At the B’ney Yosef North America Summit, the debates and discussions were over. After weeks and weeks of hard work, hours of prayer and countless emails, we had arrived at the point where we felt the Lord leading us.
At the front of the room, carefully laid out on a table, were eight copies of the Articles of Declaration, already affirmed, with Sharpies laying next to them awaiting signatures. It was Sunday, March 6, 2016 and the room at the Clearwater Marriott in St. Petersburg, FL was packed.
Anticipation was high as we entered worship with a dance circle in the middle rear of the room and raised hands all around. The Presence of the Spirit was palpable, but none of us expected what was about to happen!
Exodus Road, part of the worship team, began to sing in a chant, ‘Halleluyah, Halleluyah, Halleluyah, Halleluyah.’ Because they had played for the SC National Shabbat back in December, I knew immediately what they were about to do, so I motioned to Dorothy Wilson, the dance leader, to draw the crowd up front near the stage and just sing and worship. As we approached, one of the guys on stage began to recite Shir Lama’alot, Psalm 121 in Hebrew.
121 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
2 My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.
3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.
6 The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.
8 The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.
It was clear that we all sensed the gravity of the moment and the significance of signing the Articles… And, the weight of the Spirit grew.
We worshipped more and drifted away from the stage in quiet singing. Many shedding tears. I was covered in chill bumps.
About this time, another part of the worship team began to lead us in a song I had never heard, but immediately it drew me in. This was a song of War!! Not us doing the fighting, mind you, but of the Almighty, the Lord of Hosts guarding His people jealously!! His Right Arm was momentarily exposed.
At once I had this steely resolve and holy fear rise up in me.
Bobby Bennie and his wife who have a fantastic flag ministry began to lead a procession through the room with flags I had not seen in their collection. Camouflage flags. Small and fairly stiff. They snapped them through the air in time to the music in a powerful display of Divine Determination.
The singer sang,
Oh come behold the works of God, the nations at His feet, He breaks the bow and bends the spear and tells the wars to cease!
Oh Might One of Israel, You are on our side, we walk by faith in God Who burns the chariots with fire.
Lord of Hosts You’re with us, with us in the fire, with us as a shelter, with us in the storm….
And suddenly, with great power, He was in the room.
I couldn’t help myself. I was compelled to rush back to the front and stand in awe of His Presence and bask in the power of the lyrics taken from Psalm 46.
As I stood, mind ablaze with emotion, I pondered the enormity of the moment as we prepared to sign the Articles, knowing full well that only divine Protection stood between us and being hunted to the ends of the earth. The song shouted what my heart had been feeling! And, my eyes flooded.
ONLY in His protection and by His Hand could we accomplish what He had led us to do! And now, He was in the room in greater power than I had ever experienced in my life. Overcome, I went to my knees. Everything in the room fell away and it was just me before Him.
Listening to the song now, I am again reminded of that moment…
You will lead us, through the fiercest battle, or where else would we go but with the Lord of Hosts.
Oh God of Jacob, fierce and great, You lift Your voice to speak. The earth it bows and all the mountains move into the sea. Oh Lord You know the hearts of men and still You let them live.
Oh God Who makes the mountains melt, come wrestle us and win!! God Who makes the mountains melt come wrestle us and win!!
It was a holy moment that words fail to adequately convey… But, I knew we were in the center of His will. This was and is HIS Work. We are just willing vessels. And, the Lord of Hosts is with us!!