The bible becomes alive in the Land of Israel
Masada and the Dead Sea in the distance
They say that the bible comes to life in Israel. There is something truly amazing about reading the stories in the places it actually happened. It was a very special experience for me when I first came here. And now I get to take my children to those sites and tell them the bible stories right where they took place.
“As the mountains surround Jerusalem so the Lord surrounds his people both now and forever more.” Psalm 125:2
While it is a blessing to be able to walk in the land of the bible, there is even more. It is the images that are described that become real. Visuals are very powerful. Seeing the Old City of Jerusalem surrounded by mountains is what the writer of Psalm 125 saw. And it is what we can still see today. It gives a visual reminder of the protection of the Lord. I can see the mountains and I am reminded of the faithfulness of the Lord.
“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” Psalm 42:1
Most of the deer in Israel live in the dessert. There is very little water and it is very hot. During the dry summer months, you can find deer panting and looking for water. When I see a deer, I can relate to how it feels as my soul pants for God.
“…. See how the flowers of the field grow….” Matthew 6:28
The flowers are suddenly there, after a rainy season. But as the weather heats up, they wither and dry up within a day. All that they are good for now is to be burned. This is a visual that the Lord Jesus used to encourage his disciples not to worry about clothing. For me it became real, when seeing the usually dry hills, suddenly with the most beautiful flowers, only to be gone within days. When flowers that are only there for a day are clothed with such splendor, how can I doubt that He will also care for me?
The bible becomes visual while reading it in the Land of Israel. It is truly amazing and I hope you get to experience it. But, while visuals help, the really ‘coming alive’ is in our hearts, and that can happen anywhere.
This article originally appeared on CBN Israel, January 8, 2019, and reposted with permission.
Since its establishment in March 2012 CBN Israel has helped thousands of people through its various operations. As the foundation of Project Light Shine, CBN Israel gives help to the community through three avenues; Humanitarian aid, education and economic development. CBN Israel serves with a spirit of humility and love. Their mission is to prepare the Land and the people of Israel for the coming of Messiah Yeshua and the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth. The vision of their work is to see the hungry fed, the needs of the needy met, businesses established and to improve the spiritual, physical and financial situation of the local body.
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The Lamb of God
PARASHAT BO (COME)
SHEMOT (EXODUS) 10:1–13:16
The Hebrew Scriptures (Tanakh) are full of references that connect to Messiah, and point to His fulfillment of the perfect, unblemished Lamb. In this week’s scripture portion, we find many of these connections, but I want to focus on verses 5 and 6 in Exodus 12:
Your lamb shall be an unblemished (perfect) male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. And you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight. (between the evening or afternoon)
There are three main points that I would like to highlight from these verses, because they directly point to Messiah Yeshua, and how He fulfilled the prophetic image of the Lamb:
- The “Unblemished Lamb” here in Hebrew is translated as “Seh Tamim.” The Hebrew word “tamim” refers to honesty, simplicity, innocence, completeness, integrity, and without any flaw or defect. You can find a similar description also in Deuteronomy 15:21,But if it has any defect, such as lameness or blindness, or any serious defect, you shall not sacrifice it to the LORD your God.
Isaiah 53 speaks of a person, which we know is the Messiah, that the LORD would use as a “lamb that is led to the slaughter” and would pay the penalty of sin for all of us:
All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so He did not open His mouth.
The disciples also referred to Yeshua in a similar way:
The next day he saw Yeshua coming to him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
…knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Messiah.
1 Peter 1:18–19
- Specific instructions on how to keep and slaughter the lamb:The instruction here was to take the lamb on the 10th of the month, and then keep it (or watch over it) until the 14th of the month. For what reason? I believe that it was in order to check or observe it and make sure that there was nothing wrong with it. In Matthew 22:15–33, just a few days before Yeshua gave Himself as the Sacrificed Lamb, the Pharisees and the Sadducees were questioning Yeshua on different issues so as to “check” Him and observe Him.
- The command to slaughter the lamb at twilight (between the evenings):The command here was to “kill it between the evenings” or in other words, in the afternoon. It makes sense then that Matthew recorded the time that Yeshua was on the tree (Cross) in these words,
Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour.
My dear friends, the more we read and learn of the amazing work of our Messiah, the more we will see the perfect fulfillment of every detail!
