If I asked you to identify the most miraculous nation, the most controversial nation, the nation most important to both the history and the future of the world, what would you answer? The United States of American? No. We have made history, we have stirred things up during our meager 200 years, and true, either our recovery or our demise will affect what happens on this planet. But the most important, most pivotal nation is tiny – only about 8,000 square miles, (smaller than Massachusetts) with only 7 million inhabitants (similar to the population of New York City), yet everything pivots around it.
I speak of Israel. To ignore Israel is to miss out on one of the greatest wonders of the world. Israel began as a small nomadic family around 2500 B.C., by c1440 B.C. she had become a full-fledged nation with her own land, her own law, her own culture. She had a population of about 2 million. At her inception God made some promises to Abraham, the first Jew, whom He had led out of Chaldea and into the core of what we now call Israel, a piece of land at the cross-roads of the world. God promised him, a childless man in his 90’s, as many offspring as there are stars in the sky. He pledged to these guaranteed descendants a chunk of land stretching from the Nile to the Euphrates. He swore that Abraham’s progeny would save the world. These promises are known as the Abrahamic Covenant. Also part of this covenant is God’s promise that He would “bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee.” (Genesis 12) And so He has.
Israel has suffered at the hands of nation after nation who have tried to do away with her – on purpose, with “malice aforethought.” The Egyptians nearly did away with her before she even became an actual nation, enslaving the Jews for fear that their burgeoning prosperity would eclipse the power of the Pharaohs. We all know how well that worked out. Ten plagues and the whole Egyptian army later, the Jews walked away across the Red Sea (some sources make the case for it being the Reed Sea) and into their freedom. Egypt has not been a world power since.
Assyria, once the most feared and powerful nation on earth lost 185,000 of its soldiers outside of Jerusalem in 701 B.C. The accounts of this siege vary somewhat, but most agree on that number of Assyrians dying suddenly during the campaign. Some attribute the deaths to disease, some to mice coming out of the fields and eating the Assyrian bowstrings; the biblical account gives the credit to the Angel of the Lord. But history agrees on this – Assyria has amounted to nothing since.*
Look at what happened to Spain post Torquemada – it was once the greatest power on earth, but a hundred years after it had expelled, imprisoned, and forced conversions of as many as 800,000 Jews, it had destroyed its own economy and been defeated by Queen Elizabeth. It has never regained its world-power status and is currently looking a bankruptcy.
Check out Germany – well, Europe in general. Since the Holocaust Europe has been inundated with Muslim immigrants who have splintered European society and drained the coffers of most European nations – nations that without this dangerous, worthless immigration – would not even be replacing its own population, a death knell for any society.
I could go on and on. Conversely, those nations who have stood staunchly on Israel’s flank have been mightily blessed. We are the best example of that phenomenon. Note that as our nation pulls away from Israel’s support we are hit time after time with horrible disasters (When I looked this up on line I got over 7 million results.). Cause and effect is hard to prove, but the correlations are very interesting.
Now we have all the nations of the Middle East loudly declaring their intention to remove Israel and kill all Jews. That didn’t work out so well in 1967. In fact, there isn’t a Muslim nation anywhere that is prosperous, free, inviting. They are all stuck in the Dark Ages – and I do mean DARK. That won’t get any better.
We should also look at Israel’s accomplishments. The Jews are, in fact, the chosen people. (I never use that phrase without seeing Tevye shaking his fist at the heavens and saying, “I know, I know. We are Your chosen people. But, once in a while, can't You choose someone else?”) Considering the world’s repeated attempts to do them in, the fact that not only Jews still exist, and Israel now exists again, is a miracle and proof that God keeps His promises.
But did you know that of the over 660 Nobel Prizes that have been awarded in the last 100 years, 160 (24%) have gone to Jews, in spite of the fact that Jews make up less than 3% of the world’s population? The current state of Israel, which began in 1948 in a sparsely inhabited desert with a motley group Jewish refugees who straggled in from all over the world, has become a model nation. Israel is now the only free nation in the Middle East, by far the most prosperous. The Jews have made the desert bloom; land that the Arabs could do nothing with is now green and productive. Jews have led the way in science, math, economics, medicine, entertainment, literature and music. Their contributions to the world are breathtaking. All while the rest of the world has been trying to kill them.
They have been on this earth as Jews for 4,500 years. They have maintained a sense of continuity and community for all that time even though for the last 2,000 of those years they were living as outcasts in the world, separated from their homeland. They continue to study their holy literature, the Torah, the history books, the major and minor prophets, the poetry books, and they celebrate the feast days that were first instituted 3,400 years ago. They can trace their lineage back to the original 12 tribes – the sons of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham. They and they alone, as a national entity, have an assured future of at least 1,007 years.
The Jews are the chosen people – whether Tevye likes it that way or not, whether Muslims like it that way or not. The Church has not replaced them. Islam will flail away and finally be destroyed. But all the promises God made to Abraham will eventually be fulfilled. The fact that Israel has been re-gathered is one of those promises in prophecy and there they are – against all odds. Someday – soon, I think – they will occupy all of the land God granted to them thousands of years ago.
A thorough study of the Bible – New Testament included – verifies that everything revolves around Israel. Our savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, was a Jew, and He did save the world. Those who believe in Him – Jew or Gentile, are forever saved. Jesus, Himself, will return to save the Jews, to rescue Israel, and in so doing, will bring in the only Utopia that will ever work – the Millennium. A thousand years of perfect society, perfect environment.
Meanwhile, Israel is just a tiny nation living in the dark shadow of Islamic evil, hoping that we will come to their rescue, should they need it. I certainly hope we will; before long we’ll be desperate for the blessing that results from supporting the Jews – the Jews whose continued presence and prosperity proves that God exists – there is no other way to understand human history.
* See the poetry section for Lord Byron's poetic version of this story.