Shalom from the air somewhere between Tel Aviv and Seattle, Washington! I am finally on my way to the longest and fullest overseas tour that I have ever embarked upon. Please pray for me, that God will give me everything that I need to accomplish the plan to which He has called me. With Him, the tour will accomplish much. Without Him, I can do nothing.
It has been a sad week for me. Two days ago I visited a dear friend, mentor, and father-figure of mine, Moshe Levy. I went there to say goodbye. Cancer has ravaged his body, and his time is very short. As I sat by his bed and prayed over him, I couldn’t help but think of the worthwhile life he has led and the legacy he is leaving behind. Soon, he will go to his reward where cancer can no longer reach him and he can enjoy the presence of the Lord.
Visiting Moshe made the fire that was in me for this U.S. tour burn even that much brighter. We have such a short lifespan on this earth, and we must make that brief time count. As much as my heart would love to stay in Israel close to my family, I know that God has called me to a different path. Serving often means sacrifice. This is true for all of us.
What are you doing to make your life count in the Kingdom of God? How are you using your spiritual gifts to serve the Lord and impact the lives of others? It is so easy, especially in the time of COVID, to isolate or to find excuses to hunker down and not reach out. There is no time to do that. Our time on earth will end soon enough, either through death or rapture. Make your days count, and let it start with today!
Luke 17:10 “So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’”
As always, much has been happening in the Middle East. Here are some of the big stories you should know about:
Last night there was a massive explosion on a ship at Dubai’s Jebel Ali Port. The blast shook the city, and the fireball was seen for miles around. Although authorities are explaining it away saying it was “friction and extreme heat”, it was 1:00 a.m. and the ship was already in port. This has all the fingerprints of an attack. If you want to hear my take on the explosion, watch my Breaking News Update.
Much of the Middle East is in turmoil. The reason? No electricity. In Iran, extreme heat reaching well over 50°C/122°F has caused a demand for power that far exceeds the supply. Large swaths of the country are either without electricity or experiencing regular power outages. This has caused unprecedented infighting within the new presidential administration. It also has people taking to the streets, some even demanding “death to the dictator” referring to Ayatollah Khamenei. You can learn much more about this crisis by watching my most recent Middle East Update.
Because Iran is a power source for other countries, their situation has had terrible consequences in surrounding nations, particularly Iraq. For the first time since the Gulf War, power went out at Baghdad airport. Water is scarce and there is no electricity for refrigerators. People are suffering. The situation is made that much worse by militia groups who have blown up more than 70 high voltage towers in order to make the misery worse.
After satellite photos appeared showing significant damage to a centrifuge production factory, Iran was forced to retract their earlier claim that a late June sabotage attack was thwarted. The pics, which showed a huge portion of the roof missing, led Iranian cabinet spokesman Ali Rabiei to explain that a small hole had been made in the roof, so they had to remove the entire roof to make the repair. Rabiei also took time to blame Israel for the attack, to which Israel informally responded, with a shrug of its shoulders, “Centrifuge? What’s a centrifuge?”
An increase in drone attacks in Iraq has the U.S. concerned. These UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) are especially dangerous because they can fly under radar coverage. On Monday, a drone was shot down at Ein al-Assad air base at Baghdad, near the U.S. embassy which is on site, with no casualties. The next day, a drone laden with explosives hit the airport in Erbil as it targeted the U.S. base on the grounds. Rocket attacks also continue. Yesterday, fourteen rockets hit the Ein al-Assad air base, wounding two people. Then, this morning, another two rockets were fired at the embassy. One was diverted by the embassy’s anti-rocket system and the other fell harmlessly outside the perimeter.
Meanwhile, just across the border in Syria, the U.S. base at the al-Omar oil field came under rocket attack. Iraqi militias claim that these attacks are in retaliation for the U.S. strikes on the Iraq-Syria border which targeted refrigerated trucks that were carrying missiles into Iraq.
All these attacks are part of a greater strategy by Iran to create a Shi’ite land-bridge to Syria and Lebanon, in order to shuttle weapons and people. In order to effect this plan, the U.S. must be out of the way. These attacks are part of the pressure being applied to make that happen. It will be interesting to watch what the current U.S. administration will do in response. I talk more about this in my most recent Middle East Update. Interestingly, the origins of this northern Syria/Iraq weapons network plays a small role in my upcoming thriller, Operation Joktan.
