“Shevakh le’El ba’Shamayim—Ki Hieneh! Yeled yulad lanu…!”
“Glory to God in the highest…For Behold! A Child is Born to us…!”
A WEEK FROM THIS THURSDAY IS ISRAEL’S 70TH INDEPENDENCE DAY
Next Thursday 19 April, the 4th day of the Second Hebrew month (Ayar), Israel will celebrate the 70th anniversary of her re-birth as a nation. At 4:00 p.m. on that day in 1948 (14 May according to the Gregorian calendar) David Ben Gurion declared the establishment of a new independent state to be called by the name “Israel.” Please pray for God’s Kingdom to come in Jerusalem and Israel during this powerfully significant year. Pray for revelation in our Land of who is the one who has brought Israel to this landmark year—who is Her salvation; who watches over her; who will give her a New Heart and establish her here; who will grant grace to her so that she cries Baruch haBa b’Shem YHVH—“Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!”
1. THE ELEVENTH YEAR: HANDEL’S “MESSIAH” IN HEBREW—IN THE LAND TO WHICH HE WILL RETURN!
This week marks the eleventh year in which Handel’s mighty opera Messiah will be performed in Israel in the language in which most of the texts were originally written— Hebrew! Meshiah (English: Messiah/Christ) means “Anointed One.” It was in 2007 that this oratorio, about both the first and second coming of this Anointed One, was successfully translated into Hebrew by a team of Messianic believers. It has been mounted and sung throughout Israel every year since. We encourage you to read through the translation of the text below. Notice—at least 32 of the choruses and arias are drawn from the Hebrew Bible. Many are from Isaiah 53—about the coming of the Messiah who would suffer for the sin of Israel, and of all humankind. Most Jews are not even aware that this chapter exists; it was long-since excised by the rabbis from the sequence of passages from Isaiah read aloud in Synagogues in the weeks preceding Rosh Hashanah. But within it is Life! This was the passage being read aloud by an Ethiopian court official atop his carriage when Philip encountered him on the road between Jerusalem and Gaza (Acts 8:26-40). And it was through this passage that Philip began proclaiming to him the Good News of Yeshua, the Hebrew Messiah and Savior of the world!
This week “Meshiah” will be presented with Baroque orchestra in the coastal town of Or Akiva and in Tel Aviv. Then on April 26th, a week after Israel celebrates its 70th anniversary, it will be presented in Jerusalem—for the first time in a very special venue, the open air of the “Garden Tomb”! Several dozen Holocaust survivors will be among those attending the Monday performance. All those attending will receive a program which they may take home with all of the texts in both Hebrew and English.
*Praise and Thanksgiving that the Spirit, Who breathed all of these wonderful words of Scripture, and Who over 250 years ago inspired one of His servants in setting them to music, has chosen to release it in this way during these days to His ancient people Israel whom He has returned to the Land—and in the language which they now speak, and in which much of it was originally written to them.
* Protection over the choir—protection in travel to and from the performances this week and the one in two weeks. The three locations are far apart in Israel; it is many miles from many locations for so many people to be coming together.
* Grace in health and spirit—that the choir will be filled with the joy of the Lord—and that the performances would be done with excellence and earnestness.
* That the Holy Spirit will brood over those Israelis attending these performances who do not yet knowing their Messiah—that they would respond to the revelation released over the holy Word—drawing them with Everlasting Love. That during this week after Passover, and before and after their nation turns 70, revelation would be released about the One who brings them out of darkness and bondage, forgives their sin, returns them to the Land He promised, and who will be coming again to reign there!
* Even if you receive this Update after the first performances have taken place (The first performance is Monday evening, the second Tuesday, the third in two-and-a-half weeks) —Please continue to pray that the Truth which was released then (and which was taken home written in the programs!) would continue to be illumined.
THAT THE LIGHT OF MESSIAH WILL SHINE IN DARKNESS IN ISRAELI HEARTS, AND THE DARKNESS WILL NOT BE ABLE TO EXTINGUISH IT!
Comfort my people, saith your God. Speak comfortably to Jerusalem and cry unto her that her warfare is accomplished, her iniquity is pardoned. A voice crying in the wilderness, “Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. (Isaiah 40:1-3)
Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill made low. The crooked straight, and the rough places plain. (Isaiah 40:4)
And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. (Isaiah 40:5)
Thus saith the LORD of Hosts, “Yet once, a little while and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come. The LORD, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in. Behold, He shall come, saith the LORD of Hosts.” (Haggai 2:6-7; Malachi 3:1)
But who may abide the day of His coming and who shall stand when He appeareth? For He is like a refiner’s fire, and who shall stand the day of His coming? (Malachi 3:2)
And He shall purify the sons of Levi that they may offer unto the LORD an offering of righteousness. (Malachi 3:3)
Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call his name Immanu’El; God with us. (Isaiah 7:14)
O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, get thee up into the high mountain. Lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, and be not afraid. Say unto the cities of Judah, “Behold your God! Arise, shine; for thy light is come, Arise…and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.” (Isaiah 40:9; 60:1)
O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, say unto the cities of Judah, “Behold your God! The glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. Behold!”
