by Daniel Yahav

It is clear from what is going on around us that we are living in a difficult period of time. Our world is changing, and it is changing fast, and not for the good! But for us, as believers in God and in His word, and for whom Yeshua, the Messiah and King of Israel, is our personal Savior and Lord, and who have received the Holy Spirit, He has not left us in darkness (Amos 3:7).

Let us see from God's word where all these things are leading.

The word of God describes these end times as being very difficult. In 2 Timothy 3:1-4, there is a description of how the sin in the world will increase in intensity. People will be self-centered, disobedient to parents, unholy - along with many other evil characteristics that rightly describe the world today. We also read in Revelation 12:7-9 how the archangel Michael, who is the angel over Israel, with his angels, was waging war with the dragon, which is Satan, and cast him and his forces down to earth. Satan lost his place in the second heaven and in verse 12 we read: 'Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he only has a short time.' (Revelation 12:12b)

We see that we are in a period of time that will become increasingly hard. We read that God is going to shake everything that can be shaken Hebrews 12:26. He will strike the earth with the seven seals, followed by the seven trumpets and the seven bowls of wrath. When we look ahead to these things, we can feel very disturbed in our souls. But I want to encourage us that all these shakings are intended for one thing – to bring us closer to God. God is working on the personal level, to bring individuals to him, and He is working on the global level, to establish His kingdom on earth, through His people Israel. We have a prophetic promise in Romans chapter 11: '....and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, ''The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.'' ...' (Romans 11:26 quoting Isaiah 59:20 )

The good news, therefore, is that all the bad things that are going on, globally and also around Israel, whether it is a pandemic, dissensions, lack of political unity, hatred between different sectors of society, or anything else, all of this will be changed. God will bring us to the point where we as a nation of Israel will recognize our God and return to Him, with a living faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And through all of this we will enter the Messianic era of blessing and salvation. But the route to this destination takes us down, to what the scriptures call 'the valley of Achor.'

''Therefore, behold, I will allure her, bring her into the wilderness and speak kindly to her. Then I will give her vineyards from there, and the valley of Achor as a door of hope. And she will sing there as in the days of her youth, as in the days when she came up from the land of Egypt.'' (Hosea 2:14-16) . In the previous verses of chapter 2:2-13, God is describing the pain in His heart as that of a husband whose wife has behaved as a prostitute. 'Contend with your mother, contend, for she is not my wife, and I am not her husband...' (verse 2). '...and no one will rescue her out of My hand.' (verse 10b). 'I will punish her for the days of the Ba'als, when she used to offer sacrifices to them... and follow her lovers, so that she forgot Me,' declares the Lord. (verse 13)