God has a Plan: One Family and Their Decision to Move to Israel

This is Part One in a series of articles showing God’s call on one family and their decision to move to Israel.

“We’re moving to Israel.”

My brother and I looked up. My father had asked us to sit down because he wanted to talk with us. I was thirteen and my brother was twelve and we fought all of the time. We had both assumed that we were in trouble. This was not what we expected to hear.

It was 1973. Our family lived in what was known as Tidewater, Virginia, a sleepy blue-collar area located in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It was full of shipyards and federal government installations. My father taught at a military school while my mother worked in accounting at the local Ford Motor Company assembly plant. I played baseball, I liked a girl at school and life was good.

I looked at my father and the first word that came out of my mouth was, “Why?”

My father took a deep breath, “Your mother and I feel like the Lord has told us to go live in Israel.”

My father had a love for all things Asian. In fact, he had visited the Far East several times, and in particular Japan. The décor of our home reflected that love with Oriental style lamps, porcelain vases, Japanese prewar art and ivory carvings. My parents had also helped several Japanese students in U.S. universities and one of them had even come and lived with us.

If my father had said that we were moving to Japan that would have made more sense to me than Israel! I could not believe what I was hearing. I rolled the word “Israel” over in my mind.

My father was one of the most sensible people that walked the planet, but at that moment I thought that he had lost his mind.

My parents were Believers and I knew that every decision that they made was marinated in prayer. My father began to explain that the Lord had revealed his will to him and my mother and that it had been confirmed. In other words, it was done deal.

I suddenly began to realize the ramifications of leaving everything that I had ever known and moving away. My brother and I had lots of questions. When would we be leaving? Where would we live? Where would we go to school?

In retrospect, I can see that God had a plan. I had grown up in a Christian home, but Judaism was somewhat familiar to my brother and me. Our elementary school had been located in a predominately Jewish area and most of my school friends were Jewish. Although many of my friend’s parents were Secular Jews, some of them were Observant and I had been welcomed in their homes and had observed Shabbat with some of them. Also, our school had recognized Hanukkah and during the Passover season when many students were out of school for the Holy Days, we understood why.

On top of that, my father had tried to get to Israel before. He was an adventurer at heart and in 1970 he had attempted to sail to Israel on a small single-mast yacht with a family from California. Unfortunately they had left too late in the year and hurricane season had already begun. They encountered a tremendous storm in the North Atlantic and lost the mast and rudder. After sending out a Mayday, they were found by the Canadian Navy and towed into Nova Scotia. My father returned home. Not long after that he was invited to go to Israel with a tour group but just days before he was scheduled to leave, he fell off of a cliff in the mountains of Virginia. His injuries required surgery and months of rehabilitation and left him with a painful limp the rest of his life. The limp also served as a permanent reminder that waiting on God’s timing in your life is crucial, especially when it comes to Israel.

The Bible speaks of “a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death” (Proverbs 14:12). There was a way that seemed right to my father and although he was a Believer, he had acted on it and it had nearly killed him not once but twice. He had the word of Adonai about going to Israel but he still needed to wait on the timing of Adonai and to submit to his plan.

In a letter to the exiles in Babylon, God used Jeremiah the Prophet to encourage the people by saying “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares Adonai, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

That Scripture is God’s promise to you. The Bible says every Scripture is “God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).

He does have a plan for your life and that plan is to bless you and to see His name glorified. But we have to be submitted to Him. When we try to force God’s hand and his timing in our lives it can literally leave us in rocky seas, clinging to life or even worse, damaged for life. God can and will redeem any situation but why not make the right decision in the first place. The Bible tells us that Wisdom cries out at the heights, she stands at the crossroads, and she calls at the entrances (Proverbs 8). In other words, Adonai’s wisdom is hard to miss.

Do you need encouragement? God has a plan. Are you worried? God has a plan. Are you sick? God has a plan. Are you fearful that you have missed His will and now you don’t know what to do? God has a plan. Perhaps your life is not turning out the way that you planned it. God still has a plan for you. If you submit your heart to Yeshua and walk by faith and not be sight, God will bring to fruition what he has instilled in you to bless you and to use you to bless others.

“You keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you” (Isaiah 26:3).

Next: A Step Of Faith: What happens if God tells you to move to Israel and war breaks out and the airlines goes on strike? In 1973, God led my family to do that very thing. This is our story.

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Scott Presson is a Writer whose commentaries regarding personal and spiritual issues have been published around the world. He is also an award winning TV Producer, Editor and a former Journalist, who has traveled extensively covering everything from politics and weather to domestic terrorism and the front lines of the Middle East conflict.