Israel: The Twentieth Century Miracle-Part II
By Pastor Mark Barbee
Can a Nation Be Born In a Day?
This was Isaiah’s question near the end of his amazing prophecy.
Who has ever heard of such a thing? Who has ever seen such things? Can a
country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet,no
sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children. Is.66:8
These words of Isaiah were fulfilled on May l4, l948 when David Ben
Gurion proclaimed the statehood of Israel. And, of course, her children were
already there, or on the way from refugee camps and nations around the
world. As if to punctuate this prophecy, one of the greatest archaeological
finds of history happened at about this same time, the discovery of the Dead
Sea Scrolls including the oldest existing scroll of Isaiah! Of course, it is
God who is actually speaking through Isaiah. It’s as if He said, “I told you
At the moment of statehood, Ben Gurion had the promise that
President Truman would recognize the new state, which he did. This helped
give legitimacy to the controversial issue of statehood. Also at that
moment, five nations, including Egypt, Jordan and Syria, were poised to
attack Israel, 40 million Arabs against 700,000 Jews. Yet, the Arabs were
about to suffer a great defeat. They attacked piecemeal. Their leaders were
jealous and suspicious of one another. Ground forces for Israel fought
delaying tactics until the Israeli air force arrived! This consisted of four
German Messerschmitts which arrived just in time to halt the Egyptian
invasion in the south.
Manna from Heaven
As Israel successfully held off the Jordanians, Iraquis, Syrians and
Egyptians, a truce was declared by the U.N. to go into effect in June. At this
point 500,000 Arabs, fearful of the Israelis and encouraged by Arab
propaganda, left their homes and became refugees in the Gaza strip and
West Bank. The Arab nations refused to accept them, people of the same
religion and language. Ben Gurion reminded everyone that it was the Arabs
who attacked and who had declared war and who would now pay the
Dr. Ralph Bunche, American U.N. ambassador, helped to bring the
armistice about between Israel and Egypt and then the other nations. Thus,
when Britain had deserted Israel, the U.S. through Truman and Bunche came
to their aid. American born Golda Meir also made a tour across the U.S.
raising funds and supplies for the new nation.
The Arabs did not know what had hit them. Ever since then they have
called it the great “disaster” a colossal failure and embarrassment. Within a
few years, the rulers of each nation were deposed by their people. Each new
leader vowed to defeat Israel. The new regimes were thus pushed by their
own rhetoric into facing off with Israel again.
Zionism and God’s Plan
In evaluating the Zionist movement, we see that Herzl and Weismann
were right about the danger to the Jews in Europe. Unfortunately, most Jews
ignored them and the so-called Christian nations of the west made it hard to
fulfill the dream. Yet, the Jewish state did come in time to save a remnant,
700,000. It meant also that “the long hunting season was over for once and
for all.” This statement by one of their leaders echoes the prophet Jeremiah.
But they will say, “As surely as the Lord lives who brought the
Israelites up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where
he had banished them.” For I will restore them to the land I gave their
forefathers. “ But now I will send for many fishermen”, says the Lord, “and
they will catch them. After that I will send for many hunters, and they will
hunt them down on every mountain and hill and from the crevices of the
rocks”. Jer. l6:l5ff
The Zionists were the fishermen, the Nazis were the hunters. This is not to
say that God approved of what they were doing; only that He knew what
would happen and used it in his divine plan.
God had brought forth this remnant out of fire and flood. Yet, the
demonic anti-Semitism followed them from Europe- through the Mufti and
the Muslim concepts of Jihad. The Muslims believe that killing Jews or
Christians is doing a service for Allah. The result is no different from the
Nazi’s Final Solution. Unfortunately today, the Western nations and media
seem to have little concept of this ultimate Muslim agenda, or they
marginalize it to a few fundamentalists. Yet, how many times do we see the
fundamentalists getting their way. The Iran Hostage crisis in l980 is a case
in point. And one of the Iranian student leaders at the time of the hostage
taking of U.S. citizens is now president of Iran!
We are not saying that the Jews are loved by God for their religious
devotion. Some are devoted, but many are not. The majority of Israel today
is a secular nation. But according to Romans 9 and ll, God’s choice and
plan for Israel is different from the individual choices of Jews or Gentiles to
become children of God through Christ.
And if they do not persist in their unbelief, they will be grafted in, for
God is able to graft them in again....Israel has experienced a hardening in
part until the full number of Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be
saved, as it is written, “the deliverer will come from Zion, he will turn
godlessness away from Jacob”....but as far as election is concerned, they
are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God’s gifts and his call are
irrevocable. Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now
received mercy as a result of their disobedience, so they too have now
become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result
of God’s mercy to you... Rom. ll:23-32
What Paul could not know was the time element reflected in these
verses. The time of the Gentiles was to last until the twentieth century!
