A New Season Begins for God’s People in God’s Land

At the ICEJ/ACLI Conference this week, we were reminded of the significance of “jubilee years” throughout Israel’s modern history.  To place it in Biblical context, read Leviticus 25 (particularly verses 8-10)to discover the Lord’s plan to designate years of jubilee every 50 years.   Those years were established as years of redemption for those who gave up land they could no longer afford, or who went into slavery because they had no other way to live.

Over the course of recent history, we have seen the Lord remain faithful to implement jubilee years for the Jewish people.  For example, in the 1860’s, Charles Warren, an officer in the British Royal Engineers, was prohibited from excavating areas beneath Temple Mount.  Thus, he moved his operation south, where he discovered the ancient City of David in 1867.  This was historic because it put King David’s kingdom on the map, verifying a critical part of Jewish history.  More importantly, it became the first season of aliyah (returning to the homeland) for the Jewish people.  Jubilee!

Fifty years later (1917), British General Edmund Allenby liberated the city of Jerusalem from Arab oppression.  British forces not only captured Jerusalem, but established a strong fortified line to ward off Israel’s enemies.  On December 11 of that year, Allenby refused to ride into the city on horseback (as victorious leaders were prone to do), but instead dismounted and walked through the Jaffa Gate because he believed that no conquering king other than Jesus should ride into the city!  Again, property was returned to its rightful owner (Israel) in a jubilee year…50 years after Warren’s discover brought aliyah.

Fast forward another 50 years to 1967 and Israel prevailed in one of the most critical battles of all time.  Egypt’s President Gamal Abdul Nasser, having been fully embarrassed by failed attempts to conquer Israel in 1948 (War of Independence) and 1956 (Suez War), concocted a plan to cut off shipping to Israel, thus choking off their livelihood.  Not only that, he enlisted the backing and military support of Syria and Jordan.  But, knowing of the plan, Israel launched a preemptive strike that caught Egypt and her allies totally off-guard.  Not only did Israel soundly defeat the Arab aggressors, but in so doing, they regained control of the Old City of Jerusalem (held by the Jordanians)!  It was a miraculous victory, only possible through the hand of God who was faithful to His promises!  Jubilee!

Fifty years later (2017) another jubilee year occurred.  Donald Trump surprisingly won the US presidential election and one of his campaign promises was to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, per the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995.  The law mandated the move be made no later than May 31, 1999, but it had one caveat: the President could sign a 6-month waiver if it was a security risk.  Every US president since that time promised to move the embassy, yet signed waivers every 6 months, delaying the move.  Yet, in December 2017, President Trump made a surprising announcement containing two very key points: he recognized Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel and he officially decreed that the US Embassy would move to Jerusalem!  Jubilee!

Well, on May 14, 2018, Israel’s 70th birthday (on the Gregorian calendar), the US officially opened that embassy in Jerusalem…and the celebration continues.  Israelis are rejoicing in the streets as they celebrate yet another jubilee!

So, you may have known all that, so what’s the point?  Great question!  It is now a new season in Israel.  Things will be different there, as they are each time a jubilee year occurs.  Once possessions are returned to a poor man, life changes!  Moreover, Israel has now been a reborn nation for the same number of years she was once in Babylonian exile.  Not that the two events are linked in many ways, but it seems somewhat interesting that, just as Cyrus helped restore the land to the Jews after 70 years, so the US has helped to restore the land to the Jews.

My point is this: the US remains a critical vessel in God’s plan for Israel.  Our nation has been abundantly blessed, because we have chosen to bless Israel.  Biblically speaking, we know that, one day, the US will cease to be the strong ally that partners with Israel today.  Israel will stand alone.  But until that time, dear friends, it is vitally important that we continue to bless Israel individually, corporately through our churches and nationally through diplomacy, military coordination and assistance.

Rejoice, for the jubilee year has brought a new season to Israel!  (And stay tuned…I’ve got lots more good stuff to share from the conference!)

