Handwriting on the Wall

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Those with eyes to see and ears to hear. (Artwork by Elhanan ben-Avraham)

Nobel Laureate Robert Zimmerman sang, “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows” and, “If something isn’t right it’s wrong.” The obvious is often the last thing to be seen or understood. Another famous Jew said, “Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near,” and, “Because lawlessness shall increase the love of many shall grow cold.”

We are witnessing today the nations of the world in a frenzy of chaos and anxiety, catalyzed by a world pandemic of what could be said to be of biblical proportions. The future of the world’s economies is uncertain, and hordes of malcontent mobs are rioting in the streets from Washington DC to Tehran. Wars and violence are scarring the landscapes of nations from Syria to Yemen, creating hunger and mass migrations, and gangs of Muslim savages are raping and murdering across Africa and elsewhere. Many Christians are being slaughtered and kidnapped as sex slaves and churches are being burned, and even outlawed in China with much saber rattling from them and the Iranians. Even the prophecy of Isaiah, written long before pollution was an issue on our planet, is coming to pass, “The earth is also polluted by its inhabitants, for they have transgressed the laws, violated statutes, broken the everlasting covenant.”

How to read this Handwriting on the Wall? Are these events just the ongoing same old sad history of the human condition, or are these things a portent of an epoch never before realized? One historical event that has occurred only in our times is the return of the Jewish people after two thousand years to the ancient Land of Israel after a devastating Holocaust that destroyed the lives of some six million of that small people. Against all odds of declared destruction of that tiny Jewish state, it has overcome and survived now for near seventy-three years and, much to the dismay of the Islamic nations round about, the ancient city of the Prophets and Apostles, Jerusalem, has been restored from ruins to beauty, prospering once again in the hands of the Jewish people.

 The scrolls of the biblical writings have survived the rise and fall of many nations and civilizations, even rising again from a tomblike cave by the Dead Sea in 1947, a year before the rebirth of the Jewish state.

That 2000 year-old scroll of Isaiah speaks of the rebirth of this nation in a day, which actually occurred on May 14, 1948 – perhaps merely by coincidence – if you have enough faith to believe that. But indeed those words have now become the flesh of history before the eyes of the world, like it or not. In those ancient scrolls are promises:

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when they will no longer say, ‘As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the Israelites up out of the land of Egypt.’ Instead they will say, ‘As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the Israelites up out of the land of the north and all the other lands to which He had banished them. For I will return them to their land that I gave to their forefathers.” (Jeremiah 16:14-15)

“For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land.  I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God. I will save you from all your uncleanness… It is not for your sake, O people of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name…so will the ruined cities be filled with flocks of people. Then they will know that I am the LordI the Lord have spoken, and I will do it.” (Ezekiel 36)

And the Messiah shall return to Zion in Mercy –
with the Lord a Promise is a Promise.