For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.(Jer. 29:11 NIV)
How is it possible that so many events converged in such a short period of time? Is there a reason for this? The answer to these questions is not difficult to find, because it was predicted by Jesus about 2000 years ago:“You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.” (Matt. 24:6–8)As you can see, all these events have occurred. Of course, similar events have happened throughout history, but have they ever occurred in such a great concentration? Racial wars in America, war between Ukraine and Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, and, as always, Israel, a stumbling block for many. Also, within Israel there is confusion between Arabs and Jews, and on top of that, confusion within the government. Is this a random conjuncture of circumstances or the fulfilment of Biblical prophecy? I believe everyone should decide this for themselves.
Among all this is a treasure. We can see that Israel is one of the first countries to recover from the COVID-19 crisis. After living under quarantine restrictions for over a year, now we have returned to normal life. Finally, we can all gather again in the congregation to worship our Lord.
Before the first quarantine, we were preparing to celebrate a Bat Mitzvah (the transition from childhood to adulthood) for our youngest daughter, but the whole country was closed due to a lockdown. The first thing we did after the restrictions were removed was to celebrate this important event after a year-long delay. Our daughter was waiting for this event for a long time with the hope that it would eventually happen. Everything was scheduled for her birthday, but then the country was under rocket attack for 11 days, forcing us to reschedule again for a later time. Instead of the joy of celebration, we found ourselves in a bomb shelter with a new challenge. We asked ourselves how we can help our children, and even some adults, overcome the fear and panic caused by the circumstances. Suddenly, I discovered that sometimes I could not just simply tell my children that there was nothing to be afraid of, that God holds us and keeps us in His hands. But the more rockets were fired towards us, the more we saw God’s protection and peace come to the hearts of our children. As soon as the attacks were over, the streets were filled with people, as if nothing had happened.All these events reminded me of the prophecy of the Jeremiah 33:10-11: “This is what the LORD says: ‘You say about this place, “It is a desolate waste, without people or animals.” Yet in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem that are deserted, inhabited by neither people nor animals, there will be heard once more the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, and the voices of those who bring thank offerings to the house of the LORD, saying, “Give thanks to the LORD Almighty, for the LORD is good; his love endures forever.”
Dear friends, I want to thank you for your prayers and support, and I would also like to encourage you with the words of the Prophet Isaiah 62:6-7:“I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night.You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.” I thank God for each and every one of you and that we have the privilege to do God’s will here on the Earth together. Please tell us how we can serve you and pray for you.
With much love in our Messiah Jesus, Aleksey Raikhstadt and the Beit Immanuel Congregation