The Alarm is Sounding
The Feast of Trumpets foreshadows the heavenly trumpet heralding Messiah’s return (see 1 Cor. 15:51-52; 1 Thess. 4:16-17). It ushers in the Ten Days of Awe, a period of sober prayer and repentance, culminating on the Day of Atonement (September 14). It is a time of judgement but not without God’s mercy. The Feast of Trumpets also marks the civil new year (Rosh Hashana) according to the Jewish calendar.
This Rosh Hashana more than any other, I hear heaven’s trumpet sounding an alarm. On the natural level, war seems imminent. On one side, if the US strikes at Syria as is now being contemplated, there is a strong sense that Syria, Iran and its proxy terror groups will respond with an unprecedented retaliatory attack on Israel. Regional if not world war could result. On the other side, if the West does not respond with force to war crimes committed in Syria, Islamist enemies will be emboldened and the consequences could prove just as severe to the world.
How do believers who love Israel respond? Keeping with “Five Fast Facts,” I suggest five main points below. These are based on Matthew 24 and Luke 21, where Yeshua tells us how to respond to birth pains preceding His return.
1. First, Yeshua urged us to BE AT PEACE. He said, “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed” (Matt. 24:6). The alarm is sounding but we are not to be alarmed. Instead, we praise and worship Him because He is good and in control. God is not confounded by what is taking place in the world! He is sovereign over Israel and the nations.
2. From a posture of peace we PRAY. Friends, we are at war in the spirit realm. Our prayers—your prayers—will make a difference. Pray in the Spirit, pray specifically according to knowledge, and pray with praise for what He (not the devil) is doing. Pray fervently for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6).
3. I am petitioning God for a spirit of grace and supplication—not just for Jerusalem and Washington DC, but for myself. It’s time for us Israelis, Americans, and Western believers to wholeheartedly HUMBLE OURSELVES IN REPENTANCE before God. Let’s suspend our so-called profound insights about the new and exciting level He’s taking us to (or self-pity because we think He isn’t) and humble ourselves before Him in purity and simplicity.
Messiah tells us not to be deceived, but to be alert. It’s time for His people to reclaim a passion for truth! Many of us have embraced falsehoods or excused sin for too long in an attempted expression of human compassion. This leads to a type of unsanctified mercy and hypergrace which the Bible never condones. I’m personally praying for fresh passion for the truth and beauty of His Word. Even if some of my long-held doctrine gets upset along the way. To the extent we embrace truth (or don’t) we embrace righteousness (or don’t).
4. Yeshua tells us that in the last days, because of the increase of wickedness (sometimes translated lawlessness), the love of most will grow cold. I’m asking Him to REVIVE HIS LOVE in me daily. I want to learn to forgive those who offend me amid the anti-God intensity of this world. I believe love flowing from the Cross of Yeshua, in the power of Holy Spirit anointing, will be the vehicle of great global revival amid end times shakings.
5. “This Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world…and then the end will come” (Matt. 24:14). God will use ordinary believers like you and me to PREACH THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM to those in darkness around us. But the Gospel of the Kingdom is not limited to forgiveness of sins. It is about God’s Kingdom coming to earth. Not without signs and wonders, it is a message of the restoration of Israel and all nations, “first for the Jew, then for the Gentile” (Romans 1:!16).
We can step into 5774 with Kingdom focus. We hear the trumpet blast and the alarm sound, but respond in resolute peace. For God is releasing grace in this season of Ten Days of Awe to come humbly before Him. We can be revived in His love with fresh passion for His Word. Then, as we battle in the Spirit, we know the weapons of our warfare will make the difference!
A blessed Rosh Hashana to you,