Israel-Land of Innovation
One side of Israel you never hear about is the innovation that has given Israel the nickname of “start up nation.” Israel is one of the most inventive nations in areas of high-tech, clean energy, medicine and biotechnology, with many countries looking to tiny Israel for the latest advice or technologies in these fields. This is actually amazing when considering how short a time Israel has even been an independent nation. Israel gained independence only a short 64 years ago! In such a short amount of time, Israel has become a thriving, modern state unlike any other recently independent nations.
Even the world’s powers have pointed out Israel’s miraculous rise. For instance, the Council on Foreign Relations stated, “How is it that Israel-a country of 7.1 million people, only sixty years old, surrounded by enemies, in a constant state of war since its founding, with no natural resources-produces more start-up companies than large, peaceful, and stable countries, like Japan, China, India, Korea, Canada, and the United Kingdom?” (Excerpt from the book “Start-Up Nation” by Senor, Dan & Singer, Saul; 2009) In addition, the Economist reported in 2010 that Israel now has more high-tech start-ups and more venture capital industry than any other nation in the world, despite its many challenges and socialist leanings (“Beyond the Start-Up Nation”-Dec. 29, 2010).
So what is the source of such success? Many Israelis choose to take credit for being a particularly ingenious people who tend to succeed wherever they are put. Hence, they say, the reason for so many Jewish Nobel laureates and why so many of the world’s entrepreneurs are Jewish. However, such credit actually is taking away from the real source of Israel and the Jewish people’s success, which is a God who keeps His promise to a people who He chose to bear His name long ago.
Isaiah 66:8 refers to Israel’s miraculous birth, saying “Who has ever heard of such things; Who has ever seen things like this? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children?” In addition to this passage about the birth of Israel, God also predicted Israel’s incredible success in Isaiah 27:6: “In days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will bud and blossom and fill all the world with fruit.”
The interesting thing about Israel’s success is that many of the factors that would point to physical reasons for achievement are lacking. Israelis are not particularly disciplined people. Many Chinese and South Korean business people are exasperated when visiting with successful Israeli businesses because there is no sense of discipline or professionalism and yet these businesses are successful. It seems to blow their paradigms and assumptions out of the water, considering they are taught from childhood to focus on something and work hours on end each day towards a goal to even think of being successful! Furthermore, Israel is only semi-capitalist, with many socialist leanings, which seems to baffle many Americans as to how such innovation thrives in an environment with much governmental interference in the private sphere and very few financial benefits given to new private ventures. Furthermore, the security situation in Israel is always tenuous, with many enemies from all sides, which one would think would discourage investment. Yet, in spite of all of this, Israel is one of the most innovative of all countries!
As believers, we know that this is because God is fulfilling His promise and causing Israel and the Jewish people to thrive, in spite of their being no physically better off than any other nation and, actually, worse off than most other successful countries. When many believers come to visit Israel, this is one of the first things they notice. Despite Israel being behind the US in many comforts, Israel surprises tourists in how technologically astute and advanced it is. Many expect a more rustic place invoking ancient images or they expect a country mired in turmoil as the media often portrays Israel. Upon arrival, such people are shocked at the multi-cultural, mostly peaceful and extremely advanced nation that they step foot into. Israel has a way of challenging anyone’s preconceptions!
So, as the world continues to feature Israel as a backwards nation beset by violence and as many tourists arrive expecting to struggle to find any internet and are surprised to find greater accessibility than their own hometowns, we can praise God that He is doing exactly as He said and making Israel an advanced nation that spreads her innovations around the world. When you use your cell phone, look at your USB flash drive, use ICQ instant messaging or Babylon systems, eat tomaccio tomatoes, or hear of hydrogen powered cars and solar roof panels for heating water, realize that these are just a few of many Israeli inventions that are now commonly used or spoken about. These inventions, among others, came into existence despite all of the odds being against them and due to God’s incredible goodness!
Please pray that:
• Israelis will begin to realize that their miraculous success has come from God rather than their own strength
• Israelis will not be puffed up in pride but rather see that their rise is miraculous and not humanly possible
• Israel’s success can eventually be a testimony to the rest of the world of a God who does not forget His promises
• For the salvation of all Israel!
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