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For Those Interceding for Israel: Their cups are empty

Imagine assisting an elderly gentleman who has spent a lifetime investing in his future. He is influential and has great wealth, yet he is no longer in control of his destiny. He has a deep love for his family and yet has not seen them for a long time. Instead of living in a mansion that would reflect his status, he lives in a run-down apartment. He has few belongings even though he has prepared the bedrooms for the return of his grandchildren. You can feel the sadness he carries and wonder how you are to help this great man of promise as he waits for the fulfillment of his inheritance.

This is how the Lord showed me Israel in a dream three nights ago.

Since Israel has not been one of my top prayer assignments, this dream got my attention.  It’s obviously on God’s heart and it has ramifications for us as we are praying for our own nation. The Lord is showing something specific that we are to be praying for as Israel waits to receive her inheritance.

First, the Jewish people have much to teach us as Americans. They understand COVENANT better than anyone. I’m not speaking of the Laws of the Old Covenant, but the reality of biblical covenant with one another. They understand what it means to commit to something – to someone – and to stay faithful and steadfast in that commitment. They understand generational inheritance and God’s heart for fulfilling those promises. They have persevered through decades of abuse while maintaining their resolve. Even so, they are missing a deeper truth that MUST be seen, and one we must be praying for.

In the dream as I entered this gentleman’s apartment, I noted how messy it was. It hadn’t been cleaned up in a long time. But, even more specific, was what created the clutter.  I saw the gentleman seated on his couch engrossed in a book and talking about its contents. He had just finished drinking something from a glass and put it down.  It was then I noticed that the entire apartment was filled with these empty glasses that he had drunk from – but never cleaned out.  They were everywhere – empty glasses that were dirty on the inside, never having been cleaned.  He seemed to be so taken by what he was learning that he didn’t tend to the dishes.

As usual, I went to the Scripture for help in interpreting this and found the reference to Jesus’ rebuke to the Pharisees in Luke 11:39-41, speaking of their “cups”. He tells them they are so busy working on their outer appearance (looking like clean cups) that they have forgotten to clean the inside. They were so preoccupied with their possessions and knowledge; they never dealt with their heart issues.  I believe this is how we need to pray for our Jewish brothers and sisters.  Whether it’s out of preoccupation, lack of revelation or just weariness, the Jewish nation needs our help.

It’s not necessarily a new revelation, but given the present state of affairs and the attention to their physical homeland’s security, the Lord is reminding us to pray for their eternal security. They are obviously preoccupied with the possession of their land. Perhaps there is a preoccupation with their technology (the gentleman being engrossed in the latest book), or with their family (all preparations had been made for a family reunion). Regardless of the reason, unless the children of Israel begin to look INSIDE their hearts to see what is truly filling them, they may gain their land, but lose their souls.  While we pray for the physical protection of their nation and security to be in place, we must also pray that their overriding THIRST would be for The One who can truly set them free and make them secure.

I noted that at the end of the dream I offered to help clean up the apartment.  The gentleman was not only appreciative, but had a pair of house slippers ready for me to use. I believe this reveals that there is an openness and readiness to receive the love and support from Christian brothers and sisters. It could even reveal that Israel has something to contribute to us as both our nations are looking for “Home” – that place where we can rest secure. I don’t know how that might play out, but I sense the Lord is asking us to step up in our prayers and willingness to model a servant’s heart to the Jewish people.

We know that our prayers for Israel affect us as Americans. We hear the calls to intercession on a consistent basis. Immediately after this first dream, I had another short dream which seemed to drive the point home. I saw a small child following me as I was trying to put out little pieces of food for my dog to eat. This child was so hungry; it was eating the dog’s food. I was a bit annoyed and wondered why this happened! In Matthew 15:24-28 Jesus speaks to a Gentile woman who came, asking for him to heal her daughter: “He answered, ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.’ The woman came and knelt before him. ‘Lord, help me!’ she said. He replied, ‘It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.’  ‘Yes, Lord,’ she said, ‘but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.’ Then Jesus answered, ‘Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.’ And her daughter was healed from that very hour.”

My dream was alluding to this Scripture where Jesus is expressing His call to redeem Israel.   Though his eyes are focused on “Her”, he recognizes true spiritual hunger and rewards it. This desperate Gentile woman didn’t care that Jesus’ focus was on Israel.  She knew Who He was and needed healing. Because of her initiative and faith, He blessed her and released the healing. Jesus is exhorting us to pray for our Jewish brothers and sisters.  As we allow His heart for Israel to become our own and persist in prayer, we will see healing for ALL nations – including our own.

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