Israel Lives

From between the paws of the rock-hewn sphinx of Egypt, God brought forth the children of Israel and forged them into a great nation.

Four thousand years have extended their span between Israel’s birth, demise and rebirth as a modern state in May of 1948. This prophesied rebirth is unparalleled in all the annals of recorded history. No other people, expelled for such a long time, over so wide an area, with so many obstacles, have ever returned to their land as a recognizable and viable entity. Nations more numerous like flaming meteors have shot across the sky to be remembered no more. The proud Assyrians, the powerful BabyIonians, the inflexible Medes and Persians, and other nations too numerous to mention are gone. But the Jew, refusing to be either annihilated or assimilated, remains.

Her modern rebirth is clearly not the result of any material dimensions which I belong to her. There is nothing global or massive about the state of Israel in political terms. Its territory and independence are considerable in history — but pathetically . meager in geography. Her land, excluding occupied areas acquired in the Six-Day War, is about the size of the state of New Jersey. Her population equals that of Philadelphia, the fourth largest city in the United States.

In the calculations of the nuclear century, Israel is an insignificant piece of real estate. Her bridge is fragile; her highway narrow.

Clearly, then, if modern Israel is to be regarded as an incident of universal scope, and she must — if she has any elements of greatness, and she does — then these qualities must be vindicated in the spiritual realm. The existence of the modern state of Israel is an inexplicable enigma, apart from the promises and power of an unchanging and all-powerful God. Israel, plainly and simply, exists because God decreed she should.

When on May 14, 1948 Ben Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister, declared Israel a free and independent state, her total Jewish population numbered 640,000 souls. In thirty years she has absorbed an additional 2,400,000 people from all over the world and from every station of life. She has caused the desert to “blossom like a rose”; developed a technologically advanced nation; and simultaneously fought and won four wars for survival, though dramatically outgunned and outnumbered. Her preservation, no less than her rebirth, has been miraculous.

Peace, nonetheless, continues to be Israel’s unrealized goal. And true peace is not simply the cessation of hostilities, but a positive relationship based on justice, equity and mutual respect. Such a peace cannot be merely national and horizontal – it must first be personal and vertical. In the ultimate sense, there can be no national peace between men until there is personal peace with God. When this peace becomes a reality, the hopes, the dreams, the longings of men of good will will come to fruition through the One who is Israel’s Messiah and the world’s Deliverer.

The articles that follow are, without apology and with moral, legal and biblical justification, pro-Israel. They are not anti-Arab, for Arab welfare is intricately and irrevocably bound up in the well-being of the state of Israel. They are also Christian within the biblical framework of that wonderful but often misused and misunderstood word.

Israel’s past history, present reality and prophetic destiny touch all peoples, and are lofty themes concerning which the inspired authors of the Holy Scriptures had much to say. At no time in the past thirty-five hundred years were their prophetic utterances more contemporary than at this present hour.

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