Israeli Air Force Hosting International Conference, 20+ Nations Attending

(Photo Credit: IDF website, accessed 5/21/2018)

Top military officials from around the world are gathering in Israel today for a 3-day conference to bolster cooperation and regional stability through air superiority.  Over 20 nations, including the US, several European countries, Canada, Brazil and many others, will participate in lectures, tours, strategic discussions and aerial training.  Innovation and technology will be at the forefront, and emphasis will be on various regional challenges.

Hear Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin describe the purpose of the event here, or see the IAF’s report here.  By showcasing their technology and values, Israel is strengthening partnerships around the world, including in Sunni Muslim countries, once enemies of Israel.

But news bites aside, here is what I find refreshing: the tiny country of Israel is boldly taking leadership in various ways on the worldwide stage.  They are not the little nation dependent upon America (or anyone else).  They have come of age and have matured into a self-sufficient nation, not only capable of taking care of herself, but also extending encouragement and aid to other nations much her senior.  To whom much is given, much is required and Israel is giving back in so many ways.

Pray for bridges of cooperation to be built, despite political differences.  Pray that bonds will be strengthened between Israel and the nations of the world.  Pray that all who attend this event will be blessed.  God has given Israel a special mission, according to Genesis 12:3: to be a blessing to every nation.  Indeed, Israel is growing friendships and leading with dignity.  May all who attend more deeply understand the Biblical implications.

 

 

 

 

Israel at 70: A View from the Israeli Minister of Public Diplomacy and a Jewish Author

Image result for isaiah 35 1-2

At the ICEJ/ACLI Conference in Washington DC, we were privileged to hear from Israeli Minister of Public Diplomacy, Yaron Gamburg, gave an exciting speech about the history of Israel.  In regard to Israel today, he mentioned three key things of which everyone should know:

  • Land – As we know, God’s covenant with Abraham promised Israel a land.  (See Genesis 12 and 15, as well as other references.)  When God called Moses to lead His people out of Egypt, He referenced a land flowing with milk and honey (Exodus 3, Ezekiel 20).  Yet, when Israel was reborn in 1948, Israel was far from a land flowing with milk and honey.  Yet, Isaiah 35:1-2 tells us that the desert will blossom.  That is happening!  You see, the land blossoms only when Jews are in it!  God keeps His promises to His people.
  • People – God’s covenant with Abraham also involved people.  Abraham would be the father of the Jewish people.  Since Israel’s rebirth, 3.5 million Jews have made aliyah (return to the homeland)!  Israel has now overtaken the United States as the most Jewish-populated country in the world…as they should be!  God is bringing His people back to their land, just as He promised.
  • Purpose – The Jewish people have a purpose: to make the world a better place.  Avi Jorisch, author of Thou Shalt Innovate, also spoke at the conference, concurring that tikkun olam (making the world a better place) is part of the Jewish DNA.  It is ingrained.  Ganburg referred to the Jews as “lights unto the world,” and strive to leave a positive impact.

Jorisch spent considerable time describing innovation in Israel, including all the ways in which inventions are helping people all around the world.  We previewed CBN’s latest release entitled, To Life, which documents the worldwide relief work done by Israelis.

It is so important that we share the truth about Israel.  Here’s a great way to learn (then tell) about Israel’s efforts to be “lights unto the world.”  To see To Life for free, click the link.  Check it out, then spread the word!

Praise God for America’s “Cyrus Moments”

Ok Bible scholars, who recalls King Cyrus and what he did on behalf of the Jews?  If you said he was a Persian king who conquered Babylon, then gave a decree allowing the Jews to return to their land and rebuild the Temple, you are right!  God used a foreign ruler to accomplish His purpose with His people.

It is not often that God works multiple times in the same way, but we see evidence of His use of American presidents to accomplish His purposes with His people as well.  Three presidents come to mind:

  • Harry Truman – In 1948, when Israel seemingly had no backing in their quest to become a state, they found a friend in Harry Truman.  On May 12, 1948, against the will of his Secretary of State who opposed recognizing the new Jewish state, Truman stuck to his guns:

“In an area as unstable as the Middle East, where there is not now and never has been any tradition of democratic govern­ment, it is important for the long-range security of our country, and indeed the world, that a nation committed to the democratic system be established there, one on which we can rely. The new Jewish state can be such a place. We should strengthen it in its infancy by prompt recognition.”

The US was the first to recognize the re-born state of Israel on May 14, 1948.

  • Richard Nixon – Nixon’s mother was a Quaker who told her son that if he was ever in a position of power and a situation arose in which the Jews needed help, to do so.  Apparently, that directive was not lost on young Richard.  Despite tendencies toward anti-semitism, his mother’s words rang in his ears when he got a call in the middle of the night from Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir in October 1973.  Israel was under siege from Egypt and Syria and defeat was almost certain.  Nixon had not been reactive to previous requests for help, prompting Meir to state that if the US didn’t help soon, there would be no more Israel.  The advice of his mother prevailed and Nixon ordered equipment to be sent immediately to Israel…against the advice of Henry Kissinger and his other advisors.
  • Donald Trump – Following passage of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, the policy of the US was that 1.) Jerusalem was to be an undivided city, 2.) it should be recognized as the capital of Israel, and 3.) the US Embassy should be established in Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999.  However, there was one caveat: Section 7 of the act allowed Presidential waivers if there was a security threat to the US.  Based on that waiver, every American president since 1999 exercised their right to the waiver every six months!  Under constant threat from Palestinians and other Arab nations, not one president had the gumption to do what was required by law…until President Donald Trump announced in December 2017 that the US not only recognizes Jerusalem as the capital, but would move its embassy there!

Yesterday, the American Embassy was officially opened in Jerusalem!

America has capitalized on three “Cyrus moments,” culminating with the most pro-Israel administration ever fulfilling the promise to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and move the embassy.

And I will bless those who bless you,
And the one who curses you I will curse.
And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.
~Genesis 12:3

May the US continue blessing Israel, so that Israel may bless all the families of the earth!

Here is What Makes Good Friday Good!

Good Friday…the day Christians remember Jesus’ crucifixion.  What’s so “good” about the day our Lord and Savior was beaten, broken, and crucified?  It was a gruesome day, physically.  Recall, that Jesus was betrayed, endured 6 illegal trials, treated ruthlessly, and ultimately crucified.

To understand the “good” in Good Friday, we must go all the way back to Genesis!   Only three chapters into the Bible (Genesis 3), we find Satan convincing Eve that, if she will taste the fruit, “…your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.” [Emphasis mine].  Ultimately, Eve ate, and sin entered the world.  Since that time, we all attempt (in one way or another) to be like God.  In other words, we all sin.  (Romans 3:23)  As a result, we are all in need of a Savior, and God prepared a way of salvation for us.

In the midst of our sin, Christ died for us!  (Romans 5:6)  Though He was sinless, He died in order to one day bring us safely home!  (1 Peter 3:18)

Friends, THAT is good news!  You see, Good Friday is not “good” from Jesus’ earthly point of view, but is only “good” to our benefit!  That is the love of a Savior who draws us to Himself and desires that none should perish!  (2 Peter 3:8-9)

The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  (Romans 6:23)  If Jesus is not your personal friend and Savior, please go to How to Know God.  He is there waiting for you!  Don’t let this Resurrection weekend pass without considering your eternal destiny.