Though Israeli holidays are celebrated according to the Hebrew calendar, the world recognizes today…May 14, 2022…as Israel’s 74th birthday. It was on that date in 1948 that David Ben Gurion led a group of Zionists to declare independence, fulfilling Bible prophecy that Israel would be reborn in a day. (Isaiah 66:7-10)
Meanwhile, in America, God was doing another unique thing that ultimately resulted in the US becoming the first nation to acknowledge Israel’s statehood, and an enduring relationship began. But how?
On April 12, 1945, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt died and VP Harry Truman took office. Little did he know the Biblical significance, or the part he would play in Bible prophecy. Yet, Truman was a man of faith who found heroes in the pages of the Old and New Testaments, and he had a life-long personal love of the Bible and a personal relationship with the God of the Bible.
He was aware of Passover and the Jews’ exodus from Egypt, and he understood that God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis 15:13-16 was fulfilled under Moses when God set the Jewish people free from exile. He understood prophecies of two other Jewish returns from exile, one from Babylon (2 Chronicles 36:22-23 and Ezra 1:1-4) and the other from the far reaches of the earth, never to be uprooted again! (Amos 1:1-4)
That promise stuck with him, and as he watched prophecy being fulfilled on May 14, 1948, he recalled that promise. Israel’s declaration of independence was a turning point, and Truman knew he had the power and authority to do something Biblically significant! Despite adamant counsel from cabinet members and others in government, Harry Truman stood on what he knew to be true: God’s Word said Israel will never again be taken out of the land. Thus, against all advice, he immediately acknowledged Israel’s independence.
Some historians believe Harry Truman was the most unlikely president in all of US history, yet God chose him for that position “for such a time as this.” Just as Moses played a crucial role in the first exodus and King Cyrus was the key figure in the second exodus, so God used President Harry S Truman for His divine purposes in the third and final exile!
Who knew, on April 12, 1945, when Truman became the 33rd President of the United States of America, that he would be the one God used to inextricably tie America to Israel? Now, here we are 74 years later, and America and Israel (though both show signs of cracking) remain shining “cities on a hill,” a beacon of light to the world.
We’re praying for Israel through the month of May, and it is no coincidence that the prayer focus this afternoon will be on raising up the next generation. Will Israel’s youth turn to God for wisdom and guidance? In the US and around the world, will there be young people to carry the mantle passed down from Truman and the saints who have stood with Israel for 74 years? Will the next generation even understand the significance of America’s relationship with Israel, and Christians’ relationships with Jews?
May the God of heaven raise up the next generation to stand strong in Israel and with Israel! Check back this afternoon when our prayer focus will be just that!
Meanwhile, Happy Independence Day, Israel!