ISRAEL'S HISTORY

The Unlikely King

It was a scandal many find hard to stomach even today. The king God chose to govern His people committed adultery with another man’s wife…

The Richest Man on Earth

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” These words of wisdom, falsely attributed to…

Solomon’s Temple

King Solomon’s reign has been called Israel’s Golden Age. Under him, the Israelites possessed almost all of the land God promised them…

When Everything Went Wrong

When people think of King Solomon, they usually recall his great wisdom and the magnificent Jewish Temple he built…

The Beginning of the End

God is not to be trifled with. He warned Israel’s kings not to worship other gods, and He meant it. Because He knows the end…

A Taste of Tomorrow

On October 25, 2021, shares of Tesla spiked almost 13 percent, surpassing the $1 trillion market cap and making the electric car company’s CEO…

The Curse

God made many promises that are now fulfilled and others yet to be fulfilled. But He always gets around to fulfilling them, no matter how long it takes…

Archaeology and Jericho (Part 1)

Bible critics love to attack the conquest of Jericho. Disproving or questioning its historicity undermines Israel…

The Woman Clothed With the Sun

As you study the book of Revelation, you might not notice Israel’s presence much. In fact, a number of commentators say…

Jewish World Update Jul/Aug 2022

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is pressuring Israel to stop sharing its concerns about the adverse impact U.S. policy…

Standing on the Lord’s Side

It was a dark time in the history of God’s ancient people, the Jews. Nebuchadnezzar, the mighty king of the Babylonian…

Israel: Trip of a Lifetime

Pick up a tour brochure touting journeys to places far or near and you’ll likely see the claim, “The trip of a lifetime!” A promise…

From the River to the Sea

Throughout history, hatred of the Jewish people has surged and subsided but never disappeared. In the late 1800s..

Coming Home

For millennia, the Jewish people have held a hope in their hearts, a dream embodied in the Israeli national anthem, “Hatikvah.” That dream is “to be a free nation…

Let’s Make a Deal

In 1963 the American television game show Let’s Make a Deal came on the air. It became famous for awarding prizes based on choices the contestants made…

The Truth about Eutychus

It is common to hear people mention the Eutychus incident in Acts 20:6–12 to hint that some men preach too long…

From Snake to Savior

One of the most dramatic events in the Israelites’ wilderness wandering involved the fiery serpents in Numbers 21. The difficult journey bypassing…

From the Root of Jesse

When my friend and colleague Steve Herzig lived in Chicago many years ago, he issued a challenge to some of his friends. The challenge seemed simple enough, but…

Balaam: Fact or Fiction?

As Moses and the Israelites camped on the Plains of Moab, Moabite King Balak devised a plan to defeat them. Knowing he could…

The Seven Biblical Feasts

Of all the holidays celebrated throughout history, only these seven were given by God to His people Israel…

Behold the Lamb!

Many non-Jews think Hanukkah is every Jewish person’s favorite holiday. But they would be wrong. Hanukkah is not the Jewish equivalent of Christmas…

The Four Faces of Shavuot

Have you ever gone to the grocery store and found the shelves empty? Until the recent pandemic, that would have been…

Tekiah, Shevarim, Teruah

Growing up, I had an annual August ritual of asking my parents two questions: When is the first day of school? Are the…

Holiday Under the Stars

Many years ago, a pastor and I visited a friend who is a rabbi at a local synagogue. Sukkot was approaching, and Rabbi offered to…

‘Remember the Sabbath’

When my wife and I lived in Minnesota, we enjoyed visiting the Minneapolis Institute of Art where more than 90,000 beautiful…

Inside View Jul/Aug 2021

I’ve had the privilege of visiting Israel 28 times since my first trip in 2003, most often to lead tours. It has been a rich blessing to see the land of the Bible…

The Real Friend of Israel

Many Americans are still reeling from the results of the 2020 presidential election. According to two surveys, between 76 and…

Inside View May/Jun 2021

The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry is devoted to sharing the gospel. Gospel is part of our name; and since our inception in 1938, we have lived…

‘Do This in Remembrance of Me’

At sundown on March 27, Jewish families the world over will gather in homes as they have for thousands of years to instill…

Are God’s People Really Distinct?

