Weekly Devotional: The Classroom of Humility

“Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth” (Numbers 12:3 NKJV).

We remember Moses as God’s chosen leader for the children of Israel—to bring them out of Egyptian bondage and through the wilderness to the edge of the Promised Land. But what was Moses’ occupation? For forty years before appearing in front of Pharaoh, he was a shepherd.

Moses’ time shepherding flocks in the desert prepared him to lead God’s people. In the harsh climate of the deserts of the Middle East, the shepherd cared for his flock—making sure the animals found water, food, and shelter and protecting them from potential threats. Moses’ time as a shepherd prepared him for the role that God chose for him to deliver and lead Israel. 

Likewise, Moses’ time in the desert herding sheep and goats helped form his character: How so? The climate of the desert is incredibly harsh. Temperatures can fluctuate as much as 80 degrees within 24 hours; the scorching heat of the sun can give way to the cold of the night. Water and food are not easy to find; the sheep and goats rely on the shepherd to find them sustenance. 

The desert presents the threat of dangerous enemies, both four footed and two, that the shepherd must protect the flock from. These are the brutal conditions faced by the shepherd in the desert. His life and that of his flock faced imminent dangers within its wild expanse. 

The desert served as God’s classroom in the Bible. God takes people into the desert to teach them and build their character. One of the principal lessons that He imparts to them in the desert is humility. There are no “self-made” individuals in the desert. You cannot overcome the harsh and threatening conditions by yourself—and that realization humbles a person. 

Moses spent forty years in the desert, and he learned this lesson well. He understood the need for decisive action in leading the children of Israel, but he also recognized his need to take advice from and rely on others. He was humble. He learned the vital lesson of the desert: One cannot survive alone. Community is essential. 

The lessons of the desert often fly in the face of the rugged individualism we honor in our Western culture. That individualism often spills over into our spirituality, where we tend to think solely in terms of our personal relationship with God. Such attitudes are absent within the spirituality of the Bible.  

God still leads us into the wilderness to teach us humility and the foolishness of our self-reliance. He used Moses mightily for His purposes and glory because Moses learned humility. Do we allow Him to build the same character within us by leading us into the desert?


Father, in every place You lead, may I learn to rely upon You and others. May I never become arrogant or self-reliant in anything I do. May I always recognize my dependence upon You and those around me. Amen. 

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Does Small Israel Have Outsized Solutions for Global Food Shortages?

By Arlene Bridges Samuels

According to the World Bank, we are in a global food crisis. Food shortages across the world are mushrooming like unwelcome weeds amid a nourishing crop of golden wheat. 

In the United States, the Center for Security Policy (CSP) published a revealing report on November 3, 2022, titled “Food Security is National Security.” Presently the U.S., other countries, and concerned organizations are meeting to assess vulnerabilities and discuss solutions. CSP lists varying food security challenges in the U.S.—from cyberattacks and suspicious fires at food-processing plants to power outages from snowstorms and hurricanes, supply chain slowdowns, and trucking interrupted by critically low diesel fuel reserves. The United States is the biggest producer of food worldwide, yet we do not have a strategic food reserve or a plan to deal with inevitable disruptions.

The World Bank also sounded an alarm about food shortages in its latest Food Security Update on October 31, 2022. Delving into only a few primary reasons here, the World Bank’s update is sobering for the poorest of the poor who for decades have already experienced the tragic suffering that famine and inadequate clean water bring. However, for multilayered reasons, Western nations and others are now facing challenges with food supplies. 

Among them: Inflation and oil shortages are driving up food prices. COVID-19 shutdowns slowed the transportation of goods around the globe. In its war against Ukraine, Russia has caused a worldwide crisis, since both nations are top wheat sources. (Russia is also a top fertilizer producer; a shortage affects farmers’ yields.) In response to ongoing food concerns, the World Bank Group has decided to set aside up to $30 billion for the next 15 months for agriculture, nutrition, water, and irrigation. Much of the monies have been earmarked for the most vulnerable populations.

Where else can we turn for answers to this urgent and growing problem?

In pre-state Israel—beginning with the first significant wave of immigration (Aliyah) in 1881—land reclamation, innovation, and determination marked the labor and spirit of Jewish Zionists. Today, the diminutive nation of Israel is an outsized world leader in abundant AgTech, Food Tech, and Water Tech research, development, and production. God’s promises to Israel and all nations in Genesis 12:3 are, once again, a blessing to the world in the face of food shortages. Israel’s innovations in an array of technologies improve planting and harvesting crops, and desalinating water.

