by Hector McLeod
reprinted with permission
Copyright © by Hector MacLeod 1997
Permission to put online by Hector MacLeod
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ISRAEL – GOD’S TIMEPIECE
The origin of Arab nations
Shortly after man’s attempt to build the tower of Babel (2347 BC) in rebellion against his Creator, the whole world was plunged into idolatry. Man “changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts and creeping things” (Romans 1:23).
Since the whole world had gone into idolatry, God in His great wisdom chose to deal with a family from that point on in time. He chose Abram from Ur of the Chaldees (2136 BC, now in the country of Iraq) and began to deal specifically with him. God’s purpose in choosing Abram was designed to rescue the fallen human race through Abram’s seed, Jesus the Messiah.
Significant and far-reaching promises were given to Abram.
1. God promised a land as a permanent possession for Abram’s offspring.
2. Through Abram’s seed all the nations of the earth would be blessed. “In thee shall al the families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:3)
3. A blessing or a curse would come upon all those who came in contact with Abram’s offspring. “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: (Genesis 12:3). A blessing for those who treat Abram’s seed well. A curse upon those who ill-treat Abram’s seed. That revelation was reiterated to Jacob (Israel). “Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over they brethren, and let they mother’s sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee: (Genesis 27:29). It was repeated again to the nation on their way back to the Promised Land after their miraculous deliverance from the land of Egypt. The Spirit of God came upon Balaam and he declared to the sons of Israel: “Blessed is he who blesseth thee, and cursed is he who curseth thee” (Numbers 24:9). It is especially noteworthy that Balaam’s Spirit-directed message was the same revelation God gave to Abraham several centuries before. That fact indicates that it is as valid today as it was when it was first given. It is also a demonstration of the fact that “God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable – He never withdraws them when once they are given, and He does not change His mind about those to whom He sends His call” (Romans 11:29 Amp).
After living several years in the land of promise, Abram still had no children because his wife Sarai was barren. When he complained to God (Genesis 15:3-4) he was reassured that his seed would be as the stars of heaven for number (Genesis 15:5). After remaining in the land for eleven years, Abram at 86, could evidently wait no longer for the promised offspring. He bowed to his wife Sarai’s scheme to have children from the Egyptian handmaid Hagar (Genesis 16:1-3). In 1913 BC a male child was born as a result of that union, and his name was called Ishmael (Genesis 16:15). Ishmael became the progenitor of the Arab nations. Arabs today are proud of the fact that they stem from their forefather Ishmael. For that reason, many of their sons are named Ishmael.
The circumstances related to the birth of Ishmael are a typical example of two glaring sins that are often committed today.
- Unbelief on Abram and Sarai’s part. They demonstrated the fact that they were not prepared to wait for the seed God had promised them. They decided to take action on their own to provide a substitute seed.
- Man’s notion that he can plan and scheme to bring about the fulfillment of God’s promises is one of the greatest delusions we encounter in life.
Abraham’s lapse into unbelief and his scheme with Sarai his wife to take matters into their own hands, has produced a tragedy beyond description. The sons of Ishmael (who was born after the flesh, Galatians 4:29), and the sons of Isaac (the child of promise Galatians 4:28) have fought down through the centuries of time, even until this day. The amount of bloodshed and suffering of both nations is beyond human comprehension. No two nations have ever been at enmity for so long a period. Their situation in this respect is unique among the nations of the world.
The origin of the nation of Israel
Israel’s history starts by a most extraordinary miracle. Thirteen years after the birth of Ishmael, God appeared to Abraham when he was ninety-nine years of age. His wife Sarai was ninety. They were both long past the age when they could bear children. However, God worked a miraculous and unprecedented miracle in both their lives by restoring their youth to them. The miraculous change is revealed in the account given to us in Genesis chapter 20. When Sarah was 90 years old King Abimelech of Gerar took Sarai to be his wife. God however, quickly intervened and Sarah was immediately released. Not only so, but Sarah, who had been barren during her whole adult life became fertile at the age of ninety, and bore the miracle seed God had promised Abraham 25 years previous. That supernaturally born baby was Isaac the progenitor of the Israelite nation. The Jews proudly boast of their miracle born forefather. For that reason they call many of their sons Isaac (Hebrew Yitzhak. It is significant that in Israel’s recent short history as a nation, four of her leaders had the name of Isaac. Two were Presidents (Isaac Ben-Zvi and Isaac Navon) and two were Prime Ministers (Isaac Shamir and Isaac Rabin).
