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Put Your Hope in God

“As a deer longs for streams of water, so I long for You, God. I thirst for God, the living God. When can I come and appear before God? My tears have been my food day and night, while all day long people say to me, ‘Where is your God?’ I remember this as I pour out my heart: how I walked with many, leading the festive procession to the house of God, with joyful and thankful shouts. Why am I so depressed? Why this turmoil within me? Put your hope in God, for I will still praise Him, my Savior and my God” (Psalm 42:1-5 hcsb).

Do you ever find yourself longing for God? Do you ever feel so overwhelmed by your circumstances that you cry out to God in absolute desperation yearning for His help? Do you ever find yourself asking, “God, where are You?”

The writer of Psalm 42 felt that way. He found himself overwhelmed by his circumstances, downcast within his soul. He felt buried under the billows and waves. His memories of the past—when he experienced the joy of traveling to the house of the Lord on pilgrimage—didn’t soothe his torment; they actually added to it: “Why, my soul, are you downcast?” He longed for God, for His deliverance.

His circumstances, those around him, and even he himself questioned of God, “Why have You forgotten me?” It’s understandable when we find ourselves overcome with life and our circumstances to feel forgotten by God, to feel isolated and alone. The author’s strength, however, comes from his ability to affirm his hope in God within his circumstances: “Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.” He asks the question twice (verses 5 and 11), “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?” The answer, in part, pertains to the very real and overwhelming circumstances in which he found himself. Yet, both times, he answers his question affirming his belief that God had not abandoned him.

By the end of the psalm, his circumstances have not changed and neither have his emotions; he closes the psalm asking why his soul is downcast. But, in spite of his circumstances and emotions, he confesses his confidence in God and that he will yet praise Him. This is not merely the power of positive thinking. His conviction emerges from a deep realization that, regardless of his situation and feelings, God had not abandoned him; God is still his hope.

Faith is not willing ourselves to believe. Faith doesn’t require a lot in moments of joy and security. The test of our faith appears in those moments when, even after professing our belief in God, nothing changes. Maybe the depression even deepens. Do we have the deep, penetrating conviction that God has not abandoned us regardless of how things seem? Can we remain convinced that He is our hope, even when we do not see it or feel it? When we feel abandoned by God, do we still long for Him even as the parched deer longs for the cool streams of water?

PRAYER
Father, regardless of our circumstances or feelings, You are our hope and our God. Come to us in our desperation. Amen.

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How’s Your Temper?

“A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention” (Proverbs 15:18 esv).

We live in a world where people’s tempers constantly simmer below the surface. If we hear something on the news, see something on social media, or hear someone say something that we do not agree with, how often do our tempers flare? How quick are we to respond?

Our hot-tempered responses rarely resolve anything. Rather, they lead to an escalation, which, as Proverbs says, stirs up strife. Yet we feel that we have the right to respond, even in the heat of the moment. We see this demonstrated in the world around us repeatedly.

Communication cannot occur in the midst of strife. Nothing positive comes from a hot temper. Often, hurtful and overheated comments result from such a response. Someone seeks to defend themself from attack rather than try to understand the issue or point of contention. In our desire to make ourselves heard—or when we respond in anger—we lose the ability to communicate.

“But he who is slow to anger quiets contention.”

The Bible provides practical instruction for us to develop into spiritually obedient followers of the Lord. In fact, biblical spirituality primarily pertains to how we interact with others in our daily lives.

Think for a moment how often in our world—in your own world—would a milder response heal a situation, allow for productive communication, and calm an escalating situation? How would it change our civil and political discourse? How would it impact the communication in our homes between spouses, children and parents?

Nothing lasting or of value can come from strife. If we cannot communicate in the most fundamental of manners, we certainly cannot encourage one another in following the Lord. How’s your temper? Are you slow to anger? Or do you reflect the hot-tempered society we live in? Do you seek to calm contention, or are you stirring up strife? Are you part of the solution or part of the problem?

PRAYER
Father, help us today to be slow to anger in word and deed. May we calm contention in our families, among our friends, in our communities and throughout the world, so that Your name is glorified through us. Amen.

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Do You Fear God?

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10 niv).

We usually equate wisdom with what we know. Knowledge equals wisdom. Some may add that wisdom is the proper application of knowledge. The Bible, however, teaches that wisdom equals the fear of God. That’s a rather odd equation for us, because when we speak of fear, we refer to an emotion connected with dread or terror. Those aspects are part of the biblical idea of fear, but within the Old Testament, fear of God is often synonymous with love of God.