Israel’s history proves that there is hope. Against all odds—the backbreaking work, the malaria outbreaks—the Zionists’ and Israelis’ determination fulfilled God’s promises in Isaiah 35:1-3, making His promise a reality. “The desert will rejoice, and flowers will bloom in the wastelands. The desert will sing and shout for joy. … Everyone will see the Lord’s splendor, see His greatness and power.” Indeed, as verse 3 exclaims, God “gave strength to hands that were tired and to knees that trembled with weakness.”

When deserts and desolation greeted the first Jewish immigration wave, the early Zionists were undaunted. Committing themselves to the soil, they were driven by a national longing for their ancient homeland. They were also moved by awareness of 2,000 years of prayers for those living during the Jewish diaspora. The Ottoman Empire was in control of what was then called Palestine until 1917 when the British defeated the Ottomans. Although the Muslim Ottomans ruled for 400 years, they did not cultivate the land. 

Four more early Aliyah waves were followed by the fifth wave in 1939—a 58-year span. Mark Twain, who visited in 1867, could not have imagined what Israel would one day become. In The Innocents Abroad, Twain described the pre-state Israel that he and other travelers toured: “The further we went the hotter the sun got, and the more rocky and bare, repulsive and dreary the landscape became. … There was hardly a tree or a shrub anywhere. Even the olive and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country.” That is, until the first five waves of Aliyah kept coming to plant and cultivate the land until World War II broke out. As an interesting historical note, Twain stayed in the Imperial Hotel right inside Jerusalem’s Jaffa gate. The New Imperial Hotel still welcomes guests in its upgraded 19th-century building.

Israel has been helping other nations with agricultural tools for some time—as it helps itself.

For years, Africa and India have used water and crop technologies through Tel Aviv’s Nitsan Sustainable Development Lab to aid their populations. Nitsan focuses on small farmers, as noted by Director Ram Fishman: “Many farmers around the world look to Israel as a model of how to manage and flourish in conditions of water scarcity and a hotter, drier climate.” 

A few more success stories of Israel developing new technologies to give Mother Nature a helping hand:

• Yatir Forest—planted by the Jewish National Fund to provide work for new immigrants in the 1950s—is now one of the world’s only fully functional forests in hot, semiarid climates. 

Fish in the desert, unthinkable? Aquatech Fisheries, founded in 2012, raises fish using water technologies that Israel has employed for decades in its water-empty landscape. Aquatech’s near-miraculous efforts result in thousands of tons of fish in the Negev Desert without any environmental damage. 

• To meet the challenges caused by population growth, depleted soils, and weather unpredictabilities, BetterSeeds is devoted to the production of seeds that adapt to many climates and also contain more nutrients. 

• And with worldwide bee populations dwindling, Israelis are addressing this critical issue. They have created an artificial pollinator service and BeeHero “smart” hives to better protect the tiny winged heroes that play such an important role in continuing our food supply.

• Every three years, Israel hosts AgriTech Israel, an international exhibition and conference that draws thousands of delegates from dozens of countries—people at the forefront of technological innovations in agriculture.

Various regions in the United States use Israeli agricultural and water technologies, too. For example, via a public-private partnership between Israel and San Diego, California, the Carlsbad Desalination Plant provides clean, safe water from the ocean to more than 300,000 Californians. With the worst drought in 1,200 years gripping Western states, this plant—completed in 2015—pumps out 50 million gallons of fresh water daily. 

Partnerships take place in many contexts. Challenges, solutions, and opportunities are what brought together Israeli and Florida scientists, tech experts and growers. In 2020, the Florida-Israel Agriculture Innovation Summit met for four days in Tallahassee with a crowd of 600 registered attendees hearing from 63 speakers and panelists from 27 companies—all interested in discussing innovations and prospects in agricultural technology. The future of food security in Florida and other states looks bright for those combining U.S. and Israeli production plans.  

As Scripture beautifully notes, “In days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will bud and blossom and fill all the world with fruit” (Isaiah 27:6). Now more than ever, hopefully, the World Bank, United Nations, and citizens of the earth will recognize Israel as a light to the world, a powerhouse in food technology. As believers, we are thankful to God for equipping His people to export their food and water miracles into a world concerned about food security. 

Please join CBN Israel in prayer this week for Israel and the entire globe:

  • Pray with thanksgiving to God for empowering Israel with big ideas for blessings.
  • Pray for smart, effective management solutions for countries to increase food security.
  • Pray for international institutions to donate wisely to countries and limit corruption.
  • Pray for the poorest nations to benefit from food supplies to alleviate their vulnerability. 
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Weekly Devotional: 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, fulfillment, 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 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?


