More than 2,500 years ago, Ezra was returning to Judea with the mostly secular exiles from Babylon. Jewish history tells us that to help connect His people to the God of Israel, he established a weekly Torah readings.
These complete Torah separated into 54 readings for every Shabbat, along with the haftorah portions that include predetermined sections from the prophets and the history of Israel, with extra readings for specific holidays.
Every year, the day after the feast of Tabernacles, there is a celebration of God’s word to Israel, called Simchat Torah or the Joy of the Torah. On this day, the scrolls are rolled back to the beginning of Genesis 1 to start again the annual readings. The day is one of celebration, parading around the Torah in the synagogue or Israeli communities as God’s gift and celebrate another year of to start afresh reading His Word.
This has been continued every week in Jewish communities around the world since that time. Consequently, these were also the community Bible studies of Jesus, the Jewish disciples and of the 1st-century church. Even since that time, ancient rabbis and scribes have long believed that the weekly reading of God’s word held strength for that specific week they were in, even until today.
Much like the Yom Kippur invasion 50 years ago, almost to the day, Hamas’ merciless attacks were intentionally planned for Oct. 7, the morning of Simchat Torah. From a spiritual standpoint, this was not simply an attack on the Jewish people, but on the God of Israel and the word of God itself.
If you love the entire Bible, its contents and value it as the Word of God, this should sound the blaring “air raid sirens” of your heart.
This last weekend (Oct. 13/14) was the first portion of the year Genesis 1:6-8 and it gives us insight into the last week.
In the beginning of last week’s portion, God said He divided the light from the dark. Have you seen that this last week? The darkness is no longer hidden. Shockingly, in cities around the world, people have rallied and supported Hamas’s slaughter, rape, burning alive, beheadings of Jews and calling for more. New York, LA, Paris, Sydney, London, even places obscure places like Bangor, Maine. Two weeks ago, there was nothing like this happening until the brutal attacks in Israel on “the people of the book” and “the book itself.” God IS dividing the light from the dark.
This week, the Torah portion begins like a word to the future:
“Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth. Then God said to Noah, ‘ The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth'” (Gen 6:11-13).
In Arabic, Hamas is an acronym for “Islamic Resistance Movement.” In Hebrew, the word hamas means “violence.” Two weeks ago, this portion would not have fit with our current events as it does today. But be encouraged and know that God sees this “hamas” and He has a plan to destroy “hamas” from the earth.
We cannot simply stand by and watch when the Jewish people, the family of Jesus, and the Word of God are so mercilessly attacked. If you treasure these things, this is your fight too. Continue to pray for Israel, that God would completely destroy Hamas. Check on your Jewish friends and give to growing needs in Israel.
It is time to choose between light and darkness. It is also a good time to find safety of the ark.
Doug Hershey is the author of the best-selling photo books Israel Rising and Jerusalem Rising that provide historical and visual documentation of biblical prophecy coming to pass in our day, and The Christian’s Biblical Guide to Understanding Israel: Insight Into God’s Heart for His People. When not in Israel, he resides in Portland, Maine. Check out more information on courses, event requests and Israel tours on his website DougHershey.co. Please check out Doug’s books “Israel Rising”, “Jerusalem Rising” and “The Christian’s Biblical Guide to Understanding Israel: Insight Into God’s Heart for His People” as well as his course to join God in his plan to fulfill his ancient promises as told in scripture.
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