Regardless of what you think of former Israeli President Shimon Peres’ politics, his life story is a parable of the rebirth and the flourishing of modern Israel. Reading his autobiography, No Room for Small Dreams (London, Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 2017), I am freshly inspired to plant my life in this miracle nation.
Peres was born in Poland in 1923, into a family whose dream was to live in Zion. He arrived in pre-state Israel in 1934. During his youth Peres was shaped by the rugged demands of kibbutz agriculture and was one of the founders of Kibbutz Alumot, overlooking the Sea of Galilee. During his more than seventy years of public service, this man’s accomplishments encompassed the fields of defense, technology, economy and national politics. His roles included serving as Prime Minister. Shimon Peres continued to actively serve his nation until his passing at age 93 on September 28, 2016.
His life story inspires me through statements like these:
“…we were all keenly aware that we were part of a mission—something far bigger than ourselves.” (p.14)
“…rather than run from the challenge, I fully embraced it.” (p.39)
“Never once, in our two thousand years of exile, had there been a more ambitious dream for our people than the dream to return home.” (p. 43-44)
“And yet I knew that we would never achieve great things if we let austerity become an obstacle to audacity. To build a stronger, more prosperous state, we had to set our gaze higher than our temporary limitations.” (p.60)
With determination, perseverance, sacrifice, intelligence and ever-guided by an optimistic vision for the future, Peres helped forge this nation—bringing us from the trauma of rebirth before statehood, through warfare that challenged our very existence as a country, through tackling hyperinflation as a struggling economy in the 1980s, into our current place as a young/ancient nation resurrected and blooming both agriculturally and technologically.
Pioneers still greatly needed!
We may now be a highly developed nation, on par with Western European societies, but there is still a need for a Peres-like approach of “building for the future.” This Zionist pioneer, had the “faith” to assist in Israel’s miraculous rebirth, even without believing in the God of Israel. How much more then, can we envision a bold faith view of what “can be.” This is profoundly true for us as Messianic Jews and all followers of Yeshua who grasp His unabated love for Israel and for all mankind. May we be fueled with passion to set in motion the dynamics of faith—declaring and living for those things that are not yet, as though they are (Hebrews 11:1).
There is so much more God intends to do in our generation here and globally. Here, we are back in the “land,” but not yet fully alive in the Spirit (Ezekiel 37:8). Strengthening, refreshing, equipping, and empowering the body of believers in this land is a high priority. As we intercede and give ourselves to the coming of Yeshua’s Kingdom, I believe that we are following in the footsteps of both the Zionist pioneers and the heroes of faith recorded in Scripture.
“And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us” (Hebrews 12:39, 40).
It is said of Abraham, the father of us all, that “He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform” (Romans 4:20, 21).
This article originally appeared in Oasis newsletter, August 2018, and reposted with permission.