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Jerusalem Prayer List September 18, 2014

By Joseph Shulam

Marcia my wife arrived home yesterday after visiting the children and her parents. I arrived home in Israel after five weeks on the road in Japan, Korea, and Hong Kong.  There were probably not more than five days the whole time that I did not teach or lecture for several hours.  I did several seminars on different topics.  The new series that I lectured in Japan and Korea I named “Inspirational stories from 2nd Kings.”  There are a few very important stories that are very inspirational and give both advise and special wisdom for life.  These stories are used very sparingly if at all by most Christian Leaders.  I found these stories of great power and encouragement for me personally.  The stories of the prophets like Elijah and Elisha, and their miracles and their response to people problems are all-powerful and inspirational and give me strength.  Take the story of 2 Kings chapter 4: 1-7, There is an anonymous widow with two sons and a giant debt that she can’t pay.  The owners of the debt are going to come and take her sons as slaves for the payment of the debt which is the Torah Commandment from Leviticus 25.  There was no bankruptcy in the ancient world.  People had to pay their debt and if they can’t they lose their freedom until the debt is paid in full.  This is what was going to happen to this widow with the two sons.  The text actually leaves this widow anonymous and says: “One woman . . . “ and there is a short description of her husband and he too is left anonymous by the text.  The only thing that we know is that he was a “God fearing man” and connected to the “sons of the prophets.”  The one person in the Bible that fits this description and time slot is Obadiah the servant of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel whom Elijah the prophet meets in 1 Kings 18:3-4, “And Ahab had called Obadiah, who was in charge of his house. Now Obadiah feared the LORD greatly.  For so it was, while Jezebel massacred the prophets of the LORD, that Obadiah had taken one hundred prophets and hidden them, fifty to a cave, and had fed them with bread and water.”  Jewish Tradition has it that this widow was the wife of Obadiah and the reason that she was in such a big debt was because her husband was feeding a hundred of the sons of the prophets and hiding them from Jezebel.  When Elijah killed the prophets of Baal after the Mt. Carmel ordeal Obadiah helped him and for this reason Jezebel had him murdered.  So, now this widow has a big debt that she can’t pay and the debt holders want to take her sons as slaves.

The widow meets Elisha and asks him for help, but Elisha can’t help her.  So, Elisha asked her what she has in the house.  The widow answers, nothing except one little jar of oil – that is all that I have.  This kind of a little jar of oil is one that is used to dip into the big jars and draw a little oil that would be easy to use in the cooking without having to lift a big and heavy pot that might way many kilograms.

Elisha tells the widow to go around the whole neighborhood and collect all the empty jars for oil from all the neighbors and bring them to her house.  She and her two sons do this and fill the house with empty jars.  There were big ones and small ones, tall and short, fat and skinny all kinds of jars they brought to their home.  Elisha tells this widow woman to start filling all the empty jars with the oil that the little jar had.  After filling all the jars and when the last jar was full the oil in the little jar stopped to flow.

The widow comes to Elisha and says: “Now it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.”   And he said to her, “There is not another vessel.” So the oil ceased. Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debt; and you and your sons live on the rest.” (2 Kings 4:6-7)

What can we learn from this story:  1) we can learn that God does not want beggars.  He wants partners that will do what they can and He will do what He alone can do.  2)  We can learn that no matter how strange things look to us and how not logical they might seem to us – our best option is to hear and obey God’s commands.  This is the only insurance that we have for success in resolving our problems; partnership with the Almighty God of Israel and Yeshua our Messiah.

We visited our new building yesterday and it is exciting to see the progress.  We had originally hoped that we would be able to do the dedication of the building in this next Hanukkah in the middle of December 2014, but today it became clear to us that the building would not be finished enough by that time to make a proper dedication service.  So, we must set the date for the dedication for March 4-6, 2015.  The main reason that we have to put this important celebration off till March is because it takes time to get the permit from the city to occupy the building legally.  This permit can only be received after all the systems are in place, plumbing, electricity is connected, water is connected, and above all the safety inspection is completed and the fire department checking is completed.  All of this paperwork and city ordinances and bureaucracy have to be done before we get the permit to use the building.  So, in order to be safe and make sure that all will be finished and not cause people to fly over and be disappointed we have decided to rejoice in Purim and have the dedication of the new building in this happiest of all Jewish Holidays.  We will supply the masks for all our guests for Purim and also Haman’s ears for food.  Please continue to pray for the building and the finances that we still need in order to finish it.

Good News and Great News.  The Good News is that we are entering the last stages of the building.   We are ordering the windows and doors and other necessary things like bathroom fixtures and plumbing.  We are beginning to see the end process for the building.  The not so good news is that this finishing work takes much longer than we have expected.  The Great News is that just three days ago – we received the decision of the Supreme Court of Israel on our case:  We win!  The Supreme Court rejected the appeal and the decision of the district court stands!  We win!  The building is all good and legal and it will be used only for doing good works and blessing of Israel.  This place that God has given us will be a beacon of blessing for Israel and it will not promote any Christian denomination or stream of modern Churchianity – only a restoration of the disciple’s faith and life-style of the Jewish followers of Yeshua in the First Century.
Please rejoice with us and celebrate this grace of God to the democracy of Israel and to us as Disciples of Yeshua our Rabbi, our Master, and our Lord.  Thank you all for the years of prayer and support of Netivyah.  May the Lord bless you all greatly and in every way?

We pray for our brothers and sisters who are ill and need God’s healing:  Luba, Udi our dear brother was doing better for a few weeks but again the new experimental medication that he was taking stopped working.  Miriam, Sarit, Ahuva is now 91 years old and in need of God’s grace, Ilana, Leah, Marcia needs special grace for her memory and her general health, Carla is a young mother with cancer and we all join  Frank in prayer for a miracle healing.  Barry my son has been in the hospital for more than a week and now is at home recovering and still taking very strong medication.  Please lift Barry and ask God for healing Barry.  Sara and Zvi L., Zvi L just went through surgery for melanoma in his back and he is pushing near his 90th birthday.  Please continue to pray for, Tania, Ruby, Paulo, Takeo Sensei, Tomoko San, Sadako San, Shoko San, Toru Sensei, Tim Tucker, Raymond, Brother David, and David S., and Moshe M. who is a dear brother and like David is in need of God’s merciful and healing hand to touch him.

God bless you and bless your contribution to the Partnership with the Almighty ONE of Israel and the King of the Jews, Yeshua the Son of David.

Joseph Shulam

P.S. – We are working on more teachings in YouTube.com and in Kol HaYeshua and we ask your prayers for these two programs to be inspiring and blessed.  We are going to start putting on YouTube a series on Abraham – the father of the faithful in all generations.

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