Today I realized that I hit my Moses milestone when it comes to the number 40. It was exactly forty years ago today that I sat on my front steps late at night and cried my eyes out to heaven, giving God all the sins I carried and my life. There is no mistaking that He heard me and began turning my life around from that day forward. The amazing thing is that I am a Gentile and was a backsliden Christian if ever there was one, and He began to point me towards my own Christian roots and then to the roots of our Christianity in the Jewish faith almost immediately. Three months later I was reading a Good News Bible and following the family tree of my Christian family in the Old Testament or the Torah, Psalms and the Prophets found in the Old Testament. Back then when…
“O Israel, the Righteous One, the Holy One of Israel, has preserved you!”
-Grace’s words, The Israel Letters, Letter One
When Grace starts writing the Israel Letters
When Grace starts writing the Israel Letters, she begins by referring to a passage from Isaiah:
“Thus says the Lord, The Redeemer of Israel, their Holy One, To Him whom man despises, To Him whom the nation abhors, To the Servant of rulers: “Kings shall see and arise, Princes also shall worship, Because of the Lord who is faithful, The Holy One of Israel; and He has chosen You.”
“In an acceptable time I have heard You, and in the day of salvation I have helped You; I will preserve You and give You as a covenant to the people, To restore the earth, to cause them to inherit the desolate heritages…”
The Book of Isaiah (Hebrew: ספר ישעיהו) is the first of the Latter Prophets in the Hebrew Bible and the first of the Major Prophets in English Bibles.The book is identified by a superscription as the works of the 8th-century BCE prophet Isaiah ben Amoz, but there is ample evidence that much of it was composed during the Babylonian captivity and later…Read more about the Book of Isaiah
Grace is well aware of points on which Christians and Jews disagree. She understands why Christians see their Messiah in Isaiah’s words, but she also sees today’s Israel fulfilling God’s original covenants with Abraham and Jacob. She is rejoicing with Israel on their return to the homeland following the attempted annihilation and suffering caused during the Holocaust. The Israel Letters was written during the spring and summer of 2014, just as Israel was going through a terrible war with Hamas. Grace sought to encourage her beloved “elder brother” in faith Israel.
Christian and Jewish Perspectives
Grace has taken into account Jewish rabbinic thought on the passages from Isaiah..:
“Origen, a prominent and influential church father, conceded in the year 248 CE – eight centuries before Rashi (Jewish rabbi and scholar) was born – that the consensus among the Jews in his time was that Isaiah 53 “bore reference to the whole [Jewish] people, regarded as one individual, and as being in a state of dispersion and suffering, in order that many proselytes might be gained, on account of the dispersion of the Jews among numerous heathen nations.”
“Into this crisis, Isaiah speaks a word of hope in these chapters. God will send a servant who will do justice. Indeed, it appears that much of second Isaiah (chapters 40-55) addresses the return of the Israelite’s to their homeland and the promise of a restored temple and nation. The disorientation of exile is replaced by a new orientation that is more than just returning to the way things were before exile. God has something much more in mind.”
AT THE BEGINNINNG of Letter One, Grace says, “O Israel, the Righteous One, the Holy One of Israel, has preserved you!” As, indeed, He has!
Prayer from Letter One of The Israel Letters
The Lord Preserved You
Lord of Mercy, Great and Holy One, pour out your Spirit of Compassion on Israel. They cannot see you, and yet they know you. They cannot touch your face, but you can touch theirs. Wipe away their tears. Heal their great sorrows. Gather the fragments of this great people’s soul and heal them. Restore them that they may turn completely to you, their Great and Mighty God, for you alone are their Redeemer. You are the Holy One of Israel, and we worship you
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
This post is a basic overview of Letter One. More scriptures, insights and what has been my biggest “treasure” found in God’s word from writing Letter One are coming. I hope you will visit the links included on this page to get Jewish and Christian thought on Isaiah’s writings. Michael Freund’s article link about Israel’s Independence Day is wonderful: More than just blue and white 4th of July.
If you haven’t read The Israel Letters and are curious about the letter writer Grace (a Christian who loves Israel and the Jewish people) please visit my author’s website at www.theisraeltrs.com for more information – at least until this blog site is really up and going and Grace has a proper introduction!
In the following video, Lauren’s words actually express my hopes and conviction that God is always working for Israel as written in The Israel Letters, and for all those who love her, when we bring our intercessions before God for his precious people and nation. Let me encourage you to listen and read the words. When you do instead of saying “I”, “Me” or “My” insert “Israel” and I think you’ll get the gist of what I mean.
What inspired me to write this little book of intercession? Knowing and loving God led me to an infilling of His Holy Spirit (Acts 2) From that day so many years ago my heart has never waivered from loving Israel and the Jewish people and seeking their well-being.
Join me as I revisit The Israel Letters and share more about the Scriptures found there from Grace’s viewpoint! Please share with other lovers of Israel!