I leave you with two questions: Do you know Him? Have you received His perfect sacrifice as an atonement for your sin?
This article originally appeared on Hope for Israel and is reposted with permission.
Moran is the Founder and Executive Director of Hope for Israel, which is a service and resource-providing ministry that aims to bring the hope of the Messiah back to Israel. It is also a resource center for current and timely news updates concerning Israel that provides daily prayer alerts, Bible teachings, and weekly blogs in order to help believers across the world understand what God is doing in the Land, how to pray for Israel and filter everything through the Word of God.
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Investing in Israeli companies via the London Stock Exchange
Tel Aviv, Israel - Aerial view of Ramat Gan district from 49th floor of Circular Tower, one of three skyscrapers of Azrieli Center complex in Tel Aviv
“Israeli Companies’ continued success is a model for the rest of the world.” – Forbes
This article following on from the Investing In Israel through the London Stock Exchange series. Part 1 Investing in Israel via the LSEG – & 7 Israeli Tech Companies and Part 2 Investing In Israel via the LSEG – Investment and Property Services Companies
Last year it was announced by Israel’s Ambassador to the UK, that bilateral trade between the UK and Israel rose by 25% in 2017 rose to a record £6.9 billion, a trend that analysts predict will continue.
Despite having only around 8 million residents and a land mass slightly larger than the size of Wales, the ‘scale-up nation’ has emerged as a desirable investment destination.
One consensus to the reason behind Israel’s success; a relentlessness dedication to bring fast-growing disruptive technology businesses beyond the boundaries of geography. Western nations trade relatively easily with their neighbors, whilst Israel does not yet have that privilege. With such political challenges with bordering nations, and a relatively small domestic market, Israel’s entrepreneurs are forced to think of commercial success at an international level.
On average the nation invests more than 5% of GDP back into Research & Development initiatives. Private venture capital spending in Israel is also on the top of the world’s list.
Winston Churchill said “let our advanced worrying become advanced thinking and planning”
A UK government issued White Paper identified Israel as a trade priority for post-Brexit Britain because of the potential synergies between Israel’s high levels of innovation and British strengths in design, business growth and finance, as well as the UK’s own high-technology, scientific and institutional strengths.
There are now at least 337 Israeli tech companies operating in the UK. Figures from the British Embassy in Israel show a 33% growth in the value of their investments in the year following the UK’s EU membership referendum result. While the increase was only from £114m to £152m, the number of new investors has been sustained, and their investments climbed in value to £298m in the year to June 2018. This also resulted in a 12.8 per cent increase in jobs created in the UK.
“I would have preferred that there hadn’t been this complication called Brexit, but I’m sure we’ll overcome anything thrown at us,” Asher Bennett, Israeli Founder of Tevva Motors
LISTED COMPANIES ON THE LSEG
In 2018 €8.4 billion in Israeli stocks was traded on London Stock Exchange
Market Capitalisation, values taken on the 9th of January 2019, and vary from day to day, so should be taken as approximates. Share trading available from Hargreaves Lansdown.
1 – PLAYTECH PLC | Gambling | Market Cap $b 1.6
2 – PLUS500 LTD | Investment Services | Market Cap $b 1.703
3 – 888 HOLDINGS PLC | Gambling | Market Cap $m 652
4 – PPHE HOTEL GROUP LD | Hotels | Market Cap $m 719.7
5 – SUMMIT GERMANY LIMITED | Real Estate Holdings | Market Cap $m 517
6 – SAFECHARGE INTERNATIONAL GROUP LTD | Financial Administration | Market Cap $m 414
7 – XLMEDIA PLC | Media Agency | Market Capital $m 164.6
8 – TAPTICA INTERNATIONAL LTD | Media Agency | Market Cap $m 130.
9 – TELIT COMMUNICATIONS PLC | Telecommunications Equipment | Market Cap $m 160
“Israeli companies have a total Combined Market Cap of $17.9 billion“Justine Zwerling – Head of Primary Markets Israel – LSEG
10- BCRE BRACK CAPITAL REAL EST INV NV | Real Estate Holding & Development | Market Cap $m 159
11 – KAPE TECHNOLOGIES (formerly Crossrider PLC) | Software | Market Cap $m 142
12 – BATM ADVANCED COMMUNICATIONS LD | Market Cap $m 191.7
13 – AFI DEVELOPMENT PLC | Telecommunications Equipment| Market Cap $m 199.5
14 – LIVERMORE INVESTMENTS GROUP LD | Specialists Finance | $m 71.68
15- MATOMY MEDIA GROUP LTD | Media Agencies | Market Cap $m 7.21.
