The Wonders of Israel

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When you think of Israel, what comes to mind geographically? Perhaps you think of the Jerusalem, the city on a hill. Or, maybe the Sea of Galilee, or even the Dead Sea. The barren wilderness of southern Israel may come to mind.

Those places alone represent significant diversity in geography and climate. But I want to stretch your mind a little. Israel is the size of New Jersey…or the size of my home county, Maricopa County (Arizona). It is a tiny nation!

Yet, in that tiny place, climate ranges from temperate to tropical, hot and dry to cold and rainy, and even arid in a large swath of southern Israel. One might take a four hour drive from one end of Israel to the other, and see snow on Mt Hermon, tropical beauty in northern Israel, fertile valleys in central Israel, Mediterranean mildness on the coast, crisp coolness and rain in Jerusalem, and balmy beach weather in Eilat (southern tip of Israel). Yes, all in one nation the size of my home county!

Because God has blessed Israel with such geographic uniqueness, Israel has an abundance of nature reserves (10) that clearly display the handiwork of the Almighty Creator. Take a look and enjoy:

Jerusalem: The Eternal Capital of Israel

Argument abounds regarding the legitimacy of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Though David established Jerusalem as the capital of his kingdom about 1,000 years before Christ, parts of the Old City, including Temple Mount, fell into Muslim control during modern history.

In the 1967 Six Day War, Israel recaptured Temple Mount and reunited Jerusalem. Despite that victory, Israel (in the interest of peace) allowed Temple Mount to remain under Jordanian control, and a very large Muslim quarter is still entrenched inside the walls of the Old City.

Regardless, there has been Jewish presence in Jerusalem for 3,000 years and every logical sign points to the fact that Jerusalem was and is a Jewish city…the eternal capital of the Jewish state, Israel.

Consider these facts, then decide for yourself whether or not Jerusalem is indeed the capital of the Jewish homeland:

Israel Shines as 2019 Gets Underway

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Christmas marks the birth of the Light of the World, our Lord Jesus Christ! As Christmas disappears in our rear view mirror, let’s turn our gaze to another bright light.

Rejoice! Arise and shine, Israel, for the glory of the glory of the Lord is rising and the light shines through you! The Light of the World is shining through Israel right now! Here are some examples from 2018:

  • Tourism is booming! Over 4 million tourists visited Israel in 2018. Enormous year-after-year increases have occurred since 2006 when only 1.8 million visited. Last year, over a million of those tourists were Americans, squashing rumors that it is dangerous to go there! (It is not!)
  • Israel’s population grew 2% in 2018 to almost 9 million. (74% Jewish, 20% Arab) Not only are Jews returning to their homeland from all corners of the world, but they are also living longer. Life expectancy in Israel is among the highest in the world (84 for women, 80 for men).
  • Israel’s light continues to shine all around the world. Israeli technology was used to rescue young soccer players from a cave in Thailand, and to deal with the drone problem at Gatwick Airport (in the UK) during the busy Christmas season. “Operation Good Neighbor” provided free medical care to Syrians fleeing civil war atrocities. Innovations in conservation, medicine, agriculture and technology were shared with the world, making life a little better for people everywhere.
  • Positive attitudes toward Jesus by some Israeli media. Interestingly, a stunning number of articles and other media sources in Israel are beginning to reflect very favorably on Jesus and His life. In fact, an entire documentary entitled, “Christianity in Israel,” was released, calling for greater appreciation of the Christian community in Israel. Significant shifts in attitude toward Jesus seem to indicate the centuries-old rift between Christians and Jews has taken a positive turn!
  • A growing number of Messianic believers. Very conservatively, there are now at least 30,000 Messianic believers in Israel. (There were less than 30 in 1948 when Israel was reborn.) The true number is likely much greater than that, as many are young people, unable to identify publicly for fear of being disassociated by their families. Additionally, evangelistic videos produced by One for Israel have been viewed 90 million times! 25 million of those views are in Hebrew versions…almost 3X the population of Israel, the only nation where Hebrew is spoken regularly.

Indeed, the Light of the World is shining upon His chosen land and His chosen people! The Light has come and the glory of the Lord is rising. One day, when the partial hardening is lifted from the Jewish people, all Israel will see the Light and will be saved! (Romans 11:25-26)

That hardening seems to be lifting (if only slightly), which begs the question: How soon will the fullness of the Gentiles come? (Read Romans 11!) Yet again, we see evidence that time is short!

Some day the very last Gentile to acknowledge Jesus as Lord will bow the knee to do so. At that moment, the time of the Gentiles will end as Jesus comes to take us to live with Him forever. That day is coming soon. If you have not invited Jesus to be the Light in you world, it is time to do so. We are all sinners, we cannot save ourselves, yet Jesus (through His death, burial and resurrection) paid a debt for our sins that we could not pay. He wants to be your Lord and Savior…the Light of your life. All you have to do is ask!

Click here to learn how to know Jesus personally and spend eternity with Him. Blessings, dear friend!

PS: Jews and Gentiles are saved the exact same way…by putting their faith in the Jewish Messiah, Yeshua (Jesus)!

Arise, shine; for your light has come,
And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.

~Isaiah 60:1

Special in Uniform: Israel Welcomes the Disabled into the IDF

The Israel Defense Forces is one of the most powerful militaries in the world, yet also one of the most inclusive.

When Oria Sagie received a letter of exemption from mandatory service in the IDF due to autism, he objected and was determined to become a volunteer. He entered an innovative program called Special in Uniform, which integrates young people with disabilities into the IDF. Oria persevered through the program, earning an identification card certifying him as a full-fledged IDF soldier.

“We have to try to the extent that we can to enter so-called ‘normal’ society and work hard to support the revolution that we are starting in Israel and around the world. We are part of this society. We have to keep going and keep fighting!”

~Oria Sagie

Special in Uniform has a presence on 28 different Israeli military posts where these special soldiers are serving honorably and making a difference in Israeli society by empowering those with disabilities.

“When individuals with special needs see a boy on the autistic spectrum, like Sagie, coming home on Friday in uniform and learn that they can also continue from the military into the civilian workforce, it has an enormous influence and inspires them to take the step toward full integration.”

~ Lt. Col. (Res.) Tiran Attia, director of Special in Uniform

Watch Oria and his fellow soldiers receive special recognition from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently: