At summer's end 60 men from 12 different congregations all over
Israel took part in a national Messianic men's gathering - the first
of its kind to have taken place in at least a decade. The Tents of Mercy
Network and Olive Tree Ranch were privileged to facilitate the event. The
feedback and response showed great excitement and impact.
- To gather together as believing men living in Israel, to be
strengthened and to strengthen each other in faith and power.
- To take a stand in the face of threats on many different fronts:
For our nation militarily and morally
For our families and congregations
For each of us personally as men
- To declare God's victory in all of these areas.
Similarly, Gideon and the men of Israel faced the threats of sin, idolatry
and a menacing foreign power. Though vastly outnumbered, they stood
together. By faith, they performed the word of the Lord. He gave the
Our gathering took place as an overnight campout at Harod Springs National
Park (Gideon's army base camp) at the edge of the Jezreel Valley. The
thrust of our time together was especially to involve the "working-man
lay-person." We were not looking for a passive audience to sit and listen
to a renowned guest speaker. Our desire was for men to communicate with
each other so as to raise our level of faith and awareness above the daily
grind of work hours, economic pressure, family challenges and the like - to
set our eyes on God's victory.
Gideon and his army of 300 blew their shofars (ram's horns), woke the
vast Midianite army in the middle of the night, broke their pitchers to
reveal the fire of their torches, and proclaimed with a victory shout, "The
Sword of the Lord". More than a military tactic, this was at its heart a
resolute, "do or die" faith proclamation that God "owns" the war. God is in
charge. The battle is the Lord's.
Pastor Avi praying
We gathered in a similar spirit to proclaim God's victory over
difficult odds, in the face of intractable challenges; and yes - even in
the face of a potentially horrifying specter of war involving weapons of
After an evening of praise, fellowship, prayer and chicken barbeque, we all
took shofars and walked up the mountain slope in the darkness to a clearing
from which we could look out over the same valley to which the Midianite
horde had come long ago to oppress the people of Israel.
Together we blew on the horns for several minutes and proclaimed that God
has the victory. After the shofar blowing and shouting died down, instead
of emotional elation, an incredible calm came over us all - the peace of
confidence, the assurance of trust. Different men lead out spontaneously in
many quiet songs of worship, speaking of God's kingship on earth,
declaring, "Hear O Israel" and the declaration of faith and hope from the
Kaddish: "He who makes peace on high, He will make peace on us and on all
Israel. And proclaim 'Amen.'" There was an unusual unity in the
Holy Spirit. We were not interacting with each other on the basis of
congregational affiliation or who was or was not a leader.
The next morning reserve and passivity had clearly worn off. Man after man
rose to share from his heart - primarily "ordinary" guys and not pastors or
elders. Here are some of the things they said:
If we try to stand alone as men, we will be easy prey. We must stand
Just as it was with Gideon, before we can gain the public victory, we
will be going through the sanctification of tearing down things we
have put above God.
This gathering is a parable and precedent of unity among us as
brothers, without regard to "pet theologies," egos and human
God is asking for our attention. Listen to what He has to say to
God pays attention to our responses (for example - in what manner
Gideon's soldiers drank the water from Harod Spring).
We are called as men to a new level of freedom. Some of the issues
are being dealt with now.
The commandment to take up the armor of God is plural. We are to do
this TOGETHER, not as a scattered coalition of individuals (Ephesians
We saw together that the Scriptures compare the work of the Messiah to this
sudden overcoming of the Midianite oppressing army "... You have broken
the yoke of his burden and the...rod of his oppressor, as in the day of
Midian" (Isaiah 9:4).
Blowing the shofar
The paradigm or prism through which we can understand the magnitude of
salvation and redemption in Yeshua, is that outbreak of victory with
Gideon, that tipping point from destruction to victory, from impending doom
to overwhelming dominion. It is obvious that the men are a critical
ingredient. It is a well-known fact that men can sometimes tend to be
"under-involved" in parenting and leading the home spiritually. This
initiative was, by all counts, a step in the right direction to cause
change for the better - in us as men, and in surrounding circles of
influence from the home and outward.
This year Tents of Mercy distributed six hundred and fifty food
hampers to needy families in the Haifa Bay area. This is just one
aspect of our commitment to serve Messiah by helping the poor. Tents
of Mercy would like to extend heartfelt thanks to all the many
international donors who partner with us in this ministry.