God established His covenant with Isaac
“And God said, Sarah they wife shall bear thee a son indeed, and thou shalt call his name Isaac, and I will establish my own covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him” (Genesis 17:19). A fact to note is threat when Isaac, the miraculously born child of promise arrived, Ishmael could not accept him, but afterwards persecuted and mocked him. God Himself reinforced Sarah’s decision that Hagar the bondwoman and Ishmael had to be cast out. The Bible record is very clear, “The son of the bondwoman (Ishmael shall not be heir with my son even with Isaac” (Genesis 219-12)
The land of Israel is God’s covenant promise to Jacob’s seed
The Bible contains nearly 150 promises giving the land of Israel to the offspring of Jacob. One of the promises was written on stone, contained in the Ten Commandments, “Honor they father and they mother; that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord they God giveth thee” (Exodus 20:12).
The land of Israel is the only land in the world that God specifically calls “may land” (Leviticus 25:23, Ezekiel 38:16, Joel 3:2). The city of Jerusalem is the only city in the world that God specifically calls “His city” (Isaiah, 45:13, 66:20).
Israel is the only nation in the world that has a title deed from the Creator for the land it now occupies. Their title deed from God is for a much, much greater area than they now possess. One of the many promises given by God to Abram states: “To you and to your descendants, I have given (note: no strings attached) this land, from the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the River Euphrates” (Genesis 15:18, NAS). The Euphrates divides east from the west.
Inevitable judgment for those who divide Israel
At this point it should be noted particularly that God has reserved a very terrible judgment upon those who ignore His gift of the land to Jacob’s seed. Worthy of note is the severe warning “I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshophat, and will judge them there for my people, and for my heritage, Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations and parted my land” (Joel 3:2). It is a dangerous thing to mess with the land of Israel. The fact that it is the only country in the world deeded to a particular people should be sufficient warning to everyone. However, the world does not recognize that God has given that land to the sons of Jacob alone, therefore, men and nations that meddle, await the inevitable judgment of God. That coming judgment was seen and expressed by the prophet Joel.
That Israel will yet occupy and control the entire land mass deeded to them by their God and the Creator of the universe is as certain as the rising of the sun tomorrow morning. We need to be reminded again, “God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable. He never withdraws them when once they are given, and He does not change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace, or to whom He sends His call” Romans 11:29 Amp)
The Leaders of Israel have given away land for a pseudo peace. Sad to say, many are not aware of the significance of this during these times. However, the prophetic scriptures clearly portray that Israel and the nations will experience a false peace before the great tribulation comes upon the whole world. The apostle Paul was shown that there would be talk of peace just before the great tribulation comes upon the earth. “For when they shall say peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child, and they shall not escape” (1 Thes.5:3). There is abundant evidence that Israel and the rest of the world is inevitably moving toward that fulfillment. Ezekiel the prophet points out that when Israel is finally at rest enjoying a false peace (38:11-12) the greatest invasion in the history of the world will be directed against her with a view to her total destruction. God Almighty Himself will move against that colossal force. The scope of its destruction will be without precedence. Israel’s enemies will fall on the mountains of Israel, and God’s great name will be made known among the nations of the world (Ezek.38:18-23). Anyone who cares to investigate can definitely see the stage-setting of that battle in the Middle-East today.
Age end prophecies are being fulfilled now
The disciples asked Jesus what would be the sign of His coming and of the end of the age (Matt. 24:3). His description of end time events match what we see happening on the world scene today. The occurrences of wars, earthquakes, diseases, and plagues have intensified. Furthermore, on one of the most significant signs of all is the return of the Jews to their land after 2,000 years in exile.
The fact should not be missed that Israel is the focal point of all the latter-day prophecies of the Old and New Testaments.
