Blown by the breath of God, they are scattered to the ends of the earth. They wander, desolate and forsaken, cast out like an unfaithful wife. The land itself seems to heave against their presence, tossing them with tempests of exiles, pogroms, and Inquisition.
The intense flames of Jewish persecution kindle the deepest yearnings for Zion. As their father Abraham hoped against hope, so do they. The greeting, “Next year, Jerusalem!” is proclaimed from every corner of the globe.
The Jewish soul soars, rising above tremendous odds and the worst of hostilities. The people of the Book celebrate their heritage, keeping alive the memories of David and the glories of Israel. Out of the ashes of exile, the ancient language of the prophets is resurrected.
Satan wages war against them.
Holocaust paints its black scar on the face of humanity. The extent of this atrocity is unfathomable. It is difficult to imagine the scope of six million murders – a number with the potential to wipe out the population of our largest cities. It is said that the death of one is a tragedy, but the death of a million is only a statistic. Six million cherished souls: husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters – all murdered. Only a remnant remains, sustained by the promise of the Almighty to bring his children home.
On the eve of Shabbat, May 14, 1948, the sufferings of God’s chosen people, travailing with the birth pangs of holocaust, give birth to a nation – their beloved Israel. Immediately, the shout to every Jew echoes across the globe, “Come home!”
“Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?”
(Isaiah 60:8 – KJV)
With his spiritual eyes, the prophet Isaiah saw them coming. Some return like clouds, pushed by the strong winds of persecution, affliction, and holocaust. Others, with longing hearts, return like homesick doves to the land of their forefathers. They come by the millions, filling the sky on their journey home.
Seven surrounding Arab nations welcome the Jewish state with a declaration of war, the bombing of Tel Aviv, and the boast to “cast Israel into the sea.” Outnumbered 100 to 1, and with inadequate military equipment, the Israeli victory cannot be explained apart from miracles.
The violence toward the Jewish state is escalating around the world. The nations ignore the promise to Abraham: “I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you, I will curse.” (Genesis 12:3a - NASB)
In this Promised Land, persecution and hatred continue to fight against hope, yet hope prevails, fixing its eyes on the eastern sky. There can be no peace without the Prince of Peace. When Messiah returns like a dove on the cloud, all terror and sorrow will flee away. Israel’s enemies will be destroyed and no weapon formed against her will prosper. He will establish Zion in righteousness and make Jerusalem a praise in the earth. There will be singing and rejoicing in that day and forevermore. He has promised, and in His promises, we have our hope.
“So long as still within the inmost heart a Jewish spirit sings,
so long as the eye looks eastward, gazing toward Zion, our hope is not lost
– that hope of two millennia, to be a free people in our land, the land of Zion and Jerusalem.”
Hatikvah – “The Hope” (Israeli National Anthem)
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