Today is the National Day of Prayer, May 3, 2012. We will be uniting our prayers with many thousands of believers who are gathering throughout our beloved Christian nation. Grace Chapel at Morningside will be open all day for prayer. Please feel free to come and pray throughout the day for our country. And, be sure to pray for the peace of Jerusalem!
Due to the rising unrest within Egypt and Syria, the Israeli Knesset in Jerusalem approved an emergency measure to activate six reserve battalions, along with an agreement to recall up to sixteen more battalions to active duty if needed, twenty-two battalions in all.
This reinforcement of Israeli Defense forces signifies a heightened threat along the Egyptian and Syrian borders of Israel. The military rule over Egypt has lost full control over its people in the northern Sinai. Israeli intelligence has also noted there has been an increase in smuggling weapons among the Bedouin nomadic tribes in the Sinai Desert. The number of terrorists based and being trained in the Sinai have multiplied and have been running operations across Israel’s southern border with Egypt.
This past August, eight Israelis were killed by terrorists who crossed a section of unprotected border into Israel illegally.
The situation in Syria is very volatile “and could explode at any moment . . . and pose a direct challenge to us,” said the former Israeli deputy chief of staff, Dan Harel.
The government of Israel was faced with a dilemma. They either had to put active duty soldiers on patrol without proper training or call up reservists who are already trained. Israeli troops need to be the best they can be. Israel is on a war footing and must be prepared in case of all-out war, which could occur on different fronts.
Some of the reservists were not happy about being summonsed for active duty but feel a very strong commitment and pride in serving the nation of Israel. “Esprit de corps” is one way of describing the Israeli warriors. There is a comradeship, enthusiasm, and devotion to their rightful cause among the members of the Israeli battalions being called on active duty.
I am reminded of little David in the Bible when he came to the battlefield on which Goliath had challenged the armies of Israel. David’s response was straightforward and simple when he asked, “Is there not a cause?”
For Israel, the cause is their right to exist. It doesn’t get any more chilling than that. When you are surrounded by your enemies and they have sworn to ‘wipe you off the map,’ you are in a constant state of preparation for war.
As Israel marches toward war, the Lord God of Abraham would say to them, “Be strong and courageous. The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear, or be dismayed.”
And little Israel will say to their enemies, “I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and the whole world will know there is a God in Israel.”
One might even hear these words spoken by a few Israeli soldiers along its borders, “Who are these uncircumcised Philistines, that they should defy the armies of the living God?”
God hasn’t changed His mind about the Apple of His Eye, Israel.