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The Rebirth of the State of Israel: God Does the Miraculous - Genesis Part 34

So What? / Lon Solomon
The Truth Network Radio
April 9, 2022 7:00 am

The Rebirth of the State of Israel: God Does the Miraculous - Genesis Part 34

So What? / Lon Solomon

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April 9, 2022 7:00 am

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A great theologian was once asked, how can you be so sure that God exists? And barely hesitating, he said, the Jews.

And he's right. Friends, the continuation of the Jewish people down through the centuries is nothing short of miraculous, pure and simple. No other people has ever been scattered in all of history for 2,000 years like the Jewish people have and then survived as a people. No other people in history have lost their homeland for 2,000 years and then ever been restored to their homeland except the Jewish people.

And no other language in history has ever died out as a living spoken language and then been revived as a living spoken language except for Hebrew. In short, the Jewish people are a historical anomaly by every stretch of the imagination. They should not exist today and yet miraculously they do. And how do we explain this? Well, the Bible gives us a very simple explanation. It simply tells us that God isn't finished with the Jewish people yet. Now, for the last several weeks in our verse-by-verse study of the book of Genesis, this is what we've been talking about. And today we want to conclude our discussion by focusing on another miraculous thing God did besides the survival of the Jewish people for 20 centuries. And that is we want to focus on God's restoring the Jewish people to the land of Israel.

But before we dig in, let's do a tiny bit of review. Last week we saw three things. Number one, we saw that because of their rejection of Christ, God has moved the Jewish people off stage for now. We saw, number two, that God has placed the church center stage in His dealings with mankind for right now. And number three, we saw that this is only a temporary situation, that one day God is going to take the church out of the world at the rapture and then God is going to restore the Jewish people to center stage and fulfill every promise that He ever made them.

We also learned last week that we call this theological understanding of the Bible dispensationalism. And one of the most profound of all of these promises that God has made the Jewish people, that He's going to fulfill to them, we saw in Genesis chapter 15 where God promised to give the land of Canaan to Abraham's descendants as a permanent, as an eternal possession from the Nile River to the Euphrates River. This is an enormous land grant and yet this was God's promise to Abraham and to his descendants. Now folks, we must understand that with the exception of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the rebirth of the modern state of Israel is one of the most miraculous things God has ever done since the creation of the world.

And this is what I want to talk to you about today. We want to talk about the rebirth of the modern state of Israel. And I think the best way for us to start is to go back and let's look and see what the Bible says about this whole topic. So in the book of Genesis, as we've already seen, God promised to give the land of Canaan to Abraham and then to a specific son of Abraham, Isaac, and then to a specific grandson of his, Jacob. And after the exodus from Egypt, I think we all know that under the leadership of Joshua, God led the Jewish people into the land of Canaan and gave them part of the land grant that he had made to Abraham, but the Jewish people were incorrigibly unfaithful to God at the beginning through massive idolatry and disobedience and then it culminated in their rejection of Christ as their Messiah. And so finally, God expelled the Jewish people from the land of Canaan.

This happened in 135 A.D. under Roman Emperor Hadrian where he threw every Jew out of the Holy Land and made it a capital offense punishable by death for any Jewish person to be found within the borders of Palestine. Now what's interesting is that God had predicted all of this in the Bible ahead of time. Ezekiel 36 verse 17, when the house of Israel was living in their own land, the Bible says, they defiled it by their ways and their deeds. Therefore, I will pour out my wrath on them, God says, and I will scatter them among the nations and disperse them throughout the lands. And you know what's interesting is that the Lord Jesus Christ Himself actually predicted this was going to happen as well. Luke 21 verse 20, when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize, Jesus said, that her desolation is at hand and there will be great distress upon the land, that is Israel, and wrath upon this people, the Jewish people, Jesus said, and they will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive into all the nations.

