At the beginning of the Gaza campaign the Jerusalem Channel posted a prayer alert concerning an infantry brigade commander who was not ashamed to call his troops to prayer. His name is Col. Ofer Winter, a Givati Brigade commander, and we called for intercessory prayer support (http://jerusalemchannel.tv/israelis-engage-spiritual-warfare-going-battle/) on his behalf because of loud criticisms by the politically correct detractors.
But now, here is a wonderful answer to our prayers: a “divine miracle” protected the soldiers under Winter’s command who are fighting in the Gaza Strip, according to a report quoted in The Times of Israel.
The Givati Brigade commander made claims of divine protection in an interview with the ultra-Orthodox weekly Mishpacha [“Family”] Earlier, he had met with criticism for rallying his troops with religious messages.
Winter claimed he had never seen such a miraculous occurrence previously in his military career: a predawn raid had been delayed, forcing his soldiers to move in the light of the rising sun, but suddenly a heavy fog descended from out of nowhere to conceal their movements until their objective was achieved.
“Suddenly a cloud protected us,” Col. Winter said, making reference to the “clouds of glory” that protected the Israelites as they wandered in the desert. Only when the soldiers were in a secure position did the fog dissipate.
“It really was a fulfillment of the verse ‘For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to give you victory,’” Winter said, quoting Deuteronomy 31:8.
This is the same Orthodox Jewish commander, as Israeli troops prepared for the initial ground incursion, who had composed a Biblical-style letter to his subordinate officers. His letter was reminiscent of the spirit of [King] David approximately 3,000 years ago:
“History has chosen us to spearhead the fighting (against) the terrorist ‘Gazan’ enemy which abuses, blasphemes and curses the God of Israel’s (defense) forces…We have planned and prepared for this moment and we take the mission upon ourselves out of commitment, complete humility, and because we are prepared to endanger ourselves and lay down our lives in order to protect our families, our people and our homeland.”
Col. Winter also invoked the Shema (“Hear O Israel, YHVH is our God, YHVH One, Blessed be the glorious name of His Kingdom forever”), and called upon “the God of Israel” to “make our path successful as we go and stand to fight for the sake of your people of Israel against a foe which curses your Name.” Sounds like words of wisdom!
However, the politically correct hounds were unhappy with the rhetoric of this heroic officer. Warning of “a growing phenomenon of religious terminology entering the military… an extremely dangerous trend,” the executive director of an Israeli organization promoting religious freedom labeled the letter ”outrageous” and accused Col. Winter of turning the IDF into a “religious militia.”
Nevertheless, all warfare involves the spiritual realities. Therefore please continue to pray for Col. Winter to find favour with God and with men and that many will be influenced by his courageous stand worldwide.
We had prayed that YHVH Tzevaot –”Yehovah of Armies” (one of the most frequently used names of God in the Hebrew Bible) would encourage him and grant him more revelation in His ways. This news is certainly an answer to our prayers.
Winter lauded the importance of yeshiva students studying Torah as beneficial for the war effort. Interestingly, ultra-Orthodox rabbis have called off summer vacation in their yeshivas in solidarity with the soldiers fighting in Gaza!
Continue to pray like David who came against his enemy “in the name of YHVH of Armies, God of the Arraying of Israel, whom you have defied!”, who knew deep within himself that “the battle is the LORD’s!” (Joshua 5:14; Judges 11:11, 14-24; I Samuel 17:45, 47).
Intercessors, also pray Col. Winter’s verse of praise, Deuteronomy 31: 8, The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.