In Israel, steps to exit the quarantine have already been taken. Those two months were stressful, both economically and for the mental state. Our new government (we don’t know how stable it is, as we see that it is jerry-built, therefore please pray for it) tries to make its first steps towards the economy, education and PUBLIC meetings, which we are part of. And as I wrote before, this situation was not easy psychologically, and some families encountered real disasters. Nevertheless, I recall a saying of one Jew, who has been a teenager during WWII- “We were hiding from the Nazis in the basements without food and water, while you are sitting in your homes with full refrigerators”. This is something to think about. Also, we cannot explain these two months in any other way, only as a chance for re-evaluation, given to us by God.
What about the disease?
Many believers quote Jackob “God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone”, and ask this question. Or how can a period, being hospitalized with artificial-lung-ventilation “work together for good”? All those questions are not easy, especially for those who grew up under the influence of the Prosperity Theology. But one famous wise Greek said: “Socrates is a friend of mine, but the truth is more valuable”.
The truth of the scriptures is that in the “arsenal” of the Creator there is both good AND evil. Speaking of Isaiah 45:7: “I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil; I, the Lord, do all these things;”. To understand these verses, it is important to see the eternal good that God has provided for those who love Him, and the scriptures also speak about this through the lips of Asaph, who at some point in time was depressed, because he saw “the welfare of the wicked and the suffering of the righteous”, but right after that, he receives a revelation. “For I was envious of the foolish when I saw the prosperity of the wicked; (…) When I thought to understand this, it was too painful for me, Until I went into the sanctuary of God. Then I understood their end.” (Ps. 73:3,1-17)
Of course, we faithfully hold to the lesson of our Savior in the prayer “Do not lead me into temptation,” but sometimes we need to pray for patience and enlightenment from Heaven to understand the importance of our Call – to walk with God and not only think about the changes in our lives. Moreover, we need to DO these changes. I write these words for those who are in doubt and who ask, “Where was God at that time?”.
And here is the answer: “God is always close-by, and he desires to grant us mercy.” But sometimes the daily routine is absorbing our attention so much that HE even uses the fears and horrors of this world, which the world is deserves, because of the sin of people, and He returns his lost children to HIMSELF! This is an important lesson and it is quite important to learn this lesson from the past difficult months with awareness and with discipline.
Where do the next two or three months lead us?
The infectologists cannot predict the future while the economists are skeptically looking into the future… Hence, what about us? After all, we do live on! Eventually, we have families, ministries, interests, and interrupted plans of purchasing certain things (a house, a car, or perhaps a fancy set of kitchen ware…). Nonetheless, in these days, we should continue to ask for the Lord’s will, for ourselves and for our dear ones. His will for the world and his will concerning our walk before Him, because He uses you and me to speak, to show and to give this world a chance to repent. Although Israel suffered exceedingly from the economical point of view, we notice that the death toll is relatively low. Why? Do we have remarkably strong medicine and an unusually powerful hospital network? Befriended doctors and our own eyes see that this is certainly not the case – hospitals and equipment could not withhold the “wave” like in Italy.
(Plus, the former Minister of Health, the Rabbi of Gurski Hassids, was more interested in issues things than the health problem.) Still, the merciful God showed his grace not by chance. I do believe that another dynamic, a heavenly one moved in Israel and it is a sign to the world.
“Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you.” (Isaiah 60:1-2)
Here, we see the word thick darkness, but in Hebrew is written “Fog”. Driving a car in fog is much more difficult than driving in darkness. Darkness can be illuminated by light, while fog absorbs light and makes driving very challenging. The “fog” of seduction and sinfulness covers the world and the mystical Judaism calls this action “a shell”. The truth of God is getting farther away from the human gaze and a similar “pandemic” or “other manifestations of the last days” are intended to frighten those who are too proud and to wake up those who are still able to awaken. And God knows those people. I believe that you belong to such ones and that you are capable of hearing and receiving the words of the Lord these days.
And Israel?… Israel never ceased to be an instrument in the hands of the Heavenly Father and “suffered” enough for the past centuries. Moreover, God CREATES in it something special… We ask for your prayer, your support, and your friendship – after all, this is not only for us, it is for all, all on THIS earth!
A little less dramatic 🙂
Nowadays, at “Return to Zion”, we think about the importance of weekly worship. We did not have such a practice before. It was completely unexpected, but the people gathered in front of the computer screens on Mondays and worshipped with their children and the Holy Spirit moved at a distance.
We feel the importance of making a change in the congregation and to divide it into two groups – the first one for those who prefer to keep the language of the country of origin (in our case Russian), because it is not possible or too difficult for them to learn Hebrew, and the second one for those who are completely “at home” with Hebrew.
A whole movement of online lessons has begun, and by the Grace of the Lord, we see a big increase of viewers during online meetings … PLEASE PRAY FOR US AND FOR WISDOM FROM HEAVEN! Please pray for our hands to be strengthened and for the needed initiative for those who are jealous for the Lord in Israel – to do His work! We are in prayer for you! We ask our Heavenly Father for mercy for your homes! We ask God for everyone to exit the quarantine with dignity both morally and economically and to continue to be a Light!
We love you and value your friendship,
Leon and Nina Mazin