29 May 2023

Israel stands alone

Deuteronomy 7 tells us that God chose the Jewish people as His Chosen, but not because they were superior to others. He selected them to be a light unto the nations, and with that came blessings and curses.

I have long thought though that Israel’s “aloneness” is not always such a bad thing. We know from prophecy that in the end, Israel will find herself alone in a hailstorm of fire from surrounding nations and their global confederates. If not for the intervention of the Lord, she would disappear.

But she won’t disappear.

I was reminded of that all during my recent trip to the country. And I wanted to tell you about one particular place I visited that at first glance is not a destination spot for tourists/pilgrims, but I think it should be.

The Armored Corps Museum at Latrun was nothing short of amazing. Latrun of course is the scene of fierce battles during the War of Independence in 1948. Ariel Sharon was almost killed there when he was pinned down in open country. He survived of course and probably saved Israel in 1973 with his daring crossing of the Suez Canal, which cut Egypt’s legs out from under her. I am certain God was with Sharon in ’48; he had many things left to do.

But here is the mystery of Israel.

When you visit, you are aware—all the time—that Israel’s past is swirling together with the present and even the future. I say it all the time. Ancient sites are rebuilt as new cities. The desert is certainly blooming like a rose. The Knesset has 120 members because that’s how many elders led during the Babylonian exile. The people speak Hebrew, a dead language until 100 years ago, after 2,000 years of exile. Archaeological sites sprout up all over. Literally right next to the City of David dig is the fortress of Antiochus Epiphanes.

And when I visited the tank museum at Latrun (perhaps the repository of more tanks than any other museum in the world; hundreds dot the landscape, ranging from early tanks to American Shermans to a Russian T-72, and modern Israeli tanks), I made my way onto the roof of a building used during the British Mandate, as a headquarters. One almost gasps on the roof, gazing out over the Ayalon Valley.

This vista has special significance, since it is the site of Joshua’s famous battle with the Amorites! Yes, it was here that the fearless Israelite commander asked God for extra daylight in order to finish-off his enemies. No other country in the world has this kind of history. Modern battles fought on ground where ancient ones raged. It was profound looking at that scene.

And it doesn’t matter to me at all that the critics mock the historicity of such events. I believe 100 percent that Joshua’s Long Day happened. Just like I believe Jonah sailed from Jaffa and was swallowed by a large fish.

I guarantee you the stories and narratives created by the critics—many of them embracing evolutionary theory—are far crazier than biblical accounts featuring 1,000-year-old men and talking animals. I don’t have to cower in the face of the critics. The Bible is defensible and accurate. You can stand at Latrun and see easily how the battlefield below accommodated both the Israelites and the modern Israelis.

In the Valley of Elah, one can easily visualize the battle lines drawn between Goliath’s Philistines and David’s Israelites. The hills on which each army headquartered are only a few hundred yards apart. The dry streambed where David selected five stones is just behind the Israelite hill.

It all makes sense. Our faith makes sense and is defensible.

And in all this history, Israel is affirming Bible prophecy. Increasingly, the country is isolated internationally. In a normal world, this would be alarming. God though has promised He will preserve His people.

This week it was announced that Iran has tested a new long-range missile, the Kheibar. The Islamic terror state has supplied the Russians with drones and missiles and the growing menace of their missile program is spilling-out to be more than a regional threat. Toothless UN Resolution 2231 forbids this type of development and testing, but of course the Iranians laugh and flout the resolution. And Israel is in the crosshairs.

The supposedly stealth missile can reach Europe. It can leave Earth’s atmosphere then reappear and the Iranians claim it can escape radar detection, making it a silent, catastrophic and sudden killer.

I have to tell you though, as I stood at Latrun and Elah, remembering that Israel won miraculous, supernatural victories there, I do not fear modern threats to Israel.

They simply will not come to fruition. God has decreed it.

Alone. But not.