16 – AMIAD WATER SYSTEMS LD | Industry Machinery | Market Cap $m 49.86
17 – B.S.D CROWN LTD | Internet | Market Cap $m 22.4
18 – ALBERT TECHNOLOGIES LTD | Software | Market Cap $m 19.9
Despite its small stature, the developed market is a tech and healthcare powerhouse. A powerhouse that is growing by leaps and bounds. For investors, Israel, the often ignored nation could be one of the brightest spots on the map. – Forbes
19 -TECHFINANCIALS INC | Software | Market Cap $m 4.24
20 – ETHERNITY NETWORKS LD | Telecomms Equipment | Market Cap $m 12
21 – SHEFA YAMIM (A.T.M.) LTD | Diamonds & Gemstones | Market Cap $m 8
22 – MTI WIRELESS EDGE | Telecomms Equipment | Market Cap $m 13.7
23 – SIMIGON LD MTI | Software | Market Cap $m 6.35
24- BAGIR GROUP LTD | Market Cap $m 4.7
25 – STARCOM PLC | Software | Market Cap $m 4.6
26 – PLAZA CENTERS N.V. | Real Estate Holding & Development | Market Cap $m 2
This article originally appeared on Linkedin and is reposted with permission.
Jon is a digital project manager who consults for small start ups in London. Through Israelinvestment.org he stewards a small community of Christians in the UK who encourage each other to invest in ethical businesses in Israel.
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Recently, I was at an airport and watched with a remembering smile as a young person made the effort to walk up the down escalator. It immediately brought two memories to my mind. The first was when I was a young child and to the consternation of my mother I walked up the down escalator every time I found one. The second memory was of a statement made by one of my first biblical teachers who say that rising in our faith was like taking an escalator ride in which the lower you went (humility) the higher you rose spiritually. In other words, if you want to rise,
Luke 14:11 says it this way:
“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
And Proverbs 18:12 renders the thought this way:
Before ruin a person’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.
The idea that when we become lower G-D raises us up higher is not the only directional reversal that we find in the Scriptures. However, one of them only becomes clear when we look at the text in the original language. Let’s look at Exodus 9:1:
Then Adonai said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh, and tell him: This is what Adonai, the God of the Hebrews, says: ‘Let My people go, so they may serve Me.’
In this text we see G-D’s instructions to “Moses to Go in to Pharaoh” the Hebrew word “Go” is “Bo.” This word, however, means both to “go” and to “come.” One good example of the use of this word can be found in the well-known Messianic Song by Paul Wilbur entitled “Bo Ruach Elohim” which means “Come Spirit of G-D.” I know that at this point I have not yet made my point. So let me continue. In this verse, G-D was commissioning Moses to go and get His people out of Egypt. Moses was told to, “Go”, yet the truth is that by Moses going to Egypt, Moses was not getting closer to Pharaoh. In reality, Moses was getting closer to G-D. Moses may have left the wilderness and traveled to the throne room of Egypt, but spiritually he left the wilderness and traveled to the throne room of G-D.
You may wonder what this has to do with us as believers in Yeshua (Jesus) today. The truth is it is extremely important to us today. Just think about Matthew 28:19 known as the Great Commission:
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, immersing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Ruach ha-Kodesh.
Notice that these words spoken by Yeshua to His disciples are very similar to the commission that G-D spoke to Moses. We are told to “Go” and make disciples. Just as in the instructions to Moses, if we want to be drawn nearer to G-D, the way to “come” into His presence is to “Go” and make disciples. When our efforts are invested in humility, we will be elevated and when our efforts are invested in “Going into all the world to preach the Good News,” we will find ourselves coming into His presence.
Eric Tokajer is author of With Me in Paradise, Transient Singularity, #ManWisdom, OY! How Did I Get Here?: Thirty-One Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before Entering Ministry, Jesus is to Christianity as Pasta is to Italians, God Has No Plan "B", and his most recent book Galatians in Context.
