Links Daily Devotional

All God’s People

And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.” (Romans 11:26, NIV)

Lord willing, by the time many of you read these words our Links Players 2014 trip to Israel will have come to an end and we will be stateside again. The trip’s final days were spent in and around Jerusalem, including a visit to one of our favorite spots, Yad Hashmona.

You’ll find this moshav (working community) in the Judean hills west of the ancient city. It is remarkable in its past and its present.

The name Yad Hashmona means “memorial to the eight.” The community was founded after a remorseful bequest by the Finnish government. During Hitler’s reign in Germany, the Finnish government turned over eight Jewish refugees to the Gestapo. Seven died at Auschwitz. The eighth lost his wife and son. Yad Hashmona was founded in 1971, but in 2000 the Finnish government also erected a memorial to the eight in Helsinki, and Finnish president Paavo Lipponen asked forgiveness from all Jewish people.

Today Yad Hashmona offers a community of life and faith for its residents, as well as a hostel and biblical village for visitors.

The relationship between Links Players and Yad Hashmona is built on the most important of commonalities: trust in Jesus of Nazareth as the Savior of our souls. The moshav is home to a large community of believing Jewish families. Here they share not only their Jewish heritage but also a saving faith in the Messiah, whom they call Yeshua.

In truth, these are the people we come to see each time we visit Israel, at Yad Hashmona and in several other places. There are fascinating sights, certainly, and these are worth seeing. But when you consider the struggles our believing Jewish brothers and sisters face in Israel, with opposition from both the contentious Orthodox Jews and the fierce cultural tides of the secular Israeli culture, there is no better place we can go in the Holy Land than to the side of these men, women, and children. We bring encouragement, just as we would when visiting our friends in the faith from state to state in America, or from country to country around the world.

We await the return of the Messiah with all our believing friends. But before that day, we also anticipate a significant revival among the Jewish people—not just a return to the faith of their fathers, but a coming to faith in the only begotten Son of the eternal Father. As we do with all people, we celebrate with our Jewish friends who find new life in Yeshua.

(To learn more about why we hold high the hope for Jewish believers, we encourage you to read The Red Door Community, by Jeff Hopper and Jeffrey Cranford. It is available here.)

Jeff Hopper
December 11, 2014
Copyright 2014 Links Players International
The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at www.linksplayers.com.