Monday, December 17, 2012

Not by might, says God to Israel, but by My Spirit

Israel is noted by the nations as one of the most advanced military and technological nations in the world. Their successive wins at various wars have given them confidence in their strategies and protocols. The recent success of Pillar of Cloud in the Gaza Strip with Iron Dome and now David's Sling missile busters coming online have added to that feeling of confidence in their abilities. This feeling will nearly prove their undoing. Why?

They need to rely on God. But they don't.

I've mentioned this before. In the blog entry titled "Israel, Iran, and Heavenly intervention," I'd written-
“Of course, we would love to see some heavenly intervention that will stop them, to wake up some morning and learn that they’ve given up on their nuclear intentions,” Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told reporters at the Pentagon Thursday during a joint press conference with Leon Panetta, his American counterpart."

I had mentioned yesterday that Israel's current military success is a wonderful thing, culturally, in that the citizens of the nation have a bit more reassurance that they can live through the day without a terrorist rocket falling on them. But in the long run it is actually counterproductive spiritually, because as long as they rely on themselves they will not rely on the Holy God of Israel. You see the Defense Minister's next statement:

“You cannot build a strategy based on these wishes or prayers."

Oh yes you can. Elisha did.
A week later in a blog entry titled Mysterious site 911 raises eyebrows, I'd repeated the mantra that over-reliance on one's military and under-reliance on God is a bad thing-
"Israel is becoming more security conscious every day. Their reliance on their military is a good thing, otherwise I'm sure that as a nation they would have been obliterated by now. And, after all, it is God who allowed their successes so far.

However, there is such a thing as over-reliance. ... Their continued run of success will only make them ever more reliant on their military and further from remembering that God is behind it. As a matter of fact the Israel Defense Force tweeted, "Our job is to minimize the need for a miracle, even in Hanukkah. We must always be ready."
Minimizing the need for a miracle, which only comes from God, is really saying they minimize the need for God.

The Israelites of today will drift further and further from Him, until He uses Russia-Turkey-Iran's military might to draw them back to Himself. That alliance is prophesied to attack Isrel in the last days...ans almost win. It is God who saves Israel.

"I will make known my holy name among my people Israel. I will no longer let my holy name be profaned, and the nations will know that I the Lord am the Holy One in Israel." (Ezekiel 39:7)

Now finally someone of Israel is urging Israel to turn to God and not their military for confidence. Rabbi Dan Dorsch, the Assistant Rabbi of Temple Beth Shalom in Livingston, New Jersey, wrote this on Sunday in Haaretz. Here is an excerpt:
From Pillar of Defense to Hanukkah: Why Jews mustn’t glorify military might
Why isn’t Hanukkah in the Torah? Perhaps because the sages did not condone military prowess divorced from God’s presence.

Having arrived at Hanukkah following Operation Pillar of Defense, I believe the words of our sages still speak to the nature of modern military conflict. Like myself, I believe our sages would be proud to be associated with the fine, dedicated, brave modern Maccabees of the Israel Defense Forces, who protect and defend our Jewish state. Yet, as the State of Israel and the Jewish people move forward proudly from that operation into Hanukkah, I believe our sages might also take care to remind us that triumph in battle can never be a true Jewish path toward holiness. Instead, they would probably remind us that the very Hebrew name of the operation, Amud Anan – which refers to God’s protective “pillar of cloud” as He led the Jewish people out of Egypt through the desert — reminds us that a Jew must ultimately never draw his or her strength from might or power, but from God’s spirit.

Hanukkah reminds us that in ancient times, armies fought brutal campaigns and crusades falsely in the name of God and glory. But, as Jews, we only fight as a last resort because it is necessary to live, and so that we may spend our days drawing closer to God in peace.
For Jews, our true path toward holiness must be drawn from the wellsprings of our faith. We may celebrate victory but must never glorify military might. Instead, we must long for the day when all of the peoples of the world will finally put down their arms and live in peace.
They do long for peace, and well they should. However, that day of peace will only come when the Lord returns to establish His Kingdom. However, the Rabbi's yearning for the peace that is promised is a good thing, because we all must pray for the peace of Jerusalem. (Psalm 122:6)

Meanwhile, here is a verse that the Rabbi quoted-

"Then he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts." (Zechariah 4:6).

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