Israel Stands Against All Odds!

LFTBH Banner(2)

Welcome back, fellow Bible students!  Now that we’ve studied and celebrated Israel’s re-birth, we’re going to turn our sights to Israel’s miraculous war history.  God has indeed confirmed Israel as the apple of His eye, and has proven it in the way He has brought victory to them against all odds.  Constantly, Israelites have been out-numbered, out-manned and out-equipped, yet constantly they have been miraculously victorious….and constantly God has been on their side.

Today, we’ll run through Israel’s war history since becoming a nation, and we’ll look at:

  • The War of Independence (1947-1948)
  • The Suez War (1956)
  • The Six-Day War (1967)
  • The War of Attrition (1968-1970)
  • The Yom Kippur War (1973)
  • The Gaza Conflicts (2008-2014)

We’re covering lots of territory today, so hang on!

The War of Independence.  Within 24 hours of Israel’s declaration of independence, they were attacked by Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq.  However, the conflict really began 6 months earlier, when on November 29, 1947, the UN Partition Plan was issued, creating separate Arab and Jewish states in “Palestine.”  Though it was the smallest land mass ever granted to Israel, they agreed.  Arabs, on the other hand, were not satisfied!  They wanted more.  Thus, they launched an attack.  Once the Jews responded, they were accused of “massacres,” despite the fact that Arabs would signal surrender, only to ambush Israeli forces.  And despite accusations of Jews killing women and children, over 100 Arab women casualties were found to be men dressed as women.

But consider the military balance in the War of Independence.  Arab nations fought with 285 tanks to Israel’s 3; and 104 aircraft to Israel’s 4.  The tiny Jewish nation had only ¼ of the artillery possessed by the enemy.  Out-numbered, out-manned, out-equipped…Israel was victorious!

The Suez War.  An armistice agreement ended the War of Independence, but defeat was humiliating to the Arab allies.  Egyptian President Gamel Abdel Nasser, who backed Nazi Germany during WW2, was determined to suppress the Jewish state.  Thus, following defeat, he refused to allow Israel access to the Suez Canal and the Gulf of Aqaba…a violation of the armistice agreement.  In 1951, the UN demanded that he open the canal, yet Nasser refused and vowed to “cleanse the land of Palestine.”  So, on October 29, 1956, Israel launched “Operation Kadesh” and thoroughly defeated the much larger Egyptian nation in only 8 days!  God proved Himself victorious on Israel’s behalf once again!

The Six-Day War.  Humiliated once again by the defeat, Egypt and Arab allies conspired to stage terror attacks in 1964-1967, and Syria began bombing Israel from the Golan Heights.  On April 7, 1967, Israel fired back, shooting down 6 Syrian fighter jets in a matter of hours.  But Israel’s enemies failed to get the message!  Thus, amidst rising Arab threats and calls for jihad, Israel struck on June 5, taking only 6 days to utterly destroy the Egyptian, Syrian and Jordanian air forces!

Once more, Israel was far out-manned (260,000 vs 415,000) and out-equipped (900 tanks vs 2350 and 203 aircraft vs 581), yet were overwhelmingly victorious.  In fact, Israel captured the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and the Golan Heights!

More importantly, Israel took back all of Jerusalem, including Temple Mount!  For the first time since their dispersion in 70 AD, the Jews took control of their most holy site!  Now, for the amazing part: they gave back the Sinai Peninsula on the promise of peace (which obviously never happened), and they turned Temple Mount back over to the Jordanians in fear of igniting the third world war.

The War of Attrition.  Arab leaders continued to become more and more humiliated by constant defeat by the pesky Jewish nation.  In the aftermath of the 1967 defeat, Egyptian President Nasser resigned, only to have his people beg him to remain.  He had agreed to a cease-fire and was now in desperate need of proving his people’s confidence.  Therefore, he came up with a plan: enter into a long war of terror, thereby wearing down the tiny Israeli nation.  Three weeks after the end of the Six-Day War, Israeli troops were bombed near the Suez Canal (newly-gained territory as a result of the Six-Day War).  In addition, Yasser Arafat and his Fatah party began raids from Jordan, creating duel southern and eastern fronts.  Terrorist raids became standard operation procedure for the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).