According to Jesus in Luke 2l:24, the times of the Gentiles would last as
long as Gentiles trampled on Jerusalem. That ended when the Jews took
Jerusalem in l967! But we have begun to see God’s mercy working through
some nations to help Israel once again receive blessings from God, despite
their unbelief of the gospel.
The Old Testament prophets foretold the second re-gathering of Israel
to their land. It has been accomplished in amazing ways. But world opinion
often turns against Israel for simply trying to protect themselves from
unceasing Arab demands. Their nation is so small to begin with, compared
to all the Arab lands around them. But even recently, western powers and
our own president have pressured Israel to give in to more demands. The
idea that Israel should appease these demands makes no more sense than
appeasing Hitler in the l930’s. Is Israel sometimes harsh? That is
Beyond doubt, the memory and image of the Holocaust have been
among the sources of support in Israel for inflexible policies in dealing with
Americans can remember the Cuban missile crisis in l962. Did we sit
idly by while Russia attempted to put missiles in Cuba, our back yard? Yet,
that is what Israel is regularly asked to do with missiles aimed from the
Golan Heights or other territories close by. We expect her to just trust her
neighbors, though they have given her no reason to and continue to preach
revenge and Jihad. Woe to those who cry peace, when there is no peace.
“Islam is a triumphalist creed par excellence.” They will not be satisfied
until all opposition is eliminated.
Israel Population Doubles After Statehood
Immigration jumped between l947-l95l. Equal parts were from the
Holocaust survivors, the Middle East, and North Africa. Today, oriental
Jews (the latter categories) make up 60% of Israel. There also have been
some major immigrations of Russian Jews.
Israel alone among the nations faces a battle for its security anew
with every approaching nightfall and every rising dawn.
So says Abba Eban, their former ambassador to the U.N. Egypt tried to
save face by attacking again in l956. Their Sinai campaign was a failure. In
l964, Syria encouraged the formation of a new terrorist organization called
the PLO, Palestine Liberation army.
Once again in l967, Egypt began to amass forces along the Sinai
frontier. On June 5, l967 the Six Day War began with the Israeli Air Force
destroying the Egyptian air force on the ground, flying in low from the sea.
Cairo would not admit this defeat even to her allies. Instead, she issued
propaganda about victories. So Jordan and Syria entered the war. Their air
forces were promptly destroyed by the Israeli Air Force too. Ground forces
broke through the Egyptian line and advanced to the Suez Canal. The
Israelis also captured the Gaza strip, Golan Heights, Jerusalem and the West
Bank- another stunning victory for Israel!
Arabs Within the Territory
Israel instituted democratic representation from the local Arab villages
that remained within their borders and gave positive incentives for their
cooperation. Some Arabs have prospered and they enjoy a higher standard
of living than their Arab neighbors in surrounding nations. But there remains
the militant element who demand a Palestinian state.
We have seen centuries of persecution and repression of Jews in every
country of the world. Except in the U.S., which still has more Jews than
Israel, the Jews were always disenfranchised. In response, we should note
that they have allowed religious freedom and the franchise to peaceful Arab
peoples within their state, and everyone prospers together. Is this such a
terrible fate for the Arab population of the West Bank? The only repression
is against terrorism and the kind of invective that calls for revolution.
The so-called refugees were largely Bedouin tribe people to begin
with. The Arab powers have used them as pawns for the last fifty years,
discouraging them from becoming part of Israeli society, where they would
be citizens. Those within Israel have achieved better health and high birth
rates. So the relative proportion of Arab citizens within Israel has grown to
20-25%. The percentage is rising and threatens to change the Jewish
majority within the state. This leads to an uncertain future.
Despite their standard of living, the point of comparison for Arabs in
Israel is with their Jewish neighbors who tend to have better schools and
jobs. They also chafed under the military/police state atmosphere that
prevailed until l966. David Reagan, another expert on Israel, reminds us that
when the West Bank was under Jordan’s control from l948-l967, there was
no effort to create a Palestinian state. But, Arab nationalism continues to
grow and the rift grows within Israeli culture. Recently, the Palestinians
under Yassir Arafat have been allowed to form their own police in the
occupied territories. Now they are faced with holding down militant
elements of the Hamas (successor to the PLO). In addition, half of the
Arabs are Communist party members. Assimilation looks very unlikely.
Connor O’Brien, an Irish writer, compares the situation to British rule
in Northern Ireland, where religious resentment bubbles just below the
Miracle of Yom Kippur
Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement is a fall feast in Israel. In l973
the Arabs chose this day for a surprise attack against Israel. They had been
lulled into a false sense of security. Arabs achieved a surprise attack. In the
north, ll00 Syrian tanks attacked l57 Israeli tanks. The Israelis fought a
holding action. Two days later, with enemy armies advanced deep into their
own territory, Israel mounted a counterattack. In three days they regained
lost territory and were in Syria threatening Damascus!
