“I will accept you as fragrant incense when I bring you out from the nations and gather you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will show myself holy among you in the sight of the nations. Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I bring you into the land of Israel, the land I had sworn with uplifted hand to give to your fathers.”
Ezekiel 20:41-42 NIV
As you may know, David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister, declared their national independence on May 14, 1948. What you may not know is what led up to this incredibly amazing, long prophesied event. Remember, it was only 3 years earlier that World War II ended and the Jewish Holocaust ceased. One third of the world’s Jewish population (6 million Jews) had been horribly murdered by edict from Adolph Hitler and yet approximately 650,000 from around the world were still able to regroup under the Grace of God; make their way to the God-Promised land of Israel; declare themselves to be an independent nation; and, persevere when attacked immediately by the combined armies of their Arab neighbors, countries with populations exceeding 100 million! Only God could have pulled this off as He had prophesied!
“Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Can a land be born in one day? Can a nation be brought forth all at once?”
First, a little history. In the Abrahamic Covenant between God and Abraham as outlined in Genesis 13:15 God said, “For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed FOR EVER (capitals mine).” God brought Abraham to the Land of Israel and gave it to him and his descendants FOREVER. Not for 1 year or 100 years or 1000 years, but forever. However, due to the continuing sinful, unrepentant nature of God’s Chosen people He twice allowed them to be taken out of the land as a just punishment; first by the Babylonians; and then, by the Romans. For 70 years the Jews languished in Babylon without a homeland. In God’s mercy He ultimately sent them back to Israel. Centuries later, after the Crucification of Christ, He again allowed them to be dispersed to the four corners of the earth by the Roman in 70 A.D. for their sins.
To me, this is where it gets fascinating! From 70 A.D. until 1948 A.D. the Jews were scattered all over the world but were still able to maintain their identity, their culture, their beliefs and their language even though they endured hardships and persecution unrivaled by any peoples in the entire history of the world. Regardless of their sin and what they had endured, God had a plan! In many ways it started in the late 1800’s with the rise of the Zionist movement and the Jews belief and desire that the land of Israel had been promised to them by God and they deserved to be back in the land which, by the way, had laid desolate for almost 2,000 years. If you read Mark Twain’s Innocents Abroad (published in 1867) on his visit to Palestine (Israel), he was utterly disgusted by the desolation and ugly environment he saw. He said “….. A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds… a silent mournful expanse…. a desolation…. we never saw a human being on the whole route…. hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country.” Do not let anyone kid you! Israel, and notably Jerusalem, was not a great place for the occupying Arabs that lived there for almost 2,000 years. It was run down and worthless!
“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: On the day I cleanse you from your sins, I will resettle your towns, and the ruins will be rebuilt. The desolate land will be cultivated instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass through it. They will say “This land was laid waste has become like the garden of Eden; the cities that were lying in ruins, desolate and destroyed, are now fortified and inhabited.”
In researching for this post and trying to determine exactly what caused the Jews to return to their land when they did, I was surprised to discover that during World War I, the Ottoman Turkish Empire aligned with the Central Powers comprised of Germany, Austria- Hungary and Bulgaria. Their Empire, gathered together over 100’s of years of bloody conquest, included those lands we now consider much of the Middle East, i.e., Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, etc. When the British army defeated the Ottoman Turks in 1917 they took authoritative control of the area once controlled by Turkey. One of the net results of this was the publication on November 2, 1917 of the Balfour Doctrine by Lord Balfour on behalf of the King of Great Britain. It said:
“His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”
This statement marked the first time a major government had endorsed the inalienable rights of the Jewish people to establish their own country, not just anywhere, but specifically in the land God had given to Abraham and his descendants! A few Jews did return to the land and actually PURCHASED the “worthless” property from the Arabs who were more than willing at the time to collect exorbitant payments for the land they felt had no value. The British had control of the land but DID NOT make it easy for the Jews to return even though the Balfour Doctrine was in effect during the 20s and 30s. Many potential immigrants from Germany, Russia, etc.were denied entry into the land, sent home and ultimately died during the Holocaust of WWII.
Shortly after World War I and the Paris Peace Conference (which helped bring the war to an end), approximately 58 countries got together in an effort to stem the possibility of another devastating world conflict. They called their organization the League of Nations (the U.S. by the way never joined) which ultimately was a precursor of the United Nations. Unfortunately, without the economic and military support of its members, the League of Nations was unable to stop the beginning of World War II. The concept of a united group of nations did continue and after a number of years of discussions, the United Nations was officially formed on October 24, 1945.
On November 29, 1947 the United Nations passed Resolution 181 (II) 33-13 (with 10 abstentions) creating both a Jewish AND Palestinian State. Interestingly, the City of Jerusalem was to remain separate from BOTH, administered directly by the United Nations. The Jews accepted it. The Arabs did not. David Ben-Gurion went on to say about the established boundaries, “We accepted the UN Resolution, but the Arabs did not. They are preparing to make war on us. If we defeat them and capture western Galilee or territory on both sides of the road to Jerusalem, these areas will become part of the state. Why should we obligate ourselves to accept boundaries that in any case the Arabs don’t accept?”
Thank you for bearing with me on this history lesson compiled with the help of Wikipedia. The point I want to make is that all the nations of the world got together and by a majority vote declared the Jews right to their own homeland in the land God had promised them. That is the history of how we have gotten to where we are today. Now what?
“For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head. They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones. They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a NATION (capitals mine); that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with ONE (capitals mine) consent; they are confederate AGAINST THEE (capitals mine).”
As I have mentioned a number of times, the United Nations is EXTREMELY anti-Semitic and anti-Israel, exactly as God said the world would be during the End Times, “And in that day I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for ALL PEOPLE (the world): all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth (UN?) be gathered together against it.” – Zechariah 12:3. In 2016 the UN passed a total of 24 Resolutions, 20 of which were condemnations of Israel. In December 2016, President Obama abstained from vetoing UN Resolution 2334 which labeled Israel an “occupier” of the formerly UN approved Israeli lands which then led up to what has become known as BDS. BDS is an acronym for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. This is a move to economically cause pain to fall on Israel. 20 U.S. states and over 150 companies have backed BDS. It is not just Iran and other radical Islamic states that want to “drive the Jews into the sea”. It is the ENTIRE world (now that the U.S. has joined by executive edict from President Obama) that believes the Jews are “occupiers” of land they believe belong to the Arabs. This will cause many issues, ultimately culminating in the War of Armageddon as the anti-christ, with the backing of the United Nations, declaring war on the Jewish people.
You know what is comforting? The fact that God prophesied what would happen in bringing the Jews back to the land He had promised Abraham and his descendants AND the world that follows the anti-christ will be defeated by Christ at His Second Coming at Armageddon. Personally, I am disappointed in the actions of the U.S. in support of the United Nations on these anti-Israeli issues because God was very clear when He said in Genesis 12:3, “I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” BUT, I take great comfort in knowing that God’s Plan is made evident to us through the Holy Bible and IT is coming true today! It is this comfort we are told to “…therefore, comfort one another with these words.”
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May God Bless You!!!