- Every prophet of the Old Testament saw the nation of Israel in centre stage when they prophesied of end time events
- Our Lord made it clear that the Jews would be scattered world-wide after His crucifixion. Particular attention ought to be given to His words: “And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down by the gentiles, until the times of the gentiles be fulfilled” (Luke. 21:24). That prophecy respecting the scattering of Israel was fulfilled after A.D.70 when Jerusalem was destroyed to the ground, and the nation of Israel was scattered around the entire world. However, we should take special note that our Lord also revealed that the Jews would be back in the land in the latter days at His second coming. Of significances is this particular part of His reply to his disciples when they asked Him: “What shall be the sign of they coming, and of the end of the age?” (Matt.24:3). His answer to their question proves that the Jews would be back in the land to hear the warning He sounds: “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whosoever readeth, let him understand, then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains; Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house. Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes, for then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And, except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened: (Matt.2415-18, 21-22). There was only one holy place recognized by our Lord at that time. That holy place was the TEMPLE on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. That particular prophecy of our Lord could not be fulfilled until the Jews returned from their 2,000 year dispersion. Since they are now back in the land we can expect these prophecies to be fulfilled very soon. The Jews are ready and waiting for the fight moment to erect a new holy place on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Four separate organizations are working in Jerusalem to supply the necessary articles to restore Temple worship once again. Young men are being trained in Jerusalem to carry out animal sacrifices, as they did in ancient times when the Temple was standing. Our Lord indicated that this new temple would be in place in the latter days. The apostle Paul declared that the man of sin (the anti-christ) will sit “in the Temple of God showing himself that he is God” (2 Thes.2:4). That prophecy has not been fulfilled as yet. However, it will be when the presently proposed temple is in place. It should go without saying that Israel had to be back in the land of promise before end time events could take place.
A rebuke for the undiscerning
May we not be like the Pharisees and Sadducees of old, whom our Lord called hypocrites? They could discern the face of the sky and predict weather patterns, but they refused to accept signs of the times that were plainly revealed by Bible prophets.
Boaters are taught in the Power Squadron Course to watch weather conditions before leaving on sea journeys. Their instruction includes an old adage, “Red skies at night, sailors delight; red skies in the morning, sailors warning.” That note of warning originates from the Lord’s word back in 32A.D. “Oh ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?” (Matt.16:3). The Word of God in the Old Testament contains multiple prophecies of His first coming. The Pharisees and Sadducees failed to discern any of them. We cannot sidestep the fact that our Lord wants us to be alert and sensitive to the sings of the times.
If the Church does not alert the world that the second coming of Christ is very near, pray tell who will? Believers are the only ones on earth who can truly discern the signs of the times. We have His sure word of promise that the Holy Spirit will take the things of Christ and show them unto us. Our Lord also revealed that; “He will show you things to come” (John. 16:13). We are accountable to make known the things He is showing us.
The supreme importance of His second coming can be observed by the fact that there are many more Bible prophecies proclaiming His second coming than there are for His first coming. Believers are constantly reminded in scripture to be ready and watching for the return of our blessed Lord.
Israel is God’s great timepiece
The fact that the nation of Israel is back in the land of promise is one of the greatest signs of our time that heralds the soon return of Christ. Jesus said: “Now learn a parable of the fig tree: when its branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near. So ye, in like manner, when ye see these things come to pass, know that it is near, even at the door” (Mark 13:28-29). The fig tree is portrayed as a symbol of Israel. God spoke to Israel by the prophet Hosea and said “I saw your fathers as the first ripe in the fig tree at her first time” (Hosea 9:10). Jeremiah the prophet was shown two baskets of figs when Israel was about to be cast out of the land God gave them for an inheritance. Jeremiah was told by God that the figs represented Israel (Jeremiah 24:1-5). When the disciples of Jesus asked him: “What shall be the sign of they coming and of the end of the age?” (Matt. 24:3), He proceeded to tell them of the fearful things we see coming upon the earth today. He terminated his description of end time events by giving them the parable of the fig tree. It should be obvious that the nation who was symbolized as a fig tree when they were cast out of the land the first time, is now restored to the land bearing the same symbol. God never changes. Jesus therefore is alerting us to watch the nation that is back in the land after nearly 2000 years of exile.
Multiple promises of restoration to the land
The Old Testament scriptures contain multiplied promises to Israel regarding their restoration to the land of their fathers in the latter days. Here are a few: “Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel; Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good. For I will set my eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up. And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the Lord: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God; for they shall return unto me with their whole heart” (Jer.24:5-7). It is obvious to everyone that this part of the prophecy has not yet been fulfilled.
The prophets were shown over and over again, that the nation of Israel would be restored to the land God gave their fathers.
Hear what the prophet David, the man after God’s heart, was given regarding Israel’s restoration. “He is the Lord our God: his judgments are in all the earth. He hath remembered his covenant FOR EVER, the word which he commanded to a THOUSAND GENERATIONS. Which covenant he made with Abraham and his oath unto Isaac; and confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an EVERLASTING COVENANT saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance. When they were but a few men in number; yea, very few, and strangers in it” (Psalm 105:7-12). The above promise is in perfect keeping with the word spoken to Abram “In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying Unto thy SEED have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river Euphrates…” (Gen. 15:18).
Israel a nation before God forever
Whether in the land or exiled from it, Israel ever remained a nation in God’s eyes since the day He called them. God uses outstanding illustrations in His word to establish the permanence of the nation of Israel before Him. Worthy of note are the extraordinary illustrations He gave the prophet Jeremiah: “Thus saith the Lord who giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon, and of the stars for a light by night, who divideth the sea when its waves roar; the Lord of hosts is His name: If these ordinances depart from before me, saith the Lord, THE SEED OF ISRAEL, shall cease from being a notion before me forever” (Jer.31 35-36) That positive word from God unmistakably indicates that, as long as the sun, moon, and the stars remain in the skies, God regards ISRAEL as a nation before him forever. Whether they remained in the land or were exiled from it because of their disobedience, Israel’s status as a nation before God never changed.
Furthermore, Israel’s conduct cannot alter God’s ultimate promises. “Thus saith the Lord, if heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of ISRAEL, for ALL THAT THEY HAVE DONE, saith the Lord” (Jer. 31:37)
God declared that in the day that man can either provide a definitive measurement of the heavens or search out the depths of the earth beneath him, then, and only then, will He cast off Israel for what they have done. The earth is 7,926 miles in diameter at the equator. If man could probe 4,000 miles into the earth’s core and succeed in searching out the bowels of the earth, then God would cast off Israel for all that they have done. It is very evident that God used these extraordinary illustrations in order to show up the ignorance of men who declare that God is finished with the seed of Israel as a notion today.
Israel’s restoration to the land was inevitable
Note the straightforward and positive promises of restoration to the land as revealed to the prophet Ezekiel: “Say unto them, thus sayeth the Lord God: Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, to which they are gone, and will gather them on every side, and will bring them into their own land. And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel…they shall dwell in the land I have given unto Jacob, my servant, in which your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell in it, even they, and their children, and their children’s children forever…and the nations shall know that I, the Lord, do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them forevermore” (Ezek. 37: 21-22, 25 & 28). The words of the prophet could not be expressed more clearly. Now that Israel is back in the land according to God’s promise, we can rest assured that all the superpowers of the world can never again remove her from it.
Israel’s return to the land was inevitable in order that the many promises of that return be fulfilled. Many of these prophecies have been fulfilled before our very eyes since Israel became a nation in 1948.
A very interesting and significant prophecy of Israel’s return to the land was given to Jeremiah the prophet. He declared: “Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together; a great company shall return thither. They shall come with weeping” (Jeremiah 31:8-9). Israel has not restrictions attached to the return of the Jews to the land that was promised them by God. Multitudes have come from hear and far. Many on stretchers and many blind or lame, having received their injuries as a result of tortures and experimental operations performed upon them, without anesthetics, by Natzi doctors and surgeons. Amongst their numbers were pregnant women and those who gave birth on the journey. Jeremiah’s prophecy has already been literally fulfilled to the letter.
Isaiah the prophet declared: “then they shall build the ancient ruins, they will raise up former devastations, and they will repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations” (Isaiah 61:4 NAS). The desolations of many generations’ undoubtedly has reference to Israel’s exile for nearly 2000 years. The fulfillment of this prophecy can be seen thought-out the land, in the cities and towns and settlements. There are many examples – Bet Shemesh, Rehevot, Lod, Beersheba, Arad, Bet Shean, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Gath, Lachis, and En-Gedi. All these have been rebuilt, either on the ruins of the former cities or beside them.
