Yom Ha’atzmaut: Celebrate the Miracle of Israel @ 71
On Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel celebrates 71 years since the modern state was reborn. The celebration of Israel’s independence day marks a milestone in the miracle story of the nation’s return to their ancient homeland that was prophesied more than 2,600 years ago. Ezekiel received the prophecy living in Babylon as an exile:
“Thus says the Lord God: ‘When I have gathered the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and am hallowed in them in the sight of the Gentiles, then they will dwell in their own land which I gave to My servant Jacob’” (Ezek. 28:25).
While the ultimate fulfillment will be associated with the Messianic Kingdom, the initial regathering back to Israel’s ancient homeland is well underway today. There is a progression to the prophecy of Ezekiel that is unfolding before our eyes.
For two millennia, the Jewish people were scattered across the globe. In the late 1800s, however, a Zionist vision began to blossom in the Jewish community through men like Leon Pinsker, Rabbi Hirsch Kalisher and Theodore Herzl, the father of Zionism.
Simultaneously at the turn of the 20th century, Bible-believing Christians began recognizing and acting upon the centrality of Israel in God’s purposes. Christian Zionists in Great Britain like Lord Anthony Ashley Cooper, Earl of Shaftsbury, Lord James Balfour and David Lloyd-George were instrumental in reestablishing the Jewish people in their God-given homeland. They were men who held a deep reverence and love for the Bible.
Both streams of Zionism converged in the rebirth of the modern nation in 1948. Miraculously after seven decades, the Jewish people continue to return to their ancient homeland. Today the Jewish community in Israel is 6.5 million strong and comprises 46% of the world’s Jewish population. As of December 30, 2018, Israel welcomed some 29,600 immigrants primarily from Russia, Ukraine, North America, France, United Kingdom and Brazil. (1)
The prophet Jeremiah also foresaw the current development in God’s plan and purpose for Israel. In that context, Jeremiah encourages the nations or non-Jewish world to rejoice in what God is doing!
“Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations; proclaim, give praise, and say, ‘O Lord, save Your people, the remnant of Israel!’” (Jer. 31:7).
The context is provided a few verses later,
“Hear the word of the Lord, O nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him as a shepherd does his flock’” (v.10).
People of faith are explicitly instructed to declare to the world that God who scattered Israel in the Diaspora has an observable plan to bring them back to the land given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We are witnesses of the preliminary stages of God’s promise to regather the Jewish people to their ancient homeland.
Some within the faith community are spiritually desensitized to the progression of God’s prophetic purposes and sadly have turned away from Israel and the veracity of the Bible. Biblically authentic Christians recognize the miracle of Israel’s rebirth as a fulfillment of the prophetic Word and respond in faith by standing in solidarity with the State of Israel and God’s Chosen People.
Ezekiel prophesied that when Gentiles hallow—revere, respect and bless—the Jewish people, God would return them to their ancient homeland. Are you familiar enough with God’s Word to grasp the significance of the times in which we live?
Use Israel’s 71st Independence Day to renew your passion for the Bible. It’s time for the nations to not just hear the word of the Lord, but declare it across the globe. Don’t let the day pass without thanking God for the fulfillment of prophecy. Yom Ha’atzmaut is the day for all people of faith to celebrate the miracle of Israel!
1) “Israel’s 2018 immigration figures reveal 5% rise in Aliyah,” Y-net News, December 30, 2018.
1) The Israeli flag waves over Masada. (Photo credit: Courtesy, Lin Applegate/Enhancement, MKM Portfolios)
Copyright © Charles E. McCracken 2018, devotional comments only. Repost/Reprint with permission from the author. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.