Tags: Israel

Chosen

In sport being chosen can be about making the team. In employment it may involve making it into and beyond a final group of applicants. Being chosen or not can be so personal. When we’re the one brought in— or left out, it can seem like it’s all about us.  Up close, it sometimes is. […]

What is it About Jonah?

I don’t remember the first time I heard about Jonah. But looking back, I can see how differently his short story has played out in my imagination over the course of a lifetime. Early on, it was about a man who was swallowed by “a whale”. At some point I learned that it was a […]

Jacob’s Ladder

As a child I remember singing the spiritual,  Jacob’s Ladder. We sang the words. But I never thought much about them. Now, many years later, I find that I’m ready for another look. I’ll need you to be patient with me because the story turns out to get a little involved. But I’ve found some […]

Samson’s Eyes

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH • Time: 1070 BC • Place: Land of Israel • Spirit of the Age: In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes. —Judges 21:25 NKJV • Growing Crisis: A group of people known as the Philistines have brought their foreign gods and influence […]

Egypt’s Backstory

Earlier this week, an Egyptian army chief and Minister of Defense warned that the political crisis in Egypt could lead to the collapse of the state. Today more protests are planned after Friday prayers. Events resulting from mass protests to the policies of President Morsi (Mursi) is putting the spotlight on an ancient nation mentioned […]

Implications of Supporting Israel

This question is important not only for followers of Christ, but for people of all religions and points of view. Ultimately, it is not just about God’s promise to Abraham that he would bless those who blessed him, and curse those who cursed him (Gen 12:3). It also raises the question of what the Apostle […]

Abbas and Netanyahu in Washington

On Thursday, September 2, the latest rounds of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are scheduled to begin in Washington. According to Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, the talks will collapse if Israel does not extend its freeze on construction in the West Bank. On the same day Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, reportedly said […]

Jerusalem Journal

On arriving in the Middle East my cab driver said that he used to be on “the left.” But said he had come to the conclusion that Arab and Jewish people would never be able to live together. Later an Israeli friend said, regarding peace, “The United States has been the savior of the world.” […]

Hope for A Dying Dead Sea

The Dead Sea is dying. Water levels of what the Bible also calls The Salt Sea, already rest at the lowest on earth (1378 feet below sea level), and are dropping at a rate of three feet a year. The problem has developed not only from natural weather cycles, but also from the amount of […]

Obama, Ahmadinejad, and Netanyahu

In the wake of an unexpected landslide victory, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran is defending the validity of the election and cracking down on protesters. At the same time Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seems to have softened his position in response to pressure from Washington and has said he would accept a limited Palestinian […]

The Mysterious Third Feast of Israel

Moses asked Israel to remember their Exodus Passover on the 14th of the Hebrew month of  Nisan (Lev 23:5).  He said the next day (the 15th) was to begin  seven days of Unleavened Bread and called the first day a no-work/Sabbath (vv 6-7). Moses went on to say that, once Israel was in their promised […]

Jesus and the Spring Feasts

As we enter together into this holy week and season of Passover, sure wish everyone could see how the final events of Jesus life coincide with an ancient, annual cycle of Jewish holidays. In addition to fulfilling the mysterious predictions of prophets, Jesus showed how deeply his life was rooted in the annual celebrations of […]

Israel Trip After Thoughts

Got back yesterday from a region that is as diverse and confusing as this donkey and rider on the rooftop of the Old City of Jerusalem– surrounded by antennas and satellite dishes. The lingering jet lag that will probably shadow us for a week, has given me a chance, over night, to reflect not only […]

Purim 2009

Today is the second and last day of the Jewish festival of Purim 2009. This is a fun holiday in Israel with costumes, noise-makers, face-paint and parades. But behind the laughter and foolishness lies a serious story of national survival. Behind Purim is the account of how God used a young Jewish woman by the […]

Israel's Sh'ma and Monotheism

The “Sh’ma” of Israel is at the heart of her monotheism. it represents the first Hebrew words of a prayer, central to the morning and evening prayers of observant Jewish people. “Hear O Israel, and be careful to observe it, that it may be well with you, and that you may multiply greatly as the […]

Israel: What If?

