by Dr. Jürgen Bühler, ICEJ President; edited by Maxine Carlil, ICEJ Australia editor
Published on: 27.7.2023
“And I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again.” Ezekiel 37:22
For several months, Israel has faced one of its worst crises since the nation’s rebirth in 1948. The previous dire threats which Israel faced all came from the outside – such as the War of Independence, the Six-Day War, and the Yom Kippur War. However, the present conflict over judicial reforms is an internal threat. It is a crisis of brother set against brother. Some say it is the secular state of Tel Aviv versus the religious state of Jerusalem. But it is not that simple. In many ways, it is a question of whether a nationalist and religious governing coalition can impose its views on the entire public. This concerns not only secular Jews but also traditional Jews, as well as the Arab Christian and Muslim minorities, and even the local Messianic Jewish community.
On both sides, the lines are not as clear cut as they seem. Everyone knows there is a need for some measure of judicial reforms. Yet even among the more conservative and religious Jewish sectors, many feel that the State still needs a strong judiciary to provide checks and balances on government decisions, especially in a country where extremes exist in both camps.
This current crisis is indeed a real threat to the unity and social fabric of the nation. Yet I remain optimistic – not because I trust politicians but because the Bible clearly states that God has brought His people back “never to be uprooted again” (Amos 9:15). On the contrary, He vows that Israel’s return will result in them becoming “one nation” (Ezekiel 37:22), and it will end in a glorious spiritual restoration; for surely, “I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it” (Ezekiel 36:24-36).
Amid the dispute over judicial reforms, remember that the Lord promises: “I will restore your judges as at the first, and your counsellors as at the beginning. Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city. Zion shall be redeemed with justice, and her penitents with righteousness” (Isaiah 1:26-27).
Let us pray for a God-given unity in Israel, and for leaders with wisdom and humble hearts to bring peace to the nation. I know God will answer our prayers because that is what He already promised to do in His word.
Editor: In a previous article, Dr Buhler listed helpful and important prayer points:
- Pray for the political and religious leaders of Israel to have wisdom and grace to restore the unity of the nation. This is essential as Jesus himself said a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand (Mark 3:24). Jewish tradition says that it was “sinat achim” – the hatred between brothers – which led to the Roman exile. Please pray according to Psalm 133:1, which says: “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”
- I am intrigued that Abraham was 75 years old when he, as the father of faith, entered the Land of Promise (Genesis 12). Let us pray that on Israel’s 75th birthday, they will enter into their spiritual inheritance as a nation. Pray that out of this chaos, Israel will emerge as a light to the nations. Let us pray that this difficult time will cause a time of Israel seeking God and God answering by pouring out the Spirit of grace and supplication upon Israel (Zechariah 12:10ff).
- Pray for Prime Minister Netanyahu, that God will give him wisdom to rule this nation in righteousness and justice. “Give the king Your judgments, O God, and Your righteousness to the king’s Son. He will judge Your people with righteousness, and Your poor with justice” (Psalm 72:1-2). “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes” (Proverbs 21:1).
- Pray for Israel’s security, as some of her adversaries already sense the vulnerability of the Jewish state amid this internal turmoil. “Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep” (Psalm 121:4).
Image credit: icej.org