Herding Cats

I was recently included in an email discussion about “uniting” the people of Israel. One fellow suggested that Israel would not be made “one” until the Messiah came, so we should not bother trying. Others in the group were arguing against his opinion.

Now, the Lord often deals with me in humor, especially if He is trying to get me out of a funk. And one such day, while I was thinking about how difficult it can be to work with my beloved Messianic brothers, and while Angus and I were on the road, we went into a grocery store to pick up a few things. For some reason I felt led to walk over to their wine section and when I looked down, I saw a red wine called “Herding Cats.”

I started to laugh out loud – because I know that it is almost impossible to “herd cats” – and because I felt the Lord was sending me a personal message.

You see, I was raised as a poor girl in the country and we didn’t have a lot of toys. So, one day, one of the neighbor boys put a small cat in a big paper bag, folded the top over a few times, and set the bag on the ground – to see what the cat would do.

This upset me because I was a cat lover. But, after banging around a bit, the little cat finally made its way out of the paper bag – and, when that foolish boy tried to catch that cat and put her back in the bag, he got the scratching of his life.

Because of that feisty little cat, when I encounter opposition to the truth about “both the houses of Israel” (Isaiah 8:14), I remember her. I especially remember how big boys could not “get her back into the bag.” I remember her and sometimes say, “The cat is out of the bag and you will never be able to get her back in it!” Meaning, those who have escaped the bondage of misunderstandings about “Israel” will never again be put back in a confining bag – no matter how big the boys who try to take away her freedom.

Returning to the wine bottle, seeing it made me think that trying to get Messianics together is a bit like “Herding Cats.” Like cats, Messianics tend to have a mind of their own.

Believe it or not, I am going to connect these stories to the fellow who feels we do not have to do anything to help reunite Israel.

I can understand anyone feeling like ours is an almost impossible task.

But, we must not give up on it, because the Word says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” And that, “anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who diligently seek him.” We also are told that, “To one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.” And finally, we know that our Messiah prayed that we might “all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me” (Hebrews 11:6; James 4:17; John 17:21).

This collection of verses tell us that we must have faith in God and believe that He can do what He says He can do. They also tell us that Messiah Yeshua’s desire is for us to be “one” people.

In turn, this means, if I “know” something to be scripturally true, and I don’t believe it, or, if I don’t at least ask the Father what I can do to help herd His difficult cats, then I am in “sin.”

If you know that He wants it, then you need to believe in it and work toward it. As difficult as it may be, we have to work toward Israel’s full restoration.

Here’s to “Herding Cats.”

La Chaim! (To Life!),

Your thoughts and comments.

We would like to hear from you.

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10 Responses to Herding Cats

  1. Charles says:

    Your welcome Batya. The LORD is working through you by the words you speak. We who hear His voice know it, and are blessed by it, and respond in kind ecouraging eachother in our shared walk of love and obedience to His will. Be always guided by His light sister and strengthened by His right hand.

    Your brother in His love,


  2. John Hasse says:

    I have heard such musings many times, that somehow we (Ephriam) need to join them (Judah). However, it seems to me that the ‘job description’ — ‘to make of two, one’- means to make each of us one with the Savior. I have heard many times the analogy of the wheel, that as we come closer to the center (the Savior) we will be coming closer to each other. Whereas if we try to come closer to each other, it rather mars the wheel. It is HE who makes the two sticks one, not us. If we are led to compromise Torah, and respect ‘Talmud’, in our effort to become ‘one’ we will have done much more damage than good. Shalom.

    • Batya says:


      I did not mention who is to “join” whom. I do agree with you that the first order of business is for each one of us to truly become “one” with the Savior, and that He alone can make us “one.” However, that will not happen without effort on our part. Yeshua said the last days would be “as the day of Noah,” and an ark did not just drop out of the sky for him. Noah instead had to work for a long time in order to build it. We will likewise have to “work” toward our end goal. In so doing, I did not, do not, suggest “compromise” in any way, but I do believe that we will have to exhibit mercy and compassion without measure.

      I hope this helps to better clarify my points.


  3. Charles says:


    It is a difficult thing bringing the two houses together. There will be those that hear and those who will not. Abba told the prophet Ezekiel “I am sending you as a watchman to the whole house of Israel, speak to them what I tell you”. He also said “Do not worry about what they say”. “They are a rebellious house”. It is necessary that we come together as one and Abba will work through His children to make it so, for as many who will listen. The Adversary opposes this, and works constantly to keep this from happening. Abba tells us just to do what He tells us and not to worry about what others do. What’s important is that we speak what His Spirit gives us to speak. Be encouraged dear sister. The Spirit spoke this to me long before I knew anything about the re-unification of Israel, and has since confirmed it over and over again through like-minded brothers and sisters like you…..Shalom and walk in His love

  4. Barb Brown says:

    I loved this essay! 🙂 The first time I ever heard the phrase “herding cats” was from our Jewish guide, Mark, in Israel, 2005. And he only had to herd 10 of us. LOL! The Lord does deal with me in humor too. Be blessed and don’t stop the loving fight!

    • Batya says:

      I am sure that your Guide knew the saying. Cats are especially hard to herd when it comes to “Israel”!
      Thanks for the encouragement!

  5. Linda Semler says:

    Sent one comment but don’t know if it made it. Wanted to say that the only way UNITY will happen is when we get the GOSPEL out to all the nations. The GOSPEL will unite ALL twelve tribes. It will unite the Church with the Kingdom of Israel and show her who she is. It is the power of THE Gospel to do this work so we MUST get the true GOSPEL out to all the people. The GOSPEL is the unifying foundation on which the Kingdom of God will manifest.

    • Batya says:

      I agree Linda. The problem is that sometimes, the cats don’t want to listen to the Gospel. But nonetheless, even as I am sure that you agree, we just have to keep on preaching it.

      Much Love,

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