For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people. The LORD shall arise upon thee and His glory shall be seen upon thee. Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. (Isaiah 60:2-3)
The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: and they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. (Isaiah 9:2)
For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called, WONDERFUL, COUNSELOR, THE MIGHTY GOD, THE EVERLASTING FATHER, THE PRINCE OF PEACE.
There were shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night. And lo! The angel of the LORD came upon them, and the glory of the LORD shone round about them and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, “Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Messiah the LORD.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying…
GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST, AND ON EARTH, PEACE, GOOD WILL TOWARD MEN! (Luke 2:8-11, 13-14)
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion. Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem. Behold, thy King cometh unto thee. He is the righteous Saviour and he shall speak peace unto the heathen. Rejoice… (Zechariah 9:9-10)
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing. (Isaiah 35:5-6)
He shall feed his flock like a shepherd, and He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young. Come unto Him, all ye that labour and are heavy laden and He shall give you rest. Take his yoke upon you, and learn of Him; for He is meek and lowly of heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (Isaiah 40:11; Matthew 11:28-29)
His yoke is easy and His burden is light. (Matthew 11:30)
Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world. (John 1:29)
He is despised and rejected of men: a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. He gave His back to the smiters, and His cheeks to them that plucked off the hair. He hid not His face from shame and spitting. (Isaiah 53:3; 50:6)
Surely He hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon him. (Isaiah 53:4-5)
And with His stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way. And the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:6)
All they that see laugh him to scorn. They shoot out their lips, they shake their heads. (Psalm 22:7)
“He trusted in God that He would deliver him: let Him deliver him, if He delight in him. (Psalm 22:8; Matthew 27:43)
Thy rebuke hath broken his heart. He is full of heaviness. He looked for some to have pity on Him, but there was none; neither found He any to comfort Him. (Psalm 26:20)
Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like his sorrow. (Lamentations 1:12)
He was cut off out of the land of the living. For the transgression of Thy people was He stricken. (Isaiah 53:8)
But thou didst not leave his soul in Sheol; neither didst thou suffer Thy Holy One to see corruption. (Psalm 16:10)
Lift up your heads, O ye gates and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors and the King of Glory shall come in. Who is the King of Glory? YHVH strong and mighty, YHVH mighty in battle. He is the King of Glory. YHVH of Hosts, He is the King of Glory. (Psalm 24:7-10)
Thou art gone up on high, Thou hast led captivity captive, and received gifts for men; yea, even for Thine enemies, that the LORD God might dwell among them. (Psalm 68:18)
How beautiful are the feet of them who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation and proclaim peace. (Isaiah 52:7)
Why do the heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing! The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the LORD, and against His anointed. (Psalm 2:1-2)
Let us break their bands, and cast away their cords from us! (Psalm 2:3)
He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: The LORD shall have them in derision. (Psalm 2:4)
Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron. Thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. (Psalm 2:9)
HALLELU-YAH! For the Lord GOD omnipotent reigneth. The kingdoms of this world are become the Kingdom of our LORD, and of His Christ. And He shall reign for ever and ever. King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. HALLELU-YAH! (Revelation 19:6; 11:15; 19:16)
I know that my redeemer liveth and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. After my skin has been destroyed, in my flesh shall I see God. But now is Messiah risen from the dead, the first fruits of them that slept. (Job 19:25-26; I Corinthians 15:20)
For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Messiah shall all be made alive. (I Corinthians 15:21-22)
Behold, I show you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last shofar. (I Corinthians 15:51-52)
For the shofar shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (I Corinthians 15:52)
Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in Victory!” (I Corinthians 15:54)
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. (I Corinthians 15:55-56)
But thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah! (I Corinthians 15:57)
WORTHY IS THE LAMB THAT WAS SLAIN AND HAS REDEEMED US TO GOD BY HIS BLOOD; TO RECEIVE POWER, AND RICHES, AND WISDOM, AND STRENGTH, AND HONOUR, AND GLORY, AND BLESSING. BLESSING, AND HONOUR, AND GLORY, AND POWER BE UNTO HIM THAT SITTETH UPON THE THRONE AND UNTO THE LAMB FOR EVER AND EVER! (Revelation 5:9, 12-13)