PRAYER UPDATE FROM ISRAEL– DECEMBER 12, 2016
Photo by CULTURE AND SPORT MINISTRY
1. “FREEDOM OF ZION”
“Thus says the LORD of Armies; ‘I am zealous for Zion with great zeal; with great fervor I am zealous for her…I will return to Zion, and dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth, the Mountain of YHVH of Armies, the Holy Mountain.” (Zechariah 8:2-3)
“The LORD is righteous; He has cut in two the cords of the wicked. May all who hate Zion be put to shame and turned backward…” (Psalm 129:4-5)
“…And you shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free…so if the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed!” (John 8:32, 36)
Last week we reported on a recently-discovered ancient inscription from around 131 AD bearing the name “Judea” (Judah). It had been made shortly before the Romans dispersed the Jews from that region, and attempted to obliterate even the memory of the word “Judah,” by making it part of a region they called Syrian Palestine. But now, some 1800 years later, this same word Judah had come to light! We quoted a number of Scriptures in which it is promised that Judah will not only be restored, but the LORD will “take possession of her as His inheritance in the Holy Land”…that He will “visit” and “strengthen” the region…in fact, that His “Salvation” will visit Judah first! (Zechariah 2:11-13; 10:3,6; 12:7).
Yesterday morning at the weekly Cabinet meeting of the Knesset in Jerusalem, another ancient artifact “with a message” came to light. Around a month ago during excavation of a recently uncovered road in the capital, a coin was discovered. Minted during the great revolt which would result three years later in Titus destroying Jerusalem, the coin dates from 67 AD and bears the words “FREEDOM OF ZION.”
At the Cabinet Meeting, a minister pointed out how next year will mark 50 years since Israeli paratroopers in June of 1967 broke through into the Old City; and the Temple Mount and Jerusalem, after over 2400 years, was released again into Jewish hands. This was exactly, to the year 1,900 years after this coin was struck. So she found the unveiling of this coin to be significant to the celebration of that “Freeing of Zion.”
We believe this to be true. Yet, for us there is greater and deeper significance in this ancient message regarding Zion coming to light. We encourage you to read again the Scriptures at the heading of this section. The LORD has promised a time when His zeal (or jealousy—the Hebrew for both words is the same) for Zion will burn hot. He is going to return to Zion!—dwell in the midst of Jerusalem! And this passage (Zechariah 8:2-3) obviously equates that with His Mountain, the Holy Mountain!
Yet we have entered into an era when the “Holy Mountain” is a point of greatest contention, and when, for the ungodly in the nations, “ZION” has become a dirty word, awakening anger and a threat of violence. In the sophisticated West, we often hear, “We’re not against Jews, we’re against Zionism.” And from at least one nation to our East has come the repeated threat, “The Zionist Entity soon shall cease to exist!”
What is a “Zionist”? It is first of all a member of the ancient Hebrew people who has embraced the promise of YHVH to return him or her to the homeland of their Fathers—a land whose capital is the ancient hill bearing that name, upon which David built his city (II Samuel 5:7; I Kings 8:1). Or one who assists this people in their efforts to return there! We do not have time to do a study of the word in this Update—but a look into any Biblical concordance will give an idea of how important, how significant a word and place it is. Zion appears at least 165 times in the Bible! And not in the O.T. alone. It is a place where the King Yeshua will Himself dwell, and where He will stand with 144,000, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads (Revelation 14:1).
Satan hates Zion; he hates the idea of God’s people returning there, and the idea of their becoming “free” after they get there. Thus (as with “Judah”), the attack on the integrity of the word itself. Thus his attack on the people whom God has redeemed and called to “come with singing unto Zion!” (Isaiah 51:11). He fears the return of that Redeemer whose deliverance will be on Mount Zion (Isaiah 59:20; Obadiah 17). And he hates the intercessory prayer going up by those who “for Zion’s sake will not keep silent…till her vindication shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch!” (Isaiah 62:1).
* That God’s Kingdom Come to Zion. As in the Scriptures printed at the beginning of this Update, that the LORD return to Zion, and dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. That Jerusalem be called the City of Truth, the Mountain of the LORD of Armies; the Holy Mountain.
* That “Zion Awake!—Put on her Strength! That the captive daughter of Zion loose herself from the bonds of her neck” (Isaiah 52:1-2). That she truly come to know the freedom of her Messiah! That she shall know the Truth and the Truth shall make her free!” (John 8:32,36).
* That those who hate Zion be put to shame and turned backward (Psalm 129:4-5). That there be those bound in the deception of anti-Semitism and replacement theology, who will find their cords “cut in two”—and find mercy which leads to repentance and truth.
* That Israel truly find the lost coin of her true Freedom! “And when she has found it [the lost coin], she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’ Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:8-10)
(Material on “Free Zion” coin drawn from, “‘Free Zion’ coin minted 1,967 years ago unveiled”: The Jerusalem Post, 12/12/16 12:37 IST)
–Norma and Martin Sarvis