Thursday, January 4, 2018

Recalling the Miraculous Rebirth of Israel in 1948

What a thrill to visit this historic site, Independence Hall, a few weeks ago in Tel Aviv. It made me think of the poem that God gave me on June 1, 2015, "A Nation Born in a Day." I included it in my book, "The Honeycomb is Waiting: Poetic Devotionals." By posting this poem and devotional on my blog today, I am beginning an early celebration of the 70th anniversary of Israel's rebirth on May 14, 1948. Here is the devotional and poem from my book:

20.    Miracle-Working God

“Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion was in labor, she gave birth to her children” (Isa. 66:8).
            The very survival of the Jewish people throughout history is nothing short of miraculous. Because so many evil rulers have tried to stamp them out, they should have disappeared long ago. The first Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben Gurion, stated it best: “A Jew who does not believe in miracles is not a realist.” A miracle-working God is the only possible explanation for the continued existence of the Jewish people. Over 300 years ago King Louis XIV of France asked Blaise Pascal, the great French philosopher, to give him proof that God exists. Pascal answered: “Why the Jews, your Majesty, the Jews!”
            The United Nations Partition Plan to divide Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state was passed on November 29, 1947. There were 33 votes for, 13 against and 10 abstaining, including Britain, who had the Mandate since 1917 to establish a homeland for the Jews in Palestine. The turning point came when U.S. President Harry Truman’s former Jewish business partner flew to Washington and begged him to vote for the plan. When America cast her vote, other nations followed. It was a miracle, and the Jews in Israel danced in the street! On May 14, 1948, Ben Gurion declared Israel a free and independent nation. Only eleven minutes later Truman called Ben Gurion to give U.S. recognition of the new government in Israel. The fact that the nation of Israel has been reborn in our day proves that we have a miracle-working God who keeps His promises!

(Isaiah 66:8)
A land flowing with milk and honey
Was born in a day, but the day wasn’t sunny.
The Jews would regain their ancient land.
Truman said, “Sign it!”  It was an ordained plan.
For Jews and for Arabs the land was divided –
The Jews rejoiced, but the Arabs derided
The U.N. body that gave them a nation.
They couldn’t get along with their blood relations.
The Arabs said “No!” because they wanted it all.
And they would fight; they delighted to brawl.
Then before the Jews could lose all hope,
Ben Gurion called an assembly to vote.
He declared the State of Israel official.
The Jews celebrated, but the Arabs bristled.
Ready to attack the very next day,
They had gathered five armies to join in the fray.
The Jews had only a rag-tag band,
But determined like Maccabees, they would make a stand!
Jews were six-hundred thousand, Arabs eighty million strong –
Who was in the right, and who was in the wrong?
And how did it end, when the dust had settled?
Israel won the war and had proven her mettle!
God had shown He was on their side –
Angels were busy, knocking down Arab pride.
Miracles abounded, and the whole world was shocked!
Scripture was fulfilled, and mysteries were unlocked.
Revelation twelve paints the story of this war:
The woman was Israel whom the dragon stood before,
Ready to devour the nation soon as born,
Fragile as an infant, but it would not be torn.
God would keep His covenant with all of Jacob’s tribes.
His chosen people Israel in victory still abides.
Isaiah sixty-six, verse eight foretold this day,
Nineteen forty-eight the year, the fourteenth day of May.
Truman was the first to call and praise this tiny nation,
The Holy Land and people God had chosen, His creation!

The Jews won their War of Independence on January 7, 1949. Israel has continued to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in all the subsequent wars after her rebirth, because the God of Israel makes her victorious. “Like birds flying about, so will the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem. Defending, He will also deliver it; passing over He will preserve it” (Isa. 31:5). And the Lord will also defend you with His miracle-working power. When you are under attack, call on Him and expect a miracle!  Think of a time when God delivered you from harm, and write it in your journal. Praise Him!
Prayer: Almighty God, You are all-powerful, and I know I can trust you to defend me when the enemy attacks me, whether physically or spiritually. My only hope is in You, and You will uphold me.

Drawing more water: Ex. 14: 13-14, 30-31; 15:1; II Chron. 20:1, 15-22; Rev. 12.

(If you would like to order my book, The Honeycomb is Waiting: Poetic Devotionals, look at the side bar.)

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