He will raise a banner for the nations
and gather the exiles of Israel;
he will assemble the scattered people of Judah
from the four quarters of the earth. — Isaiah 11:12
Aliyah is Hebrew for “ascent” or “to go up.” In biblical times, it was used to describe the pilgrimage all Jews made three times a year to Jerusalem for holy festivals. Today, it refers to immigration to Israel. These devotions explore aliyah and the fulfillment today of biblical prophecy that God would bring back His children to their ancient homeland, Israel. Discover how you can participate in fulfilling biblical prophecy through The Fellowship’s On Wings of Eagles ministry.
After extended travel, or even a long day at work, it is comforting to come home. And if you’ve ever been without a home for a period of time, you know how unsettling it can be. There’s something reassuring about home that makes you feel safe. It is the one place where you can truly find rest.
Imagine, then, being without a home for hundreds of years. Indeed, as a people, the Jews had been homeless for centuries; driven out of their biblical homeland by invaders on multiple occasions throughout history. The term created for this phenomenon is diaspora, meaning “dispersion” or “scattering.” The Diaspora Jews were literally dispersed around the globe.
After centuries of longing for their homeland, the Jews experienced the darkest hour and deepest hopelessness during the Holocaust. Then, as an affirmation from God that He had not abandoned His people, God fulfilled His promise in Isaiah 11:12 to “gather the exiles of Israel . . . from the four quarters of the earth.”
In 1948, Israel became officially known as an independent nation, the State of Israel. This was more than the realization of a centuries-long dream; it was the fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Jews and Bible-believing Christians point to the theological significance of this event.
Many displaced Jews began returning to what was then known as Palestine. In 1948, Jewish inhabitants in Israel numbered a little more than 600,000. Within three years that number had nearly doubled, as Jews living in the Arab world returned and more Holocaust survivors were brought to Israel. The Jewish people were coming home!
Homecomings always give us the opportunity to appreciate our home. Each time a Jew steps foot onto Israeli soil and calls it his or her home, it is a celebration of God’s great provision for His people.
More importantly, we can recall this instance in which God has been faithful to His promise and renew our hope that He will continue to fulfill all of His promises for Israel and for individuals who put their trust in Him.