Prayer for Our Soldiers and a Visit from Our Local Bomb Squad
How has your week been? Did you and your community manage to enjoy any of the Jewish holidays this past month?
I arrived back in Israel after two weeks in Dallas, TX for the Gateway Church International Worship Leader’s Roundtable—and a quick stop to teach students at Christ for the Nations Institute. I got home in time to celebrate Sukkot with the family. The kids had decorated the sukkah and we ate a lovely meal under the stars.
We started our work week with a bomb scare just feet from our offices that warranted a visit from the bomb squad. When a suspicious object is found, a robot is dispatched to cover it and create a controlled explosion. In this case, it turned out to be a bag full of junk under a car—but at one point, as we watched from several stories up, our staff was discussing what the car’s owner would say when they returned to their vehicle after said controlled explosion.
Bomb scares are a part of life in Israel and it’s not entirely uncommon for one to ride public transportation and need to get off somewhere along the way because of a suspicious object found on the bus or along the bus route warranting a temporary road closure. Even if you don’t ride public transportation, you may occasionally be rerouted because of such a road closure.
Usually, the object is someone’s forgotten item, but sometimes it’s not and Israeli citizens take no chances. We like to joke that if you forget your bag somewhere, it’s more likely to be blown up by the bomb squad than to be stolen. Our daughter found that out the hard way this past spring when she forgot her bag at a gas station near our house…. Yes, the bag and all the new clothes she had just bought are no longer.
This entire fall High Holiday season has been plagued with attacks and riots in different areas in Israel. One of the more disturbing occurrences took place in Bethel this weekend where IDF soldiers say they identified terrorists but were forbidden to engage until the terrorists fired the first shot. Those first shots were fired on a sukkah where a family was singing the traditional holiday blessings. The father was hit in the face and the chest and sent to the hospital. Because of the sensitive place where the metal lodged in his face they are currently unable to remove it.
In one sense, Israel’s access to intelligence that would focus on such an attack is commendable. On the other hand, the bureaucracy Israel is clearly having to deal with that hampers its ability to utilize such intelligence and properly protect its citizens is endangering both our soldiers and every person who lives in or visits Israel.
- Father, we thank You for being a promise keeper.
- Your Word is forever, and it does not return unbidden.
- We thank You for holidays and holy days that give us the opportunity to remember Your wonders. May Your wonders never cease.
- You have, in the past, revealed the plans of the enemies to those who hear Your voice.
- We ask for Israel to continue to receive intelligence of enemy plans through their organizations, but we also ask for intelligence to be received by those who know Your voice—so that You alone may receive the glory.
- In Gideon’s day You delivered Israel in such a way that it did clearly require the participation— but not the power and might—of the army of Israel. Do this again in our day.
- The elections are only weeks away. If the results are conclusive, leaders will be chosen to lead Israel in various departments—education, healthy, military, etc. Choose who You would have to lead those areas.
- Remove from our midst fraudulent leaders or ones who would cause harm to this nation in any way.
- It may be a generation away, but we ask for leaders who would lead this nation in Your ways.
- Protect Israel’s soldiers as they stand in the gap for the citizens of this nation.
- Remove international pressures that would hinder Israel from being able to defend Your people.
- Hear and answer those who call upon Your name in Israel, so that the world may recognize there is a God in Israel.
- Kobi and Shani and some of the Maoz team will be traveling in the coming weeks to the U.S., Brazil, U.K. and France. We ask for divine appointments and guided steps to maximize this time outside of Israel.