Just a few weeks ago, I was sitting down with my wife and our kids to celebrate the wonderful feast of Pesach (Passover). This year, I had the privilege of leading my family through the Seder meal; it was a wonderful time of remembering God’s faithfulness to His promises. While not a traditional way to open the Seder, I chose to start by reading two passages from the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah:
“Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Can a land be born in one day? Can a nation be brought forth all at once?” Isaiah 66:8a
“Therefore behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when it will no longer be said, ‘As the LORD lives, who brought up the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’ but, ‘As the LORD lives, who brought up the sons of Israel from the land of the north and from all the countries where He had banished them.’ For I will restore them to their own land which I gave to their fathers.” Jeremiah 16:14-15
As we celebrated Passover, I reminded my family of the great privilege we have to live in times where we see God’s faithfulness to His people once again; we get to retell the story of God’s deliverance of the Children of Israel from slavery to freedom in the Promised Land while living in the modern day Promised Land. The reestablishment of the Jewish State in the Land of Israel is indeed one of the greatest miracles of modern history! A few days ago, while talking to a Jewish man in England, I was faced with the challenge of proving to him that God exists. I replied by asking him if he could explain the miracle of the Jewish people once again inhabiting the Land that was promised to them thousands of years ago. He couldn’t argue with me on that point…
On May 14th 1948, David Ben Gurion declared these words: “ACCORDINGLY WE, MEMBERS OF THE PEOPLE’S COUNCIL, REPRESENTATIVES OF THE JEWISH COMMUNITY OF ERETZ-ISRAEL AND OF THE ZIONIST MOVEMENT, ARE HERE ASSEMBLED ON THE DAY OF THE TERMINATION OF THE BRITISH MANDATE OVER ERETZ-ISRAEL AND, BY VIRTUE OF OUR NATURAL AND HISTORIC RIGHT AND ON THE STRENGTH OF THE RESOLUTION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY, HEREBY DECLARE THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A JEWISH STATE IN ERETZ-ISRAEL, TO BE KNOWN AS THE STATE OF ISRAEL.”
Every time I listen to the recording of this declaration, I am deeply touched by one line, which I believe is the key to the entire declaration: “PLACING OUR TRUST IN THE ‘ROCK OF ISRAEL’”… David Ben Gurion acknowledged the fact (knowingly or unknowingly) that this step of faith, which was taken at that time, was taken out of a mere trust in God.
It is because of God and His faithfulness alone that we can celebrate Israel’s Independence today, and it ought to be a wonderful reminder to us all of His existence, and His faithfulness to keep His promises.
I am honored and thankful to God that I can live in such a time as this; I am honored and thankful to God that I am part of the fulfillment of His promises; I am honored and thankful to God that He gave me the eyes to witness this great miracle.
It is my hope and prayer that as the people of Israel celebrate “Yom Ha’Atzmaut” (Independence Day) this week, that they will also have the eyes to see this in the same way. I pray that the eyes of the world will be open to this truth as well!
Let us take the time this week to marvel and be thankful for God’s faithfulness to His promises.
Yom Ha’Atzmaut Sameach!
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