As Elijah was called by the God of Israel to “repair the altar of the Lord that was broken down” (1 Kings 18:30), so today the body of Messiah in Israel is being used to restore the true worship of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and to call the people of the Land to turn from their idolatry. The majority of Israelis today have rejected Orthodox Judaism, but are still longing for a genuine experience of God in their lives. As a result, many have turned to various forms of occultic Judaism, new age practices, and even Satanism among the youth. For most of them, their only concept of the worship of Adonai has been what they saw and experienced in the synagogue, which although beautiful and quite often scripture- based, is lacking the reality of a personal, intimate relationship with God.
By contrast, we, as Messianic Jews who have access to the Holy of Holies by the blood of Yeshua, are uniquely able to demonstrate to Israelis a living, loving relationship with the Lord God of Israel —which is our true call as Jewish people. The authenticity of that relationship can be witnessed through our expressions of corporate and individual worship, causing visitors who attend our gatherings to consider the truth of the gospel message for the first time. The reproach that has been on the name of Yeshua (due in large measure to Christian anti-Semitism misrepresenting His name throughout the centuries) gradually begins to fall away as the beauty and character of the true Yeshua is conveyed through the vehicle of anointed worship music by those who have been transformed by His love.
Worship leaders and musicians throughout Israel have been seeking the Lord for new songs in the Hebrew language that carry the living Word of God and the “sound of heaven,” with textures, melodies, and rhythms that reflect our identity as Israelis, both native-born and those of us gathered from the ends of the earth. Although styles of Messianic worship may vary from congregation to congregation—with some choosing to incorporate various elements of synagogue liturgy, such as the traditional acapella singing of the “Shema” (Deut. 6:4), while others feel called to a less-structured approach—our common desire is that the Holy One of Israel “who inhabits the praises of His people” (Ps. 22:3) will manifest Himself to those who have not yet seen “the glory of God in the face of Yeshua the Messiah” (2 Cor. 4:6).
Our challenge as worship leaders in Israel in these difficult days is to exhort our congregations to lift up our heads and our eyes in worship, so that the King of Glory may come in (Ps. 24:7). When He is present, His light will penetrate the darkness of the veil over the Jewish heart. We cry out today with the words of Elijah, “Answer me, Lord, that the people may know that You are the Lord God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again” (1 Kings 18:37 ). Stand in faith with us that the fire of God’s presence will again fall in Israel and the people will say, “The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!” (v.40).
Karen Davis is the Worship Director of Kehilat HaCarmel (Carmel Assembly) located on top of Mount Carmel, near Haifa , where her husband David Davis serves as the Senior Leader. Together they also founded Beit Nitzachon (House of Victory), a Bible-based rehabilitation center for Jews and Arabs. Karen’s music CDs are internationally distributed by Galilee of the Nations/Integrity Music.
- For the Lord to raise up anointed, skillful worship leaders and musicians in Israel
- For new worship music in Hebrew which will penetrate the hearts of Israelis
- For the Lord to truly manifest Himself during corporate worship times (Ps.22:3; Eph. 2:22)