Now this is the way it was for 1800 years. But God had also predicted in the Bible that one day at the end of the age, He would rectify all of this. He would regather His people from all the lands to where they had been spread and He would restore them to the land of Israel. Listen, Jeremiah 16 verse 14, it says, Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when it will no longer be said, as the Lord lives who brought the Israelites out of Egypt, but rather it will be said, as the Lord lives who brought the Israelites from all the countries where He banished them. For I will restore them to their own land, which I gave to their fathers. Ezekiel 37 verse 21, Thus says the sovereign Lord, I will take the children of Israel from among the nations where they have gone and bring them into their own land, and they shall live on the land that I gave to Jacob my servant, they their sons and their sons' sons, what's the last word?

Forever. Amos chapter 9 verse 14, I will restore my people Israel, God says, they will rebuild their ruined cities and live in them and I will plant them on their land and they will never again be rooted out from their land, which I have given them, says the Lord. And finally Ezekiel 36 verse 22, Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord, It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name. For all nations will know that I am the sovereign Lord, for I will prove myself mighty in their sight.

And God, how are you going to prove yourself mighty in their sight? For I will take you from the nations and gather you from every land and bring you back into your own land. And I, the Lord, have spoken this and I will do it. And so what I want to do now is take us back in history and I want us to see the miracles that God did in history in order to fulfill what He said. He said, I, the Lord, I promised you this and I'm going to do it.

I want you to see what God had to do to make this come to pass. So here we go. You ready? We're ready.

Alright, here we go. It all begins in France in 1895. A Jewish captain in the French army was accused of treason. His name was Alfred Dreyfus and later, by the way, he was proved innocent. And as he was led through the streets of Paris on his way to trial, angry mobs lined the streets chanting, Death to the Jews! Death to the Jews! There was a Jewish reporter in town covering all of this named Theodor Herzl. And he was shocked to see this Christian anti-Semitism erupt so viciously in France.

I mean the land of the Enlightenment. And watching this, Herzl immediately concluded that the only hope there was of protecting Jews in Europe against this latent anti-Semitism that could erupt at any time was for the Jewish people to have their own land, to have a country of their own. And Herzl called this position Zionism. Now Herzl died in 1904, but not before he had excited a lot of people about this idea of Zionism, of the Jewish people having their own country.

And one of those people he excited was a young man named Chaim Weizmann. In 1906, Weizmann held a meeting with then Prime Minister of Great Britain, Arthur Balfour. And Balfour, being a deeply committed Christian, evangelical, had several meetings with Weizmann.

And then Balfour did the most amazing thing. In 1917, while serving as the Foreign Secretary of Great Britain, Balfour got the British cabinet to agree to the following policy. And I quote, His Majesty's government views with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people and will use its best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this objective.

End of quote. This became known as the Balfour Declaration and it is unprecedented in history. For the first time in 1800 years, we now have a nation, Great Britain, saying that we support the creation of a homeland for the Jewish people.

This was miracle number one. Five weeks later, the British marched into Jerusalem, having captured it from the Ottoman Turks at the end of World War I, 1917. And then in 1922, the newly formed League of Nations instructed Great Britain that they were supporting the Balfour Declaration.

Here's what the League of Nations said and I quote, They said Great Britain should place the country, that is of Palestine, under such political, administrative, and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home. Friends, this is miracle number two. Now we don't have a single nation saying that they support the creation of a Jewish homeland.

Now we have the entire world through the League of Nations saying that they support the creation of a Jewish homeland. This has never happened in 19 centuries. Miracle number two. You say, well my gosh, looks to me like that's the end of the miracles because this thing is a done deal. Oh, not quite.

Friends, nothing is as simple as it looks. And the Arab peoples who were living in Palestine didn't agree with this and so therefore they began to hold general strikes and they began to riot and they began to attack British targets in Palestine and they eventually wore the British down with all of this violence and all of these strikes, getting the British in 1939 to issue the infamous White Paper which cancelled all Jewish immigration into Palestine and capitulated to every Arab demand against the Jews. Notice the year of this, 1939. Just as Hitler was beginning to target the Jews, Great Britain shut down any opportunity for Jews to escape. Winston Churchill was incensed. He said, and I quote, This is a breach. It is a violation of our pledge.