If Iran is hoping to see the U.S. completely out of Iraq and Syria, a quick look at Afghanistan will give them hope. The U.S. military slipped out of Bagram Airfield in the wee hours of Friday morning, leaving the Afghan military to discover the disappearance three hours later. When they went, they left behind 3.5 million items, including bottled water, MREs, thousands of civilian vehicles without their keys, and hundreds of armored vehicles. They also bequeathed to the Afghan military 5,000 Taliban prisoners.
It is hard to imagine how peace will ever come between Israel and the Palestinians. While Israel has held forth overture after overture, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas have refused every offer. Instead, what we find taking place in Gaza is a camp called “Pioneers of Liberation”. At this camp, children and teens are trained in handling weapons and attacking Israeli police. This is their way of ensuring that their hate will be generational.
In good news, for the first time in 25 years, a Royal Moroccan military plane has landed in Israel. The C-130 descended to a runway at Hatzor Air Base near Ashdod in order to participate in a multinational air force exercise later this month. Peace just keeps breaking out!
As I mentioned, today I will be arriving in Seattle. From Washington, I will go to Idaho, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and Florida. Then, in September, I will be back in California, then to Texas and Virginia. My head is already spinning thinking about all the travel! I am so excited to see what God is going to do. I pray that souls will be saved, and that those who know the Lord already will grow and be built up in their faith and in their knowledge of Him. If you want to know if I will be in your area, be sure to check the Behold Israel calendar.
If you are part of the military and happen to be in the Grand Forks area, be sure to check out Pastor Mike Golay as he brings his teaching “The Last Week of Daniel: Unveiled!” to the Prairie Rose Chapel on the Grand Forks Air Force Base. CAC IDs are required to enter the base.
When I return to the U.S. in September, the Awaiting His Return conference will be making a stop at Cornerstone Chapel in Leesburg, Virginia. Speaking with me will be Pastor Mike Golay, Pastor Gary Hamrick, and Pastor Barry Stagner. If you want to join us for the September 25 conference, registration is currently open. We’d love to see you there.
Don’t forget about our weekly Public Reading of Scripture! It’s not about flash, and it’s not about fancy teaching. It’s just people gathering from all over the globe to listen to and be blessed by the Word of God. Join us tonight and every Thursday night at 4:00am Israel Time.
A life without prayer is an empty existence. That is why we, at Behold Israel, are so committed to talking with our God. If you would like to join us for our weekly Monday Zoom prayer meeting, follow the link below.
If you are a young adult, and you are looking for others who are desiring fellowship and seeking truth, we’d love to have you join us for our weekly YAD (Young Adult’s Discipleship) Zoom call. Follow the link for more information.
Whenever I am flying, as I am today, I am always struck with the realization that wherever I look out the window God is there. Not only is God there, but in most places His people are also there. It may be a multitude or just a small handful. They may be out in the open or they may be hiding from those who wish to do them harm. But they are there. Even when I am over the oceans, I know that there are commercial ships and cruise lines and military vessels many of which have our believing brothers and sisters on board. He is where I am writing; He is where you are reading. Our God is here. Our God is there. Our God is everywhere.
Psalm 139:7-10 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
Awaiting His Return,
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Middle East Update: The US-Iran Standoff
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When you wake up for sunrise and stay for sunset… southern Israel’s beauty!
July 6, 2021
U.S. troops in Iraq have been targeted by Iranian-backed militias in at least two separate locations on Monday & Tuesday; Monday’s attack was aimed at a base in Baghdad, while Tuesday’s attack pursued the airport in Erbil where troops are stationed.
July 3, 2021
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) struck multiple Hamas targets over the weekend in response to arson balloons launched from Gaza; Saturday’s strikes follow Thursday’s targeting of a Hamas weapons production facility.
July 2, 2021
Iraq was hit with a series of power outages on Friday amid extremely high temperatures; Iraq has been forced to significantly reduce its power usage in multiple regions as temperatures exceed 48 degrees Celsius.