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Revive Israel Ministries

©October 5, 2012 Revive Israel Ministries

God Who Humbles Himself

It is astonishing that the all-knowing, all-powerful, eternal creator would be willing to humble Himself on our behalf. Why? – Because He loves us. The fact that someone so great would be willing to make Himself so small on our behalf makes His greatness even greater. That He did this for us while we were sinning and rebelling against Him makes His greatness awesome beyond comprehension.

When we speak of the omnipotent, transcendent aspects of God, we are in agreement with most Orthodox rabbis.  However the Scriptures also speak of a mysteriously self-humbling part of God.

Psalm 113:5-6
Exalted to dwell, Humble to see

Poetically in Hebrew:
Hamagbihi lashevet
Hamashpili liraot

The word humble here means "to the point of humiliation." I believe Paul (Saul) had this verse in mind when he wrote:

Philippians 2:8-9
He humbled Himself… even unto death on the cross.
Therefore God highly exalted Him.

The cross was not only humility; it was humiliation.  YHVH–God allowed Himself to be humiliated by us puny creatures in order to save us from the wrath we deserve because of our treacherous ways.  Then He offers to exalt us almost to divinity, simply to the praise of His own unfathomable grace (II Peter 1:4, Ephesians 2:7).

The book of Isaiah shows a similar paradox. On the one hand, we see an exalted, glorified king.

Isaiah 6:1, 3 – I saw the Lord, sitting on a throne, high and lifted up… The whole earth is filled with His glory.

On the other hand, we see a suffering servant, humiliated, and rejected.
Isaiah 53:3 – …despised and forsaken of men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.

Can there be any connection between the glorified king of chapter 6 and the suffering servant of chapter 53?  Yes.  This exalted-humiliated aspect of God was also predicted by Isaiah:
Isaiah 57:15 – I dwell in the high and holy, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit.

The exalted king of Isaiah 6 and the humiliated servant of Isaiah 53 turn out to be one and the same in Isaiah 57.
To those who see only the lofty, transcendent aspect of God, it seems disrespectful and offensive to see Him as lowly and humiliated. But it is in His lowliness that He comes close to us. In His humility we find intimacy.  A God who is only exalted and transcendent is not one with whom we can experience intimacy.

God was willing to be humbled, even humiliated, for the opportunity of sharing intimacy with us. This aspect can be found only in Yeshua – God humbling Himself in order to have relationship with us.


Palm Branches and East Asia

The Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) is a time when Christians from around the world come up to Jerusalem in a "pre-millennial" fulfillment of Zechariah 14:16. This week Revive Israel was part of hosting a number of international conferences, with Christians from China, Thailand, and Korea.

The conference with the Chinese was particularly significant in that it was organized by Mainland Chinese – an historic first. The conference was led by Paul Yang and moderated by Ariel Blumenthal. Main speakers on behalf of the local remnant in Israel included Daniel Yahav, Ari Sorkoram, and Asher Intrater. A major theme was reconciliation and unity in the Body.

The waving of palm branches is part of the feast of Sukkot (Leviticus 23:40). When the remnant of Israel returned after the Babylonian exile, they celebrated Sukkot with palm branches as well (Nehemiah 8:15). In the New Covenant, we find that palm branches are used to welcome King Messiah to Jerusalem (John 12:12-13). [This was not the correct timing for the true "triumphal entry," which will take place at the Second Coming, not the First, and during Sukkot, not Passover.]

Sukkot is a time of special joy (Deuteronomy 16:14-15). The joy in this festival is not just for the harvest, but also in looking forward to the day that the Messiah will return to Jerusalem to begin the millennial kingdom. The day which the "Lord has made" that we rejoice in (Psalm 118:24) is the same day that we welcome Yeshua's return with "Blessed is He who comes" (Psalm 118:26, Matthew 23:39). It is on that day that the "joy of the Lord will be our strength" (Nehemiah 8:10). At that time it will not only be the people of Israel who welcome back Messiah with palm branches, but true believers of every tribe, tongue, and nation (Revelation 7:9).


International Prayers

U. S. Elections – Just one month away from elections, the race seems particularly close, following the first Romney-Obama television debate. It is important for all of us who do not live in America to pray for God's will to be done in this election, as it affects not only the U. S., but the rest of the world as well.

Israel Elections – Rumors in Israeli media are that Netanyahu will call for elections in February, 2013. This may be true or just political maneuvering. Pray for integrity, wisdom, right order, and the best coalition for the government.

Turkey – Syrian Tensions – Tension is building in the relationship between Turkey and Syria. Both Russia and Iran want to have influence in those countries. The Turkish government authorized a response against Syria. A reported 30,000 Syrians have been killed in the war between government and rebel forces. Pray for the kingdoms of evil to be divided and fall (Luke 11:17).

Iranian Economy – International sanctions against Iran, led by Israel and the U.S. to thwart Iranian efforts toward nuclear armament, have been taking a heavy toll. The Iranian currency, "reyal," has been devalued, oil exports have been reduced, and people in Iran are taking to the streets to protest the failing economy, claiming that the current regime has betrayed them. Pray for a better new government, collapse of Iran's support for terrorism internationally, and halting their nuclear weapons program.


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