Times of transition present us with the potential fulfillment of promised blessing, as well as danger. When we go through such a period, God intends to keep His promise of further blessing and unfolding of the plan of God. But such a time can also be dangerous, full of uncertainty, as well as an opportunity for the ambitions of the not-so-pure of heart, who would use such a time of vulnerability to further their own agendas.
Faithful men and women are needed who are willing to selflessly and courageously face the dangers of such a time, in order to see to it that God has His way.
Last Shabbat’s weekly Torah and Haftorah portions, read and studied by many in Israel during the week, deal with this subject.
In Genesis 24, we find Abraham, old and full of days. The time had come for a transition to the next generation that would bear the covenant and the promise in faith for God’s Word to be fulfilled. Abraham was no longer able to carry out this transition alone; for it included, in God’s providence, the finding of a suitable wife for Isaac. At this delicate time, faithful Eliezer becomes a key person in the chain of events as they unfold.
The outstanding thing about Eliezer is that he is faithful to serve his master Abraham with all of his heart. There is no indication in scripture that Eliezer of Damascus, who would have been Abraham’s heir had he remained childless (see Genesis 15:2), ever harbored any resentment at the turn of events. Rather, through obedience and intense prayer, compelled by a vow to Abraham, he carried out his task most wonderfully. Thus he became the all-important link in that time of transition.
Similarly, in 1st Kings 1, we find David an old man full of days. He is feeble and weak, and the time had come for the transition to his successor. Adonijah, brother to the infamous Absalom, moved to take advantage of the vulnerable situation in hopes of seizing the crown. The crisis deepens when several of David’s key people side with Adonijah. Joab, commander of the army, and Abithar the priest conspired with Adonijah, and God’s will was at risk.
Adonijah appeared to be no better than his brother Absalom. What would he have done with the vast riches: untold billions of dollars worth of gold, silver and fine things, which his father David had set aside for the building of the temple? What kind of a king would he have been after seizing power, against his father’s wishes and against God’s will? At this time of transition, Israel was in great danger and the future of God’s plan was in peril.
However, God had His people! In a courageous move, Bathsheba and Nathan the prophet, along with Zadok the priest and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, that faithful priest, rush into the breach to intercede before David. At the last moment, Solomon is anointed king and the kingdom is secured as God planned. (1Chronicles 22:7-10)
How important it is for God to have faithful men and woman in times of transition!
We are in the time of a Great Transition: One of the greatest transitions that ever transpired in the world was at the time in which salvation spread beyond the Jewish people. It was a shock to the apostles when the Holy Spirit fell on Cornelius and his household of uncircumcised gentiles. (Acts 11:1-18) They had not yet fully realized that “the times of the Gentiles” had begun, and just what this would mean. But they were faithful to God during this change, and recognized Saul of Tarsus as an apostle sent to the nations.
For the last two thousand years it has been thus, but we have now entered the time prophesied about by Paul in Romans 11:25, “For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.”
The JFB commentary phrases the verse in this way, “Until the Gentiles have had their full time of the visible Church all to themselves while the Jews are out, which the Jews had till the Gentiles were brought in.”
Yeshua also spoke about the times of the Gentiles coming to a close. Luke 21:24 reads, “And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”
JFB comments on this verse, “Implying (1) that one day Jerusalem shall cease to be “trodden down by the Gentiles” (Revelation 11:2), as then by pagan so now by Mohammedan unbelievers; (2) that this shall be at the “completion” of “the times of the Gentiles,” which from Romans 11:25 we conclude to mean till the Gentiles have had their full time of that place in the Church which the Jews in their time had before them — after which, the Jews being again “grafted into their own olive tree,” one Church of Jew and Gentile together shall fill the earth (emphasis mine) (Romans 11:1-36). What a vista!
Notice the two aspects of this time of transition. The spiritual aspect, as it is described in Romans 11, indicates that once again the Lord will shift the center of His work to the nation of Israel. The political aspect, in Luke, indicates a shift in the dealings of God with the nations at the time He restores Jerusalem to the Jewish people.
This is borne out by the prophets who spoke numerous times of these two aspects. They prophesied of both Israel’s political restoration and Israel’s spiritual restoration.
And now we, who live in the great transition of the ages, are called upon to faithfully serve God in prayer, in intercession, and in doing everything we can to see that His interests are served, and His will accomplished. One of the most important things we can do is to hold His Word before Him in faith until He fulfills it.
In order to pray in faith and in depth, we must ourselves be deeply rooted in the Word of God; we must know it, we must live it, and we must understand it as it was given.
I will list here some key passages (key, because God is fulfilling them now) for you to read, to meditate on, and to pray - giving God no rest until He fulfills His every word to the letter!
Key Passages for study and prayer
Isaiah 2 - (especially the first 4 verses) The political resurrection of Israel, the judgment of nations from Jerusalem, and the humbling of all things before God.
Ezekiel 36 - The political restoration of the nation and the return of the Jews to the land of Israel: the spiritual restoration of Israel under the New Covenant.
Ezekiel 37 - The political restoration of Israel and the spiritual restoration of Israel. God unites Israel as a nation under His Son as their king, and establishes His presence in their midst.
Zechariah 12 - The political resistance, and war against Israel and Jerusalem in the time of restoration. God Himself goes to battle against the nations. The second half (from verse 10) refers to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Israel, the revelation of Yeshua as the crucified Messiah, and the great repentance that seizes the nation.
Joel 2:28-32 - The spiritual restoration of Israel by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all flesh. (The context shows that this takes place especially in Israel, but not excluding all flesh.) The delivering power of God is present in Jerusalem, implying the political restoration as well.
Joel 3 - The return of the Jews to the Land of Israel, and the judgment of the nations who come against Israel. Take special note of the last two verses in the chapter, verses 20-21.
Luke 1:30-33 - The Archangel Gabriel’s word to Mary, showing clearly the political restoration of Israel under Yeshua who will rule over Jacob as King.
Luke 1:46-56 - Mary’s magnificat, a clear prophecy of the political restoration of Israel in the last days as the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham.
Luke 1:68-75 - Zechariah’s prophecy. Clear prophecy regarding Israel’s political restoration, the rule of Yeshua, and the spiritual restoration in the last days.
Romans 11 - The restoration of Israel as a people, implying a political restoration as well as a spiritual restoration. (The political restoration includes the land. Israel, as a people, has been tied to the land from their very beginning. Look at the covenants God made with the forefathers in Genesis.) Israel’s spiritual restoration and its restoration to its proper place as the Olive Tree, and the blessing its restoration will be to the Body of Christ.
Will you join us in standing before the Lord at this great hour of transition? Will you embrace the Word of God and the Will of God? And will you give yourself to stand before Him and give Him no rest, until He makes Jerusalem a praise in the Earth? This is the world’s only hope!
Blessings from Jerusalem,
Israel Prayer Center