The Yom Kippur War.  As always, revenge remained on the minds of Arab leaders.  In 1973, during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, 9 Arab nations and 4 other Muslim nations simultaneously invaded Israel.  The October 9 attack occurred on Yom Kippur, Israel’s holiest day, when most soldiers were home with their families.  Things looked bleak and Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir pleaded for aid from the US.  On October 12, US aid was granted and the tide began to turn.  By October 18, Israel had the upper hand, and by October 22, a UN cease-fire resolution was the only thing that stopped Israel from overtaking Cairo Egypt and Damascus Syria!

God was again at work on behalf of His chosen land!  Never had Israel been so out-numbered.  Their 5,000 troops faced over 600,000 troops from at least 12 different Arab countries, who also possessed about 20X as many tanks as Israel.

Gaza Conflicts.  In 2005, Israel handed over the Gaza Strip to the Palestinians, who were quickly ruled by the known terrorist group, Hamas.  The charter of Hamas calls for the destruction of Israel and replacement with a Palestinian Islamic state.  Thus, the goal is clear!  Between 2001 and the beginning of the Gaza Conflict in the summer of 2014, well over 10,000 rockets had been launched into Israel primarily from schools, hospitals and mosques within the Gaza Strip.  In response, Israel was incredibly careful to protect the citizens of Gaza while targeting missile launch sites.  To protect Palestinian citizens, Israel:

  • Phoned Gaza residents to tell them when attacks would take place and where they should flee.
  • Dropped millions of leaflets warning citizens of impending Israeli attacks and providing information to safety.
  • Aborted airstrikes if civilians were seen to be in harm’s way.
  • “Roof knocked,” firing missiles with no warheads to hit buildings they were about to target with live ammunition.
  • Conducted precision airstrikes, capable of deploying missiles with pinpoint accuracy, so as not to hit other structures.

Meanwhile, Hamas used Israeli cement, provided to improve infrastructure in the Gaza Strip, to build terror tunnels.  Each tunnel cost $3million, and over 30 tunnels were discovered by the IDF in 2014.  Thus, over $90million meant for homes, schools, hospitals etc was used instead for terrorist activity.

Despite it all, Israel is accused of bombing schools, mosques and hospitals…the very places from which Hamas was launching rockets.  In addition, Israel is chastised for killing women and children, despite the extensive warning Israel gave to save innocent civilians.  Finally, Israel is accused of suppressing Gazan economy, despite providing the very building materials used to build terror tunnels.

Friends, we must be aware of the “big lie” being propagated by Israel’s enemies.  Though Israel faces charges in international court of war crimes, the reality is that no military in the world acts with the integrity of the Israeli Defense Force.

Stay with us this week as we look at God’s promises to the re-born nation of Israel.  We’ll also look at two Old Testament war miracles and a future battlefield miracle.  We’ll end the week studying God’s heart toward His chosen people and His chosen land.

Thanks for hanging in there with us!  Stay with us for an exciting week ahead!

Against All Odds, Israel Stands!

LFTBH Banner(2)

Welcome back, fellow Bible students!  Now that we’ve studied and celebrated Israel’s re-birth, we’re going to turn our sights to Israel’s miraculous war history.  God has indeed confirmed Israel as the apple of His eye, and has proven it in the way He has brought victory to them against all odds.  Constantly, Israelites have been out-numbered, out-manned and out-equipped, yet constantly they have been miraculously victorious….and constantly God has been on their side.

Today, we’ll run through Israel’s war history since becoming a nation, and we’ll look at:

  • The War of Independence (1947-1948)
  • The Suez War (1956)
  • The Six-Day War (1967)
  • The War of Attrition (1968-1970)
  • The Yom Kippur War (1973)
  • The Gaza Conflicts (2008-2014)

We’re covering lots of territory today, so hang on!

