Message to Israel and the Orlando Jewish community: We have your back
A woman holds a sign during a demonstration against a deadly attack on a Jerusalem synagogue, across the street from the Palestine Mission to the United Nations in New York, Nov. 18, 2014. Two Palestinian men, armed with meat cleavers and a gun, entered the synagogue in a quiet, ultra-Orthodox neighborhood during morning prayers on Tuesday and attacked around 25 worshippers, killing four and wounding eight, several seriously. Three of the victims held dual U.S.-Israeli citizenship. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)
As I read the news of the terrible terrorist attack last week in the synagogue in Jerusalem and in the continual assault on the people of Israel since the summer war, I want to encourage our friends in Israel and in the Jewish community of America that our love, support, concern, prayers and faith are with you.
Despite the violence and suffering endured by the Jewish people, we know together in our love there is hope. You are not alone, but have the God of Abraham as your shield and the love of your friends to lean upon.
During my lifetime, I have learned much truth and gained tremendous strength from the writings of the Jewish prophets and the witness of the descendants of Abraham as they endured the horrors of generations of persecution and prejudice. Their testimonies assure me that the Jewish people will survive and prosper because of God’s covenant with you.
You are His special treasure and His Spirit has instilled in you a strength that unites your hearts to follow God, reject the ways of men and know the beauty of a new sunrise that dispels the darkness that seeks to put out His light in your soul.
The hatred and twisted philosophies of men cannot overcome the love and truth of God, and the determination of the people of Israel to live in peace with their neighbors. In the immense suffering of these brutal attacks, I extend my hand of hope and encouragement, knowing that evil will not prevail. The promises of God and His covenant will be victorious. The witness of history affirms that God hears the cries of His people and will bring deliverance to those who trust in Him.
I heard and saw this in the witness of an American Jew who was led by God to join the Israel Defense Forces. He lost his arm in the Gaza Strip fighting for Israel.
In his determination and bravery, he stayed in the Israeli army even after suffering such physical trauma because he believed in his heart he was to stand with Israel no matter the cost. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I listened to Izzi’s (Ezagui) remarkable story. I knew from this man of courage that no one or nothing could extinguish the life of the soul of your nation.
God will continue to fortify your courage and raise up Aarons and Hurs globally to raise your hands up to the Lord. The spirit of Joshua will go forth with you to battle your enemies.
I believe there are Christian believers who will stand with you, even to the point of laying down our lives for you. For no greater love has a man than this—to lay down his life for a friend. You can take heart in the fact that you have friends that will never leave you nor forsake you.
May God continue to shelter you with the love that overcomes evil, the strength to forgive and the wisdom to walk in His path of righteousness. Our love and prayers are always with you.
Blake Lorenz, pastor of Encounter Church in Orlando, organized the rally for Israel at Rollins College during the recent war with Hamas.