Shevet Sunday - Watching in silence

Dear coworkers,

This week's Torah portion tells the story of Abraham's servant, sent back to the homeland to seek a bride for Isaac. Upon arrival at sunset, he prays by the well that the young woman who will offer him (and his camels) water will be the one the LORD has chosen. When Rebekah appears, "the man gazed at her in silence to learn whether the LORD had prospered his journey or not."

Isn't that a sweet word; no manipulating, cajoling or even hinting. He leaves it up to the Father. May we too learn to watch in silence--less talking, less action, more waiting--knowing that our Father really is in control. And when he makes his choice clear, let's join in his work with all our heart.

All his works are good. Here's what Sophie texted this afternoon as we continue to watch little Kurdish Varin come back to life:

varin text
Then we were privileged to see newborn Sewar, who came out of Gaza urgently for heart surgery less than two weeks ago, already released today to return home, glory to God:
sewar goes home
And our friendly young Mohammed was also catching a plane at Ben Gurion tonight (with mother in tow) and is now on his way to a joyful reunion with his loved ones in Kurdistan:
mohammed at airport

And as Israel shares the material blessing of medical care with his neighbors, underlying it all is the great spiritual blessing brought to the nations. This week in Kurdistan the Father has allowed me to meet with families, doctors and government officials and share the simple message: God indeed chose one people, in order through them to bless all the families of the earth. The Jewish people gave us the word of God; all the prophets came through them. Every one of us is responsible to read and seek to understand their message.

As you probably know, the Kurds already have such open hearts to the people of Israel. And encouraging signs this week that openness is spreading: witness the tears of Israeli minister Miri Regev, when for the first time the Israeli national anthem "HaTikva" was played in the United Arab Emirates:
regev tears

And our friend and Israeli citizen Joel Rosenberg is continuing his groundbreaking tour of Arab capitals with a group of evangelical leaders; this week he too was in the UAE to meet with the crown prince, and following that in Saudi Arabia for a two-hour meeting with the crown prince Mohammed bin Sultan, who's been much in the news lately.

joel with crown prince

Take a close look at the genteelly skeptical Washington Post report on the meeting; if you click on the comments at the end of the article, you'll meet an even greater wall of hostility and mockery toward both Christians and the Saudis. Compare this to the kid glove treatment that Iran gets in Western media as it openly pursues its raison d'etre of destroying Israel. As hatred of Israel's messiah is unleashed in the world, it's becoming more and more clear that Israel's enemies will be praised, and Israel's friends despised. But who knew that Saudi Arabic would end up on the latter list?

Jonathan for Shevet Achim

"Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity" (Psalm 133).