Daily Topic for December 08, 2008

Luke 1:69-73
"He has raised up a horn of salvation for us...to remember His holy covenant, the oath He swore to our father Abraham."

Zechariah’s prophecy was pointing to a work God was doing in fulfillment of His promise to Abraham, that through him and his descendants (including the Lord Jesus) all nations on earth would be blessed. By faith in Jesus we have received both the blessing and the obligation to bless others. God’s intent and purpose in fulfilling His oath to Abraham is that some from every people group, including Buddhists, Muslims, and Hindus, would be able to share in the blessings of redemption.

Pray that we won’t want to settle for anything less than His highest and best. Pray that we will press forward in holiness and commitment to His mission.

Jewish Sabras of Israel

As one drives anywhere in Israel during their growing season, one will see sabras being sold along the road. Sabra is the Hebrew word for the prickly pear fruit, but it is also the slang word for native born Israeli Jews. What do both have in common? Both are tough and thorny on the outside but soft and sweet on the inside. Even though the present population of Israel is 82 percent Jewish, it is comprised of immigrants from all over the world. While Hebrew and Aramaic are the common languages of prayer, sacred and legal matters, the Jews are quite at home with local languages and dialects. Israeli leaders have wanted to see all immigrants fuse into one Jewish people, but that has been difficult.

Rabbinical Judaism is the dominant religion of the Jews in Israel. It has replaced the Old Testament temple with the synagogue, the priesthood with the rabbi, and the sacrifices with the prayer services. However, anywhere from two-thirds to three-fourths of Israeli Jews, especially the Sabras, are religiously non-observant. Jews who are observant are the Orthodox (traditionalists) and the Modern. The Jews understand their Abrahamic Covenant but reject Jesus as the Messiah and the fulfillment of the covenant. They have historically been so persecuted that they need to experience emotional healing and forgiveness.

Learn more at joshuaproject.net

Pray that as the gospel is shared with them, that they will not see it as anti-Semitic, but rather as God’s fulfilled promise through Abraham. Pray for the Word to permeate the tough exterior of the Sabras and to reach their tender hearts.-JS

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