The Importance of Israel's 60th Anniversary
Why this anniversary is so important.
The independence of Israel was declared on May 14, 1948 by David Ben Gurion at a small art museum in Tel Aviv. This year this historic event was celebrated on May 8th because the Jewish people follow a different calendar from the Western world, and according to that calendar, May 14, 1948 fell on the 5th of Iyar. Since the Jewish calendar is a lunar solar one, specific dates vary each year in relation to our calendar. This year the 5th of Iyar fell on May 8th.
The continuing existence of Israel is a great miracle of God. The day after the state was established, it was attacked by five Arab nations in what has come to be called the "War of Independence." That war continued into 1949. The Israelis were out manned and out gunned, but through God's help, they were able to survive.
The Bible prophesied that the nation would be born in one day and that the birth pangs would come after the birth (Isaiah 66:7 8):
"7Before she travailed, she brought forth:
Before her pain came, she gave birth to a boy.
8Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things?
Can a land be born in one day?
Can a nation be brought forth all at once?"
In exact fulfillment of this prophecy, the nation of Israel was born in one day, and the birth pangs began the next day with the Arab invasion, and they have continued to this day. There has been war after war — the Suez War of 1956, the Six Day War of 1967, the War of Attrition from 1968 to 1970, the Yom Kippur War of 1973, the Lebanon War of 1982, the Second Gulf War of 1991, and the Hezbollah War of 2006. And between these wars there have been serious Arab uprisings called intifadas.
Again and again, the Arabs have tried to annihilate Israel, and time after time, the Israelis have withstood the attacks. What we have witnessed is the fulfillment of a promise God made in His Prophetic Word long ago. It is found in Amos 9:15 — "I will plant them [the Jewish people] in their land, and they will not again be rooted out from their land which I have given them..."
The survival of Israel for 60 years is a testimony to God's faithfulness to His promise that "He who keeps Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps" (Psalm 121:4).
What about the future?
In the natural, there seems to be no hope for Israel. The nation is surrounded by 250 million Arabs who are determined to destroy it. The Israeli people have grown war weary, and their leaders have lost the Zionist vision, prompting both to follow a policy of appeasement that is only whetting the appetite of their enemies. The major nations of the world, together with the key international organizations, are all pressuring Israel to surrender its heartland and all or part of its capital city.
But the true battle for Israel is being fought in the supernatural, and in that realm, God is in control. He has promised to preserve a great remnant of the Jews who will be saved when they come to the end of themselves and turn their hearts to God in repentance, accepting Yeshua as their Messiah (Zechariah 12:10 and Romans 9:27, 11:25 26).
Today the Jewish people are like sheep without a shepherd. What they do not yet realize is that they do have a Shepherd who loves them dearly and is waiting for them to turn their hearts to Him. What a glorious day that will be!
"If My people would but listen to Me, if Israel would follow My ways, how quickly would I subdue their enemies and turn My hand against their foes! Those who hate the Lord would cringe before Him, and their punishment would last forever."
— Psalm 81:13-15 (NIV)