"Israel was not created in order to disappear - Israel will endure and flourish. It is the child of hope and the home of the brave. It can neither be broken by adversity nor demoralized by success. It carries the shield of democracy and it honors the sword of freedom". ––John F. Kennedy
Kennedy’s words seize the essence of God’s covenant with Israel, promising that Israel will endure forever.
“Thus says the LORD, who gives the sun for a light by day, the ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night, who disturbs the sea, and its waves roar (The LORD of hosts is His name): ‘If those ordinances depart from before Me, says the LORD, then the seed of Israel shall also cease from being a nation before Me forever.” (Jeremiah 31:35, 36, New King James Version)
In the natural, Israel should never have survived the taking of the Promised Land. But, the Old Testament depicts the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob continually intervening on behalf of the Israelites, principally when victory seemed impossible. Extraordinary battles were won, oftentimes, without the Israelites having to join the fray. Joshua, for example, began the conquest of the Promised Land with the inexplicable defeat of Jericho and Ai. The Lord even made the sun and moon stand still over Gibeon to help Joshua destroy the enemy’s armies (Joshua 10:13).
“For the Lord has driven out from before you great and strong nations; but as for you, no one has been able to stand against you to this day. One man of you shall chase a thousand, for the Lord your God is He who fights for you….” (Joshua 23:9-10)
When the Israelites depended on the Lord, He would fight for them. When they depended on foreign kings and foreign ‘gods’, He allowed them to be oppressed and defeated.
“Israel, the LORD discovered you in a barren desert filled with howling winds. God became your fortress, protecting you as though you were his own eyes. The LORD was like an eagle teaching its young to fly, always ready to swoop down and catch them on its back. Israel, the LORD led you, and without the aid of a foreign god, he helped you capture the land. Your fields were rich with grain. Olive trees grew in your stony soil, and honey was found among the rocks. Your flocks and herds produced milk and yogurt, and you got choice meat from your sheep and goats that grazed in Bashan. Your wheat was the finest, and you drank the best wine. Israel, you grew fat and rebelled against God, your Creator; you rejected the Mighty Rock, your only place of safety. (Deuteronomy 32:10-15, Contemporary English Version)
The book of Judges records the times of defeat as well as amazing victories. Consider these events.
- The prophetess Deborah called on Barak to fight against Jabin, king of Canaan who had oppressed Israel for 20 years. Sisera was commander of the army and had 900 chariots of iron. The Lord routed Sisera, all his chariots and all his army. Deborah and Barak sang, “The Lord came down for me against the mighty”, “They fought from the heavens; the stars from their courses fought against Sisera.” (Judges 5:13, 20)”
- Gideon, who is depicted as a coward hiding in a winepress, was called on by the Lord to save Israel with only 300 men (Judges 6:15). The Lord told him, “Surely I will be with you…”
- Samson was born to a barren mother who was admonished by an angel to raise him as a Nazirite. As a result, the Lord bestowed upon Samson supernatural strength to conquer the Philistines.
- An angel of the Lord killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers that surrounded Jerusalem when Hezekiah prayed; God defeated the Ethiopian’s million-man army for King Asa, and He caused the ‘great multitude from Edom’ to fight against themselves for Jehoshaphat’s sake.
In current times, the God of Israel continues to fight for His chosen nation. During the three major wars fought by the surrounding nations against Israel, Israel received no support from the U.S. or any Western ‘allies’. And, although President Nixon shipped military equipment to Israel (a miracle) during the Yom Kippur War, the U.S. State Dept. withheld military intelligence of the invasion, which knowledge would have saved thousands of Israeli lives.
The five surrounding enemy nations had armies and equipment that far exceeded those of Israel. So how DID Israel endure these wars and still continue, not only to survive but thrive? Ultimately, the God of Israel is the reason that she still exists against all likelihood!
A recent a documentary, Against All Odds–Israel Survives, supports the fact that Israel is protected from annihilation by God Himself. The film recounts the experiences of Israeli soldiers who were saved by the intervention of angels and those who witnessed supernatural occurrences that caused them to achieve victory. For instance, a windstorm that uncovered a mine field in the path of a company of soldiers, an angel that terrified the enemy militia causing them to run in fear just when the Israeli soldiers ran out of ammunition, a mysterious man appearing to open the locked gate leading to the Wailing Wall allowing Israel to take back the Temple Mount, Israelis safely fleeing in the midst of enemy fire on every side, and many more extraordinary, divine rescues by the Lord of Hosts.
Author Ramon Bennett in his book “Saga” also details wartime miracles: God used bees to attack the Arabs, preventing them from taking the city of Tel Aviv; visions of a vast Israeli army caused the advancing Egyptians to surrender to two lost Israeli soldiers; a mysterious sickness halted the Syrian/Lebanese forces in Galilee.
An Ohio newspaper journalist who was covering the Six-Day War, recounted how Moshe Dayan, an Israeli military commander, was chided to invade Jerusalem quickly. Dayan said that he was “watching the Angel of the Lord with his sword lifted up” and said he would not move until the Angel’s sword came down. As a result, they easily took the city.
“The Lord foils the plans of the nations; He thwarts the purposes of the peoples.” (Psalm 33:10)
Israel is the only nation that God Himself established. It is the only nation whose people were scattered for 2000 years and were able to return and restore their land. It is the only nation that has an angel (Michael) that guards and protects them. It is the only nation with which God has a covenant promise for a specific plot of land in the Middle East. It is the only nation the Lord calls the “apple of His eye” and promises to destroy those who have attacked them.
“…After He has honored me and has sent me against the nations that have plundered you [Israel]––for whoever touches you touches the apple of His eye––I will surely raise my hand against them…” (Zechariah 2:8, 9)
Although, the Lord always disciplined Israel when they forgot Him or when they depended on other nations to rescue them, He only used ‘other nations’ to be His arm of discipline, never to save them. Israel must stop leaning on the arm of the U.S. and on their own abilities. They must lean on God alone in order to once again experience the miraculous hand of the Lord on their nation.
Am Yisrael Chai (The People of Israel Live)
 The War of Independence in 1948, the 6-Day War of 1967, and the Yom Kippur War of 1973