What Is Happening Spiritually in Israel?

Yael Eckstein  |  August 10, 2022

Israeli flag in the middle of a field.
(Photo: Arik Shraga)

There has been so much going on in Israel the past few days. And the truth is, I think we need to look at the situation both through practical and spiritual eyes.

We’ll start off with the facts on the ground. Israel arrested the head of Islamic Jihad in the West Bank, and then there were very tangible threats that there were going to be attacks on Israel by the terrorist group Islamic Jihad from the Gaza Strip. For  days there were negotiations trying to get these attacks to stop, to get the threat to stop – and the negotiations didn’t work.

And so Israel went and eliminated the head of Islamic Jihad inside the Gaza strip. This was a terrorist mastermind who was responsible for attacks that killed many Israelis and Jews. That proactive attempt to stop a terror attack in Israel triggered a whole round of fighting that resulted in more than 1,000 rockets fired at Israel between last Friday night and Sunday night – more than 1,000 terrorist rockets launched at Israeli cities like Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Ashkelon, Ashdod, and Sderot.

There’s a biblical concept that says: God creates the cure before he creates the disease. And so, Israel has this amazing defense system called Iron Dome – which truly is a wonder of technology, a miraculous gift from God – that shoots down rockets in the sky headed toward Israel. The Iron Dome knocked out over 95% of the missiles that were launched at Israel. It was truly like God’s protective cloud of glory – I just imagine that cloud of glory protecting all of us.

God’s Word Is Forever

What was happening spiritually between Friday and Sunday? Well, right now we are in the Hebrew month of Av. It’s a sad month that contains the saddest day on the Jewish calendar, Tisha B’Av, the ninth of Av, when we commemorate all the tragedies that have happened to the Jewish people throughout history. It’s a month when both the 1st and 2nd temple were destroyed. It’s a month when World War 1 began. It’s a month when, in 1492, the Jews were expelled from Spain. So this month is known, very appropriately, as the month of catastrophes. And Israel’s enemies still tap into that. I don’t think it’s by chance that two days before Tisha B’Av, the pinnacle of destruction for Israel and the Jewish people, the day when both the First and Second Temples were destroyed – two days before that is when Israel’s enemies start launching rockets. We’re observing Shabbat, preparing to mourn the loss of the Temples thousands of years ago, and there are over 1,000 rockets launched at Israel – including Jerusalem. This reminds us that Israel’s enemies are still very, very much alive. The power in the world that wants to destroy Israel is still very much alive.

And I don’t think it’s by chance that just two hours after Tisha B’Av ended, suddenly Israel’s enemies declare a ceasefire. They stop launching rockets. The message that sends to me is: God is still present in this world, and God’s word is forever. Whatever we are going through, this is not a time to say, God isn’t with us. No, it’s the time that we say: God has told us how to worship Him, how to praise Him, and what to pray for. God is with us every second. So for me – and I know for so many people in Israel – this gives us comfort and hope that God is protecting us, that He loves us, that He is forever.

The Fellowship’s Response to Crisis

The last thing I want you to know is, as the rockets were launched, The Fellowship was on the ground. We don’t just sit back and watch while Israel is under attack. We of course pray, and do everything we can to stay safe. But we are there for the people of Israel, letting them know that Christians and Jews around the world are standing for and praying for Israel.

Immediately when hostilities started we contacted the needy elderly who we support. We heard some of the most heartbreaking stories as we delivered them aid, but we made sure they knew that they are not alone. One of the cities, Ashkelon, was in need of an emergency mobile response unit – a vehicle to help facilitate communications and operations in times of crisis like this. We provided it for them – it’s outfitted with lighting, engineering, and computer systems, as well as emergency response equipment, so city authorities can respond to rocket attacks in real time. We went around southern Israel with our vans to the soldiers who were working the Iron Dome, keeping the people of Israel safe. We traveled around giving these guardians of Israel refreshments like coffee, and ice cream, and soft drinks, simply as our way of  making their lives a bit easier and saying “thank you” on behalf of Christians and Jews around the world.

Doing Good, Helping People

I believe that God sees us coming together, standing together for the most vulnerable, specifically during these very scary times. It is so easy just to sit home, watch the news, and worry about the horrible things that are happening in this world. It’s so easy to be consumed with it. But we have to be consumed with doing good, with helping people who are affected by these horrible things. We need to pray, and to act – and that’s what The Fellowship is doing on your behalf, day and night.

My friends, I pray that we will all feel God’s kindness, feel God’s love, and feel God’s light shining down on us, and that we will seize the amazing opportunity we have to come together and be the light in these dark times. May God bless you from here in Israel.