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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Gaslighting in the United States and Israel: Three Reality Checks

By Arlene Bridges Samuels

When I want to watch an outstanding movie, I often gravitate to 1940s classics. Gaslight, one of Ingrid Bergman’s most famous movies, is a gripping 1944 thriller. In the film, Bergman played a newlywed, Paula, whose husband was a master at “gaslighting”—manipulating her into questioning her own sanity. Paula grew frantic as her husband—driven by his goal of dominating her—repeatedly insisted that she did not see what she saw, that the problem was in her mind. Eventually, a detective rescued her, reassuring her that she was not crazy. The Oscar-winning movie popularized the word in its title, Gaslight, which has become part of our culture. 

Gaslighting can be viewed as propaganda’s first cousin. They both distort the truth, repeatedly lying for their own gain to control a narrative. Gaslighting is considered not only manipulation but emotional abuse, as well. It is exploited person to person, or toward large groups that leaders and dictators wish to control.

Isaiah 5:20 does not use the word “gaslighting.” However, God’s ancient Jewish scribe records such deceitful tactics simply and powerfully: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter” (NIV).

Our first reality check is on behalf of the American Jewish community, Jewish college students, and Israel, the Jewish homeland. Our Jewish friends here and abroad experience gaslighting. And while they do not doubt their sanity, they suffer the abuse of rising anti-Semitism, which may take an emotional or even a deadly toll. In the United States, Jew-hatred—pushed by the global mainstream media, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, and the United Nations—pops up on the landscape of many universities and creates fear among Jewish students 

Hillel—the top Jewish student organization on campuses—and the Anti-Defamation League joined forces to conduct a detailed survey in 2021. It indicated that anti-Semitism keeps growing. Today it presents a worrying threat on college campuses, sometimes preventing Jewish students from joining clubs and participating in other activities. Verbal abuse is frequent, and many Jewish students hide their identity by not wearing their kippahs. Nearly a third of those surveyed reported offensive comments in person or on social media. In one example, at a party someone gave a Nazi salute after learning the student was Jewish.

Gaslighting’s origins on campus emerge not only from mainstream media’s biased Israel reporting but also from organizations like Students for Justice in Palestine. In September, Alums for Campus Fairness reported that college newspapers published an astonishing 1,450 articles about Israel in the last five years. Of these, only 17% were positive. 

Freedom of speech is enshrined in our First Amendment; nevertheless, civility must be restored. For 77 years, since its modern statehood, the Jewish homeland itself has been targeted with manipulative gaslighting by much of the world’s media. Stories are packed with bias where the Jewish state is equated with terrorists—most often blamed for starting conflicts instead of defending their citizens from terror. Be aware of misleading headlines or a lack of context in articles. For instance, articles about conflict with Gaza typically omit the fact that Israel unilaterally withdrew its 8,000 citizens from Gaza in 2005—and this area is now run by Hamas terrorists, an Iranian proxy.  

Our second reality check is the gaslighting so prevalent in our country today. What we see, do, and hear is often written off by an administration trying to survive the upcoming midterms as the electorate is waking up. This reality check is based on what we ourselves experience throughout the course of our daily lives. We insert the gas nozzle into our tanks and the final price still has a shocking effect. We go grocery shopping, and eggs have doubled in price.

Taking a jog in the park can be a fraught decision now due to out-of-control crime. Our children come home from school with questions about assignments fixated more on issues of sexuality and woke ideology than the fundamentals of reading, writing, and arithmatic. Parents attending school board meetings may face accusations of being domestic terrorists simply for challenging the curriculum. Transgender permissiveness is abusive to children. A father is falsely arrested in his home—in front of his wife and children—by armed FBI agents. His crime? Peaceful protests at an abortion clinic. 

When opening our electric or gas bill, we shake our heads, wondering how we will pay it with winter approaching. We hear from members of Congress who travel to our southern border and return with first-person stories of massive human trafficking and cartels brazenly loading fentanyl in the open to cross our border. Parents are attending funerals of loved ones who have died due to an overdose because fentanyl is the leading cause of death for those between the ages of 18-45. The cruelty of wide-open borders and cartels extends to allowing rainbow fentanyl in pills that look like candy but are laced with the deadly synthetic opioid.  

