Why Israel Matters to the World
It’s undeniable that Israel matters to the world. But why? We need to consider there is something Sovereign at work. Something in the Bible makes it clear.
“Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.” – Isaiah 60:3
From the western viewpoint, Isaiah 60 is often referred to from the perspective of “the Church.” And that the world will come to the light that we, as Christians, have within us. While that may be partially true, this is a classic replacement theology view.
Isaiah 60 was written to and about Israel. If we read the rest of chapter 60, it explains how the nations will minister to Israel and help her return to her land. It is happening today. The end of chapter 60 says this:
“The smallest one will become a clan, and the least one a mighty nation. I, the LORD, will hasten it in its time.” (Isa 60:22)
This tiny, persecuted people have become a mighty nation, and it seems the Lord has “hastened” it in our day. As verse 2 says, a deep darkness is coming upon the earth. Yet the Lord’s glory is beginning to appear upon Israel — even if they do not yet recognize it. The people of Israel are standing out among the nations.
Bible Prophesies Coming to Life in Israel
We live in a unique time in history. The words of Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Daniel, Isaiah, and other prophets are literally coming to pass in our day. Watching Israel, we see Bible prophesies coming to pass before our eyes. We are able to follow the unfolding of biblical prophecies today! – This is something that believers even 80 years ago would not be able to say.
One of the most dramatic examples of this is in Ezekiel 36. This chapter is a prophecy, not to people or kings, but to the land of Israel. Ezekiel was told to speak “to the mountains and to the hills, to the ravines and to the valleys” (Ezekiel 36:6). What specifically?
That it will put forth fruit, that man and beast would be multiplied on it, and the waste cities will be rebuilt when His people Israel returns to the land. Since the time of Ezekiel, this land was conquered and reconquered over 20 times. It never became a homeland for any other people, nor would the land produce for any other people group.
Only 150 years ago, Mark Twain wrote about the fertile Jezreel valley:
“There is not a solitary village throughout its whole extent-not for thirty miles in either direction. There are two or three small clusters of Bedouin tents, but not a single permanent habitation. One may ride ten miles hereabouts and not see ten human beings…. Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes…. desolate and unlovely…”
How is Israel Different?
Today, less than 80 years since her rebirth, Israel exports 1.5 billion flowers and vegetables to Europe and the USA annually. Most of them are grown in the desert. Vineyards are being replanted in Samaria and are winning international awards.
Tel Aviv has become the #1 tech start-up location in the world in less than 70 years. The land is responding to Israeli sovereignty in the most dramatic way just as the prophets foretold. These dramatic changes can be noticed with bare eyes, just driving around the country.
Due to new Israeli desert farming technology, formerly dry lands are now green with orchards, greenhouses and small farms. The desert is literally blooming and “filling the world with fruit” as the prophets said (Isaiah 27:6; 35:1).
In Israel’s first 70 years, her nation has accomplished what others have not achieved in centuries. For example, twenty-four percent of Israel’s workforce hold university degrees. That ranks her third in the industrialized world, after the United States and Holland. It is wroth adding that 12 percent hold advanced degrees.
Israel leads the world in the number of scientists and technicians in the workforce. That is, with 145 per 10,000, as opposed to 85 in the U.S., over 70 in Japan, and less than 60 in Germany. With over 25 percent of its workforce employed in technical professions, Israel places first in this category as well.
Why Israel Matters to the World
Israel, the 100th smallest country, with less than 1/1000th of the world’s population, can make claim to the following:
— When Golda Meir was elected Prime Minister of Israel in 1969, she became the world’s second elected female leader in modern times.
— When the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya was bombed in 1998, Israeli rescue teams were on the scene within a day – and saved three victims from the rubble.
— An Israeli company called Patus Ltd. has donated thousands of its OdorScreen olfactory gel products. This was to counter the crippling odors faced by on-scene Tsunami disaster workers.
— Israel was the first nation in the world to adopt the Kimberly Process, an international standard that certifies diamonds as “conflict free.”
— An Israeli company is providing the technology behind an American all-electric bus for urban use.
— In southern California’s Mojave desert, an Israeli company was the first to develop and install a large-scale solar-powered and fully functional electricity generating plant.
To learn more fascinating facts about Israel, go here.
The People and the Land
Never before in human history has a people group lived on a specific region of land, were forcibly removed, and then returned to the same piece of land 70 years later. And then, only to be forcibly removed again and scattered to the ends of the earth… To then return again – to the same piece of real estate 2000 years later.
Those returning are not only of the same blood line, but hold to the same religious scriptures and customs as their ancestors. That includes Jewish people scattered over all continents. And it continues to this day.
In 1984 and 1991, Israel airlifted a total of 22,000 Ethiopian Jews at risk in Ethiopia to safety in Israel. No people group in earth’s history even comes close to this. When the Roman Empire conquered a region, they took the captives and spread them throughout their Empire. They did that to ensure that within a couple generations every family would assimilate to their new culture.
The Jewish people are the only ancient people group in history to retain their identity while away from their original homeland. Through the last 2000 years, this region was conquered and reconquered.
While the land had many masters, it never became a homeland for any other people group who would cultivate it. Within the last 100 years of substantial Jewish immigration to their ancient homeland, the land is changing dramatically.
Modern History of Israel
As if that wasn’t enough, there is also the Hebrew language. It is the only tongue on earth that was considered a “dead language” which then was revived for unifying speech.
Mankind was not able to do that for neither Latin nor Aramaic nor any other ancient language in history. Hebrew is the only one. Today, it is being studied by millions and is the national language of the Jewish people.
The modern history of Israel is simply miraculous, starting with the war of independence in 1948. According to the book “O Jerusalem,” on the first day of the war, Israel had no official army. On the first day of fighting Israel had no planes, one tank, a few armored vehicles, and a couple cannons. They didn’t have enough guns for the people or enough bullets for guns.
The Jews were outnumbered four to one. That’s four well-trained and well-equipped Arab soldiers to every one Jewish immigrant or citizen fighter. What the world expected to be a quick one to two-week conquest, turned into an agreement eight months later to end the fighting.
The documentary “Against All Odds” states that the Kremlin and Pentagon do not study the wars of Israel due to their largely improbable outcomes. David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister and well known atheist, stated “in Israel, to be a realist, you must believe in miracles.”
Why should Israel matter to us?
Why should we pay close attention to Israel? At the very least, we cannot say that Israel is just like every other nation. We need to consider there is something Sovereign at work.
There are tangible things that God is doing with Israel and the Jewish people that were meant to be a sign to the world. The only thing that ties the above facts together is this. The Jewish people are the only family that God of the Bible made an everlasting covenant with.
What is happening right now with the land of Israel was foretold by the prophet Ezekiel, when “My People Israel” (Ezekiel 36:8-12) return to the land. We are watching a nation do things that no other nation have done before. All of these are culminating in our day. They came back to their land, their language, and their heritage.
But this is not so we fixate our eyes on Israel, but on God!
“Then the nations that are left round about you will know that I, the LORD, have rebuilt the ruined places and planted that which was desolate; I, the LORD, have spoken and will do it.” – Ezekiel 36:36
God is doing this so the nations will look to Him. Let’s readjust our gaze.
Estimated reading time: 9 minutes
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