The Miracle Nation
Vol: 21 Issue: 6 Monday, March 6, 2017
The very existence of a Jewish state called Israel is a miracle of history. No other nation has ever been destroyed, dispersed to the ends of the earth for millennia, and then regathered to their ancient homeland and re-established as a nation.
Indeed, there is nothing even close. Even nations who can trace their continuous existence to antiquity cannot match Israel’s miracle. The Egypt of Pharonic times wasn’t Arab, but Coptic. Ancient Babylon wasn’t Arab, but Chaldean.
Modern Israel revived with her ancient bloodlines, religious customs, traditions and language intact. The working language of modern Jerusalem is the same Hebrew spoken in King David’s time. Israel’s Jewish nature is as unique today as it was a thousand years before Mohammed. It is utterly unprecedented in history.
In addition to its miraculous restoration in 1948, there is Israel’s no-less miraculous preservation in the decades since. The day Israel declared her existence, the combined armies of seven Arab nations marched on the new state, vowing to push her “into the sea.”
Israel was outnumbered 100 to 1, but not only repelled the invaders, but captured more territory than they held before the invasion.
Over 2500 years ago the prophet Isaiah prophesied of regathered Israel; “They that war against thee shall be as nothing and as a thing of nought…for I will help thee.”
Israel’s miracles continued. As we discussed yesterday, the land of Israel began to respond to the touch of its people. Trees, fruits and vegetables grow over what was once shifting sandy wastes or malaria swamps. New industries fringe historic cities. Highways and pipelines stretch across a energetic nation that had slept for centuries.
It is said that David Ben-Gurion dispatched engineers, horticulturists, botanists, etc., with the Bible in one hand and research tools in the other.
Following Bible clues, copper and iron mines were established. One mining engineer, Abraham Dor, observed that at the richest veins of copper —”we come upon the slag and furnaces of ancient Israel. We often get the feeling that someone has just left.”
“For the Lord thy God bringeth thee into a good land; a land whose stones are iron and out of whose hills thou mayest dig copper.” (Deuteronomy 8:7-9)
Ever since Jews began returning, they have been planting forests, naming them in honor of such leaders and friends of Israel as Chaim Weizmann, Lord Balfour, George V and scores of others.
The Bible has helped them decide what kind of trees to plant and where to plant them. Debating whether a certain barren hillside would be a suitable location for Israel’s immense “Forest of Martyrs,” Israelis found the answer in Joshua, which proved that a forest had existed there.
“Knowing that trees grow more easily where trees have flourished before,” explained Professor Zohary of Hebrew University, “we rely on the Good Book.”
In Bible times there were two copious rainy seasons in Palestine—the “early and the latter rain.” But for the past many centuries the “early rain” has been minimal while the “latter rain” and dew have disappeared completely.
Since 1878, the “latter rain” is falling again. The precipitation of both has spiraled over the decades just as predicted by the Prophet Joel.
Israel’s regathering was no less miraculous in itself.
“Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west.” (Isaiah 43:5)
The first wave of Jewish immigration came with the rise of Arab nationalism in the 1920’s when entire Jewish communities fled Islamic persecution. It was closely followed in the 1930’s by Jews fleeing the growing European antisemitism and finally by the influx of survivors of the European Holocaust.
“I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back.” Jewish emigration from the extreme north of Israel was restricted by the Soviets until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The Russians then gave up their Jews and opened Jewish emigration quotas to the Holy Land.
The North African Jewish community suffered considerable discrimination, particularly in recent years under Ethiopian Marxist President Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam who prohibited the practice of Judaism and the teaching of Hebrew.
In the early 1990’s, growing persecution of Jews, particularly the Ethiopian ‘Lost Tribe’ resulted in Operation Joshua, a secret airlift of Ethiopian Jews from the Sudan, despite opposition from the rest of the Arab world.
Israel’s regathering followed Isaiah’s exact outline; forced from the East and West, wrested from the grasp of the North and South.
Ezekiel predicted that in the last days, Israel would become the economic envy of nations. Despite a sixty year Arab economic boycott, Israel’s economy is exploding in the fields of technology and manufacturing.
Israel has the highest per-capita population of scientists in the world today. The New York Stock Exchange lists more hi-tech companies from Israel than any other nation including the United States.
The nation of Israel also serves as a mile marker on the road to the conclusion of human history. Jesus equated the existence of Israel with the generation that would witness the fulfillment of all Bible prophecy and His triumphant Second Coming.
As with the olive and the vine, the fig is used throughout the Bible as a symbol of Israel. The symbol of the fig tree is particularly well suited to Israel’s religious history. What makes the fig tree unique is that it produces its fruit before its leaves.
Jesus is the First-Fruit of Israel Who came first to the Jews.
“He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.” (John 1:11)
The Cross has borne fruit unto every generation, in every corner of the earth, but Israel will, as a nation, remain in unbelief until His return.
But Israel’s redemption begins with its restoration. It is a process that continues until the fulfillment of Zechariah 12:10 at His Second Advent.
“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for his Firstborn.”
“Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putter forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:” (Matthew 24:32)
Follow the progression. First the fruit, (Jesus) and THEN the fig tree is ‘restored’ as its branches take on their covering of leaves. The leaves of the fig tree are a sign of a change in the season.
In outlining the signs of the times, culminating with the revival of the fig tree, Jesus made a point of reminding His listeners, “Behold, I have told you before,” (Matthew 24:25) — so we wouldn’t miss the point.
The fig tree is the sign of the END of a season; the branching out of the tree itself is the sign the new season of revival is ABOUT to begin.
“So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” (Matthew 24:33-34)
Israel is God’s Timeclock — its existence was foretold in detail from the point in Israel’s history in which its revival seemed the least likely by individuals who had the least reason to expect that prophecy would ever be fulfilled.
To underscore its Divine importance, God has surrounded the revival of Israel with one miracle after another, so that there would be no mistake. Having made that point, He promised the generation that would witness that rebirth “would not pass until all these things be fulfilled.”
But how long is a generation? That is the question, and its answer, I believe, was deliberately obscured in keeping with Jesus’ promise that “no man would know the day or hour’ of His return.
Genesis 6:3 fixes the extreme limit of a normal lifespan at 120 years. That could qualify as a generation. That would put the return of Christ somewhere around 2068.
Numbers 32:13 defines a generation as the forty years the Israelites spent wandering in the wilderness, “until all the generation, that had done evil in the sight of the LORD, was consumed.” (That generation expired in 1988)
Psalms 90:10 defines a generation as between seventy and eighty years.
“The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength lab our and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.”
Using that definition, the fig tree generation will expire somewhere between 2018 and 2028.
“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” (Matthew 24:44)
We can’t know the day or the hour, but we can know when it is “soon, even at the doors.” Watch Israel.
“For when these things BEGIN to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads, for your redemption drawer nigh.” (Luke 21:28)
Featured Commentary: Invictus ~Pete Garcia