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ISRAEL & NATIONS

Of the three pilgrim feasts - Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles - only the Feast of Tabernacles is mentioned as being celebrated by the nations. ‘Any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to celebrate the feast of Booths’ (Zech 14:16). Whereas Pessach (Passover) is celebrated in the home around the family dinner table, and Shavuot (Pentecost) is celebrated in the Temple (or Synagogue), Tabernacles and especially Yom Kippur is a national celebration.

Increasingly, we are living in a global village. In the last 12 months, the global financial crisis has touched every part of the world. The Mexican swine flu spread across the continents within weeks. God is beginning to deal with the nations in a way that has not been seen in generations before. Satan is also gearing up for his assault on the nations through the One World government (Rev 13:2), the One World monetary system (v17) and the One World religion (v4,12). These things are mentioned almost daily. The European Union building in Strassbourg was designed from Bruegel’s painting of the Tower of Babel, and was specifically said to be a completion of this. This all indicates how close we are to the return of Jesus.

When Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden, God provided a redemptive promise for eternal salvation for humanity through the seed of a woman crushing the head of the serpent, foreshadowing the victory of Christ at Calvary. When the nations fell in Genesis 11:1-9 by building the tower of Babel to make a name for themselves, the Lord confused their language and scattered them to the ends of the earth. In the following chapter, God revealed His redemptive answer for the nations. He chose a nation through whom the rest of the nations would be blessed, and a promise that if they blessed Israel, they would be blessed.

While the world is building Babylon and worshipping its ruler, Satan, the church in the nations needs to be building the Kingdom of God and worshipping its King, Yeshua (Jesus). The church needs to take its place in the restoration of Israel (Is 60, 49:22-23), the Temple (worship to the King) and bringing in the wealth of the nations (physical and spiritual) to the King (Is 66:18-20). Without following the biblical principle of Gen 12:3, the nations will not receive the fullness of God’s blessings.
          
Where will your nation stand in the end times - as a sheep nation or as a goat nation (Matt 25:31-46)? Judgment of the nations is based on how we treat God’s people, Israel (v40). Israel is judged on the state of her worship and its outworking in matters of justice and treatment of the poor (Jer 7:4-10). The church is judged according to all categories. As we pray we are prophetically also interceding for our nations and bringing our worship to the throne of God.

JILL CURRY