The city of Ashkelon is a marvelous demonstration of fulfilled prophecy. More than 1600 years ago Zephaniah the prophet proclaimed: “The coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah; they shall feed thereupon; in the houses of Ashkelon shall they lie down in the evening” for the Lord their God shall visit them, and turn away their captivity” (Zephaniah 2:7).
Ashkelon was one of the fortified cities of the powerful Philistines for many centuries. The Philistines, who are referenced many times in the Old Testament scriptures, are long gone as a nation, but Zephaniah’s prophecy regarding the remnant of Judah has been literally fulfilled to the letter in our day. Ashkelon was given city status in 1955. Since then it has grown enormously. The 1983 census indicates that it is now a city of 203,743 inhabitants. All of these statistics show the fulfillment of Zephaniah’s ancient prophecy. In the city square, the words of Zephaniah are to be fund engraved in Hebrew on a piece of stone. In the public park nearby, the same scripture is written in English. In both places those very scriptures bare irrefutable testimony to the fact that God’s promises are as sure and certain as the rising of tomorrow morning’s sun.
Israel’s phenomenal war victories
Israel’s phenomenal victories over her enemies since she became a State in 1948 are unparalleled in history. When David Ben-Gurion declared Israel a State on May 14, 1948, there were less then 650,000 Jews in the country.
The day, May 15, 1948, they were attacked by six surrounding Arab nations. Troops from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt vowed to drive them into the Mediterranean in one week. The odds were so stacked against the tiny nation that Israel’s victory defies human explanation.
Israel has had to defend itself in three more wars since that time. The odds against them have always been overwhelming. Their constant victories have saved them from total annihilation. Their deliverance in every case can only be understood by taking into account supernatural protection from the hand of God who promised them the land to which they have now returned.
War of Independence 1948
Author Lance Lambert states: “It was not only the creation of the Jewish state that was a miracle but its survival. In 1948 its population numbered 650,000 and it faced five regular Arab armies, all fully mobilized and actively aided by one million Palestinian Arabs. Israel faced that colossal onslaught with a few thousand rifles, a few hundred machine guns, and assortment of other firearms, not single cannon or tank and nine airplanes, only one of them with two engines! Of those 650,000 men and women, only 48,000 were trained in any elementary way to fight. Yet they not only survived; they triumphed and it was God’s doing. The story of miraculous deliverance and triumph has continued thought-out Israel’s short history.
Six Day War
Author Arthur W. Kac reports on Israel’s Six Day War June 5-10, 1967. “Israel struck Monday morning, June 5, 1967. In four hours Nasser’s air force was smashed and twenty-five of the most vital Arab air bases were wrecked. In sixty hours Israel destroyed the Jordanian, Syrian, and Iraqi air forces. In six days hostilities were brought to a halt. The was cost Israel 679 dead; the Egyptians suffered about 20,000 death casualties; 2000 Syrians, and 8,000 Jordanians were killed. Israel captured over a hundred Patton and Centurion tanks, and over 700 Russian tanks, many in good condition, hundreds of intact artillery pieces, thousands of tons of ammunition.” When hostilities ceased, Israel had reached the Suez Canal, occupied the Straits of Tiran, the Gaza Strip, the Syrian Golani Heights from which artillery had kept the Israeli border villages under frequent fire, old Jerusalem. And the west bank of the river Jordan. Thus within six days Israel regained much of the area of the Biblical Promised Land with the old city of Jerusalem and the Western Wall which is the only remaining part of the Jerusalem Temple./ In concluding his report on this stunning Israeli victory, General Marshall, a soldier since World War One and a military analyst, had this to say: “When the (Israeli) reserves stacked arms a few days later, and with their friends in the standing force looked back, not exultantly but with a frightful pride in the achievement of their arms, they told one another that superior shooting accounted for the smash victory. But as did their civilian neighbours, they also spoke of the “miracle.” Many things about the way they did it transcended technical explanation and moral understanding.
