Some would call it synchronicity, I would point to the Ruach (Spirit). This week has pulled together several very interesting threads that I’d like to share.
For years, we have desired to live in community with like-minded Torah pursuant followers of Yeshua. In fact, even before we began keeping the Feasts of Yehovah, the doorway through which we became aware of all of our Father’s commands, we were in regular conversation with some friends bantering ideas about how to come together in community. I was raised on the missionfield in Colombia, SA living in a community of 60 or so families on several hundred acres hued from the jungle. To me, the Biblical model has always been a close-knit body of believers functioning as a clan or family.
Recently, I have read and been promoting Al McCarn‘s new book, Give Me A Place Where I May Dwell in preparation for the First Northern Israel National Congress in May. As part of the promotion, we have attended multiple Messianic fellowships to talk about this event and potential implications for All Israel. Long story short, at each fellowship, we have had a question and answer period to hear thoughts and concerns so that we can take these to the Congress for evaluation.
Several Shabbats ago, we were with some of our dearest friends in Greenwood, SC at a growing fellowship that we were privileged to help start. Among the questions, was what the process would be to regather and one brave soul said, “Y’all forgive me if I am weird, but I am curious. We really would like to be living in community… How many in here would like to live much closer together and be in a situation where we can be more interdependent and connected in a Torah based community?” To his surprise, nearly every hand in the room went up. We then talked a bit about community and its role in preparing us to live together in the Land, a topic McCarn addresses in his book.
What they did not know is that my wife and I had already felt led to pray about a specific 571 acre piece of land, in two parcels, that would be perfect for a community.
Well, the following morning I was impressed to send out an email to all who were there as well as several Torah pursuant community-minded friends with a link to a tract map as well as a very specific list of prayer requests for this land. We continued to pray daily and walk it often, praying over it and asking Abba to lead us, because it is not currently on the market, nor do we have the resources…. But, my Father has the cattle on a thousand hills, and this being farm country….
So, early this week, I felt led to send out an email inviting all who wanted to join us to walk and pray over the land on the Shabbat morning immediately following Pesach. Seemed appropos considering that would be the morning Israel left Egypt and we are looking for our deliverance to live closer to the father and more set apart from our Egypt. I expected maybe a couple responders… The response was a bit overwhelming in that we’ll have a dozen or more families here to walk, pray and celebrate Shabbat!
But the story gets more interesting!
Yesterday evening, I was on the phone with Peter Vest, the author of the Orthodox Messianic Judaism blogspot who has recently been writing about the Ten Lost Tribes. As we were talking I happened to be walking, again, the road that divides this tract of land and telling him about some of our thoughts on community. I explained in part that the reason is precisely what James Pyles addresses in a recent blog post about Orthodox Judaism being one of the lone growing sects (can’t find the post link, now) because it usually is a semi-closed community.
This was about the point in our conversation that Peter asked what type of model we were thinking of for leadership/governance. I explained that we are looking to the Ruach for guidance, but personally, I like the historical success of the Amish as well as the close community and productivity of a kibbutz. He excitedly interjected, ‘You know that ‘kibbutz’ is all over the prophecies for the return of Israel, right?”
I got excited!! “Where, please explain…”
And, he did.
I let it roll around in my head for a day before I could stand it no longer and picked up the phone to share the insight with my good friend Al McCarn. It is fun to share really neat stuff with him because he starts to chuckle and laugh, almost a giggle. I could tell he was really excited by the thoughts, and he commented, “this is why we need to be more than just a virtual community. Every one of us brings something to the table and we can all add so much more when living in close proximity.”
So, what was the connection?
Wiki opens its page on ‘Kibbutz’ with, “A kibbutz (Hebrew: קִבּוּץ / קיבוץ, lit. “gathering, clustering”; plural kibbutzim) is a collective community in Israel that was traditionally based on agriculture.” The key point being ‘gathering, clustering.‘ Interestingly, many of the verses that speak to the restoration/regathering of Israel from the nations use the word, קבץ, qâbats, obviously related. Brown-Driver-Briggs defines it as,
1) to gather, assemble
1a) (Qal) to gather, collect, assemble
1b1) to assemble, gather
1b2) to be gathered
1c) (Piel) to gather, gather together, take away
1d) (Pual) to be gathered together
1e) (Hithpael) to gather together, be gathered together
And, one of Al’s assertions in his book is that we need to be ‘gathering’ (קבץ, qâbats) into communities (קִבּוּץ, kibbutzim) for the purpose of learning to live together and to more effectively shine our light as we await the day when Abba opens the door for Torah pursuant non-Jews to live in the Land of our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Here are a few verses:
Mic 2:12 I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee; I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah, as the flock in the midst of their fold: they shall make great noise by reason of the multitude of men.
Hos 1:11 Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel.
Eze 36:24 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.
Eze 37:21 And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land:
Eze 28:25 Thus saith the Lord GOD; When I shall have gathered the house of Israel from the people among whom they are scattered, and shall be sanctified in them in the sight of the heathen, then shall they dwell in their land that I have given to my servant Jacob.
Deu 30:3 That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.
Jer 23:3 And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.
Jer 29:14 And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.
Jer 31:8 Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither.
Jer 31:10 Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.
Jer 32:37 Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely:
There are more….
What an interesting connection! This precisely points to one of the central themes of the Congress we will be attending in May in Israel. “What is the mechanism by which Abba is going to bring us together and fulfill His plan and purpose?” Our sincere desire is that HE, by His Ruach, will lead us as we stop talking and start doing.
Here are a few things YOU can do:
- Pray for the Congress (wisdom, discernment, guidance, peace, etc.)
- Pray for our walk of this land and Abba’s leading/provision/guidance
- Pray for what He would have YOU do as concerns community…
- Pray for the peace and unity of the fast growing Hebrew roots movement