George Bowers: The miracle of the Israeli nation
May 14 marks a special day in world history. On that date 70 years ago, a true miracle occurred when Israel was reborn. We should recognize this occasion and celebrate this anniversary with them.
In AD 70, the Roman army obliterated Jerusalem following Jewish revolts and uprisings. Determined to prevent such events from ever recurring, the future emperor Titus encircled the city and laid siege for many months before attacking and killing over a million Jews and completely destroying the city.
For the next two millennia, the Jewish people had no homeland. They wondered as strangers and outcasts and were mistreated and harassed by nearly every nation on earth.
Their story throughout history, however, has been fraught with enemies determined to destroy them. Fifteen hundred years before Titus, Pharaoh enslaved this people and even ordered the slaughter of all male babies. After they finally escaped, he sent his army to either bring them back or destroy them only to be destroyed themselves in the Red Sea.
Later, Haman hatched a plot to kill all Jews throughout Persia and seize their assets. Fortunately, God worked through Esther to save and deliver his people. Inquisitions, Crusades, and Jihads have all sought the same objective: elimination of the Jews.
Just 80 years ago, the Third Reich determined to completely annihilate the entire ethnic group with their “final solution.” They nearly succeeded with the senseless slaughter of over six million Jews. Although Germany committed the worst atrocities, Russia too, along with several eastern bloc countries, persecuted the Jews, confiscated their property, herded them into pogroms and did little or nothing to prevent their enemies from killing them.
Even after their reestablishment in 1948, their Arab neighbors tried relentlessly to push them into the Mediterranean. And still today, the Iranians have vowed to blow them off the Earth.
After the horrible Holocaust by the Nazis came to light, global sentiment eventually resulted in Jewish resettlement. The events that took place to make it happen, however, are nothing short of miraculous and one cannot help but see God’s hand in all that led to their independence. Never before has any nation maintained their identity without a homeland for 2,000 years nor been resurrected afterward.
Even the final United Nations vote to partition the land was miraculous and unexpected and the battles that led to Israel’s freedom were extraordinary. At times, their enemies inexplicably retreated when the Jews were down to less than a dozen bullets. Incredible stories of valor, heroism, and miracles abound as they fought for their nation.
When their enemies later attacked them in the Six Day War, the heavily outnumbered and outgunned Israelis not only defended themselves valiantly, but actually took additional territory with the blood of their children. Many say they should now return this land, although no one has pressured the U.S. to return Texas to Mexico where we were the aggressors. Similarly, why can every other nation designate its own capital, but Israel is condemned for doing the same?
Interestingly enough much of the land was unwanted and unproductive until Jewish settlers began draining, planting, and improving it. Only after doing so did their neighbors start demanding it back. In many cases, Jews had paid the landowners for these properties and became the rightful owners.
Isaiah 66:8 asks, “Who has ever heard of such a thing? Who has ever seen such things? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment?” Phenomenally, the Dead Sea Scroll containing these words was acquired by the Jews the very night they declared their independence. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Rather a miracle of God.
Time and again rulers and empires have sought to totally eliminate this people and time and again God has saved them. Two things remain unexplained. How is it that one group could be so ruthlessly targeted throughout history for no fault of their own, and how has this tiny, often powerless nation, managed to survive every single time?
The more one studies the history of the Jews and their survival throughout, the more one has to conclude there is something miraculous and supernatural about their existence. Whatever God has promised, he will bring to pass. You can count on it. Happy birthday, Israel! George
George Bowers Sr. is the senior pastor of Antioch Church of the Brethren and has authored 10 books including his latest, “Valley Verses, Volume IV,” which is available at Four Star Printing and Shenandoah Stuff. He can be reached through www.georgebowersministries.com or at firstname.lastname@example.org.