The War of Independence.  Within 24 hours of Israel’s declaration of independence, they were attacked by Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq.  However, the conflict really began 6 months earlier, when on November 29, 1947, the UN Partition Plan was issued, creating separate Arab and Jewish states in “Palestine.”  Though it was the smallest land mass ever granted to Israel, they agreed.  Arabs, on the other hand, were not satisfied!  They wanted more.  Thus, they launched an attack.  Once the Jews responded, they were accused of “massacres,” despite the fact that Arabs would signal surrender, only to ambush Israeli forces.  And despite accusations of Jews killing women and children, over 100 Arab women casualties were found to be men dressed as women.

But consider the military balance in the War of Independence.  Arab nations fought with 285 tanks to Israel’s 3; and 104 aircraft to Israel’s 4.  The tiny Jewish nation had only ¼ of the artillery possessed by the enemy.  Out-numbered, out-manned, out-equipped…Israel was victorious!

The Suez War.  An armistice agreement ended the War of Independence, but defeat was humiliating to the Arab allies.  Egyptian President Gamel Abdel Nasser, who backed Nazi Germany during WW2, was determined to suppress the Jewish state.  Thus, following defeat, he refused to allow Israel access to the Suez Canal and the Gulf of Aqaba…a violation of the armistice agreement.  In 1951, the UN demanded that he open the canal, yet Nasser refused and vowed to “cleanse the land of Palestine.”  So, on October 29, 1956, Israel launched “Operation Kadesh” and thoroughly defeated the much larger Egyptian nation in only 8 days!  God proved Himself victorious on Israel’s behalf once again!

The Six-Day War.  Humiliated once again by the defeat, Egypt and Arab allies conspired to stage terror attacks in 1964-1967, and Syria began bombing Israel from the Golan Heights.  On April 7, 1967, Israel fired back, shooting down 6 Syrian fighter jets in a matter of hours.  But Israel’s enemies failed to get the message!  Thus, amidst rising Arab threats and calls for jihad, Israel struck on June 5, taking only 6 days to utterly destroy the Egyptian, Syrian and Jordanian air forces!

Once more, Israel was far out-manned (260,000 vs 415,000) and out-equipped (900 tanks vs 2350 and 203 aircraft vs 581), yet were overwhelmingly victorious.  In fact, Israel captured the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and the Golan Heights!

More importantly, Israel took back all of Jerusalem, including Temple Mount!  For the first time since their dispersion in 70 AD, the Jews took control of their most holy site!  Now, for the amazing part: they gave back the Sinai Peninsula on the promise of peace (which obviously never happened), and they turned Temple Mount back over to the Jordanians in fear of igniting the third world war.

The War of Attrition.  Arab leaders continued to become more and more humiliated by constant defeat by the pesky Jewish nation.  In the aftermath of the 1967 defeat, Egyptian President Nasser resigned, only to have his people beg him to remain.  He had agreed to a cease-fire and was now in desperate need of proving his people’s confidence.  Therefore, he came up with a plan: enter into a long war of terror, thereby wearing down the tiny Israeli nation.  Three weeks after the end of the Six-Day War, Israeli troops were bombed near the Suez Canal (newly-gained territory as a result of the Six-Day War).  In addition, Yasser Arafat and his Fatah party began raids from Jordan, creating duel southern and eastern fronts.  Terrorist raids became standard operation procedure for the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).

The Yom Kippur War.  As always, revenge remained on the minds of Arab leaders.  In 1973, during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, 9 Arab nations and 4 other Muslim nations simultaneously invaded Israel.  The October 9 attack occurred on Yom Kippur, Israel’s holiest day, when most soldiers were home with their families.  Things looked bleak and Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir pleaded for aid from the US.  On October 12, US aid was granted and the tide began to turn.  By October 18, Israel had the upper hand, and by October 22, a UN cease-fire resolution was the only thing that stopped Israel from overtaking Cairo Egypt and Damascus Syria!

