The great American poet and songwriter Jonny Cash released one of his more memorable songs in 1967 entitled “Ring of Fire” with its chorus that went like this; “I Fell Into A Burning Ring Of Fire I Went Down, Down, Down And The Flames Went Higher And It Burns, Burns, Burns The Ring Of Fire The Ring Of Fire”
Although the song was meant to describe the feeling of romantic love and certainly didn’t have any political or theological intent, the chorus has been playing in my head a lot lately as I read the daily newspaper about events all over the world, particularly in the Western countries where most of the world’s Jewish population lives.
The three areas in the US with the largest Jewish communities are southeast Florida, New York City and its satellite communities in northern New Jersey, and Los Angeles. New York City and northern New Jersey were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this year and as I sit here writing this, California (and the entire West Coast of the US) are getting clobbered by epic wildfires. I don’t think these things are happening for natural reasons and with that in mind, it won’t surprise me much if Florida ends up getting clobbered by an abnormally large hurricane at some point in the not so distant future. As it is, all three of these urban areas (and many other parts of the US) were badly shaken earlier this year by riots which included the deliberate targeting of Jewish-owned business. Amidst all of this they’ve also suffered tremendous economic damage from the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
Moving to other parts of the world which have large numbers of Jewish people, Russia has also been hit by massive and devastating forest fires last summer and into this summer. That country is also suffering from one of the world’s highest rates of COVID-19 infections, growing economic and civil turmoil and environmental disasters of various kinds, all of which are contributing to a sharply decreasing standard of living. More than half of the Jewish people moving to Israel in recent years have come from Russia and Ukraine.
Other countries with large Jewish populations have also suffered devastating natural disasters, civil unrest, economic hardships and other problems in recent years.
Once again, I don’t think all of this can be explained naturally.
The prophecy of Jeremiah 16:16 says “Behold, I am going to send for many fishermen,” declares the Lord, “and they will fish for them; and afterwards I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt them from every mountain and every hill and from the clefts of the rocks.”
I believe this prophecy describes a process which would occur more than once in history.
In the 1860s, God began inspiring many “fishermen” to go to the large Jewish communities in Europe and North America and tell them that the time had come to return to their ancestral homeland and rebuild a Jewish State there. Very few heeded that call, and so God allowed the “hunters” to come to political power in Germany and Italy in the early 1930s. Following that, approximately 90,000 Jews living in Germany, Austria and German speaking areas of Czechoslovakia did in fact make their way to what was then the British Mandate of Palestine by 1939. But the overwhelming majority of German-speaking Jews who emigrated during this period went to the US, although in fairness, many more would have come here if the British had allowed them to.
Following the Second World War and the Holocaust, nearly all of the Jews left in Europe wanted to leave as soon as they could. It would take a few more years before Israel was established, allowing them to go to this newly re-established Jewish State, and during those few years, a large number of them went to the US. This included my grandparents, who had met at a displaced persons camp near Munich in 1946. When they went to America three years later, they took their son, who had been born in that camp and would later become my father.
As grateful as I personally am that my father came to America instead of Israel in 1949 (he never would have met my mother if he hadn’t done that and thus I never would have been born) it seems apparent to me that this was not what God wanted for my father and the many other European Jews who had the opportunity to go to Israel but went somewhere else (usually the US) instead.
In any case, from 1948 and until today, there have been many “fishers” urging the Jewish people living in the US, Canada, Europe, Russia and elsewhere, to come home to Israel. Many have heeded the call, but many others have not.
Now, I’m afraid, we’re coming into another season where God is sending “hunters” to chase these Jewish people out of their comfortable lives in the Diaspora and bring them back to Israel. This is happening in the natural, as can be seen in the rise of anti-Semitism all over the world, but also in the supernatural, as can be seen in the increasingly damaging natural disasters which continue to strike parts of the world with large numbers of Jewish people.
So to my Jewish friends and family around the world, I put it to you very bluntly, it’s time to come home. It’s not time to start thinking about it, it’s time to start taking concrete steps.
To others who might be reading this who have Jewish friends or family who are eligible to make Aliyah, I encourage you to encourage them and assist them in any way you can. Support ministries in Israel which help Jewish people to make Aliyah. Pray for these ministries and these people that God would inspire them to make the moves that will bring them into closer alignment with His plans and purposes. Pray for the Israeli government to take the steps it needs to take to play its part in this move of God.
Because time is not on our side, and the thing about rings of fire is that they burn into the unburned area in the middle and eventually, that unburned area in the middle is consumed. That’s what I see happening in the US, Europe, Russia, Canada, and many other places. The time for Jewish people to get out of the unburned center of the ring of fire, and arrive at the center of God’s will for their lives, is now.
May God give us all the wisdom, strength, vision, maturity and courage to play the part He has ordained for us in this season of history.