Yon Kippur War of 1973
Israel’s last war occurred in 1973 on their holiest day of the year, called Yon Kippur or Day of Atonement. The Arab nations chose to attack on that particular day because they knew Israel would be fully occupied with their religious exercises. Lambert, who resides in Jerusalem, gives an “on the scene” account of the Yon Kippur War: “On the Day of Atonement everything in Israel is at a standstill. From two hours before sunset until two hours after the succeeding sunset everything stops. There is no transport: no Taxis, cars, buses, planes, trains, or ships. The nation’s airports are closed, the ports are closed and the stations are closed. No shops are open, and no entertainment can be had anywhere. There are no radio programs, no television; no communication with the outside world, and very little within Israel. Even the telephone exchanges are not staffed on the Day of Atonement. It is a day of prayer and fasting, spent either in the synagogue or at home. The Yon Kippur War should have been the annihilation of the State of Israel…Egypt, and Syria should have beaten Israel but they were inexplicably prevented. The Egyptian high command gave the first Egyptian division that crossed the canal fifteen hours to take the Bar-Lev line. They took it in just five hours, and then halted. If they had swept on, the whole of central Israel would have been at their mercy. One Egyptian commander said later, “ I was only half an hour’s drive from the Mitla Pass, and there was nothing to stop me.” Yet, the fact is he stopped.
“Likewise the Syrians should have been in Tiberius on the evening of the first day of the war but they too stopped. The commanding officer of Israel’s Golani brigade said later in my presence that when the Syrians were first advancing, the Israelis had only two tanks and ten men at the NAFAQ headquarters. The man held no religious belief, but he referred to this as a miracle. Although he had been involved in the four previous wars of Israel’s history he had never seen anything like it. Wave after wave of tanks bore down on them. Then when they came to within one mile of the NAFAQ Headquarters they stopped.
“As a result of these delays in the Syrian and Egyptian advance Israel had time to regroup and reorganize. Many think that it was this period of time that made all the difference to the outcome of the Yon Kippur war.
“Another Israeli captain without any religious beliefs said that at the height of the fighting on the Golan, he looked up into the sky and saw a great, grey hand pressing downwards as if it were holding something back. In my opinion that describes exactly what happened. Without the intervention of God, Israel would have been doomed.
“Shimon Peres, once a key advisor to Golda Meir and at present Minister of Defense, has said, “The miracle is that we ever win. The Arab nations occupy eight percent of the surface of the world. They possess half of the known oil resources and are immensely rich. They have more men in their armies than we have people in our state, and in addition the Russians have built for them a great war machine.
“People think of the 1967 Six Day War as a miracle, but it was nothing compared with the Yon Kippur War and in the years that lie ahead, when the whole truth comes out, we shall see that it was beyond all reason that Israel was not annihilated…the onslaught on both fronts was massive and terrible. There were more tanks on the Syrian front than in the 1941 German offensive against Russia which was two hundred miles long and involved 1,000 tanks. On the Syrian front, the Golani Heights, there were 1,200 tanks on a twenty-mile front, and later at Sinai were fought the greatest tank battles in world history, greater even than the Battle of El Alamein in the Second World War…In the Yon Kippur War, which was the first wholly technological war in Middle East history, approximately 4,000 thanks, 900 missile batteries and even unproven new weapons were thrown into action. Abba Eban, former Foreign Minister of Israel said in the statement to the United Nations on October 8, 1973: “Egypt attacked with 3,000 thanks, 2,000 heavy guns, 1.000 aircraft, and 600,000 men.”
Ten days later when the cease fire was ordered by the UN, Israel had broken through the Egyptian defenses and poured over the Canal into Egypt and were within 50 miles of Cairo, Egypt’s capital. On the northern front, Syria was pushed back to within fifteen miles of Damascus their capital.
An incredible comparison
The Arab states that border Israel cover an area of 497,026 square miles. The land area of the entire Arab world is 5.1 million square miles. Israel less the West Bank area and Golan Heights is a mere 7,993 square miles. By comparison, the nation of Israel is only 64% the size of Vancouver Island which has 12,408 square miles.
A census of 1980 shows the incredible forces of the Arab world that the tiny nation of Israel must reckon with (See Chart Page 28).
All reports indicate that Syria and other Middle East nations are feverishly increasing their stockpiles of weapons of war since the above statistics were established. Moreover, Iran, a 99% Muslim country has joined the Arab world, and boldly proclaims her intent to completely destroy the nation of Israel. The present population of Iran is 56 million, with a land area of 636,000 square miles. The odd now against Israel in weaponry and manpower is almost beyond our imagination.
