“I know that you can do all things;
no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” — Job 42:2
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 19, 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.
David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister, once said, “In order to be a realist in Israel, you have to believe in miracles.” Perhaps he said so since he lived through one: the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, just three years after the Nazis murdered six million defenseless Jews. In 1948, when the nation of Israel declared her independence, there was dancing in the streets. But as predicted, shortly after, there was war.
At the time, there were 600,000 Jews in the Middle East in a sea of 30 million Arabs. How could the tiny state exist with what historians would determine to be indefensible borders by human standards?
No one expected the Jewish State to last more than a few months, but Israel pushed back the five Arab armies that attacked her in 1948 with nothing more than a few planes and some spirited fighters, many of them Holocaust survivors.
No one expected Israel to survive the Six-Day War in 1967, either. Facing the mighty Egyptian army, the Jordanians, and Syrians, everyone expected a massacre. Israelis dug mass graves in parks expecting extensive casualties. Yet, Israel won that war as well and even managed to reunite Jerusalem under Jewish sovereignty once more.
And so it was in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, when Israel again was outnumbered and outgunned, and while she sustained heavy casualties, Israel remained. Thus, it continues today.
No matter how many times Israel is threatened, attacked, or terrorized, the Jewish State remains. It exists for one reason, and for one reason only: God said so. In numerous places in the Bible, the prophets predicted the rebirth of Israel. Just one example is Amos 9:15 where God said: “I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them." When God has a plan, nothing can stop it.
In the book of Job, we read: “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” When God has a plan, nothing can get in the way. It is true for Israel, and it is true for the plans that God has for each and every one of us.
We waste so much energy worrying. We worry about the future; we worry about our kids, about the world, and about our old age. But stop and consider this: God has a plan. He is all-powerful, all-loving, and unstoppable. While it’s true that we must put in our best effort to help create our ideal outcome, it is also true that we must leave it all in the hands of God.
Through our faith we will see miracles. We will see the culmination of God’s design.
With prayers for shalom, peace,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President