Israel remembers tonight all her sons and daughters who have died in the numerous wars and terror attacks since her birth as a nation 70 years ago, according to the Hebrew calendar. (The Western calendar Independence date is May 14/15.) Every war and attack against Israel is an existential threat to her existence. As the Apostle Paul wrote, “Through many tribulations we enter the Kingdom of God!” (Acts 14:22) There is much suffering, even death, before entering into glory.
YHVH God of Israel called and destined His people to be separate from the Gentile nations, a holy people to Himself, and a priestly nation to the nations. But in the days of Samuel the prophet, the Children of Israel asked for a king like the Gentiles have, to judge them and lead them in war. God gave them what they asked for: He gave them Saul to be their king. (Shaul in Hebrew, which means, “asked for”.)
The LORD through the Prophet Ezekiel (20:32) asserts His claim upon the determination of His people’s identity and character: “What you have in mind shall never be, when you say, ‘We will be like the Gentiles, like the families in other countries, serving wood and stone.'”
It is often said by even Israeli government ministers that we, the Jewish people, have the right of “self-determination” to be a Jewish nation-state. This can never be a justification by Jewish people for having our own sovereign country. The Palestinians could — and do — make the same claim for themselves. Our only basis for being here is YHVH’s covenant promise and oath, and the faithfulness of God to bring us back here — for His holy name’s sake. We are not like the other peoples to God in this respect: only Israel has He known (Amos 3:1-2; 1Chron 17:20-22), and He has given us a calling and destiny of who He has determined we are to be. This is true also of the Body of Christ/Messiah: our identity and destiny are determined by Him before the world began. (Eph 1:3-6)
Megillat HaAtzmaut“, by the Maccabeats, is a song written for Israel’s 70th Independence Day, with this line concerning the Jewish State of Israel: “this right is the natural right of the Jewish people to be masters of their own fate, like all the other nations”.
But, as the Lord has said: this is not so, and will not be!
“As I live,” says the Lord YHVH, “surely with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, and with fury poured out, I will rule over you! I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you were scattered, with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, and with fury poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will plead My case with you face to face. Just as I pleaded My case with your fathers in the desert land of Egypt, so I will plead My case with you,” says the Lord GOD. I will make you pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant. I will purge the rebels from among you, and those who transgress against Me; I will bring them out of the country where they dwell, but they shall not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am Yehovah!” (Ezek 20: 33-38)
The national anthem of Israel is called HaTikvah, The Hope. God has built into His people the hope of a better world. The hope put before them is predicated upon repentance and faith in YHVH’s Anointed One — Yeshua/Jesus. May we see this hope fulfilled in our generation — for Israel, for the nations, for the Body of Christ.
At the end of the day, all who are the Lord’s will know this to be true: we will have struggled with God and with man, and prevailed! Oh, the depths of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! (Gen 32:24-30 ; Rom 11:33)