Consider and compare the aforementioned facts with the following statistics: The Jewish population of Israel in 1996 was still 4,650,000. There are about 13 million Jews in the world today which is approximately one quarter of one percent of the entire world’s population. This statistic naturally raises the following questions: Why should there be such universal hatred directed against such a tiny minority? Why have there been deliberate attempts to completely exterminate these people? Why are so many nations today declaring their intent to destroy this tiny nation that occupies such a minute portion of world real estate? There is only one place we can find the answer, and that is in the Word of God. Hear what God declared to them when He chose them as a nation: “For thou art a holy people unto the Lord they God; the Lord hath chosen thee to be a special people unto Himself, above all people who are upon the face of the earth. The Lord did not set His love upon you, nor choose you. Because ye were more in number than any people; for you were the fewest of all people. But because the Lord loved you, and because He would keep the oath He had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a might hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt” (Deut.7: 6-9).
Anti-Semitism originates with satan
All anti-semitism, refusal to recognize Israel’s chosen status, hatred, and desire to destroy this miniature nation originates in satan, the devil. Satan knows only too well that Israel was specially chosen as a nation by God. Moreover, he is fully aware that “God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable – He never withdraws them when once they are given, and He does not change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call” (Romans 11:29, Amp). Satan also knows that Israel is destined by God to become the head nation of the world. (Deut.28:13).
We have witnessed miraculous war victories on Israel’s behalf since they became a nation in 1948. Their survival against such incredible odds thus far can only be understood by taking into account a supernatural deliverance by God.
The Bible records instances where satanically motivated people and nations tried to destroy Israel from the face of the earth.
Pharaoh, king of Egypt, tried to wipe out the Israeli race when he “charged all his people, saying, every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive” (Exodus 1:22).
Haman the Agagite almost succeeded in destroying the entire Jewish population by establishing an order to destroy Jews thought-out the Persian Empire. The Persian Empire dominated the whole world at that time. Scripture records the following “And the letters were sent by post into all the king’s provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews both young and old, little children and women in one day…and to take the spoil of them for a prey” (Esther 3:123).
Adolph Hitler tortured and destroyed six million Jews during his reign of terror in our day. Had he succeeded in his intent of world conquest, all Jews world wide would, no doubt, have suffered the same fate.
Those who try to destroy Israel are soon destroyed
We should be aware of the fate of those who tried to destroy this chosen nation of God:
- Pharaoh and his entire army were destroyed by drowning in the waters of the Red Sea (Psalm 136:15).
- Haman died by hanging on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai the Jew (Esther 7:10).
- Hitler went down in shameful defeat. He committed suicide in the bunker he had prepared for his special protection.
- The prophet Zechariah saw the nations that will come up against Israel in the near future. He describes their horrible defeat: “And this shall be the plague with which the Lord will smite all the peoples that have fought against Jerusalem: their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth (sounds like nuclear war). And it shall come to pass, in that day, that a great tumult from the Lord shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise against the hand of his neighbour. And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of the nations around about (oil rich Arab nations) shall be gathered together – gold and silver, and apparel – in great abundance” (Zech. 14:12-14).
The greatest miracle of Israel’s deliverance in the history of the world, therefore, is yet to be seen when the nations of the world come against her, God almighty declares: “I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the peoples around about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem…In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem…and it shall come to pass, in that day that I will seek to destroy all nations that come against Jerusalem” (Zechariah 12:2-9)
The Middle East is ready to explode
The entire Middle East is now virtually a powder keg ready to explode at any moment. All reports indicate that every horrible weapon of warfare (chemical, biological and even nuclear) is being stockpiled on an ongoing basis for the final showdown. Old testament Bible prophets and the New Testament Book of Revelation accurately describe the horrors that will occur when that showdown takes place. Every intelligence analyst today who monitors Middle East affairs predicts the same scenario that was seen and described by Bible prophets. When that war breaks out in the Middle East, may portions of the prophetic scriptures will be fulfilled. The Bible indicates that all the Gentile nations of the world will eventually be in a state of terrible frenzy. David, the prophet, was shown that day when he declared “Why do the gentiles rage and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against (Jehovah) and against His anointed (Christ), saying: Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall He speak unto them in His wrath, and vex them in His sore displeasure. Yet have I set my King upon my holy hill of Zion” (Psalm 2: 1-6). Jesus described the same terrible events when He declared: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elects’ sake those days shall be shortened” (Matt. 24: 21-22).
