Days of Distress

Days of Distress Jackie Santoro

It was Shabbat here yesterday and there was a lovely quiet in the air. The nation honors the Shabbat and even the most secular people take a break from the frenzy of the week. As soon as the sun goes down though, the intensity of these days will return in full power.

The current political situation in Israel is more dire than anyone has ever experienced in recent times. We have suffered through wars, terrorist attacks and innumerable tragedies in our history but to go through the depth of this national division and civil unrest is something different. The other events, though so difficult to absorb, would always bring the people together while this situation has resulted in an internal split that is causing great damage, resulting in pain and fear in the hearts of so many Israelis. Their confidence in the way their government has always worked and the “oneness” they have always felt in spite of ideological differences has been injured in a profound way.

The dynamics are very complicated and it’s hard to fully understand exactly what is going on. What is clear is that a demonic spirit of division has taken control, causing great trauma. The opposition believes that with the passage of this “judicial overhaul” bill, a dictatorship will emerge and must be stopped at all costs. They do not trust the radical religious Knesset members and what they perceive as their intention to control the country. Those in the government coalition see these protesters as anarchists who are threatening to bring down the duly elected government and they are firm in their stand to not give in to any of their demands.

Right now, a significant number of army reservists are saying they will not continue to serve if the bill is passed. This has never happened before and has sent shock waves throughout the country. International investment is being threatened and there are reports of large numbers of Israelis wanting to leave the country, including doctors and other professionals.

The huge demonstrations, now in their 30th week have disrupted train and air service at times along with regular attempts to close down the main highways. Last week, thousands of protesters embarked on a 4 day walk to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv in scorching heat, arriving at the Knesset in time for the vote on the legislation.

All the efforts to arrive at a compromise before the actual vote were unsuccessful and the first part of the “Judicial Overhaul” bill was passed on July 24.

Tensions are very high, the situation extremely volatile and there have been too many violent outbreaks between police and protesters.

PM Netanyahu is caught between two conflicting forces; his need to keep his coalition together in order to remain in power and his need to promote a compromise in order to keep the nation together. Last week, a couple of days before the vote, Netanyahu was hospitalized and a pacemaker inserted after he had experienced some health issues the week before. He is under intense pressure as he deals with this internal crisis at home, the negative international reaction especially from the Biden administration, the Iranian threat, and his own personal criminal trial.

The Knesset is now on a three month break and so there won’t be any legislation until they reconvene. In the interim, compromise talks will be taking place.

Please pray during this time that a spirit of unity would prevail in the end. Pray that Netanyahu and the others would hear from heaven in this time of distress and would be able to do what must be done in order have compromise and to put an end to this civil unrest. May the spirit of division be cast out and in the end be a catalyst for a great revival as people seek God in this time of desperation. May the devil’s latest strategy be defeated!

On a much more positive note, I had a most blessed time in NY with friends and family. I was with some whom I have known since I came to faith and I so appreciated the eternity that is in these relationships. They will never end! We will be together forever! I also spent a wonderful weekend at the Tikkun America conference. I was amazed at all God did in my heart and mind! I was so greatly encouraged, felt I had experienced yet another breakthrough and returned home with a fresh infilling of the overwhelming love of the Lord. How He loves us!

We also just had another “Widows Meeting”. It was wonderful and we are all growing together in love, relationship and a deeper understanding of all we have gone through. We can all feel the guiding hand of the Lord on us as a group and individually and know that he has great purposes for us as we see His great love in action.

Just a few days ago, I took my granddaughter to the “Anu” Museum in Tel Aviv which among other things, traces the wanderings of the Jewish people in the Diaspora. Although I am familiar with this sad time of Jewish history, it illuminated again the heart- breaking reality of the sufferings of our people at the hands of the “church” down through the ages, culminating in the Holocaust. It is no wonder that Jesus is considered the enemy of his people and most unwelcome in his own country. Sadly, the success of the devil’s strategy to separate Yeshua from the people he came to save was all too evident. But happily, as I reminded myself, he will not win! God has promised that “All Israel will be saved.” And his promises are “yes and amen!”

As I said to my granddaughter, that is why we have returned to the Land – to bring the true Yeshua back to his own. After walking through the museum, this task seems “beyond” formidable and as we have said before, there is no way we can do it alone. We need the prayers and support of believers world-wide if we are to overcome all the blinders of distrust, fear, and the centuries of lies that have been planted in Jewish hearts by the enemy.

We so appreciate that you continue to stand with us as we labor to bring forth his truth and goodness to a nation that so desperately needs their Messiah, especially in these times of intense disunity and division.

May Yeshua be lifted up and draw all men to Himself.

With love from Zion,