Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on David’s Tent, a ministry of Israeli believers Avner and Rachel Boskey. The Boskey’s have ministered at Tabernacle of David, and we consider them trustworthy and Biblically sound.
In the Summer of 1980 Bob Dylan wrote one of his greatest songs ever, according to Rolling Stone magazine. ‘The Groom’s still waiting at the altar’ has biblical and apocalyptic language and, like his classic ‘Neighborhood Bully,’ leaves a trail of bread crumbs which leads the listener through the mists to come face-to-face with the Jewish homeland of Israel:
- West of the Jordan, east of the Rock of Gibraltar
I see the turning of the page
Curtain risin’ on a new age
See the groom still waitin’ at the altar (Copyright © 1981 by Special Rider Music)
Israel’s location is certainly west of the Jordan River and east of the Rock of Gibraltar. And the ongoing prophetic return of the Jewish people to their Promised Land is a wake-up call to the world – a turning of the page of history, and a curtain rising on a new age, one where Messiah Yeshua will reign over the entire planet from Jerusalem:
- “Behold, a son will be born to you, who shall be a man of rest [Hebrew, shalom]and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side. For his name will be Solomon, and I will give peace and quiet to Israel in his days. He shall build a House for My name, and he shall be My son and I will be his Father. And I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever” (1 Chronicles 22:9-10)
- Then I heard Him speaking to me from the House, while a man was standing beside me. And He said to me, “Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell among the sons of Israel forever” (Ezekiel 43:6-7a)
- “And it shall be in those days when you become numerous and are fruitful in the land, declares YHVH, they will no longer say, ‘The Ark of the Covenant of YHVH’! And it will not come to mind, nor will they remember it, nor miss it, nor will it be made again. At that time they will call Jerusalem ‘The Throne of YHVH,’ and all the nations will assemble at it, at Jerusalem, for the name of YHVH. And they will no longer follow the stubbornness of their evil heart. In those days the House of Judah will walk with the House of Israel. And they will come together from the land of the north to the land that I gave your fathers as an inheritance” (Jeremiah 3:16-18)
- “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and give birth to a son, and you shall name Him ‘Yeshua.’ He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the House of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end” (Luke 1:31-33)
- “And just as My Father has granted Me a kingdom, I grant you that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Luke 22:29-30)
- Then Peter responded and said to Him, “Behold, we have left everything and followed You. What then will there be for us?” And Yeshua said to them, “Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me – in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne – you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Matthew 19:27-28)
- YHVH of armies says this: “It will yet turn out that peoples will come, that is, the inhabitants of many cities. The inhabitants of one city will go to another, saying, ‘Let’s go at once to plead for the favor of YHVH, and to seek YHVH of armies; I also will go.’ So many peoples and mighty nations will come to seek YHVH of armies in Jerusalem, and to plead for the favor of YHVH.” YHVH of armies says this: “In those days ten people from all the nations will grasp the garment of a Jew, saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you’” (Zechariah 8:20-23)
The River Jordan we know, and the Rock of Gibraltar we know. The turning of the page and the coming in of the new Davidic age we also somewhat grasp. But who is the Groom, and why is He still waiting at the altar?
Isaiah’s double entendre
Dylan has always dappled his songwriting with biblical allusions, from the folk-anthem ‘Blowing in the Wind’ to the Grammy-winning ‘Gotta Serve Somebody.’ He is eminently comfortable guiding a biblical phrase or parable onto unexpected and surprising paths.
The Scriptures refer to the ‘groom’ in two interesting ways:
One is described by Yohanan the Immerser (known worldwide as John the Baptist) who declared: “You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah,’ but, ‘I have been sent ahead of Him.’ He who has the bride is the Groom. But the friend of the Groom, who stands and listens to Him, rejoices greatly because of the Groom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made full. He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:28-30). John describes himself as the friend of Yeshua the Messianic Bridegroom. John rejoiced to see Yeshua’s First Coming, knowing all the while that John’s own ministry would diminish and ultimately fade away as Yeshua stepped into His prophesied calling.
The second reference is in Isaiah 62, where the Jewish people are described as the bridegroom who will marry – be re-united to – the Land of Israel in a Last Days prophetic consummation. There they will return to their own Promised Land and, in the words of the Hebrew prophets, will ‘re-marry’ that Land. This biblical passage adds another facet to the prophetic diamond: It describes YHVH the God of Jacob as Israel’s Groom who will remarry the Jewish people – whom He calls His own precious Wife:
- It will no longer be said to you, ‘Forsaken,’ [Hebrew, azuva] nor to your land will it any longer be said, ‘Desolate’ [Hebrew, shmama] But you will be called, “My delight is in her” [Hebrew, heftzi va] and your land, “Married” [be’ulah]. For YHVH delights in you, and to Him your land will be married. For as a young man marries a virgin, so your sons will marry you. And as the groom rejoices over the bride, so your God will rejoice over you (Isaiah 62:4-5)
The demonic matchmaking of the nations
The holiness of marriage – the exhilarating union of man and woman – reflects the craftsmanship and passion of the Original Matchmaker.