It is the abandonment of the Balfour Declaration and it is the end of the vision, the hope, and the dream. End of quote. Now you know one thing I love about God? I love the fact that God finishes what He starts.

Don't you love that? Huh? God had started this and God was going to finish it. Unable to quench the growing violence in Palestine, finally the British government after World War II decided to punt. And so in 1947 the British government announced that it was pulling out of Palestine and that it was giving the conundrum of Palestine to the United Nations to deal with. And so the United Nations, in what may be the only instance where the UN has ever supported the nation of Israel, in November 1947 the United Nations voted to partition Palestine and create the modern state of Israel.

This is a miracle number three. Now we don't have a nation, Great Britain, or even the world saying it would be a good idea to have a Jewish homeland. Now we have the United Nations actually creating out of nothing a homeland for the Jewish people. Praise the Lord for that.

Huh? Amen. Now, God's not through.

He's going to take a couple more miracles to get this thing done. On May the 15th, 1948 Israel proclaimed its independence and immediately 300 million Arabs declared war on Israel. In fact, five Arab nations, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq simultaneously invaded with military troops the tiny nation of Israel. Israel, their survival was hanging by a thread. They desperately needed a friend. And they found that friend in President Harry S. Truman. Now initially, President Truman was not very receptive about this whole idea of Zionism. He was not in a very receptive mood about creating a Jewish homeland.

And there were two reasons why. Number one, all of his advisors were telling him it was a terrible idea. They were telling him that because of political considerations and because of oil considerations he needed to side with the Arabs. In fact, then Secretary of State George Marshall was so worked up about this that he told Truman that if Truman recognized a Jewish state he, Marshall, would not only vote against Truman in the next election he would even campaign against Truman. Second reason Truman was initially not very receptive is that he had already been visited by Zionist groups. And they would come in and they would lecture him in a condescending way. He even had one rabbi come into the Oval Office and beat his fist on the desk in the Oval Office and scream and point his finger at President Truman. Truman didn't like that. And so he banned all Zionist groups from ever coming to the White House again until further notice.

I would call that not being in a very receptive mood. Wouldn't you? Yeah. But miraculously, in the beginning months the first few months of 1948 President Truman agreed to see our old friend Chaim Weissman. And by the end of those meetings President Harry S. Truman had agreed that if the State of Israel ever declared its independence the United States of America would support and recognize the modern State of Israel.

And so on May 15, 1948 a mere 11 minutes after Israel declared its independence President Truman officially recognized the new Jewish state making America the first nation in the world to recognize Israel. I call that miracle number four. What do you say? Amen? There's one more to come.

There's one more to come. And that is Israel's been invaded by five countries at once representing 300 million Arab enemies. How did Israel ever survive? Yes, the United States recognized Israel and yes, the United States helped Israel a little bit with war materiel. But how in the world could this tiny little nation fight off five invading powers and 300 million enemies and win that war for survival?

Friends, there's no human explanation for that. It's miracle number five and the Jewish nation is still here today and the United States for the last 65 years has been the strongest supporter of the nation of Israel on the face of the earth. Praise God for that. Amen?

You bet. Now, just before we move on, though, I want you to understand that all of these miracles had an amazing impact on the people who were watching them unfold and especially on President Truman. In 1949, the first prime minister of Israel, David Ben-Gurion, and the first chief rabbi of Israel came to thank President Truman at the White House for his support. And that rabbi, the first chief rabbi of Israel said, and I quote, he said to Mr. Truman, God put you in your mother's womb so you could be the instrument to bring about the rebirth of Israel after 2,000 years. And then the rabbi read the words of Persian King Cyrus, 539 B.C., found in the book of Ezra in the Bible.

Ezra 1 verse 2. The Lord God of heaven, Cyrus said, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and has charged me to build him a house in Jerusalem after which the chief rabbi turned to President Truman and said, and I quote, to the people of Israel, Mr. Truman, you are the modern King Cyrus. And at these words, President Truman, according to David Ben-Gurion, broke down and began to sob uncontrollably.

