Eye on the Middle East Apr/May 1997

The explosion was deafening and lit the skies over a small village in northern Israel like a giant burst of lightning. Those who rushed to the scene on a fog-shrouded winter night found the shattered wreckage of two Israeli Army helicopters and the remains of 73 young Israeli soldiers. Although no one knows exactly what went wrong that night, Israelis are painfully conscious that the collision was the worst air disaster in the history of the State of Israel.

Islamic terrorists in south Lebanon were ecstatic, claiming that Allah was somehow venting his wrath on Israel. Furthermore, they believed that the tragedy forecast the future destruction of the whole of the Jewish state.

For many Israelis, however, there was another side to the unfortunate accident. The name of the village over which the crash occurred is She-ah ya-shuv. The name is taken from the Bible—literally after a son of the Prophet Isaiah who is mentioned in Isaiah 7. The circumstances in which his name is introduced are of particular interest.

Syria and Ephraim had conspired to attack Judah from the north in an attempt to set up another kingdom. In response, the Lord instructed Isaiah to take his son, She-ah ya-shuv, and take a message to King Ahaz. It was this: “Thus saith the Lord God, It [the conspiracy] shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass” (Isa. 7:7). Thus the importance of the boy’s name, She-ah ya-shuv, which means a remnant shall return. A full explanation is found in Isaiah 10:22: “For though thy people, Israel, be like the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return; the full end decreed shall overflow with righteousness.”

At the very heart of the incident was God’s Word to the house of David through Isaiah and King Ahaz. “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, the virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isa. 7:14). In the final analysis, the Lord promised to make a full end to treachery against Israel and its people.

Damascus may have rejoiced with the bloodthirsty terrorists the Syrian regime sponsors in Lebanon over the death of 73 of Israel’s finest. But, in spite of Israel’s mourning over its tragic loss, there is a word from the Lord: Ultimately, under the Messiah, She-ah ya-shuv—a remnant shall return—and put a full end to the treachery of Israel’s end-time enemies. Let that little village, with its strange-sounding name, stand as a monument to His promise.

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