Deuteronomy 6:5 called upon the children of Israel to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (niv). A few verses later, within the same spirit, they are commanded: “You shall fear the Lord your God and serve Him, and shall take oaths in His name” (Deuteronomy 6:13 nkjv). Loving God means fearing Him and serving Him. In other words, we fear (love) God by obeying (serving) Him.

Within the Bible, one does not gain wisdom by merely acquiring knowledge, information, or facts. Wisdom comes from fearing (obeying) God and His commandments. To know something within the Bible refers to a relational interaction. After Abraham obeyed God and took Isaac to offer him up, God said to Abraham, “For now I know that you truly fear God” (Genesis 22:12 nlt). He knew that Abraham feared God because Abraham obeyed. One cannot know God without obeying God. And God learns our degree of commitment through our obedience to Him.

Wisdom, then, comes from obeying God, which is what relationship with God looks like in the Bible. It comes through relational interaction, which pertains to our doing His commands, not our emotions about Him.

Do we daily pursue the wisdom and insight of God? To acquire it, we must fear (love/obey) Him. This is what it truly means to have a relationship with God.

PRAYER
Father, may we grow in our fear and knowledge of You today as we obey You with all our heart, soul, and strength. Amen.

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True Discipleship

“Now Ezra had determined in his heart to study the law of the Lord, obey it, and teach its statutes and ordinances in Israel” (Ezra 7:10 hcsb).

In both Hebrew and Greek, the word for “disciple” means “student.” A disciple, then, is one who studies. We tend to use the term disciple to mean a follower, but that is not the biblical idea of discipleship. Ezra provides the model of a biblical disciple: one who studies, who does, who teaches. In fact, this is the progression of biblical discipleship: Study leads to doing, and as one progresses with study and doing, he or she gains the ability to teach others.  

Our discipleship suffers because often we do not view study as a foundational ingredient of our becoming disciples. Instead of making disciples—who study the law of the Lord and observe it—we seek to make followers, which has a different connotation.

Some Christians segregate study from spirituality, fearing that study erodes one’s relationship with God and seeing a conflict between the head (study) and the heart (the seat of one’s true relationship with God). Just as an aside, while we identify the heart with emotions, passions, and deep feelings, in the Bible the heart was associated with the mind and learning (biblical people assumed the emotions lay in the kidneys). So, when the Bible calls on us to love God with our heart, it means to love God with our mind, our learning, our study.

Biblical discipleship requires study. It’s at the very core of discipleship: “The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher” (Luke 6:40 niv). Jesus indicated that the way one truly becomes like Him is by being “fully taught,” meaning that we study and practice His teaching. Jesus also said that the proof of our love for Him depends on our keeping of His commandments (John 14:15), not how we feel about Him.

If we are going to be true disciples of the Lord, like Ezra we must set our hearts to study the law of the Lord, which leads us to do it, and as we become fully taught—studying and doing—we teach others. The commission that Jesus gave His disciples was to “make disciples”—not converts or followers, but disciples. How can we make disciples, students, if we aren’t studying and doing the words of the Lord? In order to disciple, we must first be disciples, and the way to do that was shown to us by Ezra the scribe: Study the law of the Lord, do it, and teach others.

PRAYER
Father, may we grow in our learning and doing of Your word to become more like our teacher, Jesus, so that we can make disciples of others for Your glory. Amen.

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Remember Where You Came From

“Remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not” (Deuteronomy 8:2 nkjv).

Remember! One of the most frequent commandments throughout the Bible is “Remember!” Remember the road you’ve traveled, the struggles and trials you’ve faced. And remember Who brought you along your path. Remember Who provided for you, cared for you, and calls upon you to remember and observe His commandments. Remember.

We often turn to God in our times of need. When circumstances, finances, diagnoses, and life are too overwhelming, then we turn to God. We cleave to Him through those wilderness times of our life, relying upon His presence and provision. But, once He brings us through those times and we find ourselves upon a firm footing, standing in the Promised Land, how quickly do we forget, rely upon ourselves, and ultimately turn from His ways? Remember.

