“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.
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:
- 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.