Dearly Mishpochah in Messiah,
The Power of Brokenness
This month’s newsletter was prompted by the Ruach HaKodesh and the writings of one of our favorite Messianic Jewish teachers, Jonathan Cahn, of the Jerusalem Center/Beth Israel in Wayne, New Jersey. As Jamie read a brief devotional in Jonathan’s January edition of “Sapphires” entitled “The Power of the Broken,” the Lord impressed upon her the importance of brokenness at this time in history. Then, after reading Jonathan’s recently published book, The Harbinger, which reveals an ancient mystery concerning the parallel dealings of God with Israel in the past and the USA in the present, we sensed an urgent call from God for BROKENNESS.
The word “brokenness” does not normally bring to mind positive, happy images. We think of broken hearts, broken relationships, broken toys, and broken promises. But the Holy Scriptures make it clear that God’s thoughts and His ways are higher than our thoughts and ways. ([biblegateway passage=”Is. 55:8-9″ display=”Is. 55:8-9″]). Brokenness, in God’s economy, is a necessary prerequisite to the love, joy, peace, and fellowship with our Creator that He deeply desires for us.
Broken Hearts: for Israel
Brokenness leads us close to the heart of God our Father and enables us to see through His eyes. Mercy triumphs over judgment, as we realize the extent of God’s mercy in our lives and His heart of mercy for His Chosen People and His Chosen Land. Our Mercy Missions to Israel—especially this year’s 2012 pre-Yom Teruah Mission—are motivated by a divine call to obey the admonition of Psalm 102:13: “You will arise and have mercy on Zion; for the time to favor her, Yes, the set time, has come.” The Lord is leading us to bring our shofars (or purchase one there), and sound them throughout the Land as both a call to repent and return to God, and a call to anticipate hearing the voice of our Creator. (One of the sounds of the shofar, shevarim, is a series of three broken sounds, almost like a cry or weeping…God’s broken heart over man’s sin.)
Since our Mercy Mission occurs two weeks prior to the Fall Feasts of the Lord, which begin with the Feast of Trumpets, we will be preparing the way for the Messiah to move in the hearts and lives of the Israeli people. We also believe that God will be lovingly, yet firmly, speaking the words REPENT and RETURN through our group during this special season of repentance, the month of Elul, when shofars are sounded daily in Israeli synagogues.
Israel, like the U.S., has, for the most part, lost its way spiritually. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob no longer has a prominent place in the life of either nation. To secular Americans and Israelis, God has become irrelevant. That can, and must change! YOU can be a part of this miracle by making God real to His people. Yeshua’s love, through us, will pierce the darkness that has blinded God’s people from seeing Him. There is still time to sign up for the 2012 “Sound the Shofar” Mercy Mission to Israel from August 26, 2012 – September 7, 2012.
While our specific missions are still being planned, you can count on touching new mothers and their babies, soldiers, holocaust survivors, secular Israelis like our precious bus driver Hillel, victims of terror, orphans and whomever else the Lord has ordained for a divine encounter. All Israelis are hurting. They live with the constant threat of annihilation, surrounded by enemies who state they are a cancer on the earth that must be eliminated.They need comfort and hope.
Now concerning the special treats God has planned for us, we will experience a beautiful ocean in Netanya, fabulous food and Shabbat with believers in Tiberias, and one of the best, most knowledgeable guides in Israel. Our group will be small and intimate; we always bond as mishpochah. If it is God’s will for you to join us, please respond TODAY by calling Regina at 1-800-336-2876.
Jacob: Broken but Blessed
The patriarch Jacob, who later became Israel, knew the power of brokenness even before his wrestling match with the Angel of the Lord and the subsequent blessing. Esau, Jacob’s estranged brother, was coming to meet him, accompanied by four hundred men. Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed, according to Genesis 32:7. Then Jacob prayed: “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, the LORD who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your family, and I will deal
well with you: I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies and of all the truth which You have shown Your servant…” ([biblegateway passage=”Gen. 32:9-10″ display=”Gen. 32:9-10″]) There is a key here: Brokenness enables us to see ourselves as we really are, and to appreciate how amazing God’s mercy and grace is. Brokenness also makes us ever
aware of our desperate need of God, just as Jacob acknowledged his need of God as he faced the meeting with Esau. Brokenness is the opposite of the attitude that says: “I can handle this on my own. I know what should be done. What does God have to do with this?” It is better to limp like Jacob and know the real source of life and blessing, than to have strong legs and an arrogant attitude of selfsufficiency. Let us agree with Rabbi Saul who also had a “thorn in the flesh” and was told by Yeshua: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” ([biblegateway passage=”2 Cor. 12:9″ display=”2 Cor. 12:9″])
Broken Tablets: From Bad to Good!