The festivals that God gave Israel within the Old Testament served two purposes: 1) They were connected with the agricultural cycle, particularly the harvest times, and 2) they called the people to remember what God did for them in the wilderness, how He led them and provided for them. The agricultural nature of the festivals called upon the Israelites to remember Who sent the rain in its season so the crops could grow, and ultimately Who was responsible for their sustenance and provision. The connection with the wilderness wanderings called upon the people to remember a time when their need for God and His provision was more acute, to remember where they came from.

During the fall harvest festival, Sukkot, God instructed the children of Israel to construct temporary shelters, or booths, that they lived in for the duration of the festival. “Live in temporary shelters for seven days: All native-born Israelites are to live in such shelters so your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in temporary shelters when I brought them out of Egypt. I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 23:42-43 niv).

Dwelling in booths was to remind future generations—generations that did not experience the hardships and uncertainty of the wilderness—how God provided for His people. When later generations found themselves living prosperously in the land, the booths reminded them of a time in their history when their forefathers lacked such prosperity, and in that moment they should remember God, Who brought Israel out of Egypt.

What is the ultimate goal of this remembrance? We find it in the passage from Deuteronomy quoted initially: “Remember … whether you would keep His commandments or not.” We confront our limitations and smallness in times of need. We realize how finite and limited we are. It becomes easy to turn to God in those moments. And, as a loving Father, He comes to us. But when we find ourselves in times of prosperity, it’s too easy to think we stand alone on our own two feet, and turning from God and His commandments becomes easy.

Remember—where He has taken you. Remember—His commandments. Remember—He is King.

PRAYER
Father, thank You that You take us through the wildernesses of our lives and provide for us. May we always—in good times and in bad, in plenty and in want—remember You and Your commandments. Amen.

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The Day of Atonement

“So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God” (Matthew 5:23-24 nlt).

The Bible describes three types of sins: 1) intentional sins that I commit against God, 2) unintentional sins that I commit against God, and 3) sins that I commit against my neighbor. For sins I intentionally commit against God, the only course of forgiveness is repentance: “You do not want a sacrifice, or I would give it; You are not pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit. God, You will not despise a broken and humbled heart” (Psalm 51:16-17 hcsb). The sin sacrifices—which represent only about 17 percent of the sacrifices commanded by God—pertain to those sins unintentionally committed against God. For the sins that I commit against my neighbor, however, repentance to God and sacrifices do not atone for them according to the Bible. I must make restitution of up to four times the damages and be reconciled to my neighbor, both in the Old and New Testaments.

Jesus’ injunction to His followers (Matthew 5:23-24) comes from this biblical realization regarding the different ways in which we must deal with the broken relationships in our lives. For Jesus’ first-century Galilean listeners, the only place they could make an offering was in the Jerusalem Temple—a journey that took at least four days from the Galilee. It’s striking to hear Jesus’ words as His initial audience did: If you are at the altar in Jerusalem and remember that someone has something against you, leave your offering, go back at least four days’ journey, and be reconciled. Then return to Jerusalem and present your offering to God. Reconciliation with one’s neighbor provided the foundation for that offering to be accepted.

Jesus’ commandment to His followers, even the spirit of it, grew from the world of ancient Judaism. This commandment is still practiced today within the Jewish community in the days surrounding Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the most holy day within Judaism. In the days leading up to Yom Kippur—a day when people fast, repent, and call upon God to forgive the sins they committed against Him—Jewish people first seek to be reconciled with their neighbors. They ask forgiveness and seek to make restitution. Why? Because of the belief that we cannot ask forgiveness from God on Yom Kippur if we have unrepaired relationships with our neighbors; those must be repaired first, even if we must make restitution. Then, when we come to God, our gift will be acceptable.

This same spirit stands behind the words of Jesus in the Gospels. My relationships with others provide the foundation for my relationship with God. Zacchaeus told Jesus, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!” Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today” (Luke 19:8-9 nlt).

When we think about the Day of Atonement, we often focus upon our relationship with God and His forgiveness of our sins. The Bible teaches that our repairing, making restitution, and reconciling ourselves with our neighbor provides the foundation upon which God accepts our gifts to Him: “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For the person who does not love his brother he has seen cannot love God he has not seen” (1 John 4:20 hcsb).

PRAYER
Father, forgive us as we have forgiven. Amen.

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Seeking Prosperity in the Startup Nation

“I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great and you will be a blessing” (Genesis 12:2).