- For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh (Genesis 2:24)
- And [Yeshua] answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no person is to separate” (Matthew 19:4-6)
The wonder of marriage invites us to take a deeper look. It points us to more fully perceive God’s passion to be intimate with His Jewish people. It also applies (in another context) to the relationship between all believers and Yeshua. Let’s look at some conclusions here:
- When God joins a man and woman in marriage, let no one attempt to separate husband and wife
- When God joins Himself to the Jewish people, let no theologian attempt to separate God from His Jewish people through Replacement Theology
- When God joins the Jewish homeland both to Himself and to the Jewish people, let no religion or superpower attempt to separate God from the Land He promised to Jacob, nor attempt to separate the Jewish people from the Land God has promised to them.
All attempts to divide the Jewish people from their Land of inheritance by ‘re-marrying the Land’ to the enemies of the Jewish people – these bring the judgment of God on these evil actors. They might be the PLO/PA, Hamas, Iran, the US State Department, the British Foreign Ministry or the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan. They might even be the preachers and teachers of false teachings espoused by Replacement Theology in all of its forms – whether Catholic, Orthodox, Reformed, Evangelical or Charismatic Christianity, or even Islamist triumphalism (the most recent champion of Replacement theology). Whatever the origin and whoever the instigator, it should be remembered: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a person sows, this he will also reap (Galatians 6:7).
Let’s sum up some conclusions here:
- YHVH the Groom is still waiting at the altar for His Jewish people to turn to Him in a renewal of marital vows (see Hosea 2:14-23)
- The Jewish people are waiting for their sleeping soul to be wakened, filled with a love for YHVH and for their Land (see Ezekiel 37:1-13)
- God is waiting on the Jewish people – for them to catalyze His Last Days world revival and international redemption, the fruit of their turning in love-filled repentance to Messiah Yeshua, entreating Him to come back to His lost sheep of Israel and to Jerusalem His city (see Romans 11:12-15; Matthew 15:24).
Men who understood the times
The rock group Chicago’s lead singer Robert Lamm once asked: “Does anybody really know what time it is? Does anybody really care?” This question can certainly be posed to all who follow Messiah Yeshua today.
The Jewish tribe of Issachar was given a special gift by the God of Jacob: “The sons of Issachar [were] men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do” (1 Chronicles 12:32). Issachar was given unusual discernment so that they could guide the Jewish people in the military, governmental and spiritual challenges they faced. What are the challenges facing the Jewish people today, and are Christians and Jews who follow Messiah Yeshua aware of the challenges yet to be faced?
Many dear people are tone-deaf to the fast-paced changes sweeping across Planet Earth. Many are pre-occupied with the pursuit of things that will never satisfy, which will never connect us to eternal realities, as C.S. Lewis once put it:
Peace, re-assurance, pleasure, are the goals I seek
I cannot crawl one inch outside my proper skin
I talk of love – a scholar’s parrot may talk Greek –
But, self-imprisoned, always end where I begin (from the poem ‘As the Ruin Falls’)
All around us, events are picking up speed. Whereas in times past, earth-shaking events happened once a decade, it seems that they are now happening twice a week. The sound of rushing and roaring surrounds us, as Isaiah prophesied: “Oh, the uproar of many peoples who roar like the roaring of the seas; and the rumbling of nations who rush on like the rumbling of mighty waters!” (Isaiah 17:12).
There is a temptation for some to envision Middle Eastern events concerning Israel as simply being moves on a divine chessboard, and to view the Jewish people as merely an ivory chess piece in God’s strategic gambit. Some are teaching that the horrific Hamas jihadi rapes, murders, tortures and kidnappings of October 7 should primarily be interpreted as a prophetic fulfilment of Last Days prophecies like Psalm 83 – ‘something which needed to be accomplished so that Jesus can return.’
Certainly, Psalm 83 is highly important and highly relevant in our day – though not all the protagonists in that Psalm are yet in place. But disasters befalling the Jewish people are not to be looked at through dispassionate theological spectacles. What is needed is something more human: Unless we are interceding with tears for the Jewish people, unless we understand how precious they are to God, unless we clearly grasp how YHVH will use the Jewish people to judge the nations of the world, and how the God of Jacob will restore Israel to their biblical and priority calling – there is a clear and present danger that we will dehumanize Israel’s divine calling. The result could then be that we will become callous in our own hearts and in the clarity of our perceptions as well.
- Years ago I gave a teaching titled ‘The Tears of God and the Womb of the Nations.’ That message delved into the importance of grasping how God feels about His beloved Jewish people, how He weeps over them, and how the intercession of the nations for Israel’s protection, salvation, victory and restoration is an important key to the move of God on this planet.
“But where I live, the game to play is compromise solution”
Mick Jagger’s famous line from the Rolling Stones’ 1968 hit ‘Street Fighting Man’ aptly sums up current superpower politics in the Middle East. Of course, superpowers tend to disregard the word of God regarding His irrevocable gifts and calling on the Jewish people. They try to solve ‘the Middle East problem’ based on compromise solution and realpolitik. The end result of such conniving is bound to lead to no good. As Zechariah the prophet wryly noted, “It will come about on that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples. All who lift it will injure themselves severely. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it” (Zechariah 12:3).
According to Joshua 15:1,47, Gaza is part of the Land that the God of Jacob swore by His own name to give to the sons and daughters of Israel. From YHVH’s perspective, Gaza is as much a part of the Promised Land as is Givatayim in Greater Tel Aviv. Khan Yunis in the Gaza Strip is just as much a part of the Promised Land as is Kfar Saba, just north of Tel Aviv. Whether it is due to blindness, to ignorance or even to spiritual hubris, the nations of the world are currently gathering – USA, UK, Germany, France, etc. – to decide how they will divide up the Land of Israel. Current headlines trumpet the flowering of the process.
At a State Department Press Briefing on January 3, 2024. Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller stated:
- We have made quite clear publicly that we support the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. That has been the policy of the United States for some time. It has been the policy of this administration . . . There are any number of ways that you could go about accomplishing that. There are any number of sequencing of events that you could carry out to accomplish that objective. And we look at a wide range of options, and we discuss those with partners in the region . . . We support the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, and we do a lot of work inside the government to think about how to bring that about . . . We are actively pursuing the establishment of an independent Palestinian state – with real security guarantees for Israel, because we do believe that is the best way to bring about lasting peace and security for Israel, for Palestinians, and for the region.
A January 28, 2024 report in the Times of Israel reveals that the USA has turned to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Turkey, calling them ‘regional stakeholders’ who will enable the PLO/Palestinian Authority to transition into governing Gaza and the West Bank, thus creating a pathway to a Palestinian state. As mentioned in our previous newsletters, this international scheme empowers and establishes the Palestinian Authority (an organization neck-deep in terror and jihad) to become joint-owners of the Land of Israel.
- The US is advancing a ‘contact group’ with Middle East allies aimed at coalescing around a united policy for managing the Gaza Strip after the Israel-Hamas war, a Biden administration official and a senior Arab diplomat told The Times of Israel. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken brought the idea to leaders from Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Turkey when he visited the region earlier this month and got approval from each country to move forward with the initiative, the two officials said. The US is asking regional stakeholders to play a role in the reconstruction and management of Gaza after the war, and hopes that the contact group will allow for ideas to be raised and advanced in a single forum, the administration official said . . . Each country has been tasked with picking a representative on the contact group, with Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf being the US delegate, according to the administration official. The forum is expected to begin holding largely virtual working group meetings next month . . . The US has also been pushing for the establishment of a separate contact group with European partners to hold similar discussions regarding the ‘day after’ in Gaza . . . “They’ve discussed the idea of having President Biden come to the region or invite leaders to the White House to make the final sell,” the senior Arab diplomat said, speculating that Netanyahu would have a harder time saying “no” under such conditions . . . In a statement to The Times of Israel, a State Department spokesperson did not deny the existence of the contact group, saying, “We continue to engage with a range of stakeholders on many issues related to the Gaza conflict, including post-conflict issues . . . We have nothing to share regarding private diplomatic discussions,” the spokesperson added . . . Much of the success of the contact groups hinges on a major scale-back – if not a complete end – to the war, as well as cooperation from Israel, two conditions that have not yet been met.
Let’s look at this short list of six Middle Eastern nations:
- Qatar and Turkey are the biggest bankrollers of the jihadi terror group Hamas.
- Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia have strong national Muslim Brotherhood groups (the spiritual ‘father’ of Hamas and al Qa’eda) intent on overthrowing their present ‘pro-Western’ governments.
- For decades Egypt has turned a blind eye as Hamas smuggled weapons across the border into Gaza.
- Five of these six countries have a hyper-active anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli media.
And these are the ‘regional stakeholders’ that the US administration has chosen to work with in order to establish a Palestinian terror state in Gaza and the West Bank?
These superpower moves are not only aiding and abetting Israel’s enemies in their move toward achieving genocidal goals. They are increasing the likelihood of empowering a repeat of the October 7, 2023 Hamas terror pogroms (which involved mass murder, mass rape, torture and kidnapping of Israeli civilians). The attempt to establish a PLO state (which would quickly be overthrown by Hamas, as happened in Gaza in 2006-2007) reveals that an inherent spiritual schizophrenia has wrapped its demonic roots around US and European policies. If left unchecked, these moves constitute a clear and present danger to Israel’s survival. In the words of Bob Dylan, “Can you imagine the darkness that will fall from on high” when the God of Israel will bring His righteous judgment on those nations who violate His clear commandments concerning these issues?
