Mutual Humility

When a man kneels before you it’s hard to remain standing.

It feels weird to look down at someone when they’re kneeling before you in abject humility. In a Jerusalem conference I found myself in this position before a highly respected veteran Korean church leader. He was repenting for his country’s callousness toward Jewish suffering, and passive anti-Semitism during and after the Holocaust.

So, I got on my knees facing him. Then he began weeping, sobbing with regret and a broken heart for our people. I listened and watched, gripped by the intensity of Han Sik Kim’s emotion. I could only put my arms around my brother while he wept. In each other’s arms, a Korean and an Israeli, we were united by Yeshua.

What had released this wave of repentance, joined by the several hundred Korean believers in the conference session?

In part, it was my repentance before them earlier in the evening. I had said:

“My place, our place tonight as Israelis, is to repent before you, for not serving you … the nations for whom we were given responsibility by Almighty God. We have not given you a good example. Our calling, from Abraham onwards has been to bless all the nations of the earth and to serve you as faithful priests – bringing prayers and atonement before God on your behalf. Instead, we profaned God’s holy name by our idolatry. Yet, He promised to sanctify His great name by bringing us out of the nations and back into our own land – which is why you have come to Eretz Yisrael, to see this redemption in progress with your own eyes.”

When I expressed this openly, asking the group to forgive us, I felt a shudder pass through the room. Something broke. Genuinely humbling one’s self can be unnerving, but it produces a mirror response. After I spoke, Brother Kim came up to repent before me, and all Israel.

Humility begets humility.

Repentance begets repentance.

Love begets love.

Today, we are in a unique situation. Today we see, for the first time in nearly 2000 years, both the awakening body of disciples throughout the Nations – and in restored Israel. I believe that is why our friends from the Nations come to Israel. They long to take part in an historic opportunity.

How shall we enter into His end-time plan together? God is calling us into levels of cooperation we have only begun to glimpse – on every level – from the personal to the familial, to the congregational, to the regional and beyond.

This will take mutual humility.

“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up”
(James 4:10).

This article originally appeared in Israel’s Restoration Newsletter, August 2016 and reposted with permission.