It has been just over one month that the borders were breached and Israel came under attack from a demonic force operating through hurt and broken people. Recent news says that the Hamas activity around the wall the evening before October 7, 2023 was misjudged at first to be a drill.
The New York Times reported regarding the October 7, 2023 breach:
“'[Israel’s] judgment that night might have been different HAD THEY BEEN LISTENING to traffic on the hand-held radios of Hamas militants. But Unit 8200, Israel’s signals intelligence agency, had stopped eavesdropping on those networks a year earlier because they saw it as a waste of effort.”
Fifty years earlier, it seems the Yom Kippur War also began with a problem in the listening system:
“During the week before the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War, the IDF’s chief intelligence analyst asked the commander of Military Intelligence several times a day to operate the army’s sophisticated listening devices in Egypt but was persistently rebuffed, according to newly declassified testimony from the commission that investigated Israeli failures in the war.” -Times of Israel report 2013
Both in the Yom Kippur War and in this recent breach of the walls, Israel’s defenses failed because they were not listening. The point of this article is not to emphasize Israel’s failure, but to invite all of us to listen. It is interesting that 50 years apart (the year of jubilee) we see repeated breaches allowed by “not listening.” These fifty year increments are not an accident for Israel. In fact, the making of modern Israel can be studied in correlating moments fifty years apart (Johnathan Cahn’s popular book, The Oracle takes this approach).
Israel, like every nation and people on earth, needs to listen, not only to avoid the attacks of the enemy, but to understand their own history and the seasons of the Lord. We are closer than ever to the day of Messiah’s return. There is a message that goes out to the Jewish people that will save them. And this message does not come from their enemy, it comes from the God of Israel.
Yeshua Hamashiach (Jesus, Messiah) has made a way to approach God again by atoning for our sins as the Pesach (Passover) lamb. He was made a sacrifice for sins and then was crucified, raised from the dead, and ascended to heaven. When He died, the veil in the temple ripped in half and we gained access to the mercy seat. We can repent from our sins, return to the Lord and boldly approach the throne of God because of Yeshua. The voice that spoke to the Jewish people is still speaking. And He wants to speak to His people again as we prepare for the last days.
In the last days, many will fall away. Many who once loved and served God will not make it to the end. This is described by Yeshua as people who do not have enough oil for their lamps, or the love of many growing cold (Matthew 24:12). These days call for sobriety and watchfulness. We need a sharpening of our spiritual attention. We need a return to the secret places of listening to the Lord and worship that opens us up to receive the Word of God spoken to us. We need to take our place as watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem, who will not rest until God makes her the pride of the earth (Isaiah 60-62).
The Lord is looking for a people who will listen…because He is the God who speaks.
Some people worship wooden, metal, or stone statues that represent ancestral deities, totems, or spiritual principalities and powers. But those idols and forces are powerless compared to our God, the God of Israel. Our God is the God who speaks, but that doesn’t mean it’s all compliments and covenantal bliss.
Remember what happened the last time God’s personal, actual voice was heard by Israel as a nation at Sinai?
“When the people heard the thunder and the loud blast of the ram’s horn, and when they saw the flashes of lightning and the smoke billowing from the mountain, they stood at a distance, trembling with fear. And they said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen. But don’t let God speak directly to us, or we will die!” (Exodus 20:18-19)
Looking back at this moment, we might wonder, how could people ever turn down the opportunity to listen DIRECTLY to God? Those who did listen to God, the prophets, were persecuted and even killed. Even Stephen, a disciple of Yeshua Hamashiach who was the first one killed for His faith, said the following, “You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit!…” (Acts 7:51-52) And all people do resist the Holy Spirit at first. Because the Holy Spirit pokes our hearts to move us to repentance. He convicts. And that is uncomfortable! There are many reasons why we do not like to listen to Him…and many reasons why we should!
Listening to the Lord means being quiet and waiting on the Lord, which seems boring…BUT this is the way to true peace. Most of us would rather pray (one-way prayers) or read scripture because it’s more tangible. But if you read or pray without listening, you will only become religious, not righteous. You will become devout, but not wholly dependent on the Lord like He wants. What kind of relationship is it when one person all the talking and the other person never talks or communicates. The Bible (or Tanakh including the New Testament) is God’s Word, and we need to plant ourselves in front of it and ask God to speak to us. Ask our Rabbi Yeshua to teach us through the Holy Spirit and lead us deeper through the scriptures, answering our questions, reminding us what He said and telling us of things to come (John 14:26). Listening is how we come to know and experience Yeshua for ourselves.
Listening to the Lord means we may be faced with a differing perspective and might need to change…BUT His way is the way to true life. If God’s opinion is actually better then WE would need to change…and the reality is we are stubborn. The solution is to soften our hearts toward God, realizing that He is soft toward us because He loves us. His way leads to eternal life in the world to come and now. Even if it seems like His way causes hardships, and we do not experience the healing or power we long to experience, we have to trust Him, knowing we are following in the footsteps of many who endured hardship and persecution for Yeshua.
Listening to the Lord means softening our hearts, which is sometimes painful…BUT it makes us intoxicatingly vulnerable and beautiful to the Lord. (Song of Solomon 4:10) We tend to self-protect because we do not trust Him…sometimes we are afraid we will not be gentle with us. But He is gentle and meek of heart and we find rest for our souls when we open our hearts up to His Word and yield to His way instead of ours. He loves it when we trust Him with our imperfections and
Listening to the Lord is scary at first…but it is so good to be completely surrendered and open to the Lord. It means facing a personal and communal judgment from God regarding the state of our hearts. But while that may be the case, what He ALWAYS gives is an invitation to mercy if we listen. He always provides a way out of judgment as long as we listen while there is still time, before the harvest of the world (where all will be separated and judged by God Revelation 14:14-20). If we really love God, it will mean letting love our for God reignite our fear of God so we listen and obey Him, celebrating His holiness and ultimate goodness. If God is truly perfect goodness, and He promises to make us one with Him, then He can be trusted with my life, to take you through a process and pathway of personal holiness until you are completely unified with His person, purposes, and projects.
Listening to the Lord requires attention and time spent that we think should be spent doing other things…but His presence is the BEST thing! What starts off as an intrusion into our schedule soon becomes the ONLY necessary thing that we would never trade again. And here is the main issue. We THINK we should be doing other things, but in reality, that is simply a temptation and distraction. Anyone who has been with Yeshua knows that it is the sweetest most amazing place. And sitting at His feet, in Yeshua’s opinion was actually the only thing necessary! (Luke 10: 38-42) And you are invited into His presence even if other things demand your time. It doesn’t matter how far away you have walked or how long it has been. Because of the cross, you are already forgiven. Even when we were the enemies of God, He gave His son to die for us. Yeshua says he knocks on the door of our hearts and is willing to make His home with us as we love Him and obey His commands. (Revelation 3:20, John 14:23)
I believe the Lord is inviting us as the Jewish and Gentile “one new man” body of believers to enter into a new season of listening. As we mourn with Israel for lives lost and as we contend for the release of the captives, we realize that we have a King, a God who speaks. He still wants to speak to us. He still wants to speak to His people. The question is “are we listening?”
This is our first attempt at a song in Hebrew…and it’s a one take, so there’s the caveat. We are still learning. Maybe one day we will do it up right, but for now, the raw and unfiltered version. May the Lord comfort His people as we all pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
Gindsberg, Mitch. 2013. “New Yom Kippur War testimony details the failures.” Nov. 1, 2013. Times of Israel. https://www.timesofisrael.com/new-yom-kippur-war-testimony-details-the-failures/