When I was a child, the most memorable instruction my father gave me was “Don’t do as I do; do as I say do!” After I became…

Apples of Gold Mar/Apr 2021

In the spring we celebrate Purim here in Israel. Not everyone knows the meaning of this great day. Many think it is merely a festival of joy…

Goodbye, Year of the Virus

People the world over are probably relieved to say, “Happy New Year!” There is sheer jubilee in knowing the books on 2020 are…

Meditating on God

Health experts agree that walking 10,000 steps a day is a good thing. So I do this “good thing” regularly, and I can tell you that my Oy veys grow louder every time I start walking. But I can also tell you that…

The Father Knows Best

In 1949, a show called Father Knows Best debuted on the radio. It made the transition to television in 1954, starring Robert Young, who played Jim Anderson, the father of three children…

The Future-Teller

A peculiar industry has been growing in America. It generates $2 billion in revenue a year and employs roughly 85,000 people who are primarily mediums, astrologers, palm readers, and fortune-tellers…

Cyrus, ‘My Shepherd’

Bible scholar Harold Willmington once wrote, “Bible prophecy is simply history written in advance!” In the case of Cyrus, king of ancient Medo-Persia, God wrote the…

Why Animal Sacrifice?

In our modern world, many condemn animal sacrifice. In Florida, a religious group was sued for practicing it. The plaintiff defined sacrifice as “to unnecessarily kill…

The Shekinah Glory

As I look at the world and the terrible things people do, I will never understand why God loves us and wants to dwell among us. The fact that a Jewish virgin bore the divine…

The Priests: Keeping Israel Holy

Ancient Israel’s three great offices were prophet, priest, and king. Of these, the most enigmatic to people today is that of priest…

From Moses to Jesus

Eclectic is how I would describe my mother’s taste in furniture. Nothing really matched when I was growing up. Furniture was not her thing…

The Sanctuary’s Sweet Cover-up

Many people today use diffusers to disperse essential oils into the air to promote physical health and freshen a room…

Israel’s Will to Remember

I am more of a doer than a thinker. It takes discipline for me to think before I act. Spending two weeks in Israel…

The Altar of Sacrifice

Most people today are familiar with the concept of blessing. But they know little about the idea of sacrifice, particularly on an altar…

From the Editor May/Jun 2020

As I write this column, I’m looking at two miniature Israeli flags on the windowsill of my office. When the degenerate empire of Nazi Germany surrendered May 8, 1945…

Relentless

“I felt so alone,” my Israeli friend said with tears in her eyes. We had just finished a delicious Shabbat meal in her home with her family when…

The Lamp of the Lord

The menorah was an important component of the Tabernacle. It had two purposes: to furnish light and to remind all Israel that God is light…

From the Editor Mar/Apr 2020

Do you believe in miracles? It’s a simple question, but the answer has far-reaching implications. Two people groups we’d expect to believe in miracles are…

Elisha: God’s Miracle Man

Elijah and Elisha were among Israel’s most important prophets. Some people confuse them, but they were extremely different men…

Important Events & Miracles

God performed 28 miracles through Elisha that affected people, prophecy, and politics and are recorded in the book of 2 Kings…

A Great Woman, A Great Miracle

Some people spend a lifetime trying to acquire a great name or leave a great legacy. There is a special woman in the Bible…

Portrait of Grace

She was merely a little Jewish girl. Yet God in His sovereignty positioned her where her faith and grace would touch the highest echelons of military power…

Chariots of Fire

WAR. The very word conjures up horrific images of mass destruction, fleeing innocents, pain, and suffering. But another dimension of warfare exists…

God’s Home on Earth

When God exiled man from the Garden of Eden, humanity no longer had access to God’s presence. This access was not restored until the Lord prepared a…

All That Glitters Is Not God

The incident of the golden calf looms large in Israel’s history. Moses’ long stay on Mt. Sinai convinced some Israelites that…

Archaeology and the Ark

The Ark of the Covenant was largely introduced to people outside biblical circles through the Hollywood movie…

The Big Ten

Many people are familiar with Cecil B. DeMille’s film The Ten Commandments. In a famous scene, Moses receives the Ten Commandments on stone tablets…

Is Israel’s ‘Left’ Dead?

When Benjamin Netanyahu squeaked out his fifth victory in April, making him the longest-serving prime minister in Israel’s history, eclipsing even legendary leader David Ben-Gurion…

What Heathenism Wrought

Without any announcement, the prophet Elijah appeared in Israel and boldly confronted his generation with a strong warning from God…

Israel’s Evil Kings

The northern kingdom was plagued with evil kings, beginning with Jeroboam (931–910 BC), who intentionally caused Israel to sin by erecting golden calves…

Confrontation on Carmel

The scorching sun beat down on Obadiah as he walked the arid path, each step sending a swirl of dust upward…

Passing the Mantle

It’s so important to teach the younger generation. Elijah mentored Elisha for almost eight years. Then Elisha made an unusual request…

‘I Will Send You Elijah’

Elijah has always been a bit of a puzzle. An iconic figure among the Old Testament prophets, he appears center stage, bigger than life—and then disappears…

Did Moses Write the Torah?

The Bible says explicitly Moses wrote the Torah. Exodus 24:4 states, “Moses wrote all the words of the LORD”…

From the Editor May/Jun 2019

“When that plane touches down at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv,” someone told me recently, “I know I’m in a country that’s a miracle…

Inside View May/Jun 2019

Each year in May, Israel celebrates its rebirth. Established on May 14, 1948, modern Israel is now 71 years old. The fact that the Jewish nation arose from the ashes and has come back to life…

Who is a Jew?

For centuries, Jewish people have been asking themselves, “Who is a Jew?” Today a new wrinkle has developed, and it involves Christians…

The Battle for Biblical Truth

Modern Israel is a miracle. When Mark Twain visited there in the 1800s, he left thinking it was the most miserable place on the face of the earth…

Israel’s Broken Political System

Many Americans scratch their heads trying to figure out Israel’s political system. Here’s an overview of it from someone who truly understands it…

What’s in a Name?

When Moses encountered God for the first time, he asked Him, “When I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you..

Apples of Gold May/Jun 2019

Israel’s Independence Day is fast approaching. That is when we celebrate our independence in the land. I fought in the War of Independence in 1948 so that we, the Jewish people, could live in our homeland…

The Hate That Won’t Die

A friend of mine told me a story recently that I think you’ll appreciate. A few years ago, her daughter Andi attended an event at Disney World that called for audience participation…

Assessing the Return of Haman

People visiting Israel during the annual Purim celebration in March, when masses of costumed Israelis joyously parade through the streets, might liken the event to…

The Truth About Who Killed Christ

A few months ago, I met with a high-profile Jewish leader who was giving a talk about his journey from poverty to entrepreneurial success. As a boy growing up in the slums of Boston…

Casting Down Serpents

Exodus 7:8–12 records the account of Moses’ and Aaron’s first miracle before Pharaoh: turning Aaron’s staff (a symbol of authority) into a serpent that swallowed those produced by Pharaoh’s magicians…

The Gold-Box Idol

During the closing period of the judges, the Israelites embraced wicked beliefs in their worship and view of God. God had confirmed Samuel as His spokesman and true prophet, but the Israelites refused to obey….

A Hearing Heart

I have many fond memories of my mother from my childhood, but there is one memory that is far from fond. I still get a knot in the pit of my stomach when I think about it. When I was around 11 years old, we were…

‘Bring Up Samuel for Me’

Disobedience to God can drastically change a person’s life. King Saul’s disobedience dramatically altered both his life and his kingship. As a consequence for transgressing into the priestly office…

Samuel’s Big Disappointment

The expectation of great potential can be exciting. It certainly is for athletes and professional sports teams, as each new season dawns. Many a manager has left training camp saying to himself…

Samuel & David

Much is written about David in the Bible. At the mention of his name, some people immediately think of the courageous teenager who slew Goliath using a slingshot and a stone. Others remember a tender young shepherd who penned Psalm 23…

Why Would God Harden a Heart?

Exodus 4:21 records a statement God made to Moses: “When you go back to Egypt, see that you do all those wonders before Pharaoh which I have put in your hand. But I will harden his heart, so that he will…”

Making Something Out of Nothing

Somehow Israel always seems to find itself in the middle of a controversy. Israel’s parliament recently passed a bill called the Jewish Nation-State Law, and immediately it made headlines around the world…

The Flap Over Israel’s Nation-State Law

The Knesset recently enacted a new law that declares Israel is the historic homeland of the Jewish people and that they have an exclusive right to national self-determination in it…

O Jewish Town of Bethlehem

This Christmas season, as we gather in our churches to worship our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and sing the carols of Christmas, we no doubt will sing “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” one of the most beloved hymns of all time…

How Do We Know the Exodus Happened?

“The actual evidence concerning the Exodus resembles the evidence for the unicorn,” declared Pennsylvania State University Jewish Studies Professor Baruch Halpern.1 The ancient Israelites created…

Ezekiel: The Times, The Man, The Book

The prophet Ezekiel burst onto the scene during Jerusalem’s darkest days at the end of the sixth century BC. Then, as now, the Middle East was in crisis. In fact, the Middle East had been in crisis for most of the eighth and seventh centuries BC due to the…

Happy Birthday, Israel!

For years I had a dream. I wanted my hometown baseball team (the Cleveland Indians) to play the Chicago Cubs in the World Series. I had adopted the Cubs when I lived in Chicago. Both teams excelled at losing…

Five Facts You Should Know About Israel

Have you ever wondered why the Jewish people have been scattered throughout the nations of the world more consistently than any other people? Why anti–Semitism persists in rearing its ugly head repeatedly throughout history? Why Nazism specifically targeted the Jewish people for genocide in the…

Bible Museum Opens Soon in Washington

If you love God’s Word and Israel, you won’t want to miss the Museum of the Bible’s grand opening in November in Washington, DC. Located only three blocks from the United States Capitol Building and…