By Stan Goodenough, www.IsraelInsider.com
“O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, get thee up on a high mountain; O thou that tellest good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, “Behold, your God!” (Isaiah 40:9)
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” (Isaiah 52:7)
This year, Israel celebrates the 60th anniversary of its miraculous rebirth. That it has survived to reach this year must really stick in the craw of the devil and of all those who have sought to be useful to him in trying to bring about the destruction of the Jewish state.
Some people think Israel is spelled I-S-R-A-E-L and Jew is spelled J-E-W.
They’d be wrong on both counts. Both “Israel” and “Jew” are spelled: M-I-R-A-C-L-E.
There is no getting away from it. That the Jews still exist as a nation; that Israel still exists as a state flies in the face of all probability.
They survive against all the odds.
Take the Jews:
Egypt, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, the Crusades, the blood libels, the expulsions, the pogroms, the Inquisition, the Holocaust — the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob survived them all. And it’s not only that millions of Jews survived, but that they survived as a nation, intact for centuries, scattered across the face of the earth, without the physical borders of their ancient homeland to secure them and keep them together.
Two thousand years ago they were driven out of their land and chased by the sword, the plague, hatred, and prejudice into a long, dark tunnel of relentless tribulation without any apparent light at the end to give them hope.
Sixty years ago they emerged, only a remnant, but a remnant clinging fiercely and resolutely to the Jewishness from which gentile nation after gentile nation, preacher after preacher, and pope after pope had sought to sever them. The Jews had survived. They had their faith, their language, and their homeland back again.
And take Israel:
With the resurrection of their national homeland the world’s Jews finally had a haven state to which they could return, in which they could gather, regroup, consolidate their nationhood, and defend themselves.
Satan had frantically tried to foil Israel’s rebirth, using the massive might of the British Empire to prevent the Jews from returning home, while setting up Hitler to exterminate them in the gas chambers of the Third Reich.
He failed, but he did not give up.
His efforts to wipe out the Jews, now conveniently gathered together in one land, have continued around the clock from within minutes of David Ben Gurions reading out Israel’s Declaration of Independence in Tel Aviv on May 15, 1948 until the present day.
Since being born out of the ashes of Auschwitz and in the crucible of its self-defense War of Independence in which it was massively outnumbered and overwhelmingly outgunned, Israel went on to experience miracle after miracle that ensured its could see its 10th, 20th, 30th, 40th, and 50th birthdays.
Israel survived the Sinai Campaign of 1956, the Six Day War of 1967, the Yom Kippur War of 1973, the Peace for Galilee (First Lebanon) War of 1982, the First Gulf War of 1991, and the Second Lebanon War of 2006. And between all these wars it endured unrelenting Arab terrorism from the PLO fedayeen out of Gaza, Jordan, and Lebanon; the Iranian-created Hezbollah in Lebanon; the homegrown and imported “Palestinians” in the first and second intifadas; Fatah, Hamas, the PFLP, Palestine Islamic Jihad the list of enemies goes on and on. Israel has survived them all.
In 2006, a Christian California filmmaker produced the 13-part docudrama series, “Against All Odds.” It has been screened in the United States by local churches and on the TBN; according to the website, www.AgainstAllOddsTV.com, it will be screened by PBS.
Bill McKay, the producer, told me why he made the series:
“Since, the Six Day War, the world’s press has taken a decidedly pro-Arab position. Much of what is written in the press and the images seen on TV are positioned to influence public opinion against the right of the Jews to live in peace in the land of their fathers. Thus, I thought it was time to tell the Israeli story, not from point-counterpoint position, but from the heart to the heart. This is why we are bringing to life the miracles of modern Israel.
“We have heard from Orthodox Jews to Bible-believing Christians … who are genuinely moved by the reality that the God of the Old Testament is performing the same miracles to keep Israel alive and well.
Each gripping episode of “Against All Odds” begins with the words:
“In the year 70 AD, Roman legions sacked and burned Jerusalem. Israel would remain a nation in exile for nearly 2,000 years. But in the aftermath of World War II, the People of the Book returned home. Israel’s rebirth and survival in the 20th century has often been called a miracle. Those who were there cite their own experiences as proof…. These are their stories.”
Investigative journalist Michael Greenspan describes some of the thoughts that went through his mind when producer Bill McKay asked him to consider presenting the series.
“A production company in L.A. was doing a film about unexplainable phenomena during Israel’s wars. Some of the stories were actually being called ‘miracles.’ They wanted to know if I was interested…. Personally, I find it hard to believe in miracles….
“Yet I couldn’t escape the possibility that this assignment might help me explain how my people managed to survive two thousand years of exile, and then build a nation out of almost nothing. If there are miracles, Israel itself has to be one.
“Born out of the ashes of the Holocaust, it was just one day old when it was attacked by twelve Arab armies that the world fully expected would annihilate it. Israel didn’t even have an army. There was one tank and five cannons with which to fight back an armada against them. And yet, Israel won. How?
“Every time Israel has been attacked, Pentagon and Kremlin leaders have declared defeat as inevitable. In 1973, the odds of surviving were so impossible that Prime Minister Golda Meir considered suicide. The cabinet drew up plans for a government in exile. Complete annihilation was a certainty…. The military experts at West Point won’t study Israel’s wars, because the outcomes are too impossible.
“How did Hebrew become the only dead language to be revived after 2,000 years? Why would millions of people from around the world leave their homes and move to a desert wasteland to build new lives for themselves? How did these people manage to turn a land of more than 80 percent desert into one of the largest food and flower exporters in the world? Why have incredible achievements in science, medicine, and new technologies happened here in greater concentration than anywhere else?
“There are no logical answers. Some say these things can only be explained as miracles. But are they? I decided to take the assignment.”
In a powerful, moving and effective way, “Against All Odds” proclaims loudly to the people of Israel: Behold your God.
It is He who has brought them back home, and it is He who has promised to keep them in their land even if the whole world musters itself together to get them out.
Along with Israel, all those who love the God of this ancient and modern land and its modern and ancient people, will rejoice at the double miracle of their survival. And we will declare our faith in the glorious future and hope that lies ahead for them.
Am Yisrael Chai! Hallelujah!