Editorial Staff
Tents of Mercy Network
"Isaiah overcame the human tendency to think only of our own people group and ... perceived God's desire to release and redeem all peoples."

Israel's Love/Hate Relationship with "The Nations"

The positive feelings originate from:

  • Wanting to be received as an ordinary, peaceful country, free from international focus and turmoil.
  • Partnership and assistance in rebuilding the land, particularly from Christians. (Isaiah 60:1-16)

The negative feelings issue from:

  • Millenia of conflict, exile, war and persecution to this very day.
  • Biblical admonishments against following the idolatrous ways of the nations.
  • Plain old ethnic pride.

Judgment of the Nations

The Hebrew Scriptures say some pretty harsh things about the nations. Numerous references to the nations are an illumination of the depravity of humanity in sin, opposing God's plans and rebelling against His sovereignty. These include scathing rebukes and terrifying previews of judgment such as:

"Behold, the name of the LORD comes from far, burning with His anger, and in thick rising smoke: His lips are full of indignation, and His tongue is as a devouring fire; and His breath is as an overflowing stream, that reaches even unto the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of destruction ..." (Isaiah 30:27-28 mod. ASV)

"I have trodden down the peoples in My anger, made them drunk in My fury ..." (Isaiah 63:6)

Hope and Longing for the Nations

Yet together with with this exposé of evil and judgement of the nations, we also see the revelation of God's heart love for all peoples. Isaiah received astonishing revelation from both sides of this "coin." In addition to seeing God's redemption of the Jewish people, this Israeli - Zionist prophet saw that a time will come in which the nations will come to Israel not to make war against her, but in order to learn to obey her God:

"Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that ... Many people shall come and say, 'Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways...'" (Isaiah 2:2-3)

"For the Nations shall seek Him ..." (Isaiah 11:10)

Isaiah overcame the human tendency to think only of our own people group, and as an intercessor, perceived God's desire to release and redeem all peoples. He received a download of God's expansive heart, not only for His first covenant people, but for all of humanity:

"It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Nations ..." (Isaiah 49:6)

"Alsothe sons of the foreigner who join themselves to the Lord, to serve Him ... Even them I will bring to My holy mountain ... For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples." (Isaiah 56:6-7)

"The peoples shall come to your light ... and they shall proclaim the praises of the Lord." (Isaiah 60:3-6)

By David
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17:59 29May14 MM -
Practically, does that mean non-Jews will also be turning to the orthodox Jewish communities for teaching? We find it to be a very real consideration. We are new in our area, there are no Messianic communities here, the closest Jewish community is a Chabad centre. We have small kids and are appalled at some of the things the youth are being exposed to in some of the churches we have been visiting and the local Christian school. Sensitivities w.r.t. for example movies and the underlying messages in so called innocent animations are quite low in my view. If it's labelled as Christian or baby friendly by Hollywood, people generally let it pass. Only when your 3 year old wakes up with a nightmare do you find out what has he has been watching in class. I am starting to realize the only Bible believing community that are still sensitized, unaffected and uncompromising in their morals, are the orthodox Jews around here. Since Yeshua effectively was essentially Orthodox and remained in the normal synagogue, in our case specifically, would you agree that as foreigners our house of prayer could be the orthodox Jewish synagogue? It feels like a save heaven, a light onto our path in what seems like a sea of deception and lawlessness right now.

  -- David replies: Sounds like a challenging place to be in. We pray your family will receive authority in intercession to pray health into the church in the area!

Orthodox Judaism has many positive things to offer. At the same time it also has much that is neutral and some things that are negative. And exposure to Orthodox Judaism cannot come at the expense of a clear reality of New Testament faith and fellowship.

23:34 29May14 Nanci Craig -
Such a timely word and I agree as the word of God and doctrine is more and more distorted with false teachings we must return to the "original" scripture which includes context Israel so faithful to honor God's word will help carry us back to our first LOVE

04:40 30May14 Carole Hess -
David makes an excellent point here - the God of Israel is the God of all peoples and nations. This is ultimate truth, and not recognizing this, whether out of rebelliousness or ignorance, has serious consequences. The vision of Isaiah is bombastic and needs to be seen as a whole, as do all words of God. If the prophecy of the coming of Messiah is separated from the whole message, we are left with a Jesus minus His Father's business. And that business can then become compromised and man-made, as illustrated by the comment of May 29th, 17:59. I believe that Yeshua, too, if confronted with teachings and practices of churches like the ones described, would also find something of a spiritual haven at Chabad. Although they don't as yet know Messiah, they fervently seek and rejoice in the God of Israel -- the God of Yeshua. As Zechariah 8:23 prophesied: Adonai-Tzva'ot says, When that time comes, ten men will grab hold of the cloak of a Jew and say, "We want to go with you because we have heard that God is with you."

19:25 31May14 Daniel E -
Yeshua was a practicing Orthodox Hebrew; he despised the Pharisees and the Sadducees - the Orthodox of his time - because they did not practice what they preached. The modern Orthodox Hebrew was an invention started about 200 CE and fully blossomed in the 13th century CE. The question today is are you looking for a Jewish synagogue or are you looking for a assembly of like minded believers in Yeshua? Fortunately, there are many good Bible believing and practicing assemblies or churches. However, like synagogues you need to test them out in their preaching and teaching. Truth be told most average Followers of the Way -- Christians -- know more about what is in the Bible then 90% of the Hebrews. Allow the Ruach HaKodesh to guide you.

Also in this issue of the newsletter:
Daniel Juster: Choosing Community and Leadership
Daniel Juster's article in French: Choisir Quelle Communaute & Quels Leaders?
Eitan Shishkoff: Pioneers & Planters - Apostolic Restoration in Israel
Shavei Tzion: Counting the Omer - Lifting up our Youth
Asher Intrater: Exile and Redemption
Cody and Liat: Media Development at Revive Israel