If you have not yet read Part 1 of “Israel and Bible Prophecy,” you’ll want to take a moment and review that first.
We are looking at four miracle prophecies concerning God’s plan for His people Israel. In Part 1 we saw the miracle of Israel’s generation—the beginning of the Jewish people. Then we saw the miracle of Israel’s preservation. God protected and preserved His people through thousands of years of persecution.
As you study history, you learn that the indestructible Jew has left his indelible mark upon history. The Jewish people are not great in number. Of the world’s population, they are only 0.2%. That’s not two percent. That’s less than one-fourth of one percent. Yet did you know that 22% of Nobel Prize winners have been Jews? In 2013, six of the 12 laureates were Jewish. Think of that.
Abraham’s descendants consistently win high percentages not just of Nobel Prizes but other awards in medicine, health, music, and public life. What a mark they've made upon our world.
Did you know it was a Jew who financed Christopher Columbus when he set sail for the west? Of his crew members, the first to set foot on American soil was a Jew. Did you know that a Jew, Haym Salomon, financed General George Washington in our Revolutionary War?
Have you ever taken an aspirin? Friedrich Bayer, whose company developed aspirin, was a Jew. Were you vaccinated for polio as a child? The injectable and oral polio vaccines of Salk and Sabin were so effective, the disease has been all but eradicated.
Has the dentist ever deadened your tooth before he started to drill? Alfred Einhorn, who developed Novocain, was a Jew. If you're an anti-Semite, the next time you go to the dentist, why don't you say, “Just drill away, don't deaden my pain.” Have you ever had local anesthesia? Its inventor, Carl Koller, was a Jew.
When you developed an infection, the doctor prescribed streptomycin, developed by Waksman, a Jew. Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, was a Jew. Are you a student of philosophy? Spinoza was a Jew. Do you appreciate the Salvation Army? Its founder, William Booth, had a Jewish mother.
It's amazing to study the mark God's chosen people have made on the world. Jews can be thanked for the discovery of electromagnetic waves, the transistor, the first laser, oral contraceptives, antihistamines, anti-leukemia drugs, the electron microscope, vaccines against cholera and bubonic plague, the camera phone, nuclear fission reactor, sound-on-film technology, the discovery of neurotransmitters, the process by which we do MRIs, the Hepatitis-B vaccine, the first exact map of the moon—and do you like American music? Thank George and Ira Gershwin, Aaron Copland, Irving Berlin, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Leonard Bernstein, Lerner and Lowe, and Stephen Sondheim, to name only a few.
All history has been dramatically impacted by six Jews: Moses, Paul, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein, and above them all, the Lord Jesus Christ.
3. The prophecy of Israel’s miraculous restoration
After centuries in exile, God once again brought His people back into their land. In my estimation the most amazing thing that has happened in recent history has not been the end of World War II or placing a man on the moon, but the day when Israel was reborn, reconstituted as a nation.
Through the prophet Amos, God said,
“And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the way cities, and inhabit them, and they shall plant vineyards and drink the wine thereof; and they shall also make gardens and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God.” (Amos 9:14-15)
God says, “I'll bring them back and plant them there, and no one will uproot them.” God has brought them back to stay, regardless of what anyone says about it.
May 14, 1948, Israel’s declaration day of independence, I was playing high school football. Little did I realize the impact of that moment—God’s fulfillment of Bible prophecy. At that moment, 650,000 Jews were surrounded by six Arab states and 40 million enemies who had sworn by Allah that they would exterminate Israel, drench the soil with Israeli blood, and drive them into the sea. With a fury, immediately five Arab armies swept down from the east toward the west and on to Tel-Aviv. But God miraculously preserved this little nation. Before that time, a Jew was subject to arrest for even carrying a gun. But by the time the UN called for an armistice, these people who were supposed to be “pushed off into the sea” were 150 miles into Egyptian territory. How did that happen?
The Israelis secretly took old automobiles and buses to sheds, where they welded boiler plates to the sides to make tanks. They took hoe handles and broomsticks and painted them to look like guns to appear better armed.
As Arab legions advanced through some groves, they encountered thousands of beehives. The Israelis are beekeepers. After all, you can’t have a land flowing with milk and honey without bees. And it just so happened in the attack, these hives were overturned. Millions of bees swarmed out and began stinging. They dropped their modern weapons in consternation and fled. Later, when the bees went back into their hives, the Israelis went out and picked up the much-needed weapons.
At the same time, coming from the north, others from Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq attacked across the Jezreel Valley. When they got to the middle of that valley, a strange sickness like dysentery disabled them. They were so weak they couldn’t fight. At that same moment, here came the Israelis with the weapons they had picked up from the battle of the bees. An American newspaper ran this headline, “The Bees Fight for Israel.” They captured those who were sick in the valley of Jezreel. The record reports that on one occasion, 20,000 Arabs were captured by 400 Israelis.
Don’t give Israel credit for that. God said, “I will bring them again into their own land.” I don’t think the Israeli cause has always been just. I don’t think the American cause has always been just. I don’t think the Arab cause has always been just. I don’t think you can say any cause is always just if man has to do with it. But God is over the affairs of men. God rules in the affairs of men. And God said, “I will bring them back.” God brought them back.
Similar things happened in the Six Day War in 1967. Again it seems God wasn’t neutral. Jordan, Egypt and Syria united with one stated goal: “Wipe Israel off the map.” But it was over in six days. Outnumbered 80 to one, God gave His ancient people victory.
The same was true in 1973, the Yom Kippur War. Israel’s enemies invaded on Israel’s holiest day, when no one would expect it. God again seemed to intervene when both Israeli and Syrian forces reported strange events that caused Israel’s enemies to surrender.
The Bible predicts that in the last days the same will happen when Russia invades the Middle East. Russia will be brought to her knees on the mountains of Israel. Ezekiel 38 and 39 relate this amazing prophecy.
When the battle of Armageddon is fought, when the forces of anti-Christ gather once more against Jerusalem, God will again come to the rescue of His people in that great, final war for Israel and her survival. What we see today is a foretaste of that.
“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about when they shall be in siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. In that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people. All that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.” Zechariah 12:2-3
When that battle comes, Zechariah says the LORD will fight for Israel.
In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them. And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. (12:8-9)
4. The prophecy of Israel’s miraculous regeneration
Look what happens in their hearts after all this occurs.
“And I will pour upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications, and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced and they shall mourn for Him as one mourneth for his only son and shall be in bitterness for Him as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” Zechariah 12:10
What a day that will be! The eyes of God’s people will be opened. With deep mourning, they will recognize their Messiah as the one their forefathers pierced.
…there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness. (13:1)
God will remove the idols from Israel once and for all (v. 2). Then He will bring those remaining through the fire,
…and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on My name, and I will hear them: I will say, “It is my people,” and they shall say, “The Lord is my God.” (13:9)
One of the signs that Jesus Christ is coming soon is the sign that Zion is being built up.
We long for this day! This is Israel’s glorious future—and you may be sure, God is going to bring it to pass.
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When we come to Him in repentance and faith, we are empowered-and expected-to live the Christian life not by trying, but by trusting. Faith is not only how we receive salvation, it is how we walk, day by day, in grace. Only by faith can we extend forgiveness to others, share God's truth, and leave a godly legacy. As the tapestry of your life unfolds, may you begin to see the wonders of living each day, moment by moment, a life of faith and forgiveness.