The world has been slow to learn many lessons of history: not taking Hitler’s Holocaust prophecies seriously; the danger of signing ‘peace deals’ with the perpetrators of the Munich Olympics massacres and the instigators of the First and Second Intifadas; and quite recently, standing with a stopwatch in hand, threatening Israel with a banana-republic putsch to unseat Prime Minister Netanyahu if the IDF continues to pursue its goal of totally removing the jihadi terror group Hamas from Gaza. How can Western superpowers blow the referee’s whistle and call a time-out, before these murderers, rapists, torturers and kidnappers have been eliminated and justice has been done?
Gaza – never to be part of the Promised Land but forever to be part of a Palestinian state
According to the US State Department, Israel must never be allowed to return to Gaza. The leaders of the US, the UK and the EU avow that the Jewish state should not even be considered a stakeholder in determining what happens with Gaza or the West Bank. At the same State Department briefing mentioned above, Matthew Miller declared: “We have raised with [the Israeli Government] the issue of the establishment of a buffer zone [in Gaza, to prevent jihadi terror attacks against Israeli citizens] . . . We are opposed to any reduction in the size of the territory of Gaza. And what [the Israelis] have said to us is that they do not intend to occupy Gaza; they do not intend to leave forces there. And we’re going to continue to engage with them on this question.”
The insistent focus by the US, the UK, Germany and France on what the plan will be for ‘the day after’ is actually an exercise in dissimulation. From a military perspective, the battle against Hamas must first be won before any ‘spoils of war’ can be divided. But how can that happen when the West incessantly hobbles Israel from decisively defeating their mortal enemies? The ‘Western stakeholders’ continue to stress ‘the day after,’ but what this term actually means is that these superpowers want to make sure that a Jewish community will never be resurrected in Gaza, but that only a Palestinian entity (terrorist in its essential nature) will arise to control the heartland of Israel. The inevitable result of this scheme will be more October 7 attacks – but now this time originating from the West Bank as well, easily reaching out to terrorize the core of Israel’s civilian population.
On January 29, 2024, UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron unveiled strategic insight on how the US and the UK are squeezing Israel on these matters:
- The UK is considering recognizing a Palestinian state as a way to apply pressure on Israel to accept a two-state solution after a ceasefire in Gaza, British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said at a Westminster reception Monday. Speaking to the Conservative Middle East Council at the House of Commons, Cameron said such recognition – after Hamas releases all hostages – would represent “irreversible progress to a two-state solution and, crucially, the establishment of a Palestinian state . . . We have a responsibility there because we should be starting to set out what a Palestinian state would look like; what it would comprise; how it would work. As that happens, we, with allies, will look at the issue of recognizing a Palestinian state, including at the United Nations. This could be one of the things that helps to make this process irreversible.”
Praying for the Groom at the altar, the people and the Land
Isaiah calls us to pray fervently and continually – until the God of Jacob makes good on His prophetic promises to the Jewish people and to the Promised Land of Israel:
- “For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not keep quiet, until her righteousness goes forth like brightness, and her salvation like a torch that is burning . . . On your walls, Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen; all day and all night they will never keep silent. You who cause YHVH to remember [His promises], take no rest for yourselves, and give Him no rest until He establishes and makes Jerusalem an object of praise on the earth” (Isaiah 62:1-7)
How should we then pray?
- Pray for the Jewish people to reach out to the God of Israel and receive the influx of His spirit of repentance, grace and supplications – receiving Messiah Yeshua’s atonement and salvation
- Pray for clear revelation and repentance for the leaders of the world’s superpowers regarding God’s heart, strategies and passions for Israel the people and their Land
- Pray for the physical rescue of the approximately 136 Israelis (including babies) kidnapped by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and PFLP/PLO. At this moment some hostages are being tortured, raped and starved (this based on testimonies of recently released hostages). Hamas is also holding onto many corpses as bargaining chips
- Pray for Hamas’ cruel terror dictatorship in Gaza to be decisively shattered and for all chains broken off the Palestinians living there, and for Iran’s role in jihadi deception, dissimulation and anti-Semitism to be exposed and opposed by world leaders
- Pray that Israel’s leadership be granted justice, clarity, moral courage, discernment and divine strategies in utterly destroying the jihadi threat in all of its aspects, and for minimal loss of life for Israel’s defense forces and for those Gazans who are truly innocent
- Pray for the raising up of Ezekiel’s prophetic Jewish army throughout the earth
Your prayers and support hold up our arms and are the very practical enablement of God to us in the work He has called us to do.
In Messiah Yeshua,
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