Israel, “the startup nation,” has proven that not only can the Lord prosper the Jewish people in their return to His land, but He wants to prosper their businesses and economy as well. Second, only to Silicon Valley in research and development, Israel’s name has become synonymous with progress and innovation. However, imagine taking this miracle one step further! Imagine the power of a union of Believers coming together in business, to share wisdom, fellowship, and fulfill the glory of the Lord’s kingdom on Earth through the Israeli economic marketplace. This is precisely the idea behind Israel First Fruits, which aims to foster entrepreneurial leadership in the Body of Messiah to fulfill its ancient mandate to bless Israel and the nations. They are doing this through business courses, individual consultation, seed-funding and investing in kingdom business models.

CBN’s partnership with First Fruits has been an enduring one, as we have partnered to help support many areas of their vision for young entrepreneurs in the Body. Most recently, CBN co-hosted the Israel Business Forum in Netanya. The event drew in nearly 40 business-minded Believers from the international community and 120 local Israelis. The local believers were able to pitch their ideas for a panel of selected industry professionals and investors, receive small-group and individual consultation with mentors from across the globe in break-out sessions, and compete to win up to 25,000 shekels in the business plan competition. In addition, these global entrepreneurs got the opportunity to explore the Holy Land on a guided tour, enjoy fellowship and worship together, and network among new and esteemed business minds from the Body. The participants had the unique experience of not only touring the country’s many biblical locations of Jesus’ life and ministry, but also visiting incubators and business accelerators in Tel Aviv; reminding the entrepreneurs why they were all there, but also where they could aspire to reach. In all, the event created a much-needed space for believing investors, hopeful startups, and seasoned business gurus to collaborate on both areas of the immediate future of the State of Israel and the eternal value of their business and contribution. Psalm 122:9 calls to those who seek the prosperity of God to maintain their works and intentions for ‘his sake’, and for this very reason, First Fruits and CBN are striving to create a network for eternally-minded business in the Land.

The business plan competition, which was the focal point of the 2-day conference, allowed for 8 entrepreneurs to present their business strategies, 5-minute overview presentation, and projected growth capabilities for their venture. In the words of First Fruit’s CEO, the competition showcased “the diversity of callings and ideas that can be found in the Body”. Business plans ranged from product design, like for a secure electronic locking and tracking courier parcel, to development ventures, like the creation of a tourism-generating bed and breakfast network in Ariel (Judea and Samaria). The many ideas brought before the panel were innovative and distinct. In the end, the first prize winner was a woman from the upper Galilee region who worked as a real estate developer, looking to improve the region’s reputation for high-end tourism. In second and third place were a brother and sister luthier and piano tuning service, a dying craft with unmet demand, and a business to teach school children about sustainable ecology, therapeutic gardening, and edible and medicinal plant cultivation. These entrepreneurs stood out largely because of their personal histories that made them uniquely qualified to operate a business that would not only prosper them personally, but further the advancement and ideals of The Land. 2nd Prize winner – ‘Ronit’s Garden’ was based on her knowledge from her Kibbutz upbringing, and history of tending to agricultural land in Israel, where she discovered the many benefits for youth and people with disabilities.

The whole event was a smashing success, and both investors and entrepreneurs left with new connections for future business and a renewed connection in God’s plan for their future. In the words of one of the panelists, “The goal is really to carry out our work in the marketplace while honoring Christ with our resources […] and our objectives are much greater than dollars and cents. God is in the marketplace, as well as the ministry, and what we are trying to create is ministry in the marketplace.” So help us pray for the prosperity of Israel, God-honoring business-people in the Land, and to help bring the Lord’s presence to the forefront of Israel’s economic future.

 

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The Calling of Separation

Judges 13:7

And He said to me, ‘Behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. Now drink no wine or similar drink, nor eat anything unclean, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb to the day of his death.’”

13 So the Angel of the Lord said to Manoah, “Of all that I said to the woman let her be careful. 14 She may not eat anything that comes from the vine, nor may she drink wine or similar drink, nor eat anything unclean. All that I commanded her let her observe.”

1.

What do you think about when you hear about Samson?

Many of us may think of a guy who was really strong and powerful that fell asleep of the lap of the wrong girl. The next thing you know, he’s weak, blind and grinding wheat to feed his enemies.

While this is all true, it doesn’t really do justice to the story. Is it so simple that God just got mad at this guy for getting a bad haircut that He takes away his strength and leaves him helpless in facing his enemies?

