By Manny Silva (a former Nazarene)
When Israel was established as a nation again on May 14, 1948, that very day, she was attacked by Arab armies from Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt. Saudi Arabia also joined in with a group of soldiers that fought under the Egyptian command. They gathered from all sides and attacked Israel, with the purpose of wiping the nation out. This was only three years removed from Hitler’s extermination of six million Jews, in his pursuit of a “pure race.” Israel, with much less than what all those nations had, miraculously defeated them all.
Since 1948 there have been several other major wars and countless skirmishes and battles. The Six Day War was in 1967. Israel was attacked by Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, which were also assisted by Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Algeria and others. They were successfully repelled by little Israel, and Israel’s territory was expanded after that.
Then came the Yom Kippur war in 1973. Egypt and Syria led several other Arab states in attacking Israel on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, trying to recapture what they lost in the Six Day War in 1967. Once again, little Israel defeated these Arab forces, and very little was changed.
There have been many other conflicts: the various intifadas; the war against Lebanon in 1982; the various operations by Israel in response to incursions by Hamas; and many other conflicts which have been almost nonstop for many years.
Now we have the Israel-Hamas War, which has turned even more serious than many of the past wars. Hamas is the attacker, but it is not the main enemy. Along with Hezbollah and other smaller forces, Hamas is really a proxy of the great enemy, Iran. The most dangerous and biggest terrorism-supporting nation in the world is Iran, and they are the ones that support 90 percent of Hamas’ weapons and financing.
The sadistic, satanic-led murder of over 1,400 Jews has led Israel to declare war on Hamas, with the objective of totally eradicating Hamas from the Gaza Strip. Hamas has written in their charter that their goal is for total destruction of the Jewish people. Their Preamble says: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” They reject any treaties: “[Peace] initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement.” Their charter is replete with such verbiage because they only want one result: the complete eradication of the Jewish people.
What Is Israel’s Future?
Israel has had an incredible history. In the Old Testament, we see time and again how they were conquered by the Babylonians and other pagan nations. They were often in slavery for many years, and much of it was because of their disobedience to God. The Lord was allowing these things to happen because He was disciplining them. Only when they returned to God did they recover and restore their land.
And yet, they did not learn their lessons. For hundreds of years, the Jews found themselves scattered throughout the world. They were a people without a nation. Their Promised Land was no longer theirs, and they had to suffer for years in ignominy. Then came the miracle and a fulfillment of biblical prophecy.
In 1948, the Jewish nation was once again established. After 2,000 years of exile, the Jewish people have once again returned to the land of Israel, just as the prophets had promised in the word of God. This does not mean that the Jewish people have turned back to God. This is only the first step. As was prophesied in Ezekiel 36:24, “For I will take you from among the heathen [nations], and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.” In verses 25-26, it continues, “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean . . . A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.”
When exactly will Israel turn back to God? No one knows but the Lord, but we must understand that the spiritual rebirth of the Jewish people will come after they are restored to the Land. That has now come to pass. And so, it is only a matter of time that Israel, as a nation, will turn in faith to the promised Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. Then all their enemies will be defeated, by the hand of Israel, or by the direct hand of the Lord God Almighty.
The return to their homeland to Zion is powerful evidence of the miraculous hand of God, just as His word promised. In the meantime, what do believers do? Pray for the peace of Israel (Psalm 122:6). And secondly, as God’s people who have been redeemed by the Messiah, Jesus Christ, let us do all we can to reach Jewish people with the message of the Gospel.
And finally, please pray for the Christians who still remain in the Gaza Strip. It is estimated there are only around 1,000 Christians there, out of 2 million total people. There are only three Christian churches remaining, although the only Baptist church, which is in Gaza, is practically abandoned due to violence. Pray also for Christians in the West Bank and in Jerusalem, which totals to around 50,000 Christians. Pray for their protection, for their spiritual strength, and their witness to others.
Also by Manny Silva