In the south, a great tank battle also took place for the Sinai. It
involved 2,000 tanks and was a decisive battle for Israel. Egypt lost 264,
Israel l0! The U.S. and Soviet Union would not let either side win the war,
and so it was a stalemate. But Israel was safe once again.
Incredibly, it was Israel who suffered in world opinion even though
Egypt had clearly started the war! The Arab oil embargo had much to do
with this. That hit the western powers in the gas tank, but once again, the
Jews were blamed. Some of us remember when gasoline hit a dollar a
When this last military attack failed, Arabs like Arafat realized that
they could eventually win through deceptive diplomacy.
He would talk about peace in return for land, while rallying the anti-
Israeli Western powers to put pressure on the Israeli government to
capitulate. Once he got a toe hold in the land, he would then use that as a
base for renewed attacks on Israel. In short, he would take Israel in phases.
It is a clever strategy that is spelled out in detail in many public (Arabic)
speeches, just as Hitler outlined his strategy in Mein Kampf.
David Reagan reminds us that Israel has already returned Sinai twice to
Egypt, and the Arabs are still not satisfied.
We do recall that Anwar Sadat initiated a peace treaty with Israel back
in l978, with the help of Jimmy Carter and the cooperation of Israeli Prime
Minister Menachem Begin. Even the former Israeli terrrorist agreed to
peace, which was approved by the Knesset. However, within a few years
Sadat paid with his life, showing once again the militant nature of the
Muslims in all Arab countries.
Twenty years later, there is little hope for any peace process that
weakens Israel. The Arabs will never be satisfied, just as Arafat found in
trying to rule his militant brothers in Palestine. Then why did Yitzhak Rabin
and Shimon Peres agree to the initiation of the current peace process a
couple of years ago? David Reagan says:
The answer is deception. They were deceived by the PLO and the
western nations. Worst of all, they deceived themselves. The self-deception
was rooted in their Humanistic view of the world. Keep in mind that there
was not single believer in God among the top circle of the Israeli leaders in
the Rabin government....This means that they believed in the basic goodness
of man...They simply could not bring themselves to believe that their
enemies are determined to destroy them.
After that, Arafat double talked about the PLO and has failed to remove
references to the destruction of Israel from their charter.
In the late nineties, Bill Clinton tried to make the noble effort to bring
peace to the Middle East by bringing pressure on Netanyahu, the prime
minister. The promise of economic aid is always conditioned on Israel’s
response to such pressures. This time the Israelis agreed to give back l3% of
the West Bank. This was part of the area that Arafat failed to keep peace in.
The current “peace” process is a prescription for war, and it will be
the bloodiest war in the history of the Middle East. I believe it will be a war
that will lead up to the climax of the current age, ushering in the
Tribulation. -David Reagan- 2000
But according to the Bible many nations will come against the Holy
Land in the last days. But Israel will continue to stand, and more prophecies
will be fulfilled as God destroys their enemies at Armaggeddon and Jesus
returns to the Mount of Olives (Zech. l4:l-4). Perhaps Jesus Himself will
remove the false places of worship from the Temple mount and set up His
Throne. “He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth and slay the
wicked with the breath of His mouth.”- Is. ll:4.
Ariel Sharon became prime minister and worked with President Bush
toward a Palestinian solution. Arafat died and succeeding leaders have done
no better in organizing a Palestinian state. Sharon, who was once a hard-
liner, made concessions like pulling troops out of Lebanon in 2,000 and
Jewish settlers out of the Gaza strip in 2005. He then suffered a stroke and
was succeeded by Ehud Ohmert. Last summer, Israel was repaid by attacks
of the Hezbollah from Lebanon and rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip. It
became apparent that whenever Israel pulls out of a territory, the Arabs
simply build up their power and prepare to attack. Israel invaded southern
Lebanon again for several weeks to destroy the Hezbollah rockets. The
situation remains unstable.
Soon, Israel will celebrate her 60th year. A few years ago Jerusalem
celebrated her 3000th year as the city of David! The church has shown more
and more interest in Israel as we recognize the prophetic fulfillments. The
rabbi who helped take Jerusalem in l967 proclaimed “the Messianic Age has
begun!” But it will not really begin until Israel recognizes her Messiah.
Christians around the world are once again praying for the peace of
Jerusalem, knowing that only God can bring it about. Thousands have
traveled there the last few Octobers to celebrate, with Israel, the feast of
Tabernacles. Why? Because it is the feast that looks to God’s presence and
foreward to the return of Christ. Christian music often takes on a more
Hebrew sound these days. There are more Jews accepting the Messiah than
at any time since the first century without surrendering their Judaism. We
are at a unique time in history when true believers are seen as less of a threat
by Israel and are, in fact, supporting her. Christian organizations are helping
the Russian Jews immigrate while there is a window of time. Let us “pray
for the peace of Jerusalem” according to Psalm l22:6.
Meanwhile, Messianic believers are multiplying in Israel as wars and
terrorism have softened their hearts toward Yeshua the Messiah.