Thursday, August 7, 2014

One's Faith ought not be in Miracles but God is performing them anyway in Israel

I'm not one that hangs my hat on miracles.  Even Satan produces miracles.  Often Christians look to miracles for evidence that what they believe is valid.  They pray for a miracle but if the miracle for which they yearn is never answered, their faith goes bankrupt.  They lose faith or "backslide".

Faith in miracles can lead to excessive emotionalism.  It adds validity to the notion that one can "be so heavenly minded that he is of no earthly good".  It seems hard to believe, however In HaTorah we recall that the Children of Israel at the time of the Exodus saw one incredible miracle after another and yet they didn't have the faith to take on the "Anakim" after the spies had entered the land.  They'd witnessed 10 incredible miracles in Egypt (as well as hearing about the turning of Moses' staff into a snake), as well as the parting of the Red Sea and drowning of the Egyptian army (As my friend Avner Boskey used to put it, while growing up, his Rabbi used to say that Moses knew where the sand bars were).  The children of Israel saw water coming from a rock, being led by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.  They'd seen thunder and lightning and heard sustained trumpet blasts as Moses went up to the top of the mountain to talk with God.  They were fed with manna in the wilderness and as they wandered in the wilderness for forty years, their clothes and sandals never wore out.  And yet, they had not known God well enough to trust that He would go before the "Anakim" in the process of conquering the land that God had promised to Abraham.

Miracles don't and should not sustain one's faith.  Only the very Word of God,  prayer and acting in faith, what the Word of God requires of us should sustain our faith.  Concerning this Issue, Peter commented that he had seen, heard, and touched Y'shua (Jesus) yet it is the "prophetic Word" not necessarily past experiences that "shines like a light in a dark place".

When Operation Protective Edge (the latest Israeli military action against Hamas You can read Hamas' charter here) began, I, like doubtless many of you, began to pray.  I prayed that not one IDF soldier would be lost.  I prayed for the swift obliteration of Hamas, minimal Palestinian fatalities and that the poor Palestinian people might actually come to see Israel and the IDF as liberators from the tyranical claws of Hamas who's chief military strategy was to use the poor defenseless Palestinian citizenry as human shields.  At least from my vantage point, I don't see that really any of these prayers was answered for the exception, possibly, of the vanquishing of Hamas which, at least, has, at the present time, been humiliated.

In the past, we've seen images of nations, after a war, celebrating that the "enemy has been vanquished".  I'm not in haEretz (the land) so I can't really put my finger on the pulse of what is going on there but I suspect that the people there are in mourning.  Loved one's have been lost and, with Israeli's, life is precious.  Every person lost in war, soldier or civilian, is a tragedy for the whole nation.  Everyone is mishpocha (family).  Furthermore, Israel still faces more enemies, from the Arab nations immediately surrounding her to Iran, Russia, Turkey the Sudan and international world opinion in general, which seems to focus more on the thousand plus Palestinan civilians who died because of Israel's self-defensive actions in light of Hamas' "human shield" strategy, rather than the 100s of thousands of Christians who are being exterminated by Muslim extremists in Iraq, Syria, the Sudan and elsewhere.  It is Israel, not Islam that the world sees as the Villain.  As Isaiah put it "Woe to those who call Good Evil and Evil Good".  The entire world is about to undergo the judgment of God because of its attitude towards israel.

And so, it's not the answering of my prayers which bolsters me.  I'm just a shlemiel saved by the grace of God.  God only answers those prayers of mine that are completely in accordance with His will.  At face value, from my above description, I might seem to be a little more benevolent than God.  But He's a lot wiser than I am and He knows best.  On the contrary, it's the Word of God which bolsters me.  Hopefully I can get into eschatology a bit in the future though there are others who are probably more adept at that than I am (I'll probably link to them).  But the simple knowledge that God hates a depraved value system (calling "good" "evil" and "evil" "good") coupled with the contrast between the motives of Israel and Hamas (and Islam in general) is adequate evidence to show me that what is presently going on in the Middle East is evidence enough that we have entered into the last days.  Israel is about to become the sole bastian of freedom in a world which has a history of hating Jews.  The United States is fast on the decline and soon, the only really safe place for a Jew will be Israel.

Nevertheless, in spite of the fact that, at least apparently, God has not completely answered my prayers.  He nevertheless, is a God of Miracles.  IDF (Israeli Defense Force) soldiers have returned from battle actually having reported the manifestation of amazing miracles.  There is no doubt that God is defending Israel.  Below are posts of two amazing miracles that have taken place during this latest conflict.  I do want to conclude with one caveat however.   Reb Jannai commented in the Babylonian Talmud tractate Shabbat 32 a that, in essence a person shouldn't intentionally put himself in harms way so that he will solely be dependent upon miracles to save him.  If Reb Jannai had listened to Y'shua in the first place, however, Y'shua said the same thing centuries before that.

Israel, according to talmudic (and consistently with Y'shua's) teaching has taken extraordinary precautions not to intentionally create a situation where she had to rely on God.  She installed Iron Dome.  She equipped herself with weaponry.  She trained her soldiers.  Israel did not choose to be in harms way.  This conflagration was imposed upon her.  And so Israel prepared.  Nevertheless God has shown up where Israel has been unable to cover all of the basis.  In essence... God has Israel's back.  Below are two amazing examples.  I've heard of others.   If anyone knows of any others please comment and share the link.

Where Iron Dome Failed to divert rockets heading for populated areas.  Check out the headline on the front page newspaper of this link.

Also, out of nowhere, a fog came to blind Hamas to the activities of IDF soldiers (same link).

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