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Ideas – Good and evil
‘Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.’ -Isaiah 5:20
For lack of a better word, and to avoid cliches and the pitfalls of misunderstanding, I will use the word Ideas to describe that which lays behind the concept of Good and Evil.
On the very simplest level, Evil (and Good) exists outside the individual person and his physical makeup in the form of Ideas. Those Ideas may be indoctrinated into the person, such as a young Muslim who is taught from childhood that it is good if he straps on a suicide belt and kills Jews in a pizza parlor, and he will be rewarded with 72 virgins in paradise. This is an evil Idea. Such Ideas may be spread to permeate an entire society, such as was the Nazi Idea in Germany with its murderous anti-Semitism, which is an evil Idea. Ideas, good or evil, are spread from outside the individual through writing and art and education and the media, and thus affect the behavior of persons and societies, and bring about good or evil results into the world.
There are Ideas which are bad in that they are built upon a false premise of errant assumptions, and therefore lead to evil results. The pleasant banner over the French Revolution- Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite- led to national chaos and the guillotine and streets running in blood. The ‘equality’ meaning ‘sameness’ promised by atheistic, materialistic Communism based on a false Idea contrary to the nature of humans, led to oppression, poverty and the murder of millions. Islam of the Quran based on primal fear and forced submission has long been known by its fruits of hatred, intolerance, backwardness and unending wars and terror. Bad Ideas.
In the marketplace of Ideas there are some very good ones. There are good Ideas, such as “Love your neighbor as yourself,” which have been passed down from the biblical writings for over 3000 years, and have had some positive effect upon humanity. The basic Idea at the very foundation of the Bible is “You shall love”. E Pluribus Unum (‘out of many, one’) and One Nation Under God are good Ideas, but their reversal becomes a bad Idea that leads to division and dissolution of the unity of a free nation, just as the good Idea of Christianity has caused evil when tragically misused contrary to its Founder’s tenets. Fire may cook the food and heat the house, or burn the house down if misused.
Ideas existed long before Muhammad and pre-dated Plato and Buddha and Zoroaster, and even Moses. Ideas are like clouds that build to fullness and then precipitate into ideologies and philosophies and those to political movements and those, when two contradicting Ideas attempt to occupy the same space, to conflict, and the last place the Ideas meet in conflict is on the battlefield of war.
But if one were to part the curtain to find the source of Ideas, and what fuels them, one might find Truth and its opposite, Lies. Ideas shape Ideals, true or false ones. The introduction of the Idea that the God of Truth is ONE and only was revolutionary, an affront that shattered the multiplicity of gods and goddesses that had shaped the paradigm of the ancient thought world, even the intelligent philosophical Greek world that has shaped much of Western thought. The oneness of the Creator- an Idea so simple that many find it hard to grasp- who had created a beginning with purpose, implied the oneness of all his creation, and thus the promise of an eventual coming of shalom (a dynamic of all things working together for the good, not a cessation of anything- except evil). Then the oneness of reality will cause a unity of the Creator, mankind, and all creation, without further conflict. As it is written prophetically, “In that day YHVH will be king over all the Earth, and his name one” (Zechariah 14:9).
YHVH the Creator is outside of His creation as much as I am outside of the art that I create- but I do exist out here. YHVH is especially outside of rebellious men, who do not seek to invite Him inside. To be forever outside the light of YHVH is Hell, trapped inside of our own lonely selves and Ideas and desires, and separated unto a long self-chosen exile in outer darkness. A sad Idea.
The greatest Idea has been given from Heaven. “It is not in Heaven” (Deut. 30:12), which means it is now given to humankind in the Torah and the Prophets and the King Messiah, and thus the free choice is given to us: “This day I lay before you life and death, the blessing and the curse, therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live!” (Deut. 30:19). Which is a very good Idea.
Elhanan ben-Avraham, born in 1945, is a professional artist, poet, writer and father of two, grandfather of four, living in Israel since 1979. He has served in the IDF, taught the Bible internationally, published two illustrated books of poetry, and painted two large Biblical murals in public buildings in Jerusalem, among many other works. He and his wife live in a quiet village in the Mountains of Judah.