In Israel, holidays and anniversaries are customarily celebrated according to the Hebrew calendar, not the Julian calendar. Hence, our 70th anniversary was observed here with a lot of hooplah last month. Nevertheless, yesterday, by international dating, marks exactly 70 years since Ben Gurion’s declaration of Israel’s rebirth on May 14, 1948. Can you imagine the rejoicing in heaven? What an unlikely script God writes.
He calls a Chaldean named Abraham to go where he’s never been. Then God announces that this man’s seed will be a blessing to the entire world. After that he’s required to sacrifice the very son who carries that seed—and the sacrifice occurs on a completely obscure mountain. Fast forward a thousand years. That mountain is now the City of David—capital of an empire ruled by Abraham’s descendant. Over the next half a millennium, through the treachery of idolatry, the kingdom is now divided. Both parts are taken captive, first by Assyria, then by Babylon. Jerusalem is destroyed in 586 BCE and seventy years later returning exiles rebuild her. She is again razed in 70CE by the Romans. Then, improbably, and violating every natural law of the rise and fall of nations, Israel is reinhabited 1,800 years later, the Hebrew language resurrected, and the words of the ancient prophets are fulfilled. The nation is officially restored, true to God’s covenant promises to Abraham 4000 years earlier, on this day, seventy years ago!
This country is a MIRACLE. And it has happened, IS happening during our lifetime. What’s more, He brought my family and millions more back to this sacred land. What next? We know that Israel’s Messiah, our Yeshua, will return in person, to rule and reign over all the earth from Jerusalem. Meanwhile, there’s a lot of struggle. Enemy nations want to wipe us off the map. Within Israel there are huge divides (Secular vs. Orthodox; native-born vs. immigrant; economically challenged vs. wealthy financiers). And, sadly, within the community of Messianic believers rifts also exist. “How shall we then live?” Peter asks (paraphrase of 2 Peter 3:11).
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the Wind—the Wind of the Spirit. Ruach as you know, is the Hebrew word that means both wind and spirit. How apt. We must now return to the seeking mode of the disciples as the Day of Shavuot (or Pentecost) approached. How fitting that we are mere days away from that feast—the Feast of Weeks (Shavuot in Hebrew). And, as Yeshua told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father, I feel that we are also to enter a time of waiting before Him, humbling ourselves, seeking His face (2Chronicles 7:14!), and expecting a new season of power for witness and for life.
To top it all off, there was a serious downpour today in the early morning hours, here in the Galilee,. On May 14, 2018, entirely unseasonal rains greeted us. Could this be a sign from heaven? Maybe. It sure contradicts the weather patterns we’ve observed for the past 25 years. I believe God wants to encourage us. While the nations are raging (see Psalm 2) and beating their war drums, the Lord is reminding us that He is in charge, and even finds this an occasion for laughter (Psalm 2:4).
Well, those are my reflections. Being born less than four months before Israel’s rebirth, I can’t escape the parallel. As my small human life has unfolded, the revitalized life of Am Yisrael (the people of Israel) has also unfolded. I can’t help but feel that for both of us, and for you…..the best is yet to come. It may not be easy, but it will surpass anything we can imagine of the manifestation of God’s glory.