August 10, 2015

Isaiah 49:22 This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“See, I will beckon to the Gentiles,
I will lift up my banner to the peoples;
they will bring your sons in their arms
and carry your daughters on their shoulders.”

This passage was beautifully, incredibly, fulfilled in 1948 with the restoration of the nation of Israel as a Jewish state. Today Israel is under grave threat again, with Iran about to go nuclear and with the Obama administration turning treacherous toward her. Such things are not to be taken lightly, but those who love her need to remember all that God has done for her in the past, and turn to Him to protect her now and in the future. At this point the majority of Jews still haven’t acknowledged Jesus as the Messiah, but that number is growing, and as an article I was reading just recently pointed out, Israel is the best place in the Middle East to be a Christian at this point. There is plenty of cause for alarm, but we’ve got to remember that God is greater than it all, and His plans will be fulfilled. There are those who dismiss Daniel, Ezekiel, and Revelation, but dismissing them doesn’t make them go away! We certainly live in interesting times, and that is all the more reason to keep our focus on God in obedient trust.

For most of my life, as long as I have been aware of it, I have been pleased and proud that I was born in the same year as the modern nation of Israel. For reasons known only to God, my wife and I were “adopted” into the Messianic group in seminary, where as poor graduate students we pooled our resources for a “pot luck” dinner and fellowship at the end of each month. It floored them that I knew “Hava Nagila” better than some of them did! Here in Japan, it has been my great privilege to interpret for Benjamin Berger repeatedly on his visits here. His testimony of meeting the Messiah is awesome, and his ministry as a Messianic pastor in the Old City of Jerusalem has been notable. He had been raised in New York City with the understanding that it was Christians who had killed all four of his grandparents in the Holocaust, but after a personal visitation he knew unshakably that Yeshua ha Messiach was his Lord. The devil hates all the spiritual descendants of Abraham, but he keeps a special animus toward the physical descendants of Isaac. That is all the more reason for me to support them, while praying, along with Paul (Romans 9) that those physical descendants would repent and believe so that they would be included in the spiritual descendants as well. Living in Japan I have very little interaction with Jews on a day-to-day basis, but there are some amazing connections between Japan and the Jews down through history. I can’t begin to figure it all out, but I am to trust God and keep myself available for however He wants to use me.

Father, the timing of my birth is just one reason why I feel I will see my Lord’s return with my physical eyes, but that’s Your business and not mine. I can’t keep it all straight in my own mind, much less straighten out the world myself. Help me walk in obedient faith all the time, step by step, so that I may fulfill every purpose You have for me, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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