Indeed, I am sure most of you reading my column are exceedingly familiar with what is happening in your hometown and our country. You recognize it because you cherish the Bible as a guidebook for living. Holy Scripture also educates us about good and evil. Most of the mainstream media follow the lead of the governing administration, which repeatedly calls us crazy, wrong, domestic terrorists, fascists, and stupid. Gaslighting has spread not just to individuals but half of our citizenry—including conservatives, people of good will, and Christians. 

I am thankful that we refuse to be convinced that we are crazy. We know that gaslighting distorts the truth with lies, and tempts us to doubt our memory, reality, or sanity! We are sure that our culture, institutions, entertainment, schools, and yes, some churches, are rapidly trending away from our Judeo-Christian heritage. 

Our third reality check is the worthiest of all. It resonates with sustaining truths from the ages with God’s ancient texts transmitted through Jewish scribes. God’s words in the Bible remain our standard of truth and hope. “Praise be to the LORD, for he showed me the wonders of his love when I was in a city under siege. In my alarm I said, ‘I am cut off from your sight!’  Yet You heard my cry for mercy when I called to you for help. Love the LORD, all His faithful people! The LORD preserves those who are true to him, but the proud he pays back in full. Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD” (Psalm 31:21-24 NIV). 

A parting exhortation: Let’s focus on the truth! Like the detective who rescued Ingrid Bergman’s bewildered character in the famous 1944 film, each one of us must be sure to help rescue ourselves, our families, and our country by voting. One aspect of gaslighting is to discourage us from going to the polls. All of us can reject that effort, which is designed to keep voters at home. 

We can instead help remedy the gaslighting in America by taking time to vote. Invite your family, friends, and neighbors to go to the polls with you and to ask themselves, “Are our lives better or worse in the last two years?” Voting is an example of our freedoms. We must embrace and act on it. Let us commit to help establish truth again in our nation by voting our values!  

Please join CBN Israel this week in praying for both the United States and Israel:

  • Pray for a tsunami of voting to help turn the U.S. back to safe harbor. 
  • Pray for all candidates to speak the truth in their final days of campaigning. 
  • Pray that Christians will be examples of truth wrapped in civility.
  • Pray for breakthroughs in mainstream media to focus on all facts.
  • Pray for safety at all polling locations for workers and voters. 
  • Pray for Israel that their election earlier this week ultimately produces the best leadership for their democracy. 

Arlene Bridges Samuels pioneered Christian outreach for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). After she served nine years on AIPAC’s staff, International Christian Embassy Jerusalem USA engaged her as Outreach Director part-time for their project, American Christian Leaders for Israel. Arlene is an author at The Blogs-Times of Israel, a guest columnist at All Israel News, and has frequently traveled to Israel since 1990. She co-edited The Auschwitz Album Revisited and is a volunteer on the board of Violins of Hope South Carolina. Arlene has attended Israel’s Government Press Office Christian Media Summit three times and hosts her devotionals, The Eclectic Evangelical, on Facebook.

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High Holy Days Food Distribution

Israel leads the world with innovations in technology, medicine, and defense. Yet, it also faces a demographic crisis, as over a fourth of its population lives below the poverty line. Sadly, this means more people are dealing with the threat of hunger, due to low incomes and inflation. 

Even more tragically, as impoverished families cut back spending on groceries to meet other expenses, a third of all Israeli children face not having enough to eat. With the influx of immigrant families from Ukraine’s war, plus more elderly and Holocaust survivors struggling on fixed incomes, food insecurity is a real threat for many homes in the Holy Land. 

But thankfully, friends like you were there to help through CBN Israel. For example, during the Jewish High Holy Days this year, caring donors delivered over 1,000 high-quality food packages to households in need. By partnering with Israel’s leading national food bank, they brightened the holiday season for low-income families, as well as seniors and aging Holocaust survivors. 

“It warms my heart!” said Hanna, a Holocaust survivor who lives alone, and was grateful for the food packages. “I hope people won’t forget us, because we’re still here; we’re still alive.” 

And your gift to CBN Israel can let so many in desperate situations know they aren’t forgotten—by offering food, housing, financial aid, and encouragement. As colder weather arrives, the cries for help are escalating. Your support can provide hope for refugees, single moms, and others who are vulnerable. 

Please join us in reaching out today!


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Weekly Devotional: The Paganism of Worry

We live in a world built upon stress, our jobs, our busy lifestyles, the news, social media, politics. So much fills our lives with noise and stress clamoring for our attention and allegiance; we find ourselves choked without peace and stability.