God was again at work on behalf of His chosen land!  Never had Israel been so out-numbered.  Their 5,000 troops faced over 600,000 troops from at least 12 different Arab countries, who also possessed about 20X as many tanks as Israel.

Gaza Conflicts.  In 2005, Israel handed over the Gaza Strip to the Palestinians, who were quickly ruled by the known terrorist group, Hamas.  The charter of Hamas calls for the destruction of Israel and replacement with a Palestinian Islamic state.  Thus, the goal is clear!  Between 2001 and the beginning of the Gaza Conflict in the summer of 2014, well over 10,000 rockets had been launched into Israel primarily from schools, hospitals and mosques within the Gaza Strip.  In response, Israel was incredibly careful to protect the citizens of Gaza while targeting missile launch sites.  To protect Palestinian citizens, Israel:

  • Phoned Gaza residents to tell them when attacks would take place and where they should flee.
  • Dropped millions of leaflets warning citizens of impending Israeli attacks and providing information to safety.
  • Aborted airstrikes if civilians were seen to be in harm’s way.
  • “Roof knocked,” firing missiles with no warheads to hit buildings they were about to target with live ammunition.
  • Conducted precision airstrikes, capable of deploying missiles with pinpoint accuracy, so as not to hit other structures.

Meanwhile, Hamas used Israeli cement, provided to improve infrastructure in the Gaza Strip, to build terror tunnels.  Each tunnel cost $3million, and over 30 tunnels were discovered by the IDF in 2014.  Thus, over $90million meant for homes, schools, hospitals etc was used instead for terrorist activity.

Despite it all, Israel is accused of bombing schools, mosques and hospitals…the very places from which Hamas was launching rockets.  In addition, Israel is chastised for killing women and children, despite the extensive warning Israel gave to save innocent civilians.  Finally, Israel is accused of suppressing Gazan economy, despite providing the very building materials used to build terror tunnels.

Friends, we must be aware of the “big lie” being propagated by Israel’s enemies.  Though Israel faces charges in international court of war crimes, the reality is that no military in the world acts with the integrity of the Israeli Defense Force.

Stay with us this week as we look at God’s promises to the re-born nation of Israel.  We’ll also look at two Old Testament war miracles and a future battlefield miracle.  We’ll end the week studying God’s heart toward His chosen people and His chosen land.

Thanks for hanging in there with us!  Stay with us for an exciting week ahead!

Gaza Terrorist: “Their God changes the path of our rockets in mid-air”

God-changes-path-of-rockets-jewish-telegraph-600

The July 18 edition of the Jewish Telegraph carried perhaps the most intriguing headline of the entire Gaza conflict when a Hamas terrorist clearly acknowledged God’s supernatural work on behalf of Israel.  When asked why terrorists from Gaza could not aim their rockets more effectively, the terrorist exclaimed:

“We do aim them.  But their God changes their path in mid-air.”

Indeed, the God of Israel has miraculously protected and defended His chosen land and His chosen people throughout history!  Now, even a hardened terrorist is acknowledging God’s intervention on behalf of His people!

Biblical examples of God’s battle miracles on behalf of Israel include the conquest of Jericho and Gideon’s conquest of the Midianites.  But His miracles have extended into the modern age as well.  Overwhelmingly out-numbered and out-armed, Israel was decisively victorious in their War of Independence (1948), the Suez War (1956), the Six Day War (1967), and the Yom Kippur War (1973).

Friends, the same God that can change the path of a rocket in mid-air is able to provide for His own.  In Genesis 12:1-3, God promised land and descendants to Abraham, and He promised to bless them.  God has not forgotten His chosen land and His chosen people.  He continues to protect them, and will do so until the end.

I am grateful to follow and serve a God who is faithful to His promises, aren’t you?  As you pray for peace in the Middle East, why not thank God for His faithfulness to Israel and His faithfulness to you!

Shalom friends!