Israel at 71
It’s staggering, when you think about it. Seventy-one years!
When David Ben Gurion stood at a mic on the afternoon of May 14, 1948 in Tel Aviv, he told the world that Israel had re-entered history.
The founders of the state weren’t even sure what to call the new state at first. Among the possibles: Zion.
Finally, they settled on “Israel,” and Bible prophecy rocketed forward at warp speed. Today, Israel is a vibrant miracle.
We know what the Romans did to the area 2,000 years ago. The expulsion of Jews from their ancient homeland has been an open wound ever since.
By 1850, there were about 10,000 Jews in Palestine. The village of Rosh Pinah (the “headstone” of Psalm 118) was established in 1882, the year of the largest influx of Jewish immigrants to the area. That began large-scale modern Jewish settlement in the Land of Israel.
Just days before statehood in 1948, Golda Meir made a clandestine trip to meet with Transjordan’s King Abdullah. A bit of their conversation is quite fascinating, as she told it:
“‘Why are you in such a hurry to proclaim your State?’ he asked me. ‘What is the rush? You are so impatient!’ I told him that I didn’t think that a people who had waited 2,000 years should be described as being ‘in a hurry’, and he seemed to accept that. ‘Don’t you understand,’ I said, ‘that we are your only allies in this region? The others are all your enemies.’ ‘Yes,’ he said, ‘I know that. But what can I do? It is not up to me.’ So then I said to him: ‘You must know that if war is forced upon us, we will fight and we will win.’ He sighed and again said ‘Yes. I know that. It is your duty to fight. But why don’t you wait a few years? Drop your demands for free immigration. I will take over the whole country and you will be represented in my parliament. I will treat you very well and there will be no war.’
“I tried to explain to him that his plan was impossible. ‘You know all that we have done and how hard we have worked,’ I said. ‘Do you think we did all that just to be represented in a foreign parliament? You know what we want and to what we aspire. If you can offer us nothing more than you have just done, then there will be a war and we will win it. But perhaps we can meet again— after the war and after there is a Jewish State.’”
And when President Truman recognized the new Jewish state hours after the Tel Aviv declaration, the world woke to a new reality. Very few understood the prophetic implications (fewer do now, I’m afraid), but the fact is, God had brought about the very thing He promised to do.
Let us celebrate with our Jewish and Israeli friends, and remember when we get down that God always keeps His promises.
Never let that thought leave your mind and heart.