all of Israel’s kings because they were dedicated to the service of the Almighty and anointed with holy oil in the Name of the LORD GOD of Israel.
“Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together. Against the LORD and against His anointed? He who sits in the heavens shall laugh. The LORD has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations (heathen) for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession.” Ps 2:1,2,4a,7, 8.
Today is not dissimilar. Tell me, “WHO” is asking for the heathen? People are caring less the more self-absorbed and discouraged they grow. I feel that time has speeded up? The nations careen at break neck speed toward the brink of ruin. Man determinedly continues to pour his life into systems that are corrupt and defunct. Can you sense the panic, pandemonium and stifling darkness, motivated by raw fear? The constant ‘buzz’, financial lack, restless activity, endless terrible news, war and carnage leaves us running on empty. In Israel, can you believe that Passover is the target holiday for terrorists. What better time to murder Jews! The Israel Defence Force patrols 24/7. Be it a campground, park, beach, or cinema, vigilance is needed.
Sadly, exactly on this date, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas in Gaza have called for a Day of Rage, against Israel.
“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: may they prosper who love you.” Ps 122:6 WHY the command? David gives us the answer. “For thrones are set there for judgment, the thrones of the House of David.” Psalm 122:5 “…And the government shall be upon His shoulder. Of the increase of His government and Peace there shall be no end.” Is 9:6c, 7a.
Recently I awoke with this old chorus singing its way through my mind. ’I came to Jesus and I was weary and worn and sad, I found in Him a resting place and He has made me glad!“ It was obviously for me. Yes, change is here. John preached “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matt 3:2. He endured the the end of his age, and the message has not changed. A new rulership is coming: the rule of the Kingdom of Heaven upon earth. “For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, and all the proud…will be stubble. But to you who fear My Name, the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings.” Malachi 4:1,2. “And all the multitudes were amazed and said, ‘Could this be the Son of David?’” Matt 12:23
When our youngest balked at having to sit through a formal Passover dinner, I made a fundamental decision. “He has to get this!” So Jay and I prepared the seder meal as a picnic. We loaded the car with food and teenagers and headed to the wilderness near the Dead Sea. Upon arrival, we cleaned the site up and then set our seder table with paper and plastic utensils. The boys? They were gone; sketch pads and swim suits in hand. In the gentle stillness we relaxed, removing many layers of clothing needed in Jerusalem. Jay barbecued the meat before sunset. When we gathered at the table, the boys were calm, interested, even, willing to participate. Silently, up over the rugged rock mountains of Jordan rose the full moon transforming the sea to silver. The question was asked: “Why is this night different from all others…?” Some responses were not traditional but heartfelt. Lingering at the memorable table, we communed.“And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to their fathers lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.” Malachi 4:6 This year, due to the security warnings we will celebrate at home. Friday evening, Nisan 14, 5778 or March 30th 2018, world Jewry celebrates their physical deliverance and redemption as a People. The Christian world observes the saddest day in their calendar year, the crucifixion of Jesus. He hung upon a tree, making the two peoples one. Jews cannot say to Christians “I have no need of you.” 1 Cor. 12:21 and visa versa.
Recently, Jay and I enjoyed an action packed weekend with our Synagogue Bible Group. We toured in NW Galilee. My favourite site was ancient Yodfat. In 60 CE/AD 60,000 Roman soldiers led by General Vespasian obliterated the Jewish town of Yodfat. We sat among the untouched ruins and pondered the awful price paid in human terms. Magdala, and Gamla also in the north suffered the same fate; followed by Jerusalem as prophesied by Jesus, and Masada. Photos above the Roman army camp, below a battering ram.
The commander of Jewish Resistance in the Galilee was Yosef Bar Mattityahu. He escaped the slaughter in Yodfat. He was to become the historian Flavius Josephus. He wrote 4 books which help to fill in historical gaps from 0-100 CE/AD as does the New Testament. The standard text of His Antiquities XV111, 63 contains the following most famous and controversial passage: “About this time lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was the achiever of extraordinary deeds and was a teacher of those who accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Messiah. When he was indicted by the principal men among us and Pilate condemned him to be crucified, those who had come to love him originally did not cease to do so; for he appeared to them on the third day restored to life, as the prophets of the Deity had foretold these and countless other marvellous things about him. And the tribe of Christians, so named after him has not disappeared to this day. “
At Passover we rehearse Exodus 12. “And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it. I will pass through the land of Egypt that night and will strike all the first born in the land…Now the blood shall be for you a sign…when I see the blood, I will pass over you…Keep it as a feast to the LORD throughout your generations.” Exodus 12:7,12,13
Those Jews who chose to believe the instructions of Moses obeyed and took action by putting the blood of a lamb on the door posts and lentils of their humble homes, but not all did. Because of their obedience throughout the long journey, eventually the nation of Israel was born and given her Charter of Rights; The Ten Commandments. Let all Christians who say they worship Jesus, LISTEN and OBEY his warnings and admonitions. Remember when you are blessed, you are blessed through Israel, who was chosen and called to walk before you. Please never forget, pride is a disease. Christians are grafted into this tree.
My prayer: Oh, that Israelis will now inquire and separate fact from fiction concerning Jesus. Let truth be revealed, let Jesus return to become their first born son and Messiah. “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication: then shall they look upon Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one grieves for a firstborn..” Zechariah 12:10:
For Christians: I pray for a willingness to cease manipulating scripture, which separates Jesus from His Jewish people and His home-Land, Israel. “…Do not be high minded but fear.” Romans 11;19 Oh, that both Jews and Christians would pray for each other. We are personally so very grateful for the dear believing Jews and Christians. May both peoples grow in wisdom and understanding and favour with God and man.
Hag Samach Pesach, Shabbat Shalom and a Blessed Easter!!!
Jay and Meridel, David, Chris, Josh and Daniel Rawlings
Meridel Rawlings, Box 84156, Mevasseret Zion, 9079097 Israel www.stillsmallvoice.tv firstname.lastname@example.org