Extraordinary signs of Jesus return
We are living in an unprecedented time in history. The stage settings of many prophecies are observable before our very eyes. Jesus is coming soon. “Be ye therefore ready also; for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not” (Luke 12:40). The cold, hard facts revealed by various statistics indicate that we are experiencing extraordinary world wide convulsions in our time as never before. Earthquakes are increasing at phenomenal rates and with much greater magnitude. Devastating storms are occurring more often with property damage n the billions. In spite of the extraordinary medical technology of our day, new diseases baffle the medical profession.
All Israel shall be saved
When Jesus Messiah returns to the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4), all Israel shall be saved. The following is a quote from my book “Behold the Lamb”: “It is most interesting to note that when Messiah comes back the second time, He will not need tribal records to prove who He is. He will be identified this time, not by his tribal linage, but by the wounds of the sustitutionary death that He died for you and me when He came nearly 2000 years ago.
The Old Testament prophet made known this unmistakable truth when he revealed that the whole house of Israel would “Look upon me whom they HAVE PIERCED and mourn for Him as one mourneth for his firstborn…EVERY FAMILY APART” (Zechariah 12:10-14). On that great day “All Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:26)
When that wonderful and glorious event takes place, the Feast of the Lord called the Day of Atonement will find its complete and final fulfillment. Atone simply means “at one with God”. When the people of Israel fall on their faces in repentance and accept the Messiah they pierced, the nation will be “at one with God”. The strange prophecy of Isaiah will find its fulfillment, for a nation will be born at once: “For as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth children” (Isaiah 66:8).
The incredible prophetic words God put in the mouth of Balaam (Numbers 23:5) will then be manifested to every man on earth. “Balak the King of Moab hath brought me from Aram, out of the mountains of the east, saying come curse (for) me Jacob, and come, defy Israel. How shall I curse whom God hath not cursed? Or how shall I defy whom the Lord hath not defied? For from the top of the rocks I see him, and from the hills I behold him; lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations. Who can count the dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth part of Israel: Let me die the death of the righteous, and LET MY LAST END BE LIKE THIS” (Numbers 23: 7-10).
Balaam was given that incredible revelation nearly 3,500 years ago. His prophecy had reference to that which was revealed by the apostle Paul. “And so ALL Israel shall be saved; as it is written. There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: for this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes; but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance” (Romans 11: 26-29)
Is it any wonder that Balaam’s final words in that prophecy expressed such desire, “Let my last end be like this?”
Believers to be removed from the scene
When the disciples asked our Lord what would be the sign of His coming and of the end of the age, He responded by giving them a number of signs that are startlingly similar to what we now see coming upon the earth. Those of us who are believers should take special not of His words in Luke 21:36: “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape ALL THESE THINGS (that he describes in the context) that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man”. Our Lord would never ask us to pray a futile prayer. Therefore, those who are on praying ground can expect a total deliverance before the inevitable world-wide holocaust occurs.
Believers have been alerted by the Lord: “When these things BEGIN to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28). Every believer can look forward with great anticipation to a supernatural lift-off away from this world scene. If you are a believer you have just cause to rejoice because the Apostle Paul gave further detail of the event when he revealed that “the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words (1 Thes. 4:16-18).
Are you watching for his return? The Apostle Paul could say “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing” (2 Tim. 4:8). Will you receive that crown? Our Saviour sounded out this critical warning that applies to every believer. “Be ye also ready; for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matt. 24:44).
Copyright © by Hector MacLeod 1997
The Arab World verses Israel
(excert from Tigay, pp. 206-2-7)
Country Land Area Sq. Mi. Population Armed Forces Combat Aircraft Tanks
Israel 7,993 3,800,000 164,000 576 3,375
Arab League 4,901,829 116,650,000 965,650 2,126 11,041
Egypt 386,000 40,600,000 345,000 563 1,930
“The Gift of God is eternal life”
Have you received the gift? If not, it is yours for the asking and Time, for you is running out.
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13)
Why not respond to the seeking Saviour as the tax collector did? “went down to his house justified” (Luke 18:13-14)
When you call upon His holy name to save you, your part is complete. From that point on you can thank Him all the rest of your life. He will never fail to keep His part of the bargain. Moreover, you can count on the fact that “He is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25)