In the Parable of the Sower, which is about the different soils, not the seed, Jesus compared the seed that fell among the thorns with the effect that the cares, riches, and pleasures of life have upon a person (Luke 8:14); they choked the plant. Of the four soils, it’s the only one where external factors strangled the plant’s ability to grow. Jesus recognized that the cares and stresses of life inhibit our spiritual growth and development.

On another occasion, Jesus instructed His disciples not to worry about what they will eat or wear (Matthew 6:25-34), for God knows what you need. And He will take care of you. He compared those who worry about food and clothing—the cares of life—with gentiles, i.e., pagans. 

Paganism, at its core, sought to manipulate the deities by appeasing them through sacrifices. If something unfortunate or catastrophic happened, you had upset the gods and needed to appease them with offerings and sacrifices. Ancient pagans often lived in fear of the world around them because the gods were a group you satisfied, but not interested in your care and welfare. 

Jesus, however, instructed His followers to relax because God, their heavenly Father, cared for them. His single requirement: to seek first His kingdom by obediently submitting to His rule and reign in their lives. The care of life and welfare was His responsibility. So, don’t worry.

In the prayer Jesus taught His disciples to pray, He instructed them to pray: “Give us today our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11 HCSB). The image of daily bread recalls the provision of manna in the wilderness, which God provided for the children of Israel. The Israelites received only enough manna for the day; if they tried to keep any over for the following day, it would rot. On Friday, they collected a double portion for the Sabbath.

In Deuteronomy, the people are told that the purpose of the manna was “humble you and test you to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep His commands” (8:2) and so they would learn that “man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD” (8:3). God is the source of daily provision, and He is intimately involved in our lives to provide what we need. 

We often blame the secular forces in our world for the decline of values and those who honor God, but is it possible in this crazy, stressful world of ours that the paganism of our own worry screams too loudly in the ears of those around us for them to hear the voice of Jesus? 

Do we show through our calm, patient, obedience our deep sense of peace because God, our Father, will take care of us? Or do we get caught up in our culture, which is predicated upon stress and worry? May we remember Jesus’ instruction to His followers: relax, God’s got you.


Father, thank You for Your daily provision. May I submit myself in humble obedience to You today knowing that You will take care of the things I need in my life. Amen.

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Is Another Revolution Underway in Iran? 

By Arlene Bridges Samuels 

Describing Iran as the main state sponsor of terrorism can sound somewhat bland, since the description, although absolutely correct, is repeated so often. However, the severe hardships that Islamic leaders are forcing onto anyone opposing them are never-ending and bear revisiting. We cannot ignore Iran’s goal: to establish a global caliphate and rule the world with their harsh brand of Islamist tyranny. 

The human costs assume many forms. Israel comes to mind immediately. When Iran commands its Hamas proxy in Gaza to rain down rockets and missiles on southern Israel, mothers grab their children and rush to their safe room—if they have one. A dad driving in downtown Sderot must decide how to pull his three young children out of his car to make the 15-second sprint to a portable bomb shelter on the corner. 

Parents in Israel also agonize over frequent goodbyes to their sons and daughters who began their mandatory military service right out of high school in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Although these young soldiers do not serve overseas, the IDF is on assignment 24/7—facing injury and death on their own soil.

Turning to Iran’s population of 88,584,380, the Islamic mullahs’ occupation of that nation since 1979 has produced 43 years of oppression—replete with “morality police,” large-scale executions of citizens who oppose the regime, and diverting national economic benefits into the regime’s quest for weapons of mass destruction, to name a few.

I recently heard an interview with Iranian-born Mariam Memarsadeghi, the founder and director of the Cyrus Forum. Inspired by both ancient Persian leader Cyrus and the Constitution of the United States—her adopted country—Mariam set up the new Cyrus Forum to plan for an Iranian democratic future. She explains, “We cannot know when Iran will transition away from tyranny. … We must prepare ourselves to make it so.” 

She reflected on the protests still going on in Iran, which were sparked by the murder of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish Iranian who was arrested by the “morality police” for not properly wearing her hijab—her head covering. 

Mahsa’s father claims she was beaten to death in custody. In a call to the grieving family, President Ebrahim Raisi declared, “Your daughter is like my own daughter, and I feel that this incident happened to one of my loved ones.” His hypocrisy is despicable since he is forcefully carrying out the regime’s Islamic tyranny. 

The Cyrus Forum founder describes these protests as nationwide in scope, and different from previous protests due to the emotional intensity. Protesters include numerous ethnicities, faiths, and lifestyles; all are united in a common desire for unity. Mariam’s simple explanation says it all: “One event becomes one too many.” 