But Moses asked him, “Do you think you need to stand up for me? I wish all the LORD’S (Yahweh’s) people were prophets and that the LORD (Yahweh) would put his Spirit (Ruach) on them.” -Numbers 11:29 Names of God Bible (NOG)
Letter Thirteen ~ Receive Your Promises
Letter Thirteen ~ Receive Your Promises in The Israel Letterslists as the first reference Scripture Genesis 1:2, and it is one of my favorites.
The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep water. The Spirit of God (Ruach Elohim) was hovering over the water. Genesis 1:2 –NOG
Why is this Scripture one of my favorites? Two reasons really. First, because it is our initial introduction to God’s Spirit (Ruach in Hebrew) in the entire Bible. He is there from the beginning of salvation history! This is the Comforter, or Helper, and Spirit of Truth that Jesus promised to those who believe in Him many times in the Gospels (John 16:7-15 is a good start in studying about the Holy Spirit) and often the subject in the Book of Acts. (Acts 1 & 2 the verses that actually led me to an infilling of the Holy Spirit.) God answered Moses’ request in Numbers quoted at the top of this page in the most unexpected and amazing way so many years later!
Second, because I realized early on as the Lord led me along the path of understanding the relationship between His Christians and Jews and His desire for friendship among us, that although we might argue about the Messiah, we all realized the reality of the Ruach Hakodesh (Holy Spirit). I understood that it was Spirit who moved over the waters to create order out of chaos on the earth, and it will be the same Ruach Elohim ~ Spirit of God ~ who can create order out of the chaos among us! In fact, last year right after writing my book I began producing the radio program Haverim and found out immediately that there is much interest in the Holy Spirit among Orthodox rabbis.
My first guest was Israeli David Netkrutman, Executive Director for The Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding & Cooperation (CJCUC) in Efrat, Israel, who was finishing his Masters Degree in Christian Theology at Oral Roberts University specializing in the Holy Spirit in the Hebrew Bible! Our second interview weeks later was very revealing about his research on the Holy Spirit. (Visit Haverim.org online at this link to hear the whole story while browsing online or working: David Netkrutman and the Holy Spirit)
So often I found that the prayers in The Israel Letters were asking for God to pour out His Spirit on today’s Israel. In closing today, I share this prayer from Letter Thirteen with you:
O Lord, You are El Shadai, God Almighty and nothing is too difficult for You! Pour out your Spirit on the people of Israel. Shower them with Your love and comfort; free them from fear and anxiety. Let them remember and rejoice in the many promises you have kept for them; for the many promises You are ready to fulfill. Cause great excitement to rise in their midst as they begin to perceive Your great Glory once again.
Blessed be The Holy One of Israel always,
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Copies of The Israel Letters can be purchased online or directly from Nancy. If you want to purchase a signed copy directly from Nancy please fill out the following form for price and information:
Back in 2013 when I first inherited my mother’s condo in the small town I grew up in, I decided to keep the condo and totally updated it. I sensed the Lord encouraging me to write when I was there. I prayed about it over a number of months. One day I was at the condo dusting some furniture when I heard clear as a bell, “Why aren’t you writing?” I answered, “What would I write?” The Lord responded, “What do you know?” What did I know, indeed? More weeks of praying until I finally came to the conclusion that I knew quite a lot about the relationship between Christians and Jews, but even dearer to my heart was knowledge of the Scriptures rather in Hebrew, English, Old and New Testaments. And I know about talking with God in prayer. (Early in my walk as a newly recommitted Christian I received the Holy Spirit. In the best of times and the worst of times, I know He is always at my right hand and I “shall not be shaken!” Psalm 16 ) From this contemplation and prayer came my first book, The Israel Letters.
My life, ministry and book launching were rudely interrupted by a diagnosis of breast cancer. (You can learn the background on the About page.) Interestingly enough my writing wasn’t interrupted, but given a change of focus by my starting a new blog called “Grace With Cancer.”
Now that I am through the worst of the worst with the breast cancer and regaining my strength and coming out of the cancer fog, I am back at the condo for the first time in many months and ready to start launching my book, but before heading out for the launch it seems my focus is drawn to creating a study guide to go along with the book with an emphasis on opening the Scriptures in each letter to the underlying grace of God and His treasures to be found there. I hope you will come along with me as I delve into the scriptures revealing an often not thought of link between Christians and Jews – Holy Spirit or Ruach Ha-Kodesh. The Hebrew language phrase ruach ha-kodesh (Hebrew: רוח הקודש, “holy spirit” also transliterated ruaḥ ha-qodesh) is used in the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) and Jewish writings to refer to the spirit of YHWH (רוח יהוה). It literally means “the spirit of holiness.”
This blog is just in the process of getting up and going. Please check back often or visit me on Facebook. I am looking forward to opening The Israel Letters with you!
Please contact me if you would like a signed copy of The Israel Letters: