So, I was looking around for congregations to visit once I get back to Jerusalem (I haven’t been accepted yet, but have absolute faith that the day is coming soon). Most of the volunteers attend King of Kings. I have no beef with K of K, but I don’t want to attend a congregation with a rapid turnover, which I suspect they have.
As a fan of the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research, I’m more drawn to the congregation that operates as their home base in the Holy Land. I’ll definitely visit this one.
However, it is not my goal to refuse assimilation into the culture; playing the “ugly American” has never accomplished anything good. So, I’ve been looking at Messianic Jewish congregations (a MJ congregation in the Holy City, can there be anything sweeter? ). This brings me to my topic.
I was checking out the website for the Roeh Israel Congregation, and came across the June newsletter sent out by the congregational leader (Joseph Shulam, who I have a lot of respect for). In particular, this part stood out to me:
It is good to be alive! I can identify with the words of the Psalmist:
Psa. 35:4 Let those be ashamed and dishonored who seek my life; let those be turned back and humiliated who devise evil against me. Psa. 38:12 Those who seek my life lay snares for me; and those who seek to injure me have threatened destruction, and they devise treachery all day long. Psa. 40:14 Let those be ashamed and humiliated together who seek my life to destroy it; let those be turned back and dishonored who delight in my hurt.
It is not the first time that hate was turned into action against me because I believe that Yeshua is the Messiah and that Jews should reclaim and crown Him as King of their lives as the most important Jew who lived on the face of this Earth, Yeshua Son of David Son of Abraham. As you see from the texts above the writer of these Psalms seems to have had people who were seeking his life and his response is to ask God to take action. In one case the writer asks that his assailants “turn back,” to turn back is to repent. He also asks that those who devise evil against him be humbled.
It ought to be known to you that these actions are totally repudiated by the majority of the Jewish people and even by many Rabbis. Jewish people are not a violent people, generally speaking, and they donÕt naturally turn to do harm to a fellow Jew, but when it comes to issues that to them seem to compromise their “faith,” there are always some hot-heads who are driven by radical elements that do seek violent solutions to their “problems.” I have absolute respect and honor for the Orthodox Jewish community in Israel and for their leadership, and I know that even if they wanted to control these wild violent fringe of the Orthodox Jewish faith they could not do so, any more than the authorities in the first century could control the zealots.
So here is what really happened.
Marcia heard someone changing a tire on Thursday morning. She didn’t think much of it, but she did go down to see what is happening. On Thursday I didn’t use my car because we had a wedding to perform and we needed a bigger car. We used Marcia’s car on Thursday and on Friday. On Shabbat I drove my car to Maale Edumim and I felt that something was wrong with the front wheels. On Sunday I drove it very slow and carefully and said to myself that on Monday morning I would take it to the garage for a checkup. On Monday early in the morning on the way to the garage – my whole wheel came off. I was on the bridge of Mevasseret when it happened and I was driving only about 10 kilometers per hour. So I was able to stop immediately and no one was behind me to run into me. If I had been going down hill at about 65 MPH – I would have flipped and people would have ran into me from behind and may be I would have even fallen down the side deep into the ravine. Praise the Lord that He has protected me. I have a letter from the garage that says that there is no way that such a thing could have happened without a malicious tampering with the safety bolt and the pin that holds it. The owner of the garage said that this is the first such a case in over 50 years of working with Volvo cars. So, this is the third time that someone has attempted to take my life – and the funny thing is that I feel happy and satisfied to know that the Lord Himself is giving me life and protecting me with His providence.
I often wonder if I’m strong enough to stand for my faith even if my life is on the line. Looks like I might get that chance. Can I face the trials, or will I be back in Colorado ASAP with my tail between my legs? I hope for the former, but there’s really only one way to find out. . .