Mahsa’s head was bashed in repeatedly—grim news that swiftly hit Iranian hearts and emotions. Women and girls are leading the protests, where hijabs are a symbol of the last 43 years of oppression. Young Iranians growing up under the regime have known nothing but the Islamic theocracy’s cruelty. An estimated 200 innocents have already died at the hands of police. Mariam has these suggestions for other nations: Expel your Iranian ambassadors and uphold current sanctions against Iran. She is somewhat hopeful that the totalitarian regime will be overthrown.  

Since 1979, thousands of Iranians have died due to torture and violence. One more true story shows the depth of longing for freedom that is shared by most Iranians. In 2019, an Iranian woman dressed like a man so she could sneak into a sports stadium and see a men’s soccer match. Police arrested the 29-year-old, Sahar Khodayari, saying she could be in jail for six months. She died in protest by setting herself on fire—a haunting example of the unimaginable anguish that wraps around Iranians who long for freedom. 

The protests are gaining ground outside Iran. Reuters reports that an estimated 80,000 protesters rallied in Berlin on October 22 after arriving from all over the European Union, the United States, and Canada. The crowds shouted, “Death to Khamenei,” the Supreme Ayatollah. 

Iran’s lethal influence is now felt in Ukraine, since Iran and Russia have “defense cooperation.” Reuters reports that Iran is supplying Russia with drones and surface-to-surface missiles. These deadly drones are adding to the immense suffering of Ukraine’s people. Britain, France, and Germany want the United Nations to investigate the actions behind the accusations, actions that violate a U.N. Security Council resolution. It is an admirable goal, but U.N. resolutions are feeble at best.

On another front, the Democratic Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, is attending a two-day summit of European parliaments in Croatia. At a press conference on October 24, she noted, “We’ve been trying for a while now to have a nuclear agreement with Iran so that we can make the world a safer place, and now they’re going off aiding the Russians and making the world a less safe place.” It is obvious that Iran supplying Russia with drones did not change her mind about the 2022 Iran deal effort. To millions of commonsense Americans and Israelis, the 2015 Obama/Biden Iran agreement is why the world is less safe. When leaders idolize lies, nothing good comes of it. 

As I wrote last week, Biden’s 2022 Iran deal is at a stalemate, but it remains his goal. Pelosi’s comment reflects their party’s denial of Iran’s evil intent inside and outside its borders—and leads into another aspect of Iran’s global presence.  

I’ll close with a quote from Khaled Abu Toameh, a highly respected Israeli-Arab journalist: “Biden and his administration, it appears, would rather align themselves with the mullahs in Iran and the new ‘Russian-Iranian Axis of Evil,’ than strengthen their ties with America’s longstanding partners, the Arabs in the Gulf.” 

I hope Israelis and Americans remember Toameh’s quote when going to the polls to vote. 

May we consider the words of the prophet Isaiah as a lens into our world today, trusting God for our personal lives and praying for others at home and abroad:

“When You did awesome works that we did not expect, You came down, and the mountains quaked at Your presence. From ancient times no one has heard, no one has listened, no eye has seen any God except You, who acts on behalf of the one who waits for Him. You welcome the one who joyfully does what is right; they remember You in Your ways. But we have sinned, and You were angry. How can we be saved if we remain in our sins?” (Isaiah 64:3-5 HCSB)

Please join CBN Israel this week in praying for Israel and Middle East:

  • Pray for ongoing strength and bravery for Iranians as they stand up to tyranny.
  • Pray for Iranians who are coming to faith in Jesus with increasing numbers.
  • Pray for the peace of Jerusalem and the entire Middle East region. 
  • Pray for the Israeli and U.S. elections over the next couple of weeks. 
  • Pray for Israelis to vote for godly leaders for the future of the State of Israel.
  • Pray for the U.S. to stand by Israel to receive the blessings promised in Genesis that those who bless Israel will be blessed.

Arlene Bridges Samuels pioneered Christian outreach for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). After she served nine years on AIPAC’s staff, International Christian Embassy Jerusalem USA engaged her as Outreach Director part-time for their project, American Christian Leaders for Israel. Arlene is an author at The Blogs-Times of Israel, a guest columnist at All Israel News, and has frequently traveled to Israel since 1990. She co-edited The Auschwitz Album Revisited and is a volunteer on the board of Violins of Hope South Carolina. Arlene has attended Israel’s Government Press Office Christian Media Summit three times and hosts her devotionals, The Eclectic Evangelical, on Facebook.

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Weekly Devotional: 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 often lead to 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?  


