UPDATED: (Jerusalem, Israel) — Since the early hours of Saturday morning until this very moment as I write this column at 9:00pm (update: 10pm) Saturday night, terrorists in Gaza have unleashed the most intense barrage of attacks on Jewish civilians in southern Israel since the August 2014 rocket war.
So far, more than 174 rockets and mortar shells have hit Israel, reports The Jerusalem Post. The Iron Dome has shot down some 30 of them. But there has been property damage and at least three Israeli civilians have been injured.
Lynn and I are currently hosting a “Prayer & Vision Tour” of Israel with some 210 Evangelical Christians from the U.S., Canada and six other nations. By God’s grace, we have not been in the line of fire but we are all praying for the Lord to show mercy and restore calm to people on both sides of the border. Please join us.
It grieves us that tens of thousands of Israelis along the southern tier have spent all or much of the day in bomb shelters — many of them not air-conditioned — amidst temperatures hovering between 90 and 100 degrees. It likewise grieves us that Palestinians in Gaza that are not involved in such terrorism at all but live under the slavery of jihadist groups like Hamas, Islamic Jihad, ISIS and others are suffering through no fault of their own. Many of them don’t have bomb shelters, and don’t even have electricity for more than a few hours a day, much less air conditioning.
The Israeli military has retaliated with at least 40 air strikes so far. Yet the terrorists in Gaza continue to fire at Israeli civilians in rapid and intense bursts. What’s more, as they have for nearly two months, Palestinian terrorists continue to try to blow up and penetrate the security fence that separates Gaza from southern Israeli, drawing fire from IDF forces positioned along the border.
The risk of a major escalation — possibly even a ground war involving Israeli combat forces entering Gaza to suppress the attacks — is rising. No reasonable person on either side of the border wants that. Only the forces of evil do. That said, Israelis cannot live with 90+ rocket and mortar attacks a day and men, and women and children running for bomb shelters over and over again with only 15 seconds before the explosions begin. We need God to intervene before this thing spins out of control.
Please pray, therefore:
- For the peace of Jerusalem and the entire country.
- For calm and security to be restored on the Gaza/Israel border and the prevention of another war.
- For the Lord to show mercy and supernatural physical and emotional healing for those on both sides of the border who are being traumatized by this fresh wave of terror.
- For Israeli and Palestinian believers to have wisdom to know how best to be a blessing to our nations and to be bold in proclaiming the Good News of God’s love and His offer of forgiveness and eternal life through Yeshua HaMashiach, Jesus the Messiah.
- For all of those on The Joshua Fund tour to maintain their courage and boldness and to remain faithful in prayer for Israelis and Palestinians as they’ve been doing all week. (I love these folks — they have been such a joy to teach, baptize, pray with, worship, encourage and learn from!)
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