In 1958 at the tender age of sixteen Paul McCartney penned a catchy tune called “When I’m sixty-four.” Recorded in December 1966 in the key of C major for the Sgt. Pepper album, it was speeded up on Abbey Road’s Studer J37 multi-track recorder to play in the key of D-flat, making Paul’s voice sound younger and the arrangement “more rooty tooty.”
The Beatles made use of the tune in their Cavern days, especially when the club’s electricity blew a fuse. The song penned by this sixteen-year old imagines what life will be like with the love of his life forty-eight years down the road. The delightful quality of the recording still touches listeners half a century later.
In less than a week’s time the Jewish state will turn sixty-four. When David Ben-Gurion proclaimed Israel’s national resurrection in May 1948, very few people could imagine how the Jewish state would look in 2012. Yet the numinous aspect of God restoring the Jewish people to their homeland still touches believers more than half a century later. Let’s take a quick look at some of the highlights of the last sixty-four years of this precocious, old-new nation.
Born in battle
- The modern State of Israel was born on the battlefield.
Surrounded by Islamic and Arab countries committed to strangling the Jewish state before it could be birthed, the Jewish leadership was attacked on all fronts by five of the seven Arab League countries – Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, as well as contingents from Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
The Secretary of the Arab League Abdul Rahman Azzam Pasha declared at the time, “I personally wish that the Jews do not drive us to this war, as this will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades” (www.meforum.org/3082/azzam-genocide-threat).
The Arab League’s stated goal of destruction and genocide against the Jews brings to mind the words of Bob Marley in his hit “I Shot the Sheriff,” “Sheriff John Brown always hated me, for what, I don’t know. Every time I plant a seed, he said kill it before it grow – he said kill them before they grow.”
The seven nations which attacked the fledgling State of Israel were not trying to recapture the West Bank, East Jerusalem or Gaza – for none of these areas were under Israeli control. The Arab League wanted to conquer Tel Aviv, Haifa and West Jerusalem – in short, any area that had a Jewish population. Their stated military goal was the crushing of any Jewish presence in the Promised Land – to make those territories Judenrein (a Nazi term meaning ‘cleansed of Jews’) – the destruction of Abraham’s promised seed.
Against all odds the newborn Israel Defense Forces won that war. The State of Israel withstood that first round of combat. The baby was born.
- The world’s current preoccupation with Israel’s “occupation” of the land (in biblical terms, possessing the territories promised by YHVH and Abraham to Isaac and Jacob’s seed; Genesis 25:5-6; 26:3) shows that it has failed to grasp the significance of Israel’s national resurrection. In opposing this divine work, the nations are aligning themselves against the strategic purposes and heart of the God of Jacob (Psalms 2 & 83).
Ingathering of the exiles
One of the first prophetic tasks that lay before the new Jewish state was the immediate ingathering of over one million Jewish people from over 100 countries. Many were Holocaust survivors who had managed to survive Hitler’s genocidal plans. Hundreds of thousands were Jews who had lived for centuries in Arab and Muslim lands, now being attacked and murdered by crazed mobs furious about a re-born Jewish national homeland. Many Muslims were livid that the combined military might of the Islamic Arab League’s strongest armies were soundly defeated by a ‘puny’ and rag-tag army of Jewish ‘infidels.’ The very survival of the Jewish state was seen as an unforgiveable insult to both Islam and Mohammed’s cause.
- The return of Israel’s scattered sons and daughters from the four corners of the earth – from lands whose ancient names were once Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome and Arabia – is an ongoing fulfillment of the words of the Hebrew prophets (Isaiah 11:11-16; 27:12-13; Jeremiah 16: 14-15; 30:10-11; Ezekiel 37:1-11; 39:24-29 etc.).
- This process is continuing in our day with the recent arrival in Israel of nearly one million Jews from the former Soviet Union (1989 to the present) and will expand to include all the Jewish populations of Western countries.
Unusual medical, scientific, military and creative achievements
The world’s post-1948 generation is beholding a divine drama. As Abraham’s chosen seed is being restored to Abraham’s land, the result is a creative flowering that is riveting the attention of the planet. Israeli accomplishments in medicine, science and technology are cutting-edge achievements for mankind, as the following links briefly explain:
A recent best-seller “Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle,” by Dan Senor and Saul Singer describes some of the historical and sociological factors that have contributed to these attainments (www.startupnationbook.com/; www.cfr.org/israel/start-up-nation/p20356; http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704779704574553884271802474.html).
