As the commemoration of Memorial Day (YomHaZikaron) drew to a close last night, the somber mood in Israel changed to one of rejoicing as the nation celebrated its 68th birthday on the holiday known as Israel Independence Day (Yom Ha’atzmaut). Last night Israel celebrated with fireworks, concerts and parties. Today is a holiday from work and school, so most Israelis will celebrate by having a cookout grilling hamburgers and chicken. The parks will be full as families spend time together.
Author Joel Rosenberg noted five big things to celebrate on Israel’s 68th modern birthday:
1. The fact that the modern State of Israel still exists and is able to celebrate her 68th birthday, is evidence of the dramatic fulfillment of ancient Biblical prophecies, and a powerful testimony that the Bible is the very Word of God.
2. Israel is alive and growing despite innumerable threats by Israel’s neighbors to annihilate the Jewish State.
3. Despite efforts to isolate Israel from the rest of the world, Israel now has diplomatic and growing economic relations with 161 countries, including China and India
4. The majority of Israelis believe that God exists, and are growing increasingly curious about reading the Bible.
5. There is new and compelling evidence that many Israelis believe faith in Jesus (Yeshua) as Messiah is not a contradiction to being Jewish, and many are exploring what faith in Jesus really means.
Last night Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recorded a short video to mark what we call the “rebirth” of the nation. The video below was shown at the start of the State ceremony on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.
Despite all of the problems and persecution facing Israel, we as believers, celebrating along with the rest of the nation, can take comfort in Psalm 121:4.
” Behold, the Keeper of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps.” (Ps 121:4 TLV)
Happy 68th birthday Israel and many more!