Happy 75th

     In just a week, Israel turns 75 as a modern nation.  On May 14, 1948, David Ben-Gurion, the head of the Jewish Agency, declared “the establishment of a Jewish state to be known as the state of Israel.”  “In the days leading up to the formation of the Jewish state, most foreign ministry and military officials believed it was a mistake to let Israel become a nation because they expected that it would be immediately destroyed by its Arab neighbors, so they strongly lobbied President Truman not to recognize the new Jewish nation, fearing the United States would have blood on its hands when Israel was wiped out” (The Friends of Israel newsletter, April 2023).  But, President Truman, from his Southern Baptist upbringing, knew that Israel was the only nation with whom God had made a covenant in which He promised them the land of Israel.  That covenant began with Abraham, as recorded in Gen. 12:1-3 (cf 15:7; Acts 7:1-5; Heb. 11:8) where God promised him a land, a nation and a blessing.  President Truman hurriedly typed up a proclamation recognizing the new state of Israel. “He knew his advisors were about to arrive at the White House, and he did not want to risk the possibility of them stopping him!”  He felt that God had placed him in the presidency (like Esther in the Bible) for “such a time as this” (Esther 4:14)

     Truman’s political and military advisors had been advising him against standing with Israel, but God, in His providence, had sent a childhood friend of President Truman, a Jewish man named Edward Jacobson, to visit him a few weeks before David Ben-Gurion’s declaration. Jacobson explained to Truman why it was important for the Jewish people to have a homeland of their own where they could defend themselves and to which Jews scattered around the world could return. 

      So, on May 14, 1948, just eleven minutes after newly appointed Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion read the Declaration of Independence for Israel, President Truman officially announced the United States’ recognition and full support of the sovereign nation of Israel.  

     That very evening, a coalition of Arab nations attacked Israel, but the fledgling State of Israel rallied and defended itself successfully–and miraculously, and has been doing so ever since with wars and skirmishes to defend its borders from the Arab nations that surround it, vowing to push Israel into the Mediterranean and off the face of the map.  The hand of God is so evident in all of this, and will continue to be, for they are God’s Chosen, covenant people (Dt. 7:6-9; Isa. 43:10-12; 49:3,6; Ro. 11:28,29) and He will fulfill all His promises to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and David (Isa. 44:21-28; 45:5-7,12,18; Jer. 29:11).  There is no other way to explain their rebirth and 75 years of longevity in the face of constant opposition. No other nation has experienced the constant onslaught of hostility; yet the little nation of Israel, the size of the state of New Jersey, thrives as a democracy while surrounded by nations bent on destroying her. 

     Year after year, this amazing little nation, the miracle of God, continues to prosper and bless the world with its scientific, agricultural, information technology, and medical advancements, and millions of visitors flock to Israel each year! Truly, through the nation that God established through Abraham, all the nations of the earth are blessed. But the greatest blessing, of course is that through that nation, God provided the Holy Scriptures and the Messiah-Redeemer, Jesus Christ, who came to provide salvation to all who would believe, Jew and Gentile alike, through His sacrifice at Calvary and subsequent bodily resurrection three days later. 

     I believe that the reason the United States has been a “great nation” is first because of our foundation on biblical principles with a desire to have a place where we could freely worship God without interference from the state; but secondly, because of our support for Israel and God’s chosen people.  In God’s covenant with Abraham, He not only promised Abraham a land and a nation and blessing, but added, “I will bless those who bless you and the one who curses you I will curse…” (Gen. 12:3).  We have been blessed because of our recognition and support of the nation of Israel, just as proclaimed by President Truman. But that support has been waning and we now see a big increase in anti-semitism within our own country which is one of the major reasons we have been struggling in every aspect.  We, as a nation have turned our back on God and His Word and have become like the Israelites during the period of the Judges when “Everyone did that which was right in their own eyes” (Judges 21:25), and along with that have weakened in our support of Israel.  I pray that our leaders would come to their senses and repent and return to our Christian and biblical roots before it is too late. 

     I pray too for the many Jews who have yet to recognize Jesus as their Messiah and Savior.  The nation is living in unbelief, but God hasn’t given up on them, and one day, “all Israel wil be saved” (Ro. 11:26).  Because of the Jews’ rejection of their Messiah when He came to earth, the Gentiles had the opportunity to hear the Gospel. The Apostle Paul wrote: “For if their rejection be the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?” (Ro. 11:15).  When the Jews turn to Christ (at the end of the Tribulation) it will usher in Christ’s promised Kingdom on Earth and what a blessing that will be as there will finally be peace and justice and a rule of righteousness on earth. “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming quickly.’  Amen. Come, Lord Jesus” (Rev. 22:20).  

Happy 75th Birthday, Israel!

Forever His,

Pastor Dave


About Pastor Dave

Until my retirement 2 years ago, I pastored an independent Bible church in Northwest Montana for nearly 38 years. During that time I also helped establish a Christian school, and a Bible Camp. I am married and have children and grandchildren. The Wisdom of the Week devotional is an outgrowth of my desire to share what God is doing in my life and in our world, and to challenge you to be a part.
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