So much so that David Ben-Gurion had to take the president in his arms and hold him until the president could compose himself. Folks, these were unbelievable events that were occurring that had unbelievable impact on the people who were watching them unfold. So let's summarize.

You all still with me? What have we learned today? Well, we've learned that the birth of the modern state of Israel in 1948 was not an accident. It was not a coincidence.

It was not a lucky break. It was the fulfillment of God's unconditional, eternal, sovereign, unbreakable promise to Abraham and Abraham's descendants. And as we have seen, it was literally a miracle. Five of them.

Really? God took an utterly powerless group of people, His people, the Jewish people, living in ghettos without any centralized leadership or government, with no financial power and no military power and no political power and no diplomatic power and no legislative power. And God did something for them that has never been done in the history of the world. And why did God do this?

Well, He told us. Ezekiel 36, It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, God said, but for the sake of My holy name, so the nations will know that I am the Lord, for I will prove Myself mighty in their sight, for I will take you from the nations and gather you from every land and bring you back into your own land. Now by way of balance, please let me say before we move on that we understand that what we have today is unbelieving Israel in the land, which means that all of Israel's actions are not godly and all of Israel's actions are not biblical, which means that we do not, as Christians, automatically support every action that the nation of Israel takes.

But what we do support is Israel's right to exist and their right to own the land of Canaan as their God-given entitlement going all the way back to the book of Genesis. Amen? Everybody with me?

We understand what we're saying here, right? Okay. Now, that's as far as we're going to go in all of this because it's time for us to ask our most important question. So, are we ready? Everybody's still awake? Alright.

I haven't killed you so far. Okay. All of you out on the Internet, you guys ready? Here we go.

Nice and loud. Now let me just say, everybody else has had a good day. So, you're going to have to really put out to win this today. So here we go. Are you ready? Come on now. Here we go.

One, two, three! Go White! Wow, that is so awesome. You guys are so awesome.

You say, alright, Lon, you're shameless. I am. I'm sorry.

I am. But, what a great, so what? Give yourselves a hand.

That was awesome. Alright, you say, Lon, hey. You know, I mean, this has all been semi-interesting. And by the way, Lon, are we ever going to talk about Gentiles again?

I'm just curious. Yeah, yeah, we will. I promise. But you say, well, I don't understand. What does any of this have to do with me?

Well, that's the question really, isn't it? The question we should be asking is what does the rebirth of the nation of Israel, what does that teach us as followers of Christ spiritually? And the answer is that it teaches us that there is a totally sovereign God who is running this universe. As we just saw, my friends, God over 1900 years had complete sovereignty over everything that happened to the nation of Israel. There were some good things that happened.

There were some not so good things that happened. But through it all, God was utterly sovereign and used them all to accomplish His predicted plan for the nation of Israel. Now, what exactly do we mean? Let's define when we say God is sovereign. Folks, we mean that God wields a power that cannot be overruled, it cannot be overcome, and it cannot be resisted. Actually, 297 times the Bible says this about God.

A couple of examples. Psalm 135 verse 5 says the Lord is great and sovereign above all, whatever the Lord pleases, He does. Isaiah 46 verse 10, my purposes shall be established, God says, and I will accomplish my good pleasure. Daniel 4 verse 35 says God does according to His will with the host of heaven and the inhabitants of the earth and no one can ward off His hand.

And finally, I love what Daniel says, Daniel 2 21. He says it is He, God, who sets kings up and who takes kings down. Friends, to say that God is sovereign is to say that He is actively running everything in this universe according to His personal pleasure, according to His personal will, and according to His personal plan. And regardless whether you and I understand it, regardless whether or not you and I can explain it, it doesn't matter.

Every minute thing that is happening in our lives, every minute thing that is happening in our country, and every minute thing that is happening in our world is fitting perfectly into God's good and deliberate plan for this universe. That's what it means to say that God is sovereign. And you know, as followers of Christ, it's really important that we believe this, not just in our heads, but that we really believe it in our hearts.

