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David and Joab

written by Asher Intrater
December 12, 2007

An appeal to pray for the Messianic soldiers in the Israeli army.

The Israeli army has a significant role to play in biblical history, and also in future end times prophecies. Today there are a couple of hundred Messianic Jewish believers in the Israeli army. They are in need of our prayers.

Consider these biblical passages that indicate the connection between Yeshua and the army of Israel:

  • In Joshua 5, we see Yeshua (Jesus) in His pre-birth form as the commander of the armies of YHVH; however, we see no army behind Him.
  • In II Kings 6, Elisha prays for his servant’s eyes to be opened. He sees the heavenly armies of the Lord, but does not see the commander.
  • In Revelation 19, we see both the heavenly armies and the commander, descending from Heaven, but we see no earthly battle.
  • In Zechariah 14, we see the commander of the armies, and the earthly battle over Jerusalem, but we do not see the heavenly armies.
  • In II Samuel 5, we see the heavenly army of angels and the earthly army of Israel working together in tandem.

Many end times prophecies point to the Second Coming of Yeshua at the climax of a great war in which the nations of the earth attack Jerusalem. There is a heavenly aspect and an earthly aspect to that apocalyptic war. The heavenly army of Yeshua is connected to the earthly army of Israel.

An important link in that connection is the group of Israeli Jewish soldiers (particularly officers) who are at the same time believers in Yeshua. Almost all of the Messianic Jews in Israel at the age of 18 are enlisted in the army.

Over the last decade or two, Messianic Jews have gained a good reputation in the army for being honest, patriotic, and hard-working soldiers. Since the army is not based on religious affiliation, but on the quality of the soldier’s performance, Messianic Jews have found an objective forum in which their faith can be judged, not in words, but in deeds of character and integrity.

On the other hand, the army is by no means a “spiritual” environment. By the very nature of warfare, the army is based on a “subculture” of power and force, not on love and sensitivity. This places the born-again, Messianic soldier in a difficult position, between “a rock and a hard place.” They are called to walk in the fruit of the spirit in kindness and peace, in the midst of other soldiers who can be at times carnal, uncaring, and even cruel.

Their predicament reminded me of the interactions between David and Joab. David cried out, saying, “Joab and those like him are too harsh for me (II Samuel 3).” Suddenly it struck me why those reactions are recorded in the Bible. They are given as an example for us. David is the image of a “spirit-filled believer” as a soldier. Joab is the image of a “non-spiritual” soldier.

Joab and soldiers like him, though they are not motivated by the right spirit, are still used by God to accomplish His purposes. Joab led the army into many victories for the Lord, even the conquest of Jerusalem (I Chronicles 11). On the other hand, Joab murdered two innocent commanders, and in the end, was part of a rebellion against David’s son, Solomon (I Kings 1).

I believe that along with biblical heroes like David and Joshua, the Messianic believers in the Israeli army today are on the front edge of spiritual warfare leading to the Second Coming of Yeshua and the establishment of His kingdom on earth.

Please pray with us for:

  • God’s guidance on the Israeli Army to fulfill its destiny as described in the prophecies of the end times.
  • For the good news of Messiah Yeshua to be spread throughout the soldiers, backed up by a testimony of personal integrity.
  • For the Messianic soldiers to have time for prayer, bible study, and spiritual refreshment.
  • For Hezi I, one of the higher ranking Messianic officers currently serving in active duty in the Israeli Army

We give thanks to God for the fruitful ministry this Hanukah week:

A national gathering of 200 Messianic university students and young adults for a Hanukah celebration at Ma’ayan congregation in Kfar Saba. Liran S led the worship; Eli B led the meeting; Daniel G led the Hanukah blessings, SI gave a short message; fun and fellowship were enjoyed by all. Thank God for the unity and spirit of the young adults in the Messianic fellowships in Israel.

The national teen conference, Katsir, held near the Sea of Galilee, was the best ever, attended by 180 youth and counselors. Worship was led by David S and by Eli C, teachings were given by Danny S, Mike N, Eitan S, and Asher I. The staff, under Eitan’s guidance, did a great job ministering to the teens. The teen Messianic fellowship in Israel is growing and strengthening.

The “Isaiah 19 vision” delegation from Israel, led by Mike N, returned safely after successful ministry, sharing and “bridge building” among the Turkish, Armenian, Kurdish, and ex-Muslim Christians. The Turkish Christians were touched by the testimony of unity between the Israeli Messianic Jews and the Palestinian Christians.

Asher serves as president of Tikkun Global family of ministries and congregations, dedicated to the dual restoration of Israel and the Church. He is founder of the Revive Israel five-fold ministry team, and oversees both Ahavat Yeshua and Tiferet Yeshua congregations in Israel.

He and his wife Betty share a passion for personal prayer and devotion, local evangelism and discipleship in Hebrew, and unity of the Body of believers worldwide.

Asher was raised in a conservative Jewish home and holds degrees from Harvard University, Baltimore Hebrew College and Messiah Biblical Institute. He has authored numerous books, tracts and articles.

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