In Israel, holidays and anniversaries are customarily celebrated according to the Hebrew calendar, not the Julian calendar. Last May, by international dating, Israel’s 70th anniversary was observed throughout the Land with much ceremony and excitement. But can you imagine the rejoicing that filled heaven? What an unlikely script God writes.
Early in the narrative, God called a Chaldean named Abram to go to a land where he had never been. Abram obeyed, and God told him his seed would eventually be a blessing to the entire world.
Soon after, God required Abram to sacrifice the very son who carried that seed, but then, at the last minute, God provided a substitute, as Abram believed He would. And all of this took place on an extremely obscure mountain.
Fast forward a thousand years. The mountain had become the City of David – capital of an empire ruled by Abraham’s descendant. Over the next half a millennium, through the treachery of idolatry, the kingdom was divided. Each portion of the kingdom was taken captive, first by Assyria, then by Babylon.
Jerusalem was destroyed in 586 BCE and, 70 years later, returning exiles rebuilt her. The holy city was again razed in 70 CE by the Romans. Then, improbably and violating every natural law of the rise and fall of nations, Israel was reinhabited 1,800 years later, and the Hebrew language was resurrected. The words of the ancient prophets had been fulfilled. The nation was officially restored, true to God’s covenant promises to Abraham 4,000 years earlier.
This country is a miracle. And its rebirth has happened, and is happening, during our lifetimes. What’s more, God brought my family and millions more back to this sacred land. What will He do next?
We know that Israel’s Messiah, our Yeshua (Jesus), will return in person to rule and reign over all the earth from Jerusalem. Meanwhile, there’s a lot of struggle.
Enemy nations want to wipe us off the map.
Within Israel, there are huge divides: secular vs. orthodox, native-born vs. immigrant, economically challenged vs. wealthy financiers. And, sadly, within the community of Messianic Believers, rifts also exist. “How shall we then live?” Peter asks (paraphrase of 2 Peter 3:11).
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the Wind – the Wind of the Spirit. Ruach, as you know, is the Hebrew word that means both wind and spirit. How apt. We must now return to the seeking mode of the disciples as the Day of Shavuot (or Pentecost) approached.
And, as Yeshua told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father, I feel that we are also to enter a time of waiting before Him, humbling ourselves, seeking His face (2 Chronicles 7:14), and expecting a new season of power for witness and for life.
As Israel’s 70th anniversary celebration was marked on May 14, 2018, there was a serious downpour in the early morning hours in the Galilee. The rains were entirely unseasonal. Could this be a sign from heaven?
Perhaps. The rain certainly contradicted the weather patterns observed for the past 25 years. I believe God wants to encourage us. While the nations are raging (see Psalm 2) and beating their war drums, the Lord is reminding us that He is in charge, and He even finds this an occasion for laughter (Psalm 2:4).
Since I was born less than four months before Israel’s rebirth, I can’t escape the parallel. As my small human life has unfolded, the revitalized life of Am Y’israel (the people of Israel) has also unfolded. I can’t help but feel that for both of us ... and for you … the best is yet to come. It may not be easy, but it will surpass anything we can imagine of the manifestation of God’s glory.