If the LORD had not been on our side
when people attacked us,
they would have swallowed us alive
when their anger flared against us . . . — Psalm 124:2–3
The year 2018 is important for Israel and the Jewish people as we celebrate the modern State of Israel’s 70th Birthday. You can be part of this momentous milestone with Rabbi Eckstein’s 70 devotions offered now through April 19th, Israel’s Independence Day. These devotions are tied to our Keys to Israel – six fundamental principles underlying God’s covenantal relationship with His chosen people and His Holy Land using the acrostic I.S.R.A.E.L.
This devotion is part of ten devotions focusing on the letter “S” — State of Israel — and will explore the modern Jewish State as the embodiment of God’s promise to His people that Israel is their rightful, eternal inheritance.
Israel is 1/800th the size of the Arab world, most of which is bent upon destroying her. By all natural calculations, Israel should not exist. Israel should have disappeared before she even declared independence. How is it possible for such a tiny nation to survive in the midst of her enemies? It’s like Daniel in the lion’s den!
The truth is that Israel should have disappeared long ago, with all of the other nations of the world that have come and gone, risen and fallen. No other nation on earth has been expelled from its own homeland and then survived to return to it. And Israel did it twice — once in the year 538 B.C.E., and then again, more than 2,000 years later in 1948. Israel is one big miracle!
In 1898, long before the miracle of the re-birth of Israel came into being, Mark Twain was perplexed as to how the Jewish people could even be alive. He wrote this: “The Greeks and the Romans . . . are gone; other people have sprung up and held their torch for a time but it burned out . . . the Jews saw them all, survived them all . . . all things are mortal but the Jew . . . What is the secret of his immortality?”
The secret of the immortality of the Jews is actually no secret at all. God says very clearly that He will preserve the Jews and bring them back to Israel. Here is just one example: “‘I am with you and will save you,’ declares the LORD. ‘Though I completely destroy all the nations among which I scatter you, I will not completely destroy you’” (Jeremiah 30:11).
In Psalm 124, the psalmist writes about Israel’s secret weapon: God! The psalmist wrote, “If the LORD had not been on our side when people attacked us, they would have swallowed us alive.” In every generation, someone tries to destroy the Jews, yet every time the plot is foiled. The psalmist continued, “The snare has been broken and we have escaped” (v.7). Just when the Jews seem trapped and slated for destruction, the trap is broken and the Jews are saved. God steps in and that’s why the Jews are still here today.
Friends, when you need some inspiration or encouragement to believe that anything is possible with God, you need not look any further than Israel. If Israel can beat the odds, so can you. If Israel can receive miracles, so can you. The God of Israel can do anything, so never lose hope.
We know the secret to Israel’s success, and God can be our secret weapon, too.
Get the entire Keys to I.S.R.A.E.L. curriculum for free — for you, your small group, or even your church.
With prayers for shalom, peace,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President