Editorial - Salute To Israel

by Joseph Hunting

In the Jewish calendar, April 21st marks the fortieth anniversary of the rebirth of the State of Israel on the soil of its ancient homeland.

If Israel, both the Land and the People, has no relevance in God's Word as some would have us believe, and if God's promise to Abraham: "All the land which you see, to you will I give it, and to your seed for ever" is meaningless, then there is no special significance to Israel's fortieth anniversary.

If, on the other hand, the Eternal's covenants and promises still hold good for Abraham and his descendants through Isaac and Jacob, then Israel's celebration on April 21st has deep significance indeed.

The birth pangs which preceded Israel's rebirth were of such intensity that every known scheme in Satan's long record of hatred of Israel was used, including genocide and the horrors of the Holocaust. Who can deny that Israel's rebirth on May 14th 1948 was a miracle? And again, only hours after the infant state was reborn the might and hatred of five Arab armies moved in for the kill. Again, who can deny that Israel's survival and subsequent victory against overwhelming odds, were further miracles? Indeed, this nation's survival in the midst of fanatically hostile neighbours for the past forty years is an ongoing miracle which in no way detracts from the blood, sweat and tears shed by the people themselves during those forty years.

Israel 's achievements during this brief period have been all the more remarkable because many of them were foretold by the prophets more than two thousand five hundred years ago. Some two hundred million trees have re-clothed the once barren and desolate mountains with magnificent forests and Israel's citrus orchards are world renowned. Well did Ezekiel prophesy: "But you, O mountains of Israel, you shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to My people of Israel, for they are at hand to come" (36:8).

Ezekiel also prophesied: "... the cities shall be inhabited and the wastes shall be built ... and I will settle you according to your old estates and will do better unto you than at your beginnings ..." (36:8,10,11). No other nation has so fulfilled prophecy as has Israel during the past forty years. Indeed, during that brief period of time there has been more prophecy fulfilled in Israel than during the past nineteen centuries.

On behalf of the many thousand s of readers of THE VINEYARD world-wide we wish our many friends and the people of Israel God's richest blessing on the occasion of the nation's fortieth anniversary. The glorious vision of the prophet Micah is still yet future when "many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths; for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem

"And He shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more" (4:2,3). May that day speedily come.