Israel’s restoration has no parallel with any other culture or people (Numbers 23:7-12 NASB). There has been no other example of a nation who has been scattered twice by brutal exile, has returned to its ancestral homeland after 2,700 years of banishment, has restored its ancient language (biblical Hebrew), and has made the most profound per-capita contribution of any people on earth through world-shaking advances in science, medicine, technology and the humanities.
- God is waving Israel as a banner in front of all the nations (Isaiah 49:22), blessing the world through this plucky people (Genesis 26:4) and showing mankind only a faint glimmer of the international blessing He will bring through Jacob’s sons when they embrace their Messiah Yeshua with a whole heart (Isaiah 27:6; Romans 11:12, 15, 24).
Living out biblical prophecy
When God acted as the divine midwife to Israel’s birth as a nation-state in 1948, He threw down the gauntlet in the international arena. Jerusalem became a divided city for nineteen years and, for the first time in two millennia, biblical passages dealing with Jerusalem and the End of Days suddenly came into sharper focus. The land, borders and people of Israel now have become energized by a living, breathing prophetic dynamic – a magnet drawing the blundering and darkened focus of super powers, the United Nations, the Quartet, the EU and anyone else who cares to get involved.
Today the headlines of major newspapers and the leading stories on all major TV networks zoom in with a negative spin on any news concerning Israel, usually justifying its enemies’ attempts to weaken and destroy her.
- The return of the Jewish people and their restoration to their Promised Land has become a nearly obsessional focus for a world accustomed to ignoring God and His prophetic word.
World leaders regularly home in on Israel as “the biggest impediment to world peace” (www.commentarymagazine.com/article/israel-today-the-west-tomorrow/). One striking and current example paints Israel’s attempts to thwart Iran’s megalomaniac drive to obtain nuclear weapons as the greatest danger to the world, rather than truthfully stating that the Islamic Republic’s brazen public declaration of genocidal intent against the Jewish state (and threats against Sunni, European and American interests) is the main menace in the Middle East.
- Count on increased world pressure on Israel to retreat, to withdraw, to back down and to capitulate to its sworn Islamist enemies.
- Count on Israel to continue fighting a war against its enemies – sometimes openly, but often in the shadows – and to take whatever measures it deems necessary to weaken and defeat its genocidal foes.
Prepare for world galvanization
- Every Islamic or pan-Arab attempt to dismember the Jewish state has led to war, and in most cases the result has been an improvement in Israel’s strategic situation.
- Recent international pressures on Israel to withdraw from its ancient patrimony (the falsely called ‘peace processes’) are slowly pushing Israel into a corner, undercutting political support and turning world opinion against the Jewish state.
- In the same way that sharks who smell blood gather and circle the intended victim, so the Islamic world waits and hopes “for this bully to fall asleep” (as Bob Dylan aptly said in his sizzling and prophetic “Neighborhood Bully”).
- Israel is that rare and unifying target that fuses the rage of leftist radicals, right-wing neo-fascists and Islamist jihadis. This momentum has the makings of an anti-Christ world movement.
- Pray for the peace of Jerusalem and ask God to do good to her (Psalm 122: 6-9; Genesis 12:3).
- Ask the Lord of the harvest to gather in the good sheaves in Israel (Luke 3:9, 15-18; Amos 9:8-15), to save the remnant of His Jewish people (Jeremiah 30:1-10; 31:1-10). When the Breath of Life enters into the regathered nation of Israel (Ezekiel 37:4-14), the result will be life from the dead for the entire world (Romans 11:15), the fullness of the New Covenant (Romans 11:12) and times of refreshing for mankind as well as the restoration of all that the Hebrew prophets have promised (Acts 3:19-21)
- Petition YHVH to confound the anti-Semitic plans of the nations (Psalm 83:9-18; 129:5; Micah 7:15-17; Zechariah 10:5-6) and to give the shepherds of Israel wisdom and divine strategies (Zechariah 12:5-9; 14:14).
Your prayers and support hold up our arms and are the enablement of God to us in the work He has called us to do!
In Messiah Yeshua,
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