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 and not be scattered like sheep among wolves.

But our nationhood did not begin in 1948. No, it began when God promised Abraham,

I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed (Gen. 12:2–3).

The Jewish people have remembered God’s promise from generation to generation. But independence did not come easily. People did not give us this land on a silver platter. We paid the price of much blood to celebrate the great day of independence.

We suffered much because, as a people, we did not put our trust in the Lord. But after we had suffered much, we began to look toward heaven and beg for help. As it is written in Psalm 121:1–2, “I will lift up my eyes to the hills—from whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.”

We suffered much because, as a people, we did not put our trust in the Lord.

In 1948 we were so few in number, and our enemies surrounded us like mighty locusts. They had great confidence they would devour us and erase us from the map. I asked my fellow Jewish soldiers at the time, “Do you think we can fight against such forces alone? Our weapons will not save us!” I told them how the Lord would defend us and asked them to read aloud Psalm 124, which says, “If it had not been the LORD who was on our side . . . when men rose up against us, then they would have swallowed us alive” (vv. 1–3).

Even though the surrounding Arab nations had better and far more weapons than we had, we won because the Lord was on our side. As it is written in Ephesians, we do not need the weapons of this world; we need to “put on the whole armor of God” (6:11). I have shared this truth with many Israelis, telling them God was with us as He was with King David when David stood before the giant Goliath.

David told Goliath, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand” (1 Sam. 17:45–46).

David was a mere boy in comparison to the Philistine giant. Yet David defeated Goliath with a stone and sling. I also have shared this truth with many Arabs throughout the years, showing them in the Holy Scriptures how God defends the Jewish people and has given us the land of Israel.

And here we are today in the same situation—standing before not one Goliath, but many. We are surrounded by nations that want to destroy us.

And here we are today in the same situation—standing before not one Goliath, but many. We are surrounded by nations that want to destroy us. But as we say in Israel, “Barking dogs never bite.” The Lord has promised to keep His Chosen People, and His Word is eternal. The nations that fight against us will be cast into the sea, like Pharaoh’s armies that drowned during Israel’s Exodus from Egypt. We know their end.

Many people here in Israel live in great fear. But we who believe in the Lord must come alongside and encourage them. How? By telling them how to trust in the Lord and by showing them the truth of the Scriptures. Truth conquers all things. Let us not be afraid, as the Lord has commanded us.

The Friends of Israel Archives,
May 2005

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