Hope in Dark Times

Against the dark times of uncertainty and despair, the Word of God shines emanating beams of hope and promise.

The return of the people of Israel, and their becoming a sovereign state, after twenty-five centuries of being scattered among the nations, are of great significance for this generation, and are especially relevant for these days of uncertainty, because God has declared, "I will bring back the captives of My people, Israel ..." (Amos 9:14).

For this reason, the re-establishment of the nation of Israel, and the restoration of the land are like beams of hope promising to illuminate the consciousness of all who are searching for truth and desiring to walk in it, and for those who are genuinely concerned for their future.

When the State of Israel was reborn, in May 1948, it was an event of Biblical proportions reminiscent of Israel's exodus from Egypt. Indeed, it was a modern-day miracle, and an event that is comparable to one who has been raised from the dead. On this occasion, the Jewish people were raised from the grave of the Holocaust. At the time, powerless against an evil regime, the Jewish people were facing complete annihilation. But then, suddenly, their desperate and hopeless situation was overturned.

"'If it had not been the LORD who was on our side,' let Israel now say - 'If it had not been the LORD  who was on our side, when men rose up against us, then they would have swallowed us alive, when their wrath was kindled against us, then the stream would have gone over our soul; then the swollen waters would have gone over our soul.'" (Psalm 124:1-5) The Jewish people would not have survived unless the LORD had saved them. More particularly and subsequent to their deliverance, an independent State of Israel was re-established, providing a refuge and home for many Jewish people seeking relief and deliverance.

Undoubtedly, the God of Israel was with His people, to deliver them and to bring them home to the Land of Israel. Despite the plans of men to finally rid the world of Jewish people, God has fulfilled what He had promised, "I will bring back the captives of My people, Israel ..." (Amos 9:14). Therefore, Israel's return is both a beam of hope bringing great comfort to many who are troubled because of uncertain times, and a beam of promise for those looking for God's Kingdom and His redemption.

As if these great events were not enough! From the moment the State of Israel was established, the Jewish people had to defend themselves against strong, well-equipped armies. Surviving several wars, Israel has won wars that would have normally wiped-out many other nations, including major powers. And yet, Israel lives!

How is it possible that Israel could survive?"

"Thus says the Lord God; 'Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army ...

"Thus says the LORD God, 'Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.'" (Ezekiel 37:9, 12)

An honest appraisal and genuine heart concludes that Israel has survived because of God's help. Note too, that God is declaring His faithfulness through these events.

As if to emphasize and underline His goodness toward Israel, God has caused the land of Israel to blossom and be fruitful. It can not be over-emphasized that the land has been transformed only since the people of Israel have returned. Prior to Israel's return much of the land was wilderness and barren, but today since the people's return, the land has been revived, precisely as God foretold.

"I will bring back the captives of My people, Israel; they shall build the waste cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them; they shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them.

"I will plant them in their land, and no longer shall they be pulled up from the land I have given them, says the LORD your God." (Amos 9:14-15)

It is not by coincidence that God has helped Israel to a position of prominence. Whilst the process has not been easy, Israel has prevailed over indifference and injustice by the international community. Logically, Israel should not have survived, yet it has achieved the status of one of the leading nations.

Furthermore, not only has Israel defended itself against hostile enemies and international abuse, but Israel is exemplary, leading the way in many spheres, such as science, medicine, research, technology and development. On numerous occasions, this tiny State of Israel has led the way in helping struggling, developing nations who have battled years of drought and crop failure. Also, Israel has been one of the first to send aid and to offer support, when other nations have suffered from natural disasters.

Israel could not have survived nor have achieved these successes, without God's help. Moreover, the God of Israel has a purpose, an agenda. He is fulfilling the promises He has made with His people, Israel. The God of Israel is faithful and trustworthy. Therefore, He is the Rock - the unchanging One in times of despair, and His Word is ever reliable and true.

It is sad that most nations, to their own detriment, scorn and bemoan the reestablishment of the State of the people of Israel. It is as if their eyes are closed, and they do not see what God has done. Like Pharaoh of the exodus their hearts are hardened and they do not understand what the God of the Hebrews is doing.

For those who can see, Israel's return and restoration of the land are beams of hope and promise in these days of growing uncertainty. Surely, today, Israel lives because the Lord God is faithful to His Word. The God of Israel is faithful and will fulfil His Word concerning His people, Israel. May there be many today whose eyes are open, and who seek Him that they may find rest and be satisfied in His goodness.

Mark Warren