Why Israel? Why Now?
by Timothy F. Murray
Some of you may be asking, Why should the churches of KCM even be engaged in this project today? Is it a good expenditure of funds? Isn’t this a risky undertaking? These are good questions, and here’s a quick review of why we feel this prayer mission is “on target” for God’s activity in the present.
Love What He Loves
It’s very clear in the Bible that Israel is God’s chosen land, a land He has set His Name in, and a land He loves. The guiding principle here is that we “love what He loves.” Take a look at these thought-provoking Scriptures (and these are only a few):
Deuteronomy 11:12 It is “a land which the Lord thy God careth for: the eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year.”
Leviticus 25:23 And the land shall not be sold in perpetuity; for the land is Mine: for ye are strangers and sojourners with me.
Psalms 68:16 Why look ye askance, ye high mountains, At the mountain which God hath desired for his abode? Yea, the Lord will dwell in it for ever.
Psalms 132:13 For the Lord hath chosen Zion; He hath desired it for his habitation.
1 Kings 9:3 And the Lord said unto him, I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, that thou hast made before me: I have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put my name there for ever; and mine eyes and my heart shall be there perpetually.
Ezekiel 20:6 in that day I sware unto them, to bring them forth out of the land of Egypt into a land that I had searched out for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands.
This is strong language! And nothing about Israel’s later backsliding has changed God’s purposes. Yes, he punished His people, but look at what He promises to do for them in the times of the end!
The Near Future
Yes, we find that this same territory has a role to play in the times of Christ’s earthly Kingdom, and this immediately makes it of central importance to all of us!
First, God says that His people are to return to that Land, which He calls “the Land I gave to your fathers.” Look at this from Jeremiah 3:18: “In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I gave for an inheritance unto your fathers.”
Further, Jeremiah 32:37, “Behold, I will gather them out of all the countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my wrath, and in great indignation; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely.”
Even more explicit are these words in Ezekiel 11:17-- “Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: I will gather you from the peoples, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.”
He calls this same piece of real estate “their own land,” settling the question of its rightful ownership for all time: Ezekiel 28:25, “Thus saith the Lord God: When I shall have gathered the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and shall be sanctified in them in the sight of the nations, then shall they dwell in their own land which I gave to my servant Jacob.”
Finally, He promises that His own presence is going to dwell there! Isaiah 2:3, “And many peoples shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of Lord from Jerusalem.”
These are literal and exciting promises, and God never makes promises He doesn’t keep! We’re eagerly anticipating those days, and our present job is cooperating with Him to bring them to pass. Which brings us back to the present.
Spirit of God is Leading Today
Amos 3:7, “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, except he reveal his secret unto his servants the prophets.” These words imply that He looks for human cooperators, not just passive observers, in the work of keeping His promises! Isaiah 62:6-7 puts it this way: “I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem; they shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that are Jehovah's remembrancers, take ye no rest, and give Him no rest, till He establish, and till He make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.” There’s a job description to keep us busy!
But in this area, as in every other, we find another spiritual principle at work, which is that prayer somehow proves more effective when it’s offered “on site” instead of at a distance. We don’t know just why or how this works, but it is undeniable. The “watchmen” aren’t at home in their recliners; they’re “on the walls”! They’re “on site.”
This is cooperation with God, which is another way of saying, “Faith in action.” As James puts it, it’s “works” along with our “faith,” and that’s a powerful testimony both on earth and in the spiritual world.
So with the Israel prayer mission before us, we can either view these Scriptures passively or actively. We can say, “Ho hum-- God’s will be done,” and go do something else. OR, we can say, “Since He has promised this, then I am filled with faith to cooperate in prayer to make it happen!”
Of course there’s a long KCM history of doing this kind of thing. We have been at it for well over a century now, based on these very Scriptures. But the short answer to the question of “Why Israel? Why Now?” is that God has led us this way just recently. In 2003, after some remarkable providences and leadings of the Spirit, a prayer mission of “taking territory by faith” was launched in that land, with over 60 people cooperating in various ways with the core group spear-headed by the Bible School.
And now, most recently, God has called the leaders of KCM to a second phase of this prayer mission.
So to summarize, we’re putting this kind of spiritual energy on this task because we see its outcome stated in Scripture, and because we know that God works through human agents to accomplish His will. His Kingdom is going to be headquartered in that Land in the Millennial Age, and we are going there now to cooperate with Him in praying for that outcome to be a reality.
Jesus taught us this way: He told His followers to pray that God’s will (stated in prophecy) would come to pass on earth. This shows us that His will isn’t just automatic: it has opposition, and we, His people, must “take sides” by faith to make it happen. Then, since He has specifically led us to this project, we can throw our whole hearts into it to support those who are actually doing the “on site” praying!
We are living in exciting times, when the Word of God is being fulfilled before our eyes. But there are bitter enemies which cannot be fully met except in the realm of the Spirit. It’s war; but it’s not carnal, it’s spiritual. We can pray about Israel from the comfort of our homes and churches, but God is calling for us to pray “on site”--which always intensifies the impact and focus of our faith.
Since not everyone can go, those who do go need the fully-engaged and faithful support of those at home. It’s not going to be easy. The enemy knows very well when he’s being threatened. He is fighting against such threats with every weapon in his bag.
So it’s our privilege and our calling to “resist the devil” and see that he is made to “flee,” just as the Bible says. Then the prayer warriors in Jerusalem can do their work successfully, God’s “remembrancers” will accomplish their goal, and not only Jerusalem, but all Israel will be made a “praise in the earth.”
This is “Why Israel? Why now?”! This is one of the most direct ways we know by which to extend His Kingdom on earth. It’s not targeting “symptoms,” it’s going for the core issues. It’s actually having a part in rolling wide the gates of Heaven and welcoming the hoof-beats of the white cavalry, with Christ Himself at their head. He is coming soon, and He’s going to take His throne and reign--right in Israel--for a thousand years!
To the work, then! Let’s give it our best efforts, both in prayer support and in practical, financial cooperation.