How and why I love Israel

In the old city of Jerusalem, May 2019

Its been a year since my last trip to Israel, with Kenneth Copeland Ministries. The people I met and heard from were precious and unforgettable, as was every place we visited. And I expect to go again some day. If you want to learn more about my 2019 trip, check for the series reviewing each day that I posted over several months after returning.

However, both the land (Eretz Israel) and the people (Am Israel) are always in my heart and often in my thoughts. You may wonder why, so let me share how my love for His land and His people came to be.

It started with music. In the late 90s I was at a bookstore looking through a bargain bin for some new worship music. I found “Under His Wings” by Jonathan Settel. I was intrigued by the song titles, some in Hebrew, so I took a chance. Well wow, the rich voice and anointing on this Messianic Jew’s music blessed me so. Within a few months, I also heard Marty Goetz (another Messianic Jew) perform songs from “He is My Defense.” I listened to this music over and over again.

Fast forward to the 2000 Southwest Believers Convention in Fort Worth, Texas. It’s where Billye Brim shared about The 2001 Solidarity Mission to Israel which would take place in November. It’s purpose was to demonstrate the love of God and Christians to Israel in a 12 day tour. Well, I didn’t know how… but I felt I must go and I made plans. Little did I know that it would be just a few weeks after 9/11, and that we would be the only tour in the land at that time. And although I went alone, I would make some precious friends and hear from some amazing people, like Raanan Levy. It was a privilege to go, a joy to walk where Jesus walked, and to show support for the people of Israel. Our tour guide Michael was visibly moved as we said goodbyes on the last day and I pray his life was changed by the love of God sown while we were there.

I knew when I left that it wasn’t just about the tour, or the people we met. It was about changing my heart forever. It made me hungry to learn more. More about Jesus, more about his Jewishness, more about the old testament and more about my Father. He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David…. and because of Jesus I am His.

Since that trip in 2001, God has continued to keep me hungry to learn. I took a class at a local Messianic church to learn the Hebrew Alephbet and bought a book titled, In His Own Words, by L. Grant Luton. It’s amazing, each letter has a meaning, a number, a root word…each is important. I also purchased several books (available from artscroll.com), to name a few: Chofetz Chaim: A Lesson A Day (the laws and sanctity of speech), and commentaries including Mishlei – Proverbs and Tehillim – Psalms, and Chumash – 1st five books of the Torah/Bible.

One of the most impactful learning opportunities has been through Moshe Shorashim. I asked Moshe for permission to share this with you and he agreed as long as I let you know that he is an Orthodox Jewish friend. All these years I have been receiving an email from the Shorashim Bibilcal Book Shop (which I visited on both trips, in the old city of Jerusalem — they have an online store with lots of wonderful items!). And for some time I have been following Moshe Shorashim on Facebook. Moshe is an Orthodox Jew and a wonderful teacher. He has been sharing video teachings for several weeks now, and I hear the heart of the Father in his teaching. Quite often I find myself pondering how what is shared applies to me as a Christian. He also writes for Israel National News.

Another wonderful learning opportunity was through the 2019 Kenneth Copeland Ministries tour last year, and also through Eagle Mountain International Church. Pastor Greg Stephens (who was on the 2019 tour) has a wonderful knowledge of Hebrew and teaches quite often at Faith Foundations on Sunday mornings. I am blessed to watch it via Youtube on the Victory Channel.

So, I love Israel because the Father loves them, and because praying for, loving and learning about Israel helps me to learn about and love Him.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May those who love her prosper. Psalm 122:6 NET

I will take you to myself for a people and I will be your God… I will bring you to the land I swore to give Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob – and I will give it to you as a possession, I am the Lord. Exodus 6: 7a-8 NET

I will walk among you, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Lev. 26:12 NET

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