Most of us are aware of the sin of the Golden Calf, but the circumstances surrounding the sin present a picture rarely painted: something prophetically broken that highlighted the need for brokenness and a new way of dealing with sin. When God finished speaking with Moses on Mount Sinai, He gave him two tablets of the Testimony, written on stone by the finger of God. These tablets contained God’s instructions for living as His set-apart people. However, God’s people grew impatient
when Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, and succumbed to sin and rebellion, insisting that Aaron make a god that they could worship. Hence, the “Golden Calf;” which they had learned to worship, along with the Egyptians, in Egypt.
When Moses saw the calf and the dancing going on at the foot of the mountain, his anger became hot and he broke the two tablets. Aaron said to Moses: “You know the people, that they are set on evil.” ([biblegateway passage=”Ex. 32:22″ display=”Ex. 32:22″]) The Law could not be kept for even one day. Sin made it impossible. God, in His great mercy, told Moses to cut two new tablets of stone like the first ones so that He could write on them a second time.
We have often thought about the two times that the Law was given. Surely this must be prophetic. Israel could never keep the whole Law, because man’s nature is basically sinful. There had to be a “Plan B.” And there was. The prophet Jeremiah made it clear that God had plans to initiate a New Covenant, a Renewed or Second Covenant, with the House of Israel ([biblegateway passage=”Jer. 31:31-34″ display=”Jer. 31:31-34″]). Just as the tablets had been “broken,” God said that His people had broken His covenant. His solution would be to put His law inside His people, rather than on tablets of stone. This covenant was announced by theMessiah Yeshua at a Passover seder before His death. He said it was the new covenant in His blood. In other words, Yeshua was the Mediator of a covenant through which man could really know God in a personal way. The pre-requisite: brokenness, humility, a willingness to admit sin, forsake it, de-throne self and put the Creator on the throne of one’s heart. As King David said in Psalm 34: “The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.” ([biblegateway passage=”Ps. 34:18″ display=”Ps. 34:18″])
Broken Pitchers: Lead to Victory
The story of Gideon’s victory over the Midianites testifies to the power of broken vessels that allow their light to shine brightly. Gideon put a trumpet (shofar) into every man’s hand, along with an empty pitcher that contained a torch. The three hundred men went with Gideon to the camp of the Midianites, blew their shofars and broke the pitchers that were in their hands. The enemy army fled and Gideon’s tiny band was victorious.
There is victory in brokenness, as we allow the Lord to break us of our stubbornness, rebellion, pride, envy, selfishness, etc., and allow His light to shine through us. We are destined to shine! Our Messiah told us that we are the light of the world and should not hide our light under a bushel ([biblegateway passage=”Matt. 5:14-16″ display=”Matt. 5:14-16″]), but let it shine for all to see that He might be glorified. Yeshua’s light is most clearly seen in a “broken vessel,” the one of whom the world can say: “I see Yeshua in you.”
Broken Vial: the Heart of Love
“V’ahavta et Adonai Eloheycha” (And you shall love the Lord your God) expresses the fundamental concept of Ahavat HaShem (the love for God) which is pivotal to both Judaism and Christianity. Do we love God enough to open ourselves to brokenness? Are we willing to have our alabaster box of pride broken? Defensiveness? Materialism? Ungodly relationships? Are we willing to give God our very best? Our treasured possession? This is what a woman in Bethany did for Yeshua
right before the Passover. The Messiah was at the house of Simon the leper. This woman had an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil. The Bible tells us that she broke the flask and poured it on Yeshua as He sat at the table. In her brokenness, she poured out an extravagant expression of love.
