In this weekend’s message at The Donelson Fellowship, I touch on the miracle of Israel.
Think of how remarkable this is: The Bible predicted that the Last Days would be dominated by the existence of the nation of Israel, even though the nation of Israel was destroyed before the New Testament was completed. About a generation after the resurrection of Jesus, the Jews revolted against the Roman Empire, and Rome sent General Titus to resolve the problem. He slaughtered the Jews in a series of battles ending at Masada. He burned down Jerusalem and destroyed the temple.
If you visit Rome, you can see the ancient Arch of Titus, built by Jewish slaves to commemorate the destruction of their country by Rome. On that Arch there is even a relief of the Temple Menorah (the seven-branched candlestick) as it’s being hauled away by Roman troops.
For nearly 2000 years, there was no nation of Israel and there was no Jewish homeland. It is a miracle of history that the Jewish people retained their identity during these endless centuries of dispersion, oppression, and persecution.
In the late 1800s, a Jewish journalist in Vienna named Theodor Herzl began encouraging the Jews to return to Palestine. During World War I, a Jewish chemist named Chaim Weizmann invented a type of explosive that helped the Allies win the war. This gave him influence with the British and helped lead to the famous Balfour Declaration, stating that Great Britain viewed with favor the establishment of a homeland for the Jews.
After the horrors of World War II, there was a window of sympathy for Zionism. On May 14, 1948, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion announced the establishment of a Jewish state to be called the nation of Israel. Against the counsel of his primary advisors, President Harry Truman gave Israel diplomatic recognition.
The next day, the combined armies of five Islamic Arab nations declared war on the tiny, newborn state. But against all odds, Israel won the war.
Today, the nation of Israel is dominating the world’s geo-political agenda–just as the Bible predicted 2000 years ago. I find that fascinating, and I hope you do, too.
If you’d like to read, watch, or listen to this week’s sermon in its entirety, visit our church website at www.donelson.org.
And keep your eye on the headlines and on the Eastern Sky.