The Youngest Yet The Oldest

This year in May Israel marked her 65th birthday.  As we celebrated the birthday of America’s most valued friend and ally in the Middle East, we also reflected upon the miracle of Israel’s birth.  This 65th birthday makes it among the youngest nations on earth, but also one of the oldest.

Some four thousand years ago, God told Abraham that he would be the father of a great nation. It was, however, during the era of Moses and Joshua when the seed of Abraham grew into a nation. Many rabbis assert that the ancient Israel was birthed at Passover, when the Jewish people were delivered from 400 years of Egyptian bondage. Then the host of two million Jews headed toward their Promised Land, which they entered, conquered, and called Israel.

Israel's ancient and modern existence is nothing less than a miracle. We who celebrate Israel’s birthday know that miracles are divine acts of the Almighty God; the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We should remember that the God of Israel wrought several miracles on behalf of the Jewish people leading up to, and following, the rebirth of this incredible nation. Each divine miracle was foretold by the prophets in the Tanakh.

First, the Dispersion of the Jewish people throughout the world (Deut. 13:14-17).  This difficulty visited upon the Israelites was something God wrought that had never happened before.

Second, the survival of the Jewish people (Ezek. 34:11-12).  During almost 2,000 years of hardship and persecution, they miraculously maintained their Jewish identity and the indelible hope of returning someday to their homeland.

Third, the re-gathering of the Jewish people (Zech. 8:7-8). The Zionist movement miraculously brought several million scattered Jews back to their ancient homeland.

Fourth, the restoration of Israel (Ezek. 37:21-22). In 1948, the Jewish people declared their independence and the nation of Israel was miraculously reborn in their own ancient homeland.

Fifth, the preservation of the Jewish state (Amos 9:14-15). God has helped the Jewish people to be miraculously victorious in five wars against supposedly superior armies intent on Israel's destruction.

Sixth, the prosperity of the people and nation (Isaiah 35:1.6). Not only has the desert miraculously blossomed agriculturally, but industry and technology have made Israel one of the most prosperous nations of the world.

Seventh, the redemption of the Jewish people (Zech. 14:1,4,9). Yet future, the Messiah will come, defeat the armies of Israel's enemies, then reign over and rule a worldwide kingdom with its capital in Jerusalem.

We give the God of Israel all the praise and glory for all the miracles He has wrought. And once again, Happy Birthday, Israel.