On The RoadShalom, Dear Ones.

Well now. Here we are again, visiting across this thing Sandra calls the internet. It’s such an odd way to communicate, but she assures me it will keep us in touch and glorify ADONAI. I am rejoicing about those two things.

Last time we met I shared with you about my long time friend Sandra taking me to my homeland. That’s her to my left. You can tell I was with her as she’s wearing her Na’omi scarf.

Our travels took us to many places I remember and some new places too. I trust you enjoyed our time together. I know I did.

Since we’re getting to know each other I will share with you about where I’m from … for we know that ADONAI chooses the place for everyone to live. It’s as if He plants each one as a farmer sows seeds.

BethlehemMy mother gave birth to me in the town of Beit-Lechem. Sandra says you call it Bethlehem. Either way it means the ‘house of bread’, the food that can sustain your life. It was  the home of the Efratim, the smallest of all the tribes of ADONAI’s Chosen Ones and my family group.

It looks quite different these days.

Now you might think Bethlehem would be an insignificant place because it was the home of such a small clan. But then you would be wrong. For I happen to know that ADONAI must have had a special reason to set my beloved Beit-Lechem on a hill five or six of what you call miles south of Jerusalem.

Surely you know Jerusalem is an important city to ADONAI’s people. It’s where Solomon built the Temple to worship the great I AM because He is worthy. It is a holy city that everyone wishes to see. On Passover and the Day of Atonement we close our celebration with the words, “Next year may we be in Jerusalem.” It is a very special place.

Israel 8However, Bethlehem as you call it is 100 feet higher than Jerusalem. This is no accident or coincidence.  ADONAI placed my home town 100 feet above the holy city of Jerusalem. That is about the same height as one of your buildings that is as high as 10 rooms stacked on top of each other floor to ceiling. It’s a bit like setting a flag on a pole at what you would measure as 10 stories high.

Now THAT is a lofty position. There are likely more reasons for it than that I love Bethlehem. ForADONAI always seems to be doing 1,000,000 things while I do one.

My city is my favorite place in my home country of Yehudah. And you would call it Judah. There’s a bit of a sad story here because Judah split away from Yisrael. That means the country ADONAI gave to His people was divided. And we all know that a house divided against itself cannot last. I always feel discouraged when I remember this history.

But I am getting sidetracked.   Ahemmmm.

Israel 7I want to take you to section 32 in the first scroll of Moses. This is the place where Ya’akov whom you know as Jacob wrestled with an angel sent by ADONAI. Some people try to say that it was ADONAI Himself, but we know better. ADONAI lives in a special place far above us. He does not come down to walk among mankind. After all, He is the Creator. He would not spend time with lowly creatures, not since the first Man and the Woman disobeyed.

The main thing to remember about the wrestling match is that Jacob held on until morning. The fight was so severe that his hip was dislocated and he had trouble walking. But because he did not give up he was granted the blessing he came to collect. It came in the form of a new name. From that day forward Jacob was called Yisrael, and it marked him. The meaning of this special name is to struggle or to contend with ADONAI. The name Yisrael carries the idea of persevering or prevailing with  ADONAI  through tough times to triumph.

Israel 6The One who made the world and everything in it named His servant and His nation Yisrael which means ‘contends with ADONAI’ and ‘persists’. Being called Yisrael signals Jacob’s victory to persevere and prevail through circumstances that seem like a wrestling match. And what more appropriate description could be used for the relationship of ADONAI with His Chosen Ones?

Of course I knew about this connection, but poor Sandra was confused. She kept trying to figure out why her special money card didn’t work. Then she couldn’t make her mobile thing work properly. And at the end even the machine she used to write these messages stopped working. It was one disappointment and disruption after another.

Version 2When we took our new friend, Esther, out to dinner she explained the whole thing. (Can you tell I’m there?)She described how tourists come to Israel, as you would call it. They have a lovely time and go home thinking it’s nearly a perfect place on earth. But when she heard Sandra’s report about all the things that went wrong she smiled. She simply said, “Welcome to Isra’el, Sandra. For now you understand about the spiritual life in this nation.” And this is the place that holds my heart.

Please forgive me. I find myself yearning to pray. I will leave you now that I might meet with my ADONAI ELOHIM. Perhaps you will be so kind as to Like or Share or Subscribe as Sandra calls it. For that will allow others to join us for these visits. Thank you.

Shalom,
Na’omi & Sandra

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