- Jim Fletcher
A Reason for Encouragement
One of the great things about what Todd and Terry have
accomplished with Rapture Ready is that the site is a source of great
encouragement to true believers. I know it is for me.
The message board discussions related to the individual and
corporate trouble that Bible-believing Christians are going through at present
got me thinking (again) about Israel.
As each of us experience our own personal
trials, let us remember that in the darkness, when we wonder if God is there, or
has time for us, remember what I’m about to tell you.
Not long ago, I was having dinner with a
highly placed Israeli friend, at his Jerusalem
home. We were talking about the usual things — politics, terrorism, Zionism.
This is a man who has a reputation for being secular, yet a Zionist.
Out of the blue, he said,
“Do you know what makes us [the Jews] different from everyone else?” Of
course, there are several possible answers, but I shook my head.
“At every moment in our history when we are
faced with annihilation, there is a ‘Mystery of History’ that intervenes and
I was blown away. What a confirmation of
Scripture, where God repeatedly says He will save His people! It doesn’t matter
what they do, what their enemies do…He alone keeps watch and intervenes and
saves them. Every time.
This little encounter is but one that
encourages me that God is really in control of everything. His power and majesty
uplift nations, while at the same time comforting the single mother who has lost
her job and can’t rely on regular child-support payments.
The god of Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra
and Marianne Williamson can’t do any of that, because he doesn’t exist.
Here are some other reasons ours does.
We know from history that the Assyrians,
Babylonians, Persians, Romans, Nazis, Russians, etc., have persecuted and tried
to annihilate the Jews. But as Mark Twain once said, all those empires sit in
twilight now, while the Jew beat them all.
On a day of bright sunshine, I was visiting
the renovated Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. Emerging
from the sobering exhibits, I found myself on a plaza. To my left was a group of
Israeli soldiers listening to a lecture about the Holocaust. Next to them was a
ghastly iron sculpture highlighting the pain and suffering of the Jewish people.
It was indeed very sobering.
But then I looked past them, toward a valley
and hills. The whole place was jam-packed with Jewish homes. Each white home
with a red-tiled roof. Thousands of them. There are thousands of homes all
across the Land of Israel
today, despite the efforts of the aforementioned ancient kingdoms, not to
mention modern psychopaths like Yasser Arafat.
Haman ended up swinging from the end of a
rope. Hitler blew his brains out. Arafat is, as they say in the Bible belt,
“deader-than-a-doornail.” Stalin ended his miserable life on his deathbed,
grasping at some unseen terror.
What did God promise in Scripture? Think of
Ezekiel 37 or Amos 9. Or countless other passages. He said He would bring the
They are back to stay.
Then I remember the famed Entebbe
rescue operation. For a future column, I’ll write in considerably more detail,
but just know that the rescue of hostages in 1976 was so miraculous, I don’t
believe it can be explained as anything other than supernatural intervention.
The Mystery of History did it.
Over 100 men, women, and children were saved
by members of Israel’s
elite Sayeret Matkal commando unit. They eliminated the terrorists in a matter
of minutes, after flying in the middle of the night to Africa. They then returned to Israel
and a stunned international community.
A hundred things had to go right. A hundred
things went right. It is still considered the most daring and successful rescue
Another thing. Did God promise through the
prophets that Israel
would have strong leaders in the last days that would bring them peace? No, he
promised the opposite.
What do we see today? Formerly principled men
like Ehud Olmert who makes insane concessions to the Palestinians, which only
ensures the perpetuity of war in the region.
has made a series of blunders in the past two decades that can only be described
as catastrophic. Yet the student of the Bible will recognize that this is the
way it must be, to pave the way for the Prince of Peace.
If you have not had the opportunity to tour Israel,
or you never will, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter because these places and
people are there. The dry bones have
flesh and muscle on them and they are breathing. The waste places have been
Everything is according to schedule.
So when you are feeling blue or even
hopeless, remember the miracle, Israel.
It should serve as a powerful reminder to you that our personal God, who loves
us, will listen when we need our own miracle.
Jim Fletcher is a member of the executive
committee of the National Christian Leadership Conference for Israel (NCLCI). He
can be reached at email@example.com