Back to the Future

A look at 1920, 2120 and 2020

Have you ever seen a movie about traveling backward or forward through time to visit the same place in which you currently live?

Now imagine you are standing here in Israel today, looking back one hundred years. What would you see? You would see British policemen and the British army, sovereign over this land. What would you tell the people living in the land in 1920 while the British were in power? How do you think they would react if you told them that by 1948 the Jewish people would have their own sovereign country after nearly 2000 years?

The first wave of modern immigration (“Aliyah”) to Israel took place from 1882-1903. Twenty-five thousand people arrived from Romania, Poland, Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe, as well as from Yemen. Many were educated idealists who found themselves attempting to build new lives in an extremely inhospitable environment. Only five thousand remained from that first Aliyah! Eighty percent returned to their places of origin or moved to other countries.

Looking at this through physical eyes, would you say it was a success or a failure?

I consider it a success! They came as pioneers and they left their mark on the land. Their arrival opened doors for the second Aliyah. Fast forward to the present and we see a beautiful country with 9 million citizens. Israel is a modern state enjoying advanced science, medicine, and technology. Yet, despite accomplishments in the physical realm, we find ourselves a poor and barren place in the spiritual realm.

We, as Messianic believers, are pioneers of Israel’s growth and development in the spiritual realm. In Ezekiel 37:14, the chapter on the dry bones, we see that God promises to bring the nation of Israel back to the land. Today we face many challenges in the Messianic body―including how to gather together as a congregation for weekly services, prayer meetings, home groups and the like. Due to Covid restrictions, everything is conducted online. The lack of human contact puts us in the dangerous position of becoming isolated and separated.

Beyond this there is the physical, spiritual, religious and governmental resistance to the Messianic Body in the land, which contributes to the challenge of the body not growing or, in some cases, diminishing. However, let us not despise the day of small beginnings (Zechariah 4:10). We are in a birthing process.

What do I see in Israel 100 years from now (if Yeshua has not yet returned)? I see countless Messianic communities throughout the land.

And now, what if we were to ask a believer from our Akko congregation, living one hundred years in the future, his or her perspective regarding 2020? What would they say to us?

I believe in spite of the trials, the small number of believers in the land and all that is being done to stop our growth; the “visitor” from the future would say, “Do not be dismayed. Continue to stand and be faithful in what God has called you to do; good fruit will come of it.”

Dear friends from the nations, we could not stand and do the work here in the land without your support through prayer and intercession. Thank you. You are our midwife, our birthing coach.

This article originally appeared in the Oasis newsletter, December 2020, and reposted with permission.