The Sinai Singularity
Prophecy - Signs
Wednesday, May 04, 2011
The nation of Israel accounts for only 1/10000 of the earth’s land mass. It could fit inside the borders of Texas 33 times. Svalbard and Tokelau are bigger. (Who? Exactly.) Yet one-third of the UN's resolutions focus on Israel.
Why is this microscopic country the ongoing focus of world politics?
The next world war (inching inexorably closer) would seemingly hinge on nothing more than the validity of this tiny country's existence. Amazingly, the words of Jewish prophets --writing more than 2500 years ago from an Israel that was a scrappy, backwater upstart in comparison to the grandeur of the successive empires that ruled them--appear to describe this very situation: “the Sovereign Lord says: This is Jerusalem, which I have set in the center of the nations.” (Ezekiel 5:5) “I will make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling.”( Zechariah 12:2)
Even more improbable when one considers that the Jews, who enjoyed the united kingdom for only a hundred years, were exiled from that small strip of land for nearly two thousand years. And then driven from place to place, to become largely unwelcome intruders in every corner of the world.
Yet still their significance belied their situation. Scattered and persecuted, representing far less than 1% of the world population, nearly half of the world’s winners of the Nobel Prize in Medicine in the 20th century were Jewish.
1948. Against all odds, this persecuted and reviled people found themselves back in the nation they thought lost. Hebrew become again the native tongue of millions (and the only ancient language to be so). In fulfillment of ancient prophecies, the towns have been rebuilt, the barren fields again bear fruit.
The people prosper. Israel today has more scientists, physicians, IT professionals, engineers and computers perc apita than any other country in the world, by far.
What could explain the anomaly of Israel? What has put Israel, a country just sixty years old, in the thick of global headlines? What made this country, barely fifty miles wide and a hundred and fifty miles long, the focus of world events today?
Occupying basically the precise spot at which Europe, Asia and Africa meet, Israel has long been a thoroughfare for those intent on migration, commerce, or war. But does that really account for its significance?
Many other peoples and empires have occupied the land (most stronger and for longer) but have since disappeared from history. Mark Twain asked, “The Greeks and Romans …are gone; other people have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out… the Jews saw them all, survived them all…all other forces passed, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?”
Fortunately, the Bible tells us. “Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the LORD has chosen you…” (Deut 14:2)
God “chose” the Jews.
“Has any god ever tried to take for himself one nation out of another nation, by testings, by miraculous signs and wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, or by great and awesome deeds, like all the things the LORD your God did for you?" (Deuteronomy 4:34)
So what exactly does "chosen" mean? It hasn't been an especially enviable position. Ever seen Fiddler on the Roof? Tevye, the long-suffering victim of Russian persecution in that play, addresses this lament, at one point, to the God of his Fathers: “ I know, I know, we are your chosen people. But once in a while can’t you choose someone else?”
So why did God choose the Jews?
God chose the descendants of Jacob, uniquely among the nations of the earth, in order to demonstrate His power, mercy and faithfulness to the rest of humankind over the course of human history. He chose them as a nation for whom he would relate their history in advance, proving himself to be the creator God outside our time and space constraints, and he chose them as a nation for whom he would fulfill his promises, proving himself to be a omnipotent Holy God who was nonetheless personal. He used the nation of Israel as his canvas, painting his own self portrait as the God who defined Love.
What else could explain the fact that Israel alone has regained its ancestral land after 2000 years of displacement? What else could explain that the Jewish people, despite being decimated and scattered throughout the world over the last two millennia can still be demonstrated (in stark contrast to other conquered peoples) to be genetically identifiable as a people group?
Leon Lederman, an agnostic Nobel prize-winning physicist was recently asked by Israeli physicist Gerald Schroder if he considered anything in human history to be beyond scientific explanation. His response? "I do find something spooky about the people of Israel coming back to the Land of Israel.”
The rebirth of the nation of Israel on May 14, 1948 does, in fact, constitute a singularity, an onetime-in-history event that defies statistical explanation.
If rational events cannot explain thephenomenon, what does? God chose the Jews. He told Israel what would happen to them in the future, and then he brought to pass. “The rebirth of the nation of Israel doesn’t make any historical sense outside of God’s supernatural fulfillment of recorded prophecy.
So as the enemies of Israel grow stronger and bolder, we don't need to worry about the Jews. God's got their back: "I will contend with those who contend with you." (Isaiah 49:25)" Mahmoud "I will wipe Israel off the map " Ahmadinejad will discover what other rulers who have tried have found already: the only outcome is that Israel gets to add a new holiday to the calendar.
God also promised those who blessed his chosen people would be blessed, and those who cursed them would be cursed. (Genesis 12:3) As the U.S. policies strays away from this policy it's not the Jews we need to worry about.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
He is the LORD our God; his judgments are in all the earth. He remembers his covenant forever, the word he commanded, for a thousand generations…I Chronicles 16:14-15
About Wendy Wippel
Last week: The ME Congregation
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