“Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, for wisdom and power belong to Him. It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and sets up kings; He gives wisdom to wise men and knowledge to those of understanding…He knows what lies in darkness, and Light dwells with Him.” (Daniel 2:20-22)
1. A SEASON FOR CHOICES OF BLESSING FOR NATIONS CONTINUES—BRAZIL
In this week’s Torah Reading (see below), the LORD promises Isaac (as earlier Abraham) that “in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen. 26:4; 22:18). However, the Hebrew for the verb “be blessed” appears to be reflexive; thus, a more literal rendering might be, “and by [lit:’in’] thy seed shall all the nations of the earth bless themselves” (JPS; also NASB: note); or, “all the nations of the earth shall gain blessing for themselves through your offspring” (NRSV, A.E.).
This would seem strongly to imply that nations may themselves have a part in bringing God’s blessing upon themselves through their relationship to the offspring of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel!
We continue in a season of the leaders of Nations choosing whether or not they will “gain blessing for themselves” by aligning with God’s purposes for His land and people Israel…or not. We believe that one way in which this has been recently realized has been the decision by President Trump of the United States, and Jimmy Morales of Guatemala to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and to move their nations’ embassies back there. Paraguay followed Guatemala in moving its embassy, but under new leadership, quickly changed its mind and moved its embassy back to Tel Aviv.
A week ago yesterday, on 28 October, Jair Bolsonaro won election to the presidency of Brazil (He will take office January 1st). Four days later, on November 1st, the new president-elect declared, “As previously stated during our campaign, we intend to transfer the Brazilian Embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem. Israel is a sovereign state and we shall duly respect that.” This all indicates an enormously significant reversal (one journalist labeled it a “tectonic shift”) for the largest nation in Central or South America (Brazil is, in fact, the fifth-largest country by area in the world, and the sixth most populous). For the past fifteen years, that nation has been run by the far-left Workers Party. Regarding Israel, it has not been considered a friend, and has persistently been counted on to vote against the Jewish State in international forums. This appears about to change. President-Elect Bolsonaro, an ultra-concervative on such issues as abortion, affirmative action and drug liberalization, is also an Evangelical Christian who exhibits a love for Israel! In an interview Thursday with the Israeli paper Israel haYom, he said,
“Israel is a sovereign state. If you decide on your capital city, we will act in accordance. When I was asked during the campaign if I’ll do it [relocate the embassy] when I was president, I said yes, and that you’re the ones who decide on the capital of Israel, not other people.”
Mr Bolsonaro is also quoted as saying, “count on having our vote in the UN. I know that often the vote is almost symbolic, but it helps to define the position a country intends to take. Rest assured that you can depend on our vote in the UN on almost all the issues having to do with Israel” 1) He has further indicated that, if elected, he will close the Palestinian embassy in Brazil, claiming that “Palestine first needs to be a state to have the right to an embassy.”
For his outspoken conservative views and because of certain events from his past (He has been compared with US President Donald Trump, whom in some ways he resembles), Mr Bolsonaro has been the target of many attacks in the press—and not only there. On September 6th, while being carried through the streets during a campaign event in southeastern Brazil, he was attacked and stabbed in the abdomen by a man who had made his way through the throng of supporters. The knife pierced his liver, a lung and his intestinal tract. He reportedly lost almost 40% of his blood, and for hours his life was held in the balance. A well-known evangelical minister Silas Malafaia visited him while in intensive care. In the end, he pulled through and continues to recover. It is truly a miracle that he is alive, much less now the president-elect. On the evening of his victory, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu telephoned him to offer his congratulations. During the conversation, the Prime Minister reportedly told Bolsonaro that he plans to attend his inauguration on January 1st. If he does indeed do so, it will be the first-ever visit of a serving Israeli prime minister to Brazil. 2)
* Spiritual and physical protection for President-elect Bolsonaro, his wife and family. That he be strengthened and physically restored. That he also be strengthened and matured in his Faith. Pray for the spiritual leaders God has placed in his life.
* That his mind be protected; that “the shalom of God which surpasses all comprehension will guard his heart and mind in Messiah Yeshua” (Philippians 4:7).
* That during the next two months he receive of the counsels and mind of God in preparation for assuming his seat. Pray for godly counselors to his Presidency. “The LORD nullifies the counsel of the nations; He frustrates the plans of the peoples. The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the thoughts of His heart from generation to generation” (Psalm 33:10-11).
* That President-elect Bolsonaro will receive divine knowledge and insight regarding Israel and its place in the alignment of nations with the purposes of God. That he will be given strength, stamina to stand in the path and principles into which God has called him. That he will not be persuaded to change his stance on Brazil being a friend of Israel.
* For the mighty nation of Brazil, that it come into the blessings of the God of Nations. That it be healed, that the Gospel of the Kingdom of God displace the false ideologies which have ruled in the heavenlies over that land.
* That the Church of Jesus the Messiah there be raised up and released in power and insight to do battle with the demonic structures struggling to keep Brazil from coming into her place as a leader of the Kingdom in her hemisphere—and the world.
1) “Brazil to move embassy to Jerusalem, new Brazilian President Bolsonaro says”: The Jerusalem Post, 11/01/2018.
2) “Netanyahu likely to attend Bolsonaro inauguration in Brazil”: The Jerusalem Post, 10/31/2018.
2. JERUSALEM MAYOR
As elections of great significance continue (We are presently praying regarding the incredibly portentous ones throughout the United States on Tuesday), an unexpected run-off election for Mayor of Jerusalem will be taking place in the capital a week from this Tuesday on 13 November. In last week’s civil elections in Israel, two city councilmen, Ofer Berkovitch and Moshe Lion came out on top, with neither gaining a majority. At present the haredim (ultra-Orthodox) hold a majority of the 31 seats on the city council. We are concerned that the city have a leader who can bring balance to the oversight of the city. Mr Lion has managed to get endorsement from Degel and Shas…two of the strongest Haredi parties (Shas also presently holds the portfolio of Minister of the Interior in the national government). In last week’s elections, many more of the city’s ultra-Orthodox citizens came out to vote than did those of secular and other religious groups.
* That the Spirit of God would stir up citizens of His city and Israel’s capital to vote—and that a leader will be placed in the seat of Mayor who will be most aligned with God’s purposes for the city during this season.
* That a Mayor be elected who is a man of integrity and wisdom, sensitive to the workings of the Holy Spirit in carrying out his duties.
* That a Mayor will be elected who will have an ear to all the different streams of citizens in the city—including Messianic Jews.
* For a Mayor to be elected who (as occurred often in Biblical times) will recognize and honor prophetic words of God when they are sent into his chambers by the Spirit who watches over Jerusalem. Pray for such emmisaries to be raised up in the city, whose voices will find favor in the ears of the Mayor.