What we know is that the Bible says God gave the land of the Canaanites to his chosen people to show that he is God of gods. The same Scriptures make it clear that Israel’s security in the land would depend on their faithfulness to the covenant that God made with them. According to Moses, […]

Israel: The Blessing and the Curse

When God told Abraham that he would bless those who bless him and curse those who curse him, did that mean that God-fearing people would always side with Israel against their enemies? (Gen 12:1-2). To avoid misquoting, or misapplying, the Bible, it’s important to make sure that we are drawing necessary implications rather than possible […]

Gaza, Samson, and Us

As the US turns over control of the Green Zone to Iraqi authorities, and as another powerful earthquake shakes Indonesia, the eyes of the world have shifted once again to a small strip of land on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean. Around the world, in London, Paris, and New York, shouting crowds have taken […]

The Holocaust

I’m traveling today to Jerusalem to work with our Day of Discovery team on a new series of “land of the Bible” programs. As I prepare to leave I’m reminded of some thoughts I had after returning from a similar assignment a couple of years ago. What I wrote is a bit long for a […]

Jerusalem Day 2008

Today (June 2, 2008) is Jerusalem Day in Israel. With parades in the streets and prayers in synagogues, Jewish citizens will celebrate the reunification of Jerusalem in the Six Day War of 1967. Jerusalem remains, however, a contested city. Palestinians believe that East Jerusalem, including the holy site now occupied by the Al Aksa Mosque […]

Who Gets into the Kingdom of God?

Like Jesus, the Apostle Paul sets high standards for entering the kingdom of God. In his first letter to the Corinthians he writes: “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites…will inherit the kingdom of […]

Jesus and Sodom

No one could rightly accuse Jesus of having low standards. But he was accused in his day of being “a friend of sinners.” Religious leaders of the lakeshore community of Capernaum, for instance, would have criticized Jesus if he had befriended the kind of people who once lived on the shores of the Dead Sea, […]

Jerusalem and Sodom

None of us can afford to call good bad, or bad good. The prophet Isaiah says, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and […]

Israel at 60

Under increased security that has closed West Bank border crossings, Jewish citizens are recognizing this week 60 years of national re-birth. They are doing so, however, with an air of uncertainty. The celebration comes on the heels of the largest emergency drill ever held in Israel as the nation tested it’s readiness for ever lingering […]

US and Israel

Over the weekend, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has once again been in Tel Aviv in an effort to help broker a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians. As a global economy feels the pressure of rising oil prices, The Middle East Quartet, made up of the United Nations, the European Union, Russia […]

The Passover Connection

Last night, at sundown, Jewish families in Israel began celebrating a seven day Passover week also known as the Festival of Unleavened Bread. Meanwhile Israeli security has gone on a heightened state of alert in anticipation that Palestinian militants will attempt to disrupt the celebration of this ancient holiday. My concern, however, is that a […]

Jimmy Carter and Hamas

The news today includes reports about former Jimmy Carter’s plans to meet with Hamas leaders over objections from the Administration and even his own party. In an article by Calvin Woodward of the Associated Press, the former president’s response was, “I think that it’s very important that at least someone meet with the Hamas leaders […]

Holding my Breath

Ok, here’s the deal. I know that many of us sincerely believe that when God said to father Abraham, “I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you,” he once and for all determined who we should be siding with in the Middle East. But over time I’ve become convinced that […]

The Promise

In our ongoing conversation about the Jewish-Palestinian conflict, I’ve noticed that God’s promise– to bless those who bless Abram, and to curse those who curse Abram– is a defining factor in how many of us relate to the ongoing conflict in the Middle East. The promise is so important that I want to make sure […]

The Roots of a Conflict

I thought twice before posting this picture of a scene I came across just inside Jerusalem’s Jaffa Gate. With an armed Israeli Border Patrol in the background, it looked like a human body had been dumped into a garbage wagon. On closer look, I found that a street worker had just crawled into his cart […]

The Jewish Arab Conflict

As tensions rise between Israel and her neighbors, the ancient story of the Bible threatens once again to involve all of us. Conflict in the Middle East flows from generation to generation like a river of tears and bad blood. From the days of Abram there has been an unending current of personal rejection, revenge, […]

The Value of Limited Foresight

Some of us have used prophetic studies of the Bible in a way that has cast us as “the ugly Christian” in the eyes of a watching world. But how can we blame our critics for giving us low marks if they see us trashing the environment and expressing detached fascination with the specter of […]

Applauding Armageddon?

For almost 20 years I have been traveling to the Land of the Bible with our Day of Discovery television team. One of our goals has been to use the historical and geographical backdrop of Israel to talk about the real people, places, and events of the Bible . Another purpose has been to call […]

Is Prophecy Being Fulfilled?

Israel is in her ancestral homeland after almost 2000 years of dispersion. Her presence, however, is a problem not only for displaced Palestinians, but for a whole international community that is trying to come to terms with rising oil prices, global economic instability, China’s ascendancy, Russian resurgence, and the threat of weapons of mass destruction. […]

Bible Ah-Ha! #7

I heard it 40 years ago. I was taking what seemed to be a fairly uninspiring course on the historical geography of the Bible. At the time I didn’t realize that the professor was teaching his last class. His health failed mid semester and he didn’t return to teaching. Even though my memory is a […]

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