Keep Your Eyes on Israel – Ancient Prophecies Fulfilled in Israel Today

My last post described the survival of the Jews against all odds. Why should that matter to us? Because it proves God’s power and patience toward those of us He loves! In Ezekiel 36:24, He promised the Jews that despite centuries of sin and suffering, “I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land.” Yet as recently as 100 years ago, that was not the case. The Jews had wandered among the nations for 1800 years without a home of their own or any hope that they would ever have one. But today there are now 4 million Jews living in the land of their forefathers making the modern nation of Israel one of the most incredible miracles of all time. How it happened can be summed up in the lives of two great men and two tragic events.

The first man was Theodor Herzl, a Jewish journalist born in Budapest. After witnessing many hate crimes against his people and no government protection, he concluded that no Jew could ever be safe outside his own land. So in 1896, he wrote a book called The Jewish State urging his fellow Jews to work to establish their own nation. The next year, he organized a conference with that goal, laying the groundwork for what became known as “Zionism.” At that conference, Herzl predicted that within 50 years, the Jews would have their own nation. He missed the date by one year. The obstacle in their path was the Turks who had occupied the Holy Land for almost 400 years and wanted no part of a Jewish homeland. Then the unexpected happened. WWI broke out and through the efforts of “Lawrence of Arabia,” the Turks were driven out of Palestine.

The British victory in WWI was due in large part to Chaim Weizmann, a Jewish chemist who helped build the British munitions industry. Following the war, he was asked by the prime minister how he’d like to be rewarded. Instead of asking for a personal favor, he asked that England, now in control of Palestine, give the Jews their own homeland. He agreed and in 1917 issued the Balfour Declaration stating that Great Britain would look with favor on the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. That was all well and good, but the fact is not many Jews wanted to live in Israel at that time. The number of Jews in Palestine in 1918 was 50,000 compared to half a million when they declared their independence thirty years later. The Jews were comfortable living among the nations. They hadn’t witnessed the hate crimes Herzl had seen. But Hitler’s death camps soon woke them up to the real danger. World War I provided the place to return. World War II provided the incentive and international support to do so.

Some will object at this point, “The Jews have returned in large number to their homeland, but that doesn’t fulfill the prophecy because the Bible says when they return, it’ll be in faith!” That’s the opinion of orthodox rabbis. They don’t accept the modern state of Israel a fulfillment of prophecy. They say the only One who can regather His people in faith is Messiah. I agree. The final regathering of the Jews will take place in faith at Messiah’s return. But what many overlook is that the Bible predicts two returns of the Jews in the latter days. One will be in faith, but the first will be in unbelief. Ezekiel 37 says, “The bones came together, bone to bone. I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.” Why no breath? Breath is a symbol of the Holy Spirit indicating that when the Jews first return to their land, as they have today, it will be in unbelief without the Spirit of God living in their hearts.

Next time we’ll look at the miracles that have worked to make Israel a great nation. But first I return to the point I made at the outset. Why should we care about this? Because of what it says about the incredible patience of God! For 20 centuries He’s waited for His people to accept His Son as Messiah. But He hasn’t cast them away because of their unbelief. He has restored them to their ancient homeland with gracious plans for their future. What hope that ought to give us who try His patience! For it means no matter how often you’ve sinned against Him in the past, you can return to Him today if you’ll repent and believe. And it also proves His power to answer your prayers against all odds. If He can keep His people intact and bring them home after wandering the earth for 1878 years, what can possibly keep Him from working all things together for your good? So trust Him no matter what you face today, knowing He is good and able to do it.

5 responses to “Keep Your Eyes on Israel – Ancient Prophecies Fulfilled in Israel Today

  1. And a HUGE A MEN to that! Thanky oU!

  2. Pastor Gary,
    Thank you for your teaching and for making this series so interesting.

  3. Wonderful teachings tonight!! Thanks for being such a wonderful teacher of the Lord!! We are so blessed you stayed to lead us!! May the Lord bless you both!!

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