And so here's the bottom line for today. When it comes to our personal life, when it comes to our financial life, when it comes to our family life, when it comes to our professional life, when it comes to our medical life, when it comes to our country, when it comes to our world as followers of Christ, listen carefully, the only way for us to stay spiritually steady, the only way for us to maintain biblical and spiritual equilibrium with all of the stuff that this world throws at us, the only way for us to maintain the joy of our salvation, as Psalm 51 says, is for us to rest in the sovereignty of God. You know, it's interesting, David in 1 Samuel 30 was away from his hometown of Ziklag at one point.

And when he came back, an enemy marauding force of Amalekites had invaded the city, conquered it, burned it down and taken all the wives and children captive. And the Bible has a very interesting verse in 1 Samuel 30, verse 6. It says, And David sat down and encouraged himself in the Lord.

David encouraged himself in the Lord. Hey, there were things around him that were upsetting him. There were things around him that were scaring him. There were things around him that had shaken his foundations. And David said, wow, I need to get my spiritual equilibrium back.

How do I do it? I encourage myself in the Lord. And what did David do to encourage himself in the Lord?

Very simple, friends. Number one, he acknowledged God's sovereignty over what had happened. Number two, he submitted to God's sovereignty over what had happened. And number three, he rested in God's sovereignty over what had happened.

He acknowledged, he submitted to, he rested in. You say, does that mean we never do anything? We just kind of passively sit around and recognize God's sovereignty? No, no, no, no, no.

David went after those enemies. And I'm not talking about what we do with our hands here. I'm talking about what we do with our hearts. What we do with our hearts. And there's not a one of us here.

Not you, not me. Every one of us. Every one of us have things in our life that scare us and that unsettle us and upset us and that shake our foundations. What do we need to do? Folks, we need to do what David did. We need to encourage ourselves in the Lord. We need to acknowledge God's sovereignty. Lord, this is the way it is because this is the way you want it. We need to submit to God's sovereignty.

Lord, I don't like this. But if this is the way you think it needs to be, I'll submit to that. And then we need to rest in God's sovereignty.

Lord, you're running the world, not me. I don't see how this fits into some good plan for my life, but I'm going to believe you and rest in you anyway. It's amazing how the joy of our salvation and spiritual steadiness returns when we do that. Let's pray. And with our heads bowed and our eyes closed, I want to give you just a moment to pray yourself. Because there are these things in our lives that shake our foundations.

Maybe you've got something going on right now in your life that you're really struggling with. Folks, Satan loves to rob us of the joy of our salvation by trying to convince us that we are sovereign over the affairs of our life. But we're not. God is. So acknowledge that today. And surrender to that today.

And rest in that today. And then let it go into the hands of God. Take a moment and pray. Lord Jesus, some of us have just prayed about financial situations. Some of us have just prayed about medical situations. Some of us have just prayed for our children or our parents or our marriages or our jobs.

Lord, there are thousands of things we could have just prayed for and probably somebody here prayed for every one of them. We live in a world where lots of things happen, Lord, in your sovereignty that we don't understand, that we don't get, that makes no sense to us. But I pray, Lord, you would not let Satan rob us of the joy of our salvation by convincing us we have sovereign control of our lives.

We don't. Instead, help us to do what David did. To constantly encourage ourselves and the Lord by acknowledging and then surrendering to and then resting in the sovereignty of God over our lives.

It doesn't mean we don't do anything. It means that we do it with our heart settled and calm because it's resting on your sovereignty. So, Lord, for every one of us here today, take away those things that are scaring and upsetting us. Replace them with the joy of God and the peace of God as we nail them to the cross. And then take our seat at the foot of the cross and rest in the sovereignty of Christ. And we pray these things in the name of the Lord Jesus. And what do God's people say? Amen. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-09 13:38:49 / 2023-05-09 13:50:06 / 11

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