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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Biden Pauses Iran Deal Before U.S. and Israeli Elections 

By Arlene Bridges Samuels

Amid a stalemate, the Biden administration has paused negotiations in another seriously flawed Iran deal. Yet the relief we feel may be just momentary, as a resuscitated deal remains part of the White House National Security Strategy that was released on October 12.

A stalemate is good news, as Russia is negotiating on our behalf—because Iran refuses to meet with U.S. negotiators. Consider this current scenario: Russia, on the warpath against Ukraine, is representing the United States to work on a deal with the Iranian imams, the world’s leaders in terrorism. The deadly duo of Russia and Iran is drawing the Biden administration into a dangerous outcome if the talks restart after U.S. midterm elections.

Ripping a page from history: On September 30, 1938, Great Britain’s Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, deplaned his British Airways flight, jubilantly waving a document at the euphoric crowds on the tarmac. Later, as he rode to Buckingham Palace to meet with King George VI, thousands lined the London streets—hailing him as a hero after meeting with Herr Hitler in Munich. Hitler had signed a non-aggression pact, “never to go to war with each other again” (referring to World War I).

At 10 Downing Street, Chamberlain proclaimed, “Peace for our time” and told British citizenry to “go home and sleep quietly in your beds.” While they slept, Hitler’s army rolled into Czechoslovakia and occupied the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia. It was only the beginning. 

Like Chamberlain, the Obama/Biden administration proudly declared in 2015 that their Iran deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was a win for the United States and Israel. It was a deal struck with no understanding that Iranian leaders are cut from Hitler’s cloth and woven into a fabric of evil, where lies and power are their idols. 

It proved to be an appalling deal, one in which Iran did exactly as it had intended all along: to spin upgraded centrifuges for weapons-grade uranium in its determination for nuclear dominance in the Middle East and beyond. It is always wise to know the nature of your enemies. The way they treat their own populations is a reliable indicator.

However, during the on-and-off negotiations with Iran since February 2021, Israeli and Christian leaders have actively pushed back against another foolish deal, rightly realizing Iran’s shrewd intent. This past August, Israel Defense Minister Benny Gantz flew to Washington to meet with Jake Sullivan, U.S. national security adviser. Mossad chief David Barnea weighed in, calling the potential deal “a strategic disaster.” Interim Prime Minister Lapid held a lengthy talk via phone with President Biden.

The Israel Defense and Security Forum (IDSF), composed of senior officers from all of Israel’s armed forces, followed up with a letter in September to Biden to abandon another Iran deal. The self-described Zionist, security-based movement initiated a letter representing its 5,000 reserve officers, researchers, academics, and civilians. IDSF founder Brigadier General (Res.) Amir Avivi declared, “It’s a disaster for Israel, it’s a disaster for the Middle East, and a disaster for the whole globe.” The IDSF letter says in part, “It remains our view that a credible military threat in combination with crippling economic sanctions and the political resolve to act militarily, if necessary, is the most effective manner to address the Iranian threat.”

The evangelical community also appealed to the Biden administration. American Christian Leaders for Israel (ACLI), a network representing over 60 million American believers, sent a letter to President Biden. Signers included Gordon Robertson, President and CEO of The Christian Broadcasting Network; Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council; Jane Hanson Hoyt, President of AGLOW International; Joel Rosenberg, best-selling author and founder of All Israel News and All Arab News; and many others. I was honored to sign on as well.  

Part of the letter highlighted the fact that Iran’s unashamed, stated threats affect not only Israel but millions of Americans who oppose another Iran deal, knowing that the U.S. is in Iranian crosshairs too. A project of the International Christian Embassy Israel, ACLI’s letter was kept simple and to the point with three “No’s”—including “No exceptions to sanctions on Russian agreements to build nuclear plants in Iran.”

The IDSF and ACLI are two of many examples of Christians and Jews speaking out and acting on issues of supreme importance. With the increase of advocacy initiatives spreading through communities that stand up for Israel’s security, our voices will resound with added strength. Speaking out in a timely way is part of a bold formula to overcome the apathy of silence! 

Iran’s weightiness on the scale of the Jewish state’s security concerns is ever present. However, the United States and Israel, with a strong pattern of collaborative connections, confront particularly consequential elections. For the fifth time in less than four years, Israelis vote again on November 1. A week later, on November 8, Americans go to the polls to cast votes in midterm elections. 

Added to divisive Israeli elections, Iran is not mentioned enough when it comes to a recent Israel/Lebanon agreement brokered by the United States. The titanic gas fields in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Israel and Lebanon promise massive benefits for both. Nevertheless, no peace treaty exists, and Lebanon is run by Hezbollah, a terror proxy backed by Iran.

