It may be accurate to say that no one in their right mind would commend evil and condemn good. But then, the testimony of human history demonstrates that this happens far more often than we may be comfortable admitting – especially when those calling evil good and good evil also profess to be the people of God.
Isaiah 5:13-25; Amos 5:4-15; Matthew 21:33-46; Luke 11:34-36; John 1:1-5
Music: Camille Saint-Saëns, Danse Macabre, Op. 40, performed by Daniel Barenboim conducting Luben Yordanoff and the Orchestre De Paris, Saint-Saëns: Symphony #3 “Organ”/Danse Macabre/Bacchanale/Le Deluge, Deutsche Grammophon GmbH 1976.
When do God’s people turn to Him? While we desire to cling to Him at all times, it is in times of trouble that this desire becomes a compelling need – a need to cry out to Him for deliverance, to ask Him to show us where we have sinned and turned from His righteous ways, to seek His forgiveness, and to learn from Him how to correct those things that separate us from His heart, and divide us from one another.
The world is in a season of distress. How shall we get through this trying time?
Many around the world, both from the Christian and the Jewish sides of Israel’s covenant family, are sensing the need to cry out to the Lord God in this season. As a way to enter into this process, B’ney Yosef North America is observing the week of July 5-11, 2020, as a time of fasting and repentance for our sins of division, discord, injustice, and failure to walk together in love.
Why now? It is a lesson we have learned from our Jewish brethren at this time. July 9 is the 17th day of the Hebrew month of Tammuz, the Fast of the Fourth Month of Zechariah 8:19. This fast day begins a time known as the Dire Straits, a three week period ending on the 9th of Av, the Fast of the Fifth Month. This was the time the Babylonians breached the walls of Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple of God, removing His visible presence from His holy city, devastating the land He cares for, and dispersing His covenant people of Israel to the nations. Ever since then, Jews have fasted and mourned, not merely for themselves as a people, but for the nations of the earth, to whom Israel is a witness of the Most High God.
Our call for prayer and fasting in this week of 17 Tammuz is the beginning of a season of repentance from now until Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, on September 28, 2020. We are joining with other prayer initiatives throughout this season, and we invite you to do the same.
Do we truly want to see our Father’s Kingdom come and His will done on earth as it is in heaven? Then let us humble our hearts, bow our knees, and seek Him together.
Prayer and Repentance Initiatives
17 Tammuz Call for Prayer and Repentance, July 5-11, 2020. Call for all of God’s covenant people to enter into fasting and repentance at the beginning of the Dire Straits. B’ney Yosef North America (bneyyosefna.com).
Nations’ 9th of Av Virtual Solemn Assembly, July 29-30, 2020. Time of mourning and fasting in solidarity with our Jewish brothers and sisters on the Fast of the Fifth month. Nation’s 9th of Av (9-av.com).
40 Days of Repentance, August 19-September 28, 2020. Daily pause for prayer and reflection during the weeks leading up to Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. B’ney Yosef North America (bneyyosefna.com).
10 Days of Prayer, September 19-28, 2020. A Global Upper Room calling on cities to stop for United Prayer and Worship with Repentance during the Days of Awe. 10 Days (10days.net).
The Return, September 26, 2020. National and Global Day of Prayer and Repentance on the National Mall, Washington, DC. The Return (www.thereturn.org).
The great thing about going to Winchester, Kentucky, is the opportunity to reconnect with good friends like Ken Rank. He asked me last week to record a conversation for United 2 Restore on the topic of “Teshuvah,” a Hebrew term often translated as repentance. It seems our Heavenly Father is calling people from all across the spectrum of His covenant body to enter into a season of prayer, repentance, and even fasting to seek reconciliation with Him and with each other. And why is that? Maybe because we need to do this to find the way through the global crises confronting us.
The Barking Fox blog entered the world on December 31, 2013, with a post entitled “Silent Night in September.” That post presented an opinion about the date of Messiah Yeshua’s birth, which I still believe to be at the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) in the fall. We may never answer the question of Jesus’ birthday to everyone’s satisfaction, but that post and the 643 others that followed not only served as way markers for my spiritual journey, and to my great joy seem to have helped others along the way. But as with all good (and bad) things, it is time for The Barking Fox to come to an end.
Well, it’s still going to be up on the internet thanks to a very generous deal from WordPress on annual renewal of domain names, but you’re probably not going to see a lot of activity – certainly not nearly as much as during the first four years, when new posts came about twice a week. The reason is not that I have run out of ideas. Our Heavenly Father continues to inspire me daily, but the inspiration is now coming out in other venues.
The Barking Fox began as an vehicle for sharing what I had learned in years of contemplative prayer, Bible study, and life experience. I hoped to connect with people through this blog, but did not expect such splendid results! Now I am blessed to be networked with fellow Christian and Jewish travelers of many streams from every inhabited continent (and maybe even Antarctica if we count my friend Russell, who has deployed there many times!) Those networks run through ministries, organizations, and congregations where I am glad to contribute my own humble gifts to the synergy created by collaboration among lots of dedicated, highly talented people.
This brings up what may be the key lesson of this six-year experiment: we are all best served when working in collaboration with others. My lone voice, for example, reaches only a few dozen people across the planet, but when joined with others, our efforts are multiplied to far greater effect.
That is why The Barking Fox is now a secondary effort. You’ll still see new posts, but not many crafted specifically for this blog. Instead, you’ll see articles, videos, and podcasts created in collaboration with wonderful people from several amazing organizations. Of course, you don’t have to wait for my contributions to be posted on this blog! Why not visit their websites right now? They are –
Each of these ministries and organizations has a specific purpose in the multi-faceted work of redemption our God initiated millennia ago with His call to Abraham and Sarah. I hope you will take a look, and maybe even see if there’s something in one or more of them that resonates with you.
Thank you to everyone who has visited The Barking Fox, and especially to those who have followed along on this journey (even out of sheer curiosity). The journey is not by any means complete!