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Israel: The miracle country turns 60
Exclusive: Tom Flannery cites myriad Scripture fulfilled in sustaining of Jewish state
Posted: May 13, 2008
1:00 am Eastern
 

This week, the world will watch (millions with joy, millions of others in absolute rage) as Israel celebrates the 60th anniversary of her miraculous rebirth on May 14, 1948, and the nation's many astounding accomplishments since that historic day all of which has unfolded specifically as foretold in Scripture thousands of years earlier.  
Indeed, all of Israel's history her future history was recorded in precise detail in the pages of both the Old and New Testaments thousands of years before it ever happened.  
Jesus warned as He was being taken to the cross that the Jewish women weeping for Him should weep instead for themselves (Luke 23:27-31). He was foretelling a future judgment upon the Jewish people and their nation for their rejection of Him, which He had already said would include the complete destruction of the Temple.  
Jesus prophesied that "not one stone [of the Temple] shall be left here upon another" (Matthew 24:2), and not one of them was when Rome ransacked Israel, took the Jews into captivity and reduced the Temple to rubble nearly 40 years later, in A.D. 70. For some 2,000 years after that, the Jewish people were dispersed throughout the world in what is known as the Diaspora.  
Many have erroneously taught since then that this represented God washing His hands of Israel and the Jews forever. They promote Replacement Theology, the idea that the Church has replaced Israel in the plan of God. "The Church" (Christians) didn't "replace" Israel, the Church IS Israel. The true Sons of Abraham are Christians. Those who rejected Christ were "cut off," and are not true Israel.
Yet God Himself assures in His Word that, while He would certainly punish Israel and the Jews for their rebelliousness during the Church Age (as He did in Old Testament times), He would never totally abandon or utterly destroy them (Psalm 89:30-35). God has not abandoned true believers.
Thus, the Bible asks if a nation can be born "in a day" or "at once" (Isaiah 66:8). That rhetorical question was answered with a resounding "Yes!" on May 14, 1948, when this end-time prophecy foretold by God through Isaiah was miraculously fulfilled over 2,000 years after it was recorded.  
So, has God cast off His chosen people and left them without hope? No, as this prophecy from Isaiah makes abundantly clear. In the New Testament, Paul answers this same question forcefully by inspiration of the Holy Spirit: "Certainly not! ... God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew" (Romans 11:1-2). Thus, there are more Jews coming to saving faith in Yeshua (Jesus) today than at any time since the time of Christ, when the entire Church was Jewish and remained so for many years. The prophecy in Romans 11 was fulfilled before A.D. 70, as millions of Jews remained faithful to Moses and the prophets and believed in Christ, and only a minority were destroyed for their rebellion. "The entire Church was Jewish" means more Jews were faithful than were not.
God promised in Ezekiel 37 that rather than forsaking the Jews in the end times, He would revive them as a people by bringing them "out of their graves" (Hitler's attempted extermination of the Jewish race in the Holocaust) and back to their homeland (Israel's miraculous rebirth in 1948). To say that Ezekiel 37 was fulfilled in the 20th century is a stretch, and obviously nobody in all of Christendom before the 20th century believed that the chapter had not already been fulfilled in the first century A.D.
So much for Replacement Theology!  
History has demonstrated that any people displaced from their homeland for more than five generations will be absorbed by the cultures into which they've migrated and lose their national identity. The Jews were out of the land for some 2,000 years during the Diaspora and, being persecuted wherever they went (often by those who claimed to be Christians yet violated the teachings of Jesus by their heinous actions), they had every reason to forsake their identity. But they didn't. God preserved them as a people just as He promised all along (Jeremiah 30:11).  
God also promised that when He brought them back into their land, He would never allow them to be uprooted from it again (Amos 9:15). Since that historic day in 1948, He has upheld this promise by supernaturally preserving the people and nation through a litany of wars, intifadas and terrorist attacks launched by their Arab enemies.  
God's Word revealed that Israel would be surrounded in the last days by enemies who would seek to destroy her but who would instead ultimately be destroyed by God (Zechariah 12:1-3). True to His Word as always, God has consistently blessed His chosen people with victory through all these assaults over the past six decades, even when Israel was facing seemingly insurmountable odds militarily (starting on May 15, 1948, when the nascent state was attacked by five Arab nations). He has also fulfilled all other promises He made to the Jews about what He would do once He brought them back into their historic homeland.  
The first of these promises concerned the land itself. In the 1800s, Mark Twain a devout atheist traveled to the Holy Land and mocked the idea that it would ever be of use to anyone ever again. He wrote in his book "The Innocents Abroad" how it was a desolate, unlivable land where you couldn't even find cactus growing.  
So much for the Bible, he seemed to be saying.  
Yet God had promised thousands of years earlier that He would make the desert land bloom once the Jews returned (Isaiah 35:1-2), and that is precisely what He's done these past decades so much so that Israel is now a leading exporter of fruit to the world. As God foretold: "Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit" (Isaiah 27:6).  
Other key prophecies involved the restoration of the once-dead Hebrew language (Zephaniah 3:9) and the return of Jews to Israel from around the world (Jeremiah 31:8-12, Ezekiel 36:24, etc.), both of which have been miraculously fulfilled.  
And just as God has fulfilled His promise to restore Israel as a nation physically, He has also promised to restore the nation spiritually at the time of Christ's Second Coming. God showed the prophet Zechariah this scene thousands of years in advance and revealed what will take place on that day: "And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn" (Zechariah 12:10).  
Just as Joseph revealed himself to his estranged brothers on their third time into the land and copious tears were shed among them (Genesis 45), Jesus is going to reveal Himself to His estranged brothers (the Jewish nation) now that He has brought them back into their land for the third time. And when He does, they will weep and mourn for Him as one would for an "only son ... for a firstborn." Jesus is both God's "only begotten Son" (John 3:16-18) and the "firstborn from the dead" (Colossians 1:18).  
God's self-references in this passage from Zechariah as both "Me" and "Him" underscore the truth of the Trinity not three distinct Gods, but one true God in three distinct Persons. He is the God whom Scripture tells us never slumbers nor sleeps in defense of Israel, as these past 60 years and all the years of human history before that have continually borne out.  
Related offers:  
Definitive work on Mideast available only here!  
"Myths and Facts: A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict"  
Tom Flannery writes for a newspaper in Pennsylvania. His opinion pieces have appeared in publications such as Newsday, the Los Angeles Times, MovieGuide and Christian Networks Journal. He has won eight Amy Awards from the Amy Foundation, including this year's first-place prize. He is a past recipient of the Eric Breindel Award for Outstanding Opinion Journalism from News Corp/The New York Post and has also won a Keystone Award from the Pennsylvania Newspapers Publishers Association. He is the author of the book "1939: The Year in Movies," and an essay he wrote on Hollywood was included in the book "The Culture-Wise Family" by Dr. Ted Baehr and Pat Boone.