Israel A Modern Miracle

One of the greatest signs that the return of the Messiah is very near is unfolding right now before the gaze of all those who have eyes to see. Seldom before in the history of this world has a greater miracle taken place. A people who for two thousand years have been scattered into every nation upon the face of the earth, have suddenly in our day been regathered to their ancient homeland.

This in itself is startling enough, for it has never happened to any other group of people before. But far more astounding is the fact that this very event was pre-announced by the prophets of Israel over two thousand five hundred years ago!

Not only did these men of God, in clear language, foretell the scattering of Israel, but also, in the same clear language, they predicted their latter-day regathering and establishing once more as a nation in their former homeland.

Moses clearly spelled out the alternatives facing the people he led out of bondage in Egypt, and just before they crossed over the Jordan into the Promised Land: "Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all his commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth . . .

"But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all his commandments and his statutes, which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you . . .

"The LORD will cause you to be defeated before your enemies . . . and you shall become an astonishment, a proverb and a byword among all the nations where the LORD will lead you" (Deuteronomy 28:1,15,25,37).

Their sad history so faithfully recorded in their own Scriptures, the Old Testament, by their own scribes, and faithfully preserved by them for all the world to see, bears witness to their rebellion against their Divine King.

Their Scattering

Finally Jerusalem was destroyed by Titus the Roman, and the predictions of Moses and the many other prophets were tragically fulfilled. Only forty years before this Yeshua of Nazareth, rejected as their Messiah, had delivered a final warning:

"But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. Then let those in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her.

"For these are days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled . . . For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people.

"And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled" (Luke 21:20-24).

Over one million Jewish people perished in that final terrible siege of their Holy City. Many were either crucified outside the walls as a grim warning to others or were sold as slaves and so were scattered throughout the Roman Empire.

Since that time bitter persecution and heartache have followed them in almost every country to which they have fled or were driven. From the first Crusade in 1096 onwards they were murdered, dispossessed of all their belongings, and cast out of the land where they were.

When the plague of the Black Death destroyed one quarter of the population of Europe the Jewish people were scarcely affected because of their observance of the hygienic requirements of the Levitical Law. But this in itself became a curse to them–they were accused of being the source of the plague, that they had poisoned the wells and springs!

Throughout the Middle Ages they were pursued all over Europe by foul rumours which often ended in their torture at the rack or stake. The horrors of the Spanish Inquisition that was set up specially for the sons of Jacob remain like a nightmare on the pages of history.

In our own time we have witnessed the worst yet, even the Holocaust. In what more graphic language could Moses, three thousand five hundred years ago, have described the terrible fate of his people? "Then the Lord will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other, and there you shall serve other gods, which neither you nor your fathers have known–wood and stone.

"And among those nations you shall find no rest, nor shall the sole of your foot have a resting place; but there the LORD will give you a trembling heart, failing eyes, and anguish of soul.

"Your life shall hang in doubt before you; you shall fear day and night, and have no assurance of life. In the morning you shall say, 'Oh, that it were evening!' And at evening you shall say, 'Oh, that it were morning!' because of the fear that terrifies your heart, and because of the sight which your eyes see" (Deuteronomy 28:64-67).

No wonder Jesus wept as He beheld the city of Jerusalem, and His own people, and looked down through the mists of time to the tragic events that would follow (Luke 19:4144).

Their Re-gathering

But the words of the prophets had also given a message of hope. The God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob would never forsake the nation that He had raised up. True, they would be punished for their sins, and with great severity, as Amos says: "You only have I known of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities" (3:2).

They above all nations had been chosen to be His witness in the earth: "'You are my witnesses,' says the LORD, 'and my servant whom I have chosen . . . You are my witnesses,' says the LORD, 'that I am God'" (Isaiah 43:10,12).

It was the testimony to the power of the sovereign God: " . . . you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever he chooses" (Daniel 4:32). And the time would come when captivity and punishment would be at an end.

"Hear the word of the LORD, O nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, 'He who scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him as a shepherd does his flock.' For the LORD has redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of one stronger than he" (Jeremiah 31:10,11).

Apart from such a promise, how else can we account for the continued existence of this conquered, scattered, persecuted people? Where today is the Assyrian who first took the house of Israel, the northern kingdom, into captivity? Where are the Babylonians who conquered Judah? What about the Romans who scattered them upon the face of the earth? But Israel still remains! Why? Because the Almighty God is faithful to His Word.

"'For I am with you,' says the LORD, 'to save you; though I make a full end of all nations where I have scattered you, yet I will not make a complete end of you, but I will correct you in justice, and I will not let you go altogether unpunished . . .

'Therefore all those who devour you shall be devoured; and all your adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity. Those who plunder you shall become plunder, and all who prey upon you I will make a prey . . . ' The fierce anger of the LORD will not return until he has done it, and until he has performed the intents of his heart. In the latter days you will consider it" (Jeremiah 30:11,16,24).

We are now in these latter days and it is time to consider it. The God of heaven pledged that He would liberate His people and settle them once more as a nation in the land of Israel. And this is what we are seeing right now, exactly as Isaiah pre-announced:

"But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, and he who formed you, O Israel; 'Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are mine . . . Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your descendants from the east, and gather you from the west.

'I will say to the north, "Give them up!" and to the south, "Do not keep them back! Bring my sons from afar, and my daughters from the ends of the earth . . ."'" (Isaiah 43:1,5,6).

Ezekiel added to the prediction: "For I will take you from among the nations, gather you from all countries, and bring you into your own land . . . I, the LORD, have spoken it, and I will do it" (36:24,36).

This then is what the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is doing!

This is the modern miracle that we have seen in our own day being fulfilled before our very eyes.

On May 14th 1948 Israel was declared a nation, and the prophecies of the Bible sprang into life. Every attempt since that has been made to remove them from the land given to them by God has failed. Thus the Almighty's Word has been vindicated, and we can have confidence that those prophecies yet remaining to be fulfilled will surely come to pass.