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Isaiah 62 Prayer Letter – May 2022
Dear Prayer Partners,
As May arrives, let’s focus on some biblical lessons we can derive from events which occurred during this month. This year, May basically coincides with Iyar, the second month in the Hebrew calendar. Based on the Bible, we can say it is a month of new beginnings. It is the first new month after the Exodus from Egypt. In this month, also called Zif, King Solomon began to build the Temple (1 Kings 3:1). It also is the first month after Jesus’ resurrection, when He repeatedly revealed himself to His disciples. And in Iyar, the State of Israel was restored after two millennia of exile. In each case, something new began.
In Hebrew, Iyar is spelled איר (aleph-yud-resh), which can be read as an acronym pointing to an incident during this month. In Exodus 15:26, God said: “the diseases I have placed on Egypt I will not place upon you, for I am the Lord who heals you.” When we take the first Hebrew letters of the words, “I am the Lord who heals you”, we get the letters aleph-yud-resh – like the month of “Iyar”. So, let us look more closely at this episode from Exodus 15.
So Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea; then they went out into the Wilderness of Shur. And they went three days in the wilderness and found no water. Now when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. Therefore the name of it was called Marah. And the people complained against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” So he cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree. When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet.
There He made a statute and an ordinance for them, and there He tested them, and said, “If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you.”
The whole journey was a completely new experience for a nation of slaves. They witnessed the judgements over Egypt, the miraculous delivery from Pharaoh’s army, and the parting of the Red Sea. Perhaps they thought this is how one walks with the Lord. He will do everything for us. But then they were surprised by a test from the Lord.
Just imagine: the first experience after crossing the Red Sea on dry ground was walking in the Wilderness. The first days of freedom were in a desert! No wonder they began imagining pots full of meat in Egypt. This was a life-threatening situation. They had no water! If you have ever hiked in a desert, you know how vital it is to bring plenty of water, or you cannot survive a single day.
And when they finally found water, it was bitter. What a disappointment! What was the Lord teaching them? They needed to trust the Lord completely. A slave’s life is not particularly joyful, but his master takes care of his basic needs. A slave has no room for his own initiative. He does not make decisions, but just obeys orders.
For the Israelites to expect God to do it all for them actually reflected this slave mentality. But the Lord decided to change that. He tested them – so they would learn to trust Him.
If you are facing a difficult situation, you can either start complaining and finding fault with others – or you can pray: Lord, what do you want to teach me? Lord, reveal to me how you see the situation, and how you want to change me through it.
The month of Iyar is also the time for the counting of the omer. For 49 days after Passover, observant Jews count a measure of grain each day, getting ready for Pentecost. The interpretation of that custom is that it is a time to improve our character traits. We can look at each circumstance in our lives as an opportunity to learn and change.
At Marah, the solution was a matter of revelation. God showed Moses the tree, which turned bitterness into sweetness. The tree can remind us of the Cross. Yeshua’s sacrifice has turned the bitterness of sin into the sweetness of His salvation. The Cross is the source of healing. And you need revelation to see it. It has not changed until today. The month of Iyar is a month of revelation. The counting of the omer also reminds us of the upcoming festival of Shavuot – Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit fell on the disciples. He is the One who gives revelation, and leads us into all truth. The prophet Joel says that the day will come when the Spirit will be poured out on all flesh. Let us pray that He might reveal His salvation and healing power to many at this time, and that the month of Iyar becomes a month of new beginnings.
Blessings from Jerusalem!
Vice President for International Affairs
International Christian Embassy Jerusalem
PS: Our first day of prayer for the Isaiah 62 Prayer Campaign this month will be on Wednesday, 4 May 2022. That same day, we also will be hosting our online Global Prayer Gathering, at 4:00 PM (Israel time). Please join us there at on.icej.org/ICEJGlobalPrayer
And let us hear from you about your needs and how God has answered your prayers! Send a short email to firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know you are praying and fasting with us.
|The next day of prayer and fasting in our Isaiah 62 Global Prayer Campaign will be|
Wednesday, May 4, 2022.
Please join us!