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BPEA Ministry Updates

Jul 31, 2013

Israel - Day 9

Today was our last big climb. Today we ascended Masada. While many think of this as the hardest mountain in Israel, it was actually less extreme than some of our climbs and not as high as some mountains we’ve climbed. It is certainly a unique experience though. The “Snake Path” that you climb up is a long winding trail that at points is only wide enough for one person. This fortress, originally built by Herod, was nearly unassailable. For this reason it was the last fortress remaining after the first Jewish-Roman war, between 66-73 CE. When the Jewish rebels in the fortress saw that defeat at the hands of the Romans was inevitable, they opted for mass suicide rather than slavery.

This place is where they swear in new recruits to the Israeli Army as they remember the past and declare “never again.” Today as I was thinking about these rebels, I thought about how tragic it was. In Jesus day there was a lot of political tension in Israel. They were an occupied nation, ruled by a foreign government. A Messiah had been prophesied about and promised. You can imagine that the entire nation of Israel was desperately waiting for the one who would deliver them. I can imagine their impatience growing as day by day, year by year they waited for the day when they would regain their freedom and independence.

In that state, tensions boiled over and war broke out. The children of Israel couldn’t wait any longer for their Messiah and took deliverance into their own hands. Ultimately, the rebellion was crushed and the Jewish people were scattered. The crazy thing is, the Messiah had come! Jesus Christ had lived, died and been resurrected. At the time war broke out, there was a simultaneous revival as the Apostles of the early church spread the good news everywhere they went. Why did so many in Israel not realize they’d received the fulfillment of a promise they’d been waiting centuries for? As far as I can tell, it was for one main reason: the promise looked different than what they had expected. They were expecting a political and military leader and when Jesus came He was so different than their expectation.

It can be very easy, as we stand in faith waiting on the things God has promised, to imagine how they’ll look when they arrive. The danger in that is the same as the Jewish people – when it comes, we might miss it because it doesn’t look like we imagined it. There are people (Bill can tell you stories) who have prayed for revival in their church and when it finally came, these same people leave the church because the revival looks different than the one they’d imagined. How tragic it is to miss something God has promised simply because we don’t recognize it! Today I’m resolving again to let God be God. As I stand in faith, believing He will do what He said He’ll do, I am determining that I won’t try to force God into my own blueprints. I won’t disregard His answer to my prayer because I don’t like the package it comes in. I am also resolving once again that I’ll wait on His timing. We can see the futility of these Jewish rebels trying to fulfill what God had promised on their own. It is a miracle that Israel is here today. I understand why the Jewish people feel the way they do about Masada. But to me it is a reminder of so much more.

God’s timing is better than our timing. God’s design is better than our design. Let’s not miss it because we think we know better than He does.

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Luke Price

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