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Lesson 1: Gidon Called it Right: Turning and Returning
You couldn’t write fiction better than this, but yet it wasn’t fiction.
Do you remember how you felt in the Spring and Summer of 2015? It was a time when the Christian world was reaching levels of End Times hysteria like never before.
We were right in the middle of the four Blood Moons, two having passed ominously in 2014 with two more coming. We were also
right in the middle of the Shemitah year, heading towards its dramatic conclusion in September 2015. The pattern was extremely compelling: 9/11 had occurred at the conclusion of the Shemitah year in 2001, and the biggest stock market collapse in decades had occurred exactly seven years later in 2008. All eyes were on the Fall of 2015. Bank failures? War with Israel? Gog/Magog? Apocalypse? The Great Tribulation? And right in the midst of this emotional vortex was the 4th Blood Moon, perfectly timed and uniquely visible from Jerusalem.
Blood Moon Over Jerusalem (Photo: Sherwood Burton)
Gidon and I saw it differently, at least with regard to the Blood Moons. Now for sure between the two of us, it was me that introduced this topic to him. Prior to meeting Gidon, in a critical period of personal repentance, God surprised me with the revelation that for the last six months I had been seeing the Blood Moons all wrong. More on that another time, but my point here is that Gidon knowing my own views in no way stopped him from his own independent thinking.
I have learned over the years that Gidon will actively listen to anything that someone has to say. Anyone! Really! But when it comes to speaking, he is his own person. I often tell people that every time he speaks I learn something new (because there is just so much in him)! He often jokes when he speaks that he’s never quite sure what he is going to say (I have come to understand that it is for precisely same reason). So, when it comes to a topic like the Blood Moons, what I believed was hardly an influence.
So when it came time, in the spring of 2015, for Gidon to weigh in on the Blood Moons, to tell the world what he thought about them, in the midst of all that End Times hysteria, here is exactly what he said:
In Jewish tradition, the Jewish people are likened in many traditional parables to the moon, and the nations of the world are likened to the sun. There are many ideas that branch out from this, but I think the tremendous interest in the current eclipses and Blood Moons emphasizes the relationship between these two celestial bodies and, in turn, the relationship between the Jewish people and the nations of the world. Throughout Jewish history, there is an almost uninterrupted tradition of fear and suspicion by Jews for the rest of the nations, with–I might add–good reason.
But in our generation, we are noticing a tremendous outpouring of teshuva (repentance) on the part of many righteous Christians; recognition of the historical wrongs perpetrated by Christians against Jews, remorse, and attempt to right these wrongs. This year’s Blood Moon phenomenon is perhaps actually a message from God to the Jewish people, to recognize that this outreaching in friendship by Christians is a sign for us to recognize the sincerity of that overture and to work together to bring about the expansion of the knowledge of God amongst Jews, Christians, and all the people worldwide.
I agreed with it at the time, but now some three years later I would like to add two perspectives that benefit from the advantage of time.
First, I find it amazing that a Jew would speak before Jews and Christians, the need for Jews to recognize a message from God to repent in regards to Christian-anything! We as Christians do not deserve to hear such words of generosity and sincerity. We have no right to expect that whatever we might do in the way of repenting for centuries on centuries of past wrongs should result in Jews changing their ways of working towards us in a single generation. I recall what I heard a pastor said last month to a group of husbands: “Any time your wife respects you (i.e. submits to you), don’t ever think you earned it, but rather receive it gratefully as you would a gift.” That there are Jews like Gidon who would make a statement like that — read it again if you need to — is nothing less than a gift from heaven. May the enormity of that soak in.
Second, I find it amazing that Gidon stood against the prevailing End Times hysteria, and called forth that which ACTUALLY DID happen. Consider a few facts: Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg said it is time for a Jewish revolution — the time to change Jewish history and to begin to teach Torah to non-Jews. Israel broke records for tourism in 2017 by an unheard of 25%. Netanyahu said that the tables are turned whereby the nations of the world now seek out Israel to strengthen relations and initiate trade rather than the other way around. A new direct flight was established from a new country to Israel nearly every month. Mixed Jewish/Christian Bible studies have begun in the Knesset. The Iran nuclear threat has propelled Israel into new relationships with Saudi Arabia and others. Nations are beginning to move their embassies to Jerusalem. The list goes on and on. The turning and returning (teshuva) continues on both sides.
Seventy years and counting is the time of a generation. Put aside the rumor of war for a moment and look at what has actually happened in the last three years! The TURNING AND RETURNING is THE BIG THEMATIC STORY behind everything.
We only need to wake up and see it for what it is.