Pride comes before a fall

Tel Aviv, Israel - Aerial view of Ramat Gan district from 49th floor of Circular Tower, one of three skyscrapers of Azrieli Center complex in Tel Aviv

Deut. 8:11-20

The State of Israel is preparing to celebrate its 70th Independence Day this April 18-19.

Seventy years of the impossible being made possible. After nearly 1900 years of exile from the land God promised on oath to give to the children of Israel; after prayers and hopes of one day returning to Jerusalem; after centuries of suffering persecutions and unending dislike and mistrust; after forced expulsions from other countries; after trying to show that they are like the Gentiles among whom they live; after failures of other nations to keep promises to assist them in their return to the land; after the Holocaust which sought to destroy their aspirations once-and-for-all; after wars against their surrounding enemies throughout the 70 years of statehood: Israel and the Jewish people here are thriving and prospering beyond all expectations, and blessing the world through its acquired knowledge and innovations born of necessity.

Just last week, following the destruction of another cross-border terrorist tunnel from Gaza, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai has praised the technology behind its discovery.

“Israeli genius and the Jewish brain have found a solution for all the terrorist tunnels,” he said in an interview with the Arabic-language al-Hurairah television station on Sunday. “Just as there is the Iron Dome in the air, there is a technological dome of steel under the ground.”

Israel has pioneered and developed scientific discoveries which have blessed the world.

Despite its small size, Israel has played a large role in global affairs and ranks relatively high among the nations in several categories.

But as the Spirit of Messiah spoke through Moses to the Israeli people long ago in its very beginnings, he warned us that becoming powerful and wealthy would also lead to forgetting YHVH our God, and boasting in our own abilities and intelligence and might and power to accomplish all that the LORD enabled us to do. And God’s warning was that just as He will destroy all the nations opposing Him and His people, so would He do to His own when they become like them. Unless YHVH of Hosts (Armies) would leave to us a very small remnant, we would become like Sodom and Gomorrah. (Isa. 1:9)

As we relish in our own country’s (wherever we live) successes and greatness, there remains a particular calling upon Israel and the Jewish people with whom YHVH has cut covenants