Yeshua praised this woman for her act of love. He actually said that she would be famous throughout the world for having anointed Him for His burial. What was behind such a lavish gift? Surely gratitude for sins forgiven, and the gift of a new life motivated such a fragrant offering of devotion. Her sacrifice of love, given with abandon, shows us what self-denial, lack of self-preservation, and beautiful brokenness looks like.
Broken Bread: Releasing the Power
As we prepare for the Passover next month (Eve of April 6), our hearts turn to Yeshua and the power of “broken bread.” We see Him taking five loaves of bread and two fish, blessing and breaking the loaves, so that five thousand men, plus women and children, were fed. Next, we see Yeshua blessing and breaking seven loaves of bread and feeding four thousand men. Miracles happened when Yeshua broke bread. Even after His resurrection from the dead, on the road to Emmaus, two
men joined Yeshua on the way but they didn’t recognize Him until He broke bread and gave it to them.
Yeshua said that He was the bread of God who came down from heaven to give life to the world: “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst” ([biblegateway passage=”Jn. 6:35″ display=”Jn. 6:35″]). But this Bread was destined to be broken! Yeshua alluded to this at His last Passover seder when He took a piece of matzah, blessed and broke it, gave it to His disciples and said: “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you.” ([biblegateway passage=”1 Corinthians 11:24″ display=”1 Corinthians 11:24″])
The Messiah’s body was indeed broken less than twelve hours later as he hung on a tree, making atonement for the sin of the world. The power of His sacrifice, His broken body, extends to us today and throughout eternity. He was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, the suffering Messiah of Isaiah 53, the broken Bread whose death (and resurrection) meant life for the world.
A Broken Will: God’s Desire
The Messiah Yeshua modeled the powerful truth of a broken will in the Garden of Gethsemane as He faced the prospect of an excruciating death. Praying for the cup of suffering to pass from Him if possible, Yeshua said: “…nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” ([biblegateway passage=”Matt. 26:39″ display=”Matt. 26:39″]) The Messiah yielded His will to the will of His Father. This is God’s desire for us as well. When it comes to the will of men or women, “broken” is the acceptable state for the one who wants to please God and experience life in Him to the fullest.
The Calvary Road by Roy Hession, a true classic that has been translated into over seventy languages, addresses the longing of believers worldwide for revival and power in their lives. The keys to success in the realm of the Spirit elaborated on are: brokenness, repentance and confession.
While the chapter on brokenness is only four pages long, it is deep and rich and worth quoting. The author’s first point concerning brokenness is that we must first come into a right relationship with Yeshua, if we want to experience His life poured into our hearts. This relationship only happens if our will is broken to His will. “To be broken is the beginning of revival. It is painful, it is humiliating, but it is the only way…the hard unyielding self, which justifies itself, wants its own way, stands up for its rights,and seeks its own glory, at last bows its head to God’s will, admits its wrong, gives up its own way to
Jesus (Yeshua), surrenders its rights and discards its own glory—that the Lord Jesus (Yeshua) might have all and be all. In other words, it is dying to self and self-attitudes.”
Our proud self must be broken, since when self is in control, the fruit of the Spirit ([biblegateway passage=”Galatians 5″ display=”Galatians 5″]) can not come forth. Mr. Hession points out that being broken is a joint effort between us and God. He
shows us the areas of our proud hard self that cause Him pain. Then we have the choice of either being stiff-necked and rebellious, or broken and repentant. It is a daily choice and a daily experience.”Brokenness in daily experience is simply the response of humility to the conviction of God.”
America: the Great Need for Brokenness
We highly recommend that you read The Harbinger since it clearly shows that we are a nation under judgment for our lack of brokenness before a Holy God. America has turned a deaf ear to the warnings that God has been giving us. We have said, “WE WILL,” in arrogance and defiance, rather than “GOD’S WILL.” Our nation was founded on godly principles, but we have lost our way. But there is hope for our country IF: “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray
and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” ([biblegateway passage=”2 Chronicles 7:14″ display=”2 Chronicles 7:14″])
Endeavoring to do the will of our Father, Love,
Neil and Jamie
P.S. May you experience the power of the middle matzah (symbolic of Yeshua’s broken body)as it is broken at your Passover seder…”By His stripes we are healed…” ([biblegateway passage=”Is. 54:5″ display=”Is. 54:5″])