We watched the blood moon on September 28, the final one in a series of four that occurred on Feast Days. Called a tetrad, this rare celestial event has had the world watching. On September 14 the shmitah year (sabbatical rest year for the land) was completed. Jewish tradition says that the Messiah will come in the year following a shmitah year. That would definitely be a blessing! Many are closely observing these events. Is God speaking? What is He saying? Does it mean blessing for Israel? Is it a signal of judgment on the nations? Is Messiah coming soon?
The Bible says God is going to judge the nations. In Matthew 25 Yeshua talks about the judgment of the nations and says they will be judged by how they treated His brethren, for example feeding, clothing, visiting prisoners. He taught this in the first century to His Jewish disciples, and there is no doubt in my mind that they assumed He was talking about the Jewish people. I think that is still true—God is going to judge the nations concerning how they treat the Jewish people.
Joel 3:2 also talks about the judgment of the nations. In this case the nations are judged because they scattered the Jewish people and divided the Land. Today the nations are again pressuring Israel to divide the Land.
In Ezekiel 38–39, a future battle is described when a confederation of nations will come with great force against Israel. Zechariah also talks about a day when the nations will come against Jerusalem. In both instances the God of Israel fights on behalf of His people.
God told Abraham “I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you…” (Gen. 12:3).
Right now the nations are choosing and it seems that those that curse outnumber those who bless. The P5+1 (US, Russia, China, UK, France plus Germany) have made an unholy agreement with Iran, a state sponsor of worldwide terrorism. Iran wants to destroy Israel and Western civilization. We watched in horror as the United Nations confirmed the agreement. I believe that God is angry with the nations that have abandoned the security of Israel.
Today we think of a nation as a political entity with specified borders—a country; but in biblical times nations were also people groups. Certainly both will be judged for their actions toward Israel. But, I would like to suggest to you that there is another biblical idea of nationhood.
1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a HOLY NATION, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (emphasis added).
“‘And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel” (Exod. 19:6).
We are a HOLY NATION! Regardless of how our country acts, we can act righteously; we can stand with God and His ways in the midst of evil. We can choose to be holy. We can choose to stand with the God of Israel and the Israel of God.
Certainly these events need to be carefully observed. I don’t know when we will see the judgment of God poured out. I don’t know when the Messiah is going to appear. But I do know that we need to prepare ourselves for both.
In the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24–25) Yeshua describes the events that will happen in the end times. Many Christians are reading and re-reading the list and comparing it to our times. But, there is more. He tells us how to live in these times! We need to be alert, ready (prepared), and faithful!
Matthew 24:45–47 talks about the faithful and wise servant who provides food during his master’s absence. That servant is called blessed because when the master returns he finds him so doing! Bridges for Peace is doing just this! We feed the needy in Israel. 26,000 people in 53 communities receive food each month because righteous servants of the Lord provide for their needs. We are also preparing for difficult times by storing food.
Matthew 24:42, 44 tells us to be watchful and ready. “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming…Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
We need to be ready for the Lord to come today, and prepared for the future in case He delays His return. The parable of the virgins in Matthew 25 shows the importance of staying prepared. I believe this is a spiritual preparation, but have no problem if the Lord leads you to prepare in the natural as well.
The parable of the talents in Matthew 25 is all about being faithful with the resources the Lord has given us. What is a talent? It is money! God blesses us with finances so we can care for our families and for others. Remember the parable of the rich man who wanted to build new barns? He was abundantly blessed. His barns were already full; he had no room to store all his grain, so he decided to build bigger barns. God was displeased—why? Because, instead of using his excess to bless others and God’s kingdom, he was selfishly hoarding his wealth (Luke 12:13–21).
The third theme in Matthew 25 is caring for the unfortunate. During these perilous times, as we seek God, we need to open our hearts to those around us. Let’s bless the natural family of Yeshua, the Jewish people, as God brings them back to Israel in accordance with the promises written in the Bible.
Let’s be a Holy Nation. When our country curses Israel—we will bless Israel. When our country tries to force Israel to divide its Land—we will stand with Israel. We will pray for Israel. We will feed the hungry in Israel. We will help the Jewish people come home. We will be a Holy Nation! I believe that God will see your donation for Israel as a holy action showing that you are standing with the God of Israel and the people of Israel.
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