This type of simplification of the story can create a distorted perception of who God is and how He deals with us.

The traditional site of Samson’s grave is right over here, let’s take a look.

The Biblical account states that Samson was buried in the tomb of his father and so you have here the graves of Manoah and Samson together.

But what is the real lesson of Samson? What can we learn from this man’s life?

2.

Samson’s mom was a barren women and couldn’t have children. But the Lord visit’s her and promises her a son that will begin to save Israel from the Philistines who ruled over them. He gives her specific instructions that she was to abstain from wine and unclean foods because Samson was to be a “Nazarite” to the Lord even from birth.

What was a Nazarite?

We think of Jesus being a “Nazarite” because He was from Nazareth. But the “Nazarite Vow” was what was taken as a symbol of ‘separation’ or ‘set apart’ for a season.

How was this ‘separation’ put into practice?

Numbers 6 is where the law of the Nazarite was described.

Numbers 6- The Law of the Nazirite

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When either a man or woman consecrates an offering to take the vow of a Nazirite, to separate himself to the Lord, he shall separate himself from wine and similar drink; he shall drink neither vinegar made from wine nor vinegar made from similar drink; neither shall he drink any grape juice, nor eat fresh grapes or raisins. All the days of his separation he shall eat nothing that is produced by the grapevine, from seed to skin.

‘All the days of the vow of his separation no razor shall come upon his head; until the days are fulfilled for which he separated himself to the Lord, he shall be holy. Then he shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow. All the days that he separates himself to the Lord he shall not go near a dead body. He shall not make himself unclean even for his father or his mother, for his brother or his sister, when they die, because his separation to God is on his head. All the days of his separation he shall be holy to the Lord.

‘And if anyone dies very suddenly beside him, and he defiles his consecrated head, then he shall shave his head on the day of his cleansing; on the seventh day he shall shave it. 10 Then on the eighth day he shall bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons to the priest, to the door of the tabernacle of meeting; 11 and the priest shall offer one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering, and make atonement for him, because he sinned in regard to the corpse; and he shall sanctify his head that same day. 12 He shall consecrate to the Lord the days of his separation, and bring a male lamb in its first year as a trespass offering; but the former days shall be lost, because his separation was defiled.

13 ‘Now this is the law of the Nazirite: When the days of his separation are fulfilled, he shall be brought to the door of the tabernacle of meeting. 14 And he shall present his offering to the Lord: one male lamb in its first year without blemish as a burnt offering, one ewe lamb in its first year without blemish as a sin offering, one ram without blemish as a peace offering, 15 a basket of unleavened bread, cakes of fine flour mixed with oil, unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and their grain offering with their drink offerings.

16 Then the priest shall bring them before the Lord and offer his sin offering and his burnt offering; 17 and he shall offer the ram as a sacrifice of a peace offering to the Lord, with the basket of unleavened bread; the priest shall also offer its grain offering and its drink offering. 18 Then the Nazirite shall shave his consecrated head at the door of the tabernacle of meeting, and shall take the hair from his consecrated head and put it on the fire which is under the sacrifice of the peace offering.

19 ‘And the priest shall take the boiled shoulder of the ram, one unleavened cake from the basket, and one unleavened wafer, and put them upon the hands of the Nazirite after he has shaved his consecrated hair, 20 and the priest shall wave them as a wave offering before the Lord; they are holy for the priest, together with the breast of the wave offering and the thigh of the heave offering. After that the Nazirite may drink wine.’

21 “This is the law of the Nazirite who vows to the Lord the offering for his separation, and besides that, whatever else his hand is able to provide; according to the vow which he takes, so he must do according to the law of his separation.”

In order to maintain the calling of a Nazarite, Samson had to maintain what made him ‘separate.’ The three primary things were:

No contact with dead things, any copse, human or animal, not even for the sake of burial of close relatives.

No contact with wine, or anything that comes from the vine, not even raisins.

No cutting of hair during the season of his separation.

3.

Early on, Samson kills a lion with the strength God gave him. But later he goes back and discovers that bees have made a hive in the dead carcass of the lion and he takes some to eat.

When he marries the Philistine girl, they have a weeklong party. It is very hard to believe that the Philitines he was partying with would understand him not being able to have some wine.

Then there is Delilah, whom he falls for. Samson has only one thing left that still distinguishes him as a Nazarite, his hair. He has never had a haircut since birth. People could see, because it was noticeable, that he was still a Nazarite. But now, with his head shaved, there was no longer anything left that made him ‘separate’ from others as his calling demanded.

4.

Judges 16:20-21

“And she said, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” So he awoke from his sleep, and said, “I will go out as before, at other times, and shake myself free!” But he did not know that the Lord had departed from him.

21 Then the Philistines took him and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza. They bound him with bronze fetters, and he became a grinder in the prison.”

Here was a guy with a calling and God had gifted him with the ability to begin to deliver Israel, but he refused to recognize that to fulfill his calling he had to remain separate from the world around him.

God also has a calling on our lives, a plan that He desires us to enter into. To be a blessing to others and to defeat the enemies in our lives. But that plan can never be fulfilled unless we understand that God calls us to a life that is visibly separate from the world around us.

Samson is a sign for us, to help us understand that God will not go with us if we choose to go our own way.

Choose this day, the call of God on your life. Don’t cut short His plan for you in order to satisfy the short lived satisfactions of this life.

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Called to Bless

 

From the beginning of the Bible, in the book of Genesis, God makes a strong declaration to Abraham and his descendants after him: “Whoever blesses you I will bless and whoever curses you, I will curse and in you all the nations of the earth shall be blessed”-Genesis 12:3.  What a statement! Yet have we not seen this played out through all of history how God has keep this promise to the nations who have chosen to either stand with Israel or reject them?

We know that God is watching over His word to perform it and every person who joins themselves to Israel and to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is blessed. We see this in stories such as Rahab the harlot and Ruth the Moabite. In each case, those who join themselves to God’s people receive His covenants, inheritance, promises and instruction.  And they are equally accountable to the laws and commands given by God to house of Israel. (See Exodus 12:49).

But what does God say to the Jew concerning their behavior to the foreigner dwelling among them? Let’s have a look. In Deuteronomy 10:18-19, it says, “He (God) defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you (the house of Israel) are to love those who are foreigners for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.”

To us here at CBN Israel, we view single mothers in the same category as the widow and their children in the same category as the orphan.  Both are without the covering of an earthly husband and father to provide, protect and love them. We do not judge the husbandless and fatherless. We see God as the Supreme Judge over all matters and we are His servants who are simply called to love.

That is why, in our work, we seek to serve single mothers and their children and strive to meet their needs with God’s love that He has placed in our hearts. We read that we were once strangers in a foreign land and now we have a homeland (Israel) in which we can welcome and bless those who are strangers and foreigners among us. We read that we (Israel) were once abused by Pharoph under his leadership and God delivered us. In turn, we can help deliver those who are being abused in their homes.

God’s instruction for us believers is this: Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and fautless is: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by this world.” – James 1:27

So whether we are Jewish by blood or grafted in through the blood of our Messiah Yeshua (Jesus), we are called to love the orphan, the widow, the fatherless and the stranger because this is the heart of God. He is a “Father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy habitation”. – Psalm 86:5

If you have a heart for the orphan and widow and desire to join with us in extending His love to those who are in need, contact us! Also if you would like, you may donate here.

God bless you as you serve Him with all your heart. 

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Family in Financial Crisis Struggles to Keep Children Warm

Winter has arrived in Israel. The days are shorter and the nights are colder. Everyone is bundling up; everyone that is, except a family in financial crisis.

One particular growing family, who we have been counseling with for an extended period of time, recently informed us of their need for warm, winter clothing. The children were without weather appropriate coats and outfits and the struggling family was unable to afford the much needed missing articles. How could we go on our way feeling warm and well-dressed while knowing the children of this family were suffering due to a lack of sufficient income?

winter-clothes-62309_640The staff of CBN Israel took action and personally went out to buy multiple outfits and jackets for each of the children, including the newborn. When the staff brought these gifts to the mother, she was absolutely in shock. She exclaimed,

“Wow! I am so amazed and thankful that someone would do this for us!”

What a joy it is to be able to bless those in need around us. Isn’t it true that when we are able to bless someone else, it is as if we ourselves received a gift? We do to others what we would want others to do for us. The Bible says:

“If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?” – James 2:15-16

This is the heart of CBN Israel. We truly desire to be used by God to comfort those who mourn in Zion and to help lift their burdens in whatever way we are able. If you would like to give towards families in financial crisis, donate now.

God bless you.

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