Within Israel, tides of opinion are still rising and falling about the ultimate benefit of this agreement to Iran and possible magnified security issues for Israel. Since Lebanon’s population is suffering, its president has already approved the agreement along with Israel’s cabinet. Will this agreement imitate the missed cues of past deal negotiators like former Prime Minister Chamberlain, former President Obama, and now Joe Biden? 

Cruel Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is already responsible for ordering the murder of more than 200 freedom protesters and the arrest of thousands more. He is likely waiting in the wings for a wave of money to assure ongoing development for weapons of mass destruction. The result remains to be seen.

On the United States political front, the lead-up to the midterm elections is a toxic mix of cultural mayhem, lies, and exaggerations from the administration and its leftist promoters. Conservatives worry that Republicans in Congress have not stood tough and stood together—nor will they. 

Unfortunately, in the Christian community itself, polling shows that millions of Christians are either not registered to vote or do not vote. The apathy about voting is shameful. Deciding not to vote can erase the hopes for a turnover in Congress to help reverse the dangerous trajectory of unconstitutional decisions. Opportunity presents itself now in votes for the House of Representatives’ 435 members taking place every two years. With 100 Senate members, one-third run at midterms for their next six-year terms. 

Congressional actions are not enough, though. Our biblical mandate rests with our citizenry as embodied in Moses, and then Queen Esther, in ancient times. They risked displaying courage to lobby a pharaoh and a king to save Jewish lives. That is politics in its simplest form, appealing to leaders about significant issues. 

Staying alert to evil, then speaking up with truth to oppose it, is more important than ever for Christians. We are living in a world where we must decide to take initiative right now in voting for what aligns with the Bible—thereby bringing honor to our Lord Jesus, Who Himself freed us from sin to lead a life that benefits others in faith and action. 

We welcome our CBN Israel friends to join us in prayer this week and recall the Apostle James, who encouraged us to “be doers of the word, and not hearers only” (James 1:22).

Please join CBN Israel in prayer this week for Israel and the Middle East:

  • Pray for Iranians’ safety and bravery in protests against their theocratic leaders.
  • Pray for the upcoming Israeli and U.S. elections in November. 
  • Pray for Iranians who are meeting our Lord Jesus with increasing numbers.
  • Pray for Christians to vote en masse in U.S. elections based on biblical precepts. 
  • Pray for our president and congressional leaders for wisdom. 

Arlene Bridges Samuels pioneered Christian outreach for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). After she served nine years on AIPAC’s staff, International Christian Embassy Jerusalem USA engaged her as Outreach Director part-time for their project, American Christian Leaders for Israel. Arlene is an author at The Blogs-Times of Israel, a guest columnist at All Israel News, and has frequently traveled to Israel since 1990. She co-edited The Auschwitz Album Revisited and is a volunteer on the board of Violins of Hope South Carolina. Arlene has attended Israel’s Government Press Office Christian Media Summit three times and hosts her devotionals, The Eclectic Evangelical, on Facebook.

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Elderly Widow: Valentina’s Story

After many years in Ukraine, working full-time until retirement age, Valentina and her husband found themselves in a system that pays little in retirement benefits. She admitted, “It is hard to rest and enjoy your final years when you find yourself struggling to survive.” 

However, in Israel, even if citizens are poor, the welfare system offers them essential medical and social welfare. So the couple immigrated to Israel in 1999, to enjoy their twilight years in a place they call their ancestral homeland. And for a time, they lived there comfortably. 

Then, about 15 years ago, her husband became very ill and died. Valentina managed alone until 2020, when she suffered a heart attack, had surgery, and was in a coma for six days. Now in her 80s, she is happy to be alive, but finds it hard to survive financially. Unfortunately, Valentina’s income falls below the poverty line. She can barely afford the basics, and often must make difficult decisions about which needs are most urgent. At her age, who could she turn to? 

But then, friends like you reached out to her. Through CBN Israel, caring donors gave her vouchers, so she could purchase groceries, medicine and other necessities. They also provided her with a beautiful new couch, giving her a more comfortable place to rest. Valentina was thrilled, and exclaimed, “Thank you—I am so grateful for your love and support!” 

And for so many others with nowhere to turn, your gift to CBN Israel can provide housing, nutritious food, financial assistance, and more. With the needs escalating across the Holy Land, your continued support is a lifeline to Holocaust survivors, single moms, immigrant families, and terror victims. 

Please consider reaching out to help others in this special land today!


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