Ears, Eyes, Heart

“It is time, Lord”, I declared this morning, as I meditated on Isaiah’s cry: “How long, Lord? Until when?”

Isaiah just wanted to tell everyone of the Glory he had witnessed, but instead was commanded to proclaim a severe punishment upon our nation, the punishment called “Hidden Faces” (Isa. 6:9-10).

How can one ignore an ultimate Truth when  it is right in front of their eyes? How can we not hear and see the real thing, even when miracles are happening? I tended to think it is impossible – to be that deaf and blind… until I checked my own heart and realized how common this phenomenon is.

I have been battling an ear infection this past week. The pain started going up towards my right eye and down towards my jaw. Since I was preparing for an adventurous journey to Jordan that starts today (will share more with you when I come back next week), I wanted to get my health restored quickly. So I begged the doctor to prescribe some antibiotics. But he would not agree. “I can’t find anything wrong. Both your ears and throat are clear, so I cannot prescribe anything!” Ouch!

This morning I finally got the point. It’s my spiritual ear that is battling with infection, not the physical one. No wonder the doctor could not find anything.

I realized that God was pointing towards my own spiritual deafness, and also using the pain to recruit me to pray for the eyes and ears and heart of my nation. This week is a powerful and exciting one for Israel. We are 70 years old (plus a few thousands), we dealt so professionally with an Iranian threat from Syria, America just moved its embassy to Jerusalem, and we even won the Eurovision contest.

The line seems to tend in our favor in many other fronts, but does it transform our hearts? Does it put an end to our dulled ears and closed eyes? I would love to believe it does, but I think I should better recruit your prayers specifically for that.

Enzo Montano: I manichini di Monaco – Sylvia Plath

In face of everything that is happening now, it is time, I believe, for the heart and eyes and ears of the Jewish nation to soften, to look at the real reality, to see His mighty hand pulling the strings and to listen to His heartbeat.

Answering Isaiah’s painful cry, God gave him a historic time line, that explains when we will see and hear and understand:

“Until the cities lie ruined and without inhabitant, until the houses are left deserted and the fields ruined and ravaged, until the Lord has sent everyone far away and the land is utterly forsaken. And though a tenth remains in the land, it will again be laid waste. But as the terebinth and oak leave stumps when they are cut down, so the holy seed will be the stump in the land” (v. 11-13).

Indeed, our land laid in ruin for centuries, her children were in exile, she was like a widow – forsaken and in waste. Now this old oak tree is being revived as the holy seed is being restored. This is the time we live in.

I am choosing to turn a soft, listening ear, to the Beloved of my soul. To align my heartbeat with His, and not to focus on my own beat and plans. “What is it that you are saying now, and I am struggling to hear?” I asked.

I think He is saying: “It is time!”

Will you pray with me? The Feast of Pentecost will be celebrated this coming weekend. In the synagogues they will be reading the book of Ruth, so once more let me use a couple of images and symbols of this timely account, as I recruit you to pray…

  • That the wrinkled, old, bitter widow – Israel – will soften her heart and will incline her ears and eyes to see the Redeemer in the story.

And in preparation for the journey I am about to start, I would ask you to pray for the relationship between Israel and her surrounding neighbors:

titled "Buck Up Buttercup"

  • That we will reconcile with the various Ruths around us.
  • That these nations will wake up to their true calling, and choose to be a part of the Big Story of Restoration.
  • That they would not insist to remain an “Orpah” – the one who turned her neck towards the destiny of Naomi and went back to her comfort zone, but out of the story.

 

I Will Tabernacle Inside You

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Tabernacling? Is this even a legitimate word? My automatic proofreader does not seem to like it. “Dwelling” or “Abiding” is probably the term you are more familiar with. But the Hebrew noun and verb, used in verses like Zech. 2:14-15 and plenty of others, mean something so much more tangible and powerful than “dwelling in our midst”. It means the same structure Moses and his craftsman erected in the desert, God will build inside each one of us. Our part? To provide Him the right materials (spoiler, these would not be our wits and strengths) and put each piece of furnishing in its right location. He will then descend with His glory and fill up the very shameful spots in our personality and conduct, all those weaknesses we work so hard to hide.

I witnessed that happening time and again, as people present to God their broken and thorny “acacia woods” (various areas of major struggles in their lives), versus covering them with layers of deeds and works.

Last week we (Dana and I) did it with a small group of tourists, who came to Israel almost entirely for this purpose: to learn how they can turn their brokenness into a Sign and Example of God’s glory. For nearly 9 intensive days we coached them through each piece, pressing in and walking through, burning what ought to be burned, washing our understanding to align with His Word, allowing His light to clarify our chaos and darkness, devouring His truth to replace our lies, etc.

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At the Lampstand God’s light sheds into the dark roots of our battles, exposing our core lies

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Some touching glorious moments of worshiping together

Dana (my partner in this project) and I built Tabernacles inside our own hearts, alongside our participants. As I was preparing for the seminar, I realized God was pinpointing gently towards my tendency to alienate myself from myself, and mostly to bypass my feelings. I always knew I am not easily connecting to my emotions, but only last week I realized how estranged I am from them, and what is the root for that.

I approached the Bronze Altar with much repentance and forgiveness, and when I got to the Basin, I did a thorough study of  key words that translate into “alienation” – all of them from the book of Ruth. Studying these verses in their context started washing my understanding with the water of His Word, and the result was many challenging questions that came up within me.

At the Lampstand, some hidden lies and inner vows were exposed. The one that surprised me the most, the one I was clueless about although now – that it is in the light – I realize what a corner stone this has been in the way I handle almost everything in my life, was: “People can get to know me through my deeds, thoughts, wisdom. Not through my feelings. My feelings are not who I am, and they are very uncomfortable”.

Once this was exposed I rushed back to the Bronze Altar and repented of believing it. I am now heading towards the Table of Shewbread, where I will be looking for a great contradicting truth, a piece of divine bread that will feed my hunger and take over the lie, something that will become a solid rock inside me and will give me the assurance that feelings are good, and that they are a definite part of who I am.

Would you like to join one of our next Tabernacle Seminars? Email me and we’ll send you more details.