Hamas attacking Sderot,Hamas attacking Sderot, seen from Michael’s apartment

Michael Beener is the pastor of a mainly Russian-speaking
Messianic congregation in Sderot, often known as the
“rocket capital” of Israel due to its proximity to Gaza and
subjection to frequent rocket attacks.

Rev Nick Gray describes what happened to Michael and his
wife Dina on the last day of the normally joyous feast of
Sukkot (Tabernacles), a day that will join the dates of Israel’s
worst military experiences and is already known as “the
Hamas massacre” or the “Simchat Torah massacre”

Throughout this harrowing experience, we felt the Lord’s supernatural protection, keeping us safe in the midst of the turmoil and violence

On 7 October at 6.30am, while preparing for a Shabbat service in Sderot, Michael Beener was disturbed by shouts and gunfire as Hamas terrorists attacked their town.

Michael Beener celebrating Sukkot
Michael Beener celebrating Sukkot 2023 before the attacks

He recalls: “They entered our neighbourhood, causing chaos and terror; we sought refuge in a bomb shelter as rockets rained down.

“The terrorists killed innocent people and seized the police station. The military eventually arrived, securing the area. Communication was lost, but after a few days, we reconnected and planned our evacuation.

“Despite the intense bombings, we managed to leave Sderot safely, even after a rocket narrowly missed our car. Throughout this harrowing experience, we felt the Lord’s supernatural protection, keeping us safe in the midst of the turmoil and violence. We relocated to a kibbutz in the Judean Hills near Jerusalem.”

Many of Michael’s congregation are now scattered and they have been told they will not be able to return to Sderot until January at the earliest! In the meantime, they have started projects to help other evacuated families and gather supplies to support soldiers on the front lines.

The Messianic movement in Israel has risen to the huge challenges their nation is facing. Many ministries are combining their efforts to support evacuated, traumatised families and to gather supplies to encourage and boost the morale of regular and reserve soldiers waiting to enter Gaza.

Many Messianic pastors are considering the wider spiritual implications of the war against Hamas for the future of Israel. At the same time many are preparing for what they pray will be an unprecedented turning to the Messiah of Israel, Yeshua (Jesus).

Rocket damage in Sderot
Rocket damage in Sderot. Shrapnel from
this rocket damaged Michael’s car, but he
was able to use it to evacuate his family (Credit: IDF YouTube)

This is Michael’s perspective on the prophetic view of current events:

“The general sentiment in Israel was one of discontent and astonishment as its military strength appeared to have been much less formidable than expected.

“We are living in prophetic times, and when we speak of Hamas and Hezbollah, we are, in fact, referring to Iran – ancient Persia. We watched with concern as Iran displayed its intention to get involved in the conflict against Israel [as we went to press Iran had signalled it would not join the war this time], while nations around the world have aligned themselves either for or against us. Russia and Turkey took a stance against us, while the United States, the United Kingdom, and others have stood with us. This dynamic could potentially trigger a great war, prophesied for the end times.

“The prophets concur that ultimately all nations will either be on Israel’s side or against it.

“The prophet Ezekiel spoke of Gog from the land of Magog, the prince of Meshech and Tubal, as the leader of the forces that would wage war against Israel. These ancient nations largely correspond to the former Soviet republics. Gog symbolically represents the leader or group of leaders of this great power that will emerge in the last days. Ezekiel also mentioned Persia, Ethiopia, Libya, Gomer, and Togarmah as allies of Gog.

“Jeremiah, on the other hand, named various ancient Middle Eastern countries that would fight against Israel. However, these designations refer to general regions of the ancient world, making it difficult to precisely identify modern nations. “The goal of this grand and iniquitous alliance is clear: to destroy the nation of Israel.

“Now, more than ever, we must continue working to bring relief to the hearts in Israel and pray that the scales fall from their eyes, allowing them to see the Messiah and welcome him with open arms.”

You can discover and support Michael’s congregation and current projects at www.clm-israel.org/idf-support/.

See how one evangelistic ministry is reaching hundreds of their fellow Israelis at: www.treeoflifeisrael.org

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