©February 1, 2013 Revive Israel Ministries
Don't Make an Idol of Your Destiny
By Asher Intrater
A similar expression is found in both chapter 2 and 3 of Daniel: tselem di dahab, meaning, "image of gold." The word for "image" here is the same as found in Genesis 1:26 that we are made in God's "image."
In chapter 2 Nebuchadnezzar receives an amazing dream, which is interpreted supernaturally by the prophet Daniel, revealing the destiny of Nebuchadnezzar and the history of generations to come. In the dream there is a huge statue, of which the head is made of "pure gold" (Daniel 2:32). The prophet declares to King Nebuchadnezzar, "You are the head of gold" (Daniel 2:38).
Soon after (Daniel 3:1), Nebuchadnezzar builds a huge idol of gold and demands for everyone in the whole world to bow down to it. Anyone who refused would be killed brutally. He took the "image of gold," representing his own destiny, and made an idol out of it. He became infuriated if anyone wasn't impressed with his destiny unto the point of adoration.
What a stupid thing to do! – To make an idol out of one's destiny. Ah, well… many people today do the same thing. They take the glorious calling that God has given by His grace, and expect everyone to tell them how wonderfully "gifted" they are. If anyone doesn't recognize their destiny and praise them for it, they become offended. This is the modern spiritual version of Nebuchadnezzar's ancient idolatry.
Rumors of War…and Israeli Tourism
By Ariel Blumenthal and Yonatan Moore
When Yeshua taught his disciples about the End Times (Mt 24:6, Mk 13:7), He prophesied both of real wars, and “rumors of wars.” In our short history here in Israel, while we have had several genuine wars and military “operations,” the rumors of war are always with us. Lately, there are rumors concerning Iran, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt. This kind of speculation has an ill effect on an important part of the Israeli economy--tourism.
Already for 2013, many Christian tour groups have cancelled. There are many local believers involved in the tourism industry and tour companies, like Sar El. We want to encourage our readers: if you are planning to come, don’t cancel! And if you are not yet planning to come…come! The rumors of war are always there, and if you are thinking: “maybe we should go when things quiet down and there are no rumors of war,” then you may never come to Israel!
It is well documented that tourism is one of the best sources of revenue in Israel. Less known is the economic concept “velocity of money” - how many times money gets spent and re-spent. A tour may employ a guide, driver, bellboys, waiters, clerks, cleaners and managers. These people then spend their money on car mechanics, piano lessons, groceries, children’s supplies and so on.
Praise God for the ultimate win-win: a tourist to Israel gains great spiritual insight into their faith by walking where Jesus walked… and at the same time the visitor ministers greatly in material ways to the people of Israel.
Renate Comes Home
In a significant legal victory for the Jerusalem Institute of Justice, Renate Kaufman arrived this week in Israel where she was greeted by her attorney, Adv. Michael Decker. In July of 2012, after a lengthy battle with the Ministry of Interior for citizenship, Renate, a Messianic Jew, was granted permanent residency with citizenship to follow.
Civil war in Syria continues; Assad's regime is unstable. There are bio-chemical weapons and long-range missiles stockpiled in Syria. These weapons could be captured or transported into the hands of Hezbollah. This week Israeli jets bombed a transport of long-range missiles crossing the border between Syria and Lebanon. Israel faces a dilemma: An attack on bio-chemical weapons stockpile could have disastrous results. If on the other hand, the weapons fall into terrorist hands, the ultimate result could be much more disastrous. Pray for wisdom for Netanyahu and the Israeli military on how to respond.
The agreement for the members of the government coalition and its policy guidelines has not yet been finalized. The key issues are the cooperation between Netanyahu and Lapid, the equality of military service, and the influence of the ultra-orthodox religious parties in the government. Pray for righteous coalition and policy decisions.
Set your calendars for Thursday, February 21, for the traditional "Ta'anit Ester" (Esther fast). In Israel, several congregations and prayer houses will be joining together to fast and intercede for Israel, the Church and the Nations, according to the themes in the book of Esther. We invite you, in churches and synagogues wherever you live, to join us on that day for 12 continuous hours (6:00 AM to 6:00 PM Israeli time) of prayer, praise, and prophecy. Details of prayer topics will follow.
Don't miss this month's message, "Victory in Tribulation" recorded with Asher at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City! To watch, click here.