Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Hamas fires rocket at Jerusalem again, lands at Bethlehem

Joel C. Rosenberg tweeted this morning, ‏@JoelCRosenberg, "Air raid sirens sounded in Jerusalem. All clear now. Missile hit near Bethlehem. No casualties reported. Keep praying. #PillarOfDefense"

"Michael Lawrence, @IsraelSpeaker, reacted this way, "This afternoon's long-range Hamas missile fell near Bethlehem, holy town for the Christian world. Why is this allowed?"

I didn't think my spiritual pain could worsen when I'd read the other day that Hamas launched a rocket at Jerusalem but it did when I'd read that the little town of Bethlehem was hit. I admit I began to cry. I honestly don't know why it hit me so hard.

There are many protests and clashes going on in Bethlehem right now, too. Jerusalem Post reports-

W. Bank: Palestinians protest, clash with IDF troops
"More anti-Israel protests erupted in the West Bank Tuesday as Palestinians took to the streets and clashed with IDF troops. The worst clashes took place in Bethlehem and Hebron, where IDF soldiers used rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse stone-throwers."

As we approach the season of our Holy Savior's birth in that tiny village, we always envision this kind of peaceful scene--
Source

Phillips Brooks wrote the lyrics to O Little Town of Bethlehem. He described his horse­back jour­ney from Je­ru­sa­lem to Beth­le­hem, where he as­sist­ed with the mid­night ser­vice on Christ­mas Eve, 1865:

"I re­mem­ber stand­ing in the old church in Beth­le­hem, close to the spot where Je­sus was born, when the whole church was ring­ing hour after hour with splen­did hymns of praise to God, how again and again it seemed as if I could hear voic­es I knew well, tell­ing each other of the Won­der­ful Night of the Sav­ior’s birth."

And we never envision this kind of violent scene-
Palestinian youths throw stones at Israeli security forces 
Friday in a West Bank village near Bethlehem. source

On Twitter, a Stephanie Bond wrote "Oh little town of Bethlehem how still we see thee riot!" And she posted this photo --

Embedded image permalink

As for the present clashes between Israel and Gaza, there are rumors flying around that change every minute. There is a cease-fire about to be announced. There is no cease fire. Israel does not want a cease-fire. Gaza does not want a cease fire. They are under pressure to accept a cease fire...and on and on it goes. Credible news outlets like CNN, Reuters, JPost and others on Twitter tweet all the above and sometimes at the same time. All I can say for sure is that things are changing by the minute.

The only thing that does not change is Christ's love for His people- all people, for now. The IDF soldiers, the Muslim rock throwers and the Christians in the little town of Bethlehem. This is the time of Grace. Soon it will be the time of wrath, where there is no grace.

Micah 5:2 spoke of Bethlehem where the savior would be born. We associate the swaddling babe with that city and rightly so. But the same Micah reminds us just a few verses later that Jesus

"in anger and wrath I will execute vengeance on the nations that did not obey." (Micah 5:15)

The day of grace will end.

Acts 17:30-31 reminds us of that fact-

"The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

In Revelation 6 we read that the souls of the slain cry for vengeance upon the earth.

"When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” " (Revelation 6:9-10)

MacArthur explains this thirst for vengeance, and it is not what it seems--
"These prayers are not personal vendettas, they're not thirst for personal revenge. Their holy desire is for the end of iniquity. Their holy desire is for the destruction of Satan. Their holy desire is for the devastation of Antichrist and the false prophet and all who followed him. Iniquity has reached its height in the slaughter, how long until You avenge our blood on...then this phrase, "Those who dwell on the earth?" ... Now as we look at Revelation chapter 6 tonight, we are going to come face to face with God's vengeance. The time of grace is really coming to its end."
For all those who think that the grace will continue to those who dwell on the earth forever, you're wrong. I do not know how long our Holy Savior will patiently endure the attacks at Jerusalem and on the people of the apple of His eye. Appeal to Him now while grace is still here. (Isaiah 55:6). Be His recipient of it now!

Here, the Vienna Boys Choir sings O Little Town of Bethlehem. It is grace, grace, grace Who came to us wrapped in flesh to save the world and those who dwell in it. I cry today because they bomb it and throw stones at it and spit on it. How long, O Lord? The Lord uses Zechariah to remind them and us that His patience will not remain forever--

"For thus said the Lord of hosts, after his glory sent me to the nations who plundered you, for he who touches you touches the apple of his eye: “Behold, I will shake my hand over them, and they shall become plunder for those who served them. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me. Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for behold, I come and I will dwell in your midst, declares the Lord. And many nations shall join themselves to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people. And I will dwell in your midst, and you shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. And the Lord will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem.” (Zechariah 2:8-13)

Such glorious promises! But Zechariah ends the verse with this:

"Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord, for he has roused himself from his holy dwelling."

And what a day that will be!! A day of wrath and not of grace. Therefore "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel." (Mark 1:15b)

They begin singing at 1:33.

6 comments:

  1. I would like to share this with my readers. May I please manually reblog this, because I have a wordpress.. with your link at the very top, very obvious, hyperlinked for readers to click on and come here? Please let me know. Thanks...and God bless u!

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    1. Hi Ms Lyn,

      Thank you for asking. Sure, just link back and we're good to go! Bless you also. Jesus comes soon, I think. I hope, anyway.

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  2. Even though I desire peace and salvation for all of us, I love prophesy, and I love watching it happen, our God is truly amazing!

    I have a question, does the Bible say that we shouldn't acknowledge special days and months and years; as the world does? My main interest is Christmas.

    Love

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    1. Hi Anonymous,

      GotQuestions answers "Should a Christian celebrate holidays?" with thoughtful scripture

      http://www.gotquestions.org/Christian-holidays.html

      Ultimately the essay says it is up to each individual family to decide because the bible doesn't prescribe it nor does it prohibit it.

      I agree, God is amazing, His word and His plans are sooo precise!

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  3. With each passing day we are getting closer to the return of our Lord Jesus Christ ,seems to me things are shapeing up a lot more on the world stage for the antichrist to appear when the final curtain is drawn.

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  4. It's scary how much HATE and anger is being spewed from all over the world at Israel. The news either outrightly or subtly makes Israel look blood hungry, heartless and evil and people are eating it up. Anti-semitism has been growing and bubbling under the surface but now the opportunity to express it has come and it's exploding everywhere. I can imagine it will get so much worse and I can imagine how Israel would accept the Antichrist with open arms when he finally brings "peace" to the region.

    I didn't even know a missile almost hit Bethlehem...wow..I will be praying. I wonder if this cease-fire will amount to anything.

    Anyway, God's timing is always perfect and the day when the world sees the power of God on behalf of Israel is soon coming. We will soon be seeing our saviour face to face too! :D

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