By Steve Carpenter
Living in Jerusalem affords constant opportunities to address different groups who come to Israel seeking to connect with God’s unfolding purposes for this conflicted region of the world. I recently had the privilege to speak to a group of Chinese pastors and young people who spent this last year learning at IHOPU in Kansas City. They were a vibrant and passionate group who seemed sincerely interested in partnering with God’s prophetic purposes for Israel and the greater Middle East.
As I shared with them, I was reminded once again about the significance and power of simply proclaiming and declaring God’s word. Consider this privilege as outlined in Psalm 149: 5-9,
“Let the saints be joyful in glory; let them sing aloud on their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance on the nations, and punishments on the peoples; to bind their kings with chains, And their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute on them the written judgment– this honor have all His saints. Praise the Lord!”
The Middle East is a case study regarding the power of proclamation. Unfortunately, it is primarily a negative example. Consider the number of proclamations that Islam has been releasing from every mosque, five times a day for well over 1,300 years. Here’s the math:
Daily for 1,300 years = 474,500
Five times a day = 2,372,500
Multiplied by the number of mosques = billions.
The atmospheres over Israel and the Moslem majority nations that surround her have been permeated by the consistent proclamation of untruths for centuries. It’s no wonder that this region is so hostile to the gospel and the claims of Christ. But thank God, this isn’t the whole story.
Remember how God gave Moses an instrument of authority to fulfill his divine assignment as a deliverer of God’s people? Exodus 4:1-5,17 states:
“Then Moses answered and said, “But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, ‘The Lord has not appeared to you.’ ” So the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A rod.” And He said, “cast it on the ground.” So he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail” (and he reached out his hand and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand), “that they may believe that the Lord God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.And you shall take this rod in your hand, with which you shall do the signs.”
Remember how the rod of Moses became a serpent and gobbled up the serpent rods of the Egyptians?
Today, God is raising up a new generation of sons and daughters to prophesy and proclaim the truth of God’s all powerful word. These proclamations are penetrating the darkness of this region, exposing the impotency of Islam, breaking the power of intimidation and fear and releasing people into a saving faith in the Father of Lights. This honor have all His saints – and many of them are coming to the Middle East to do just that.
“Let all those who hate Zion be put to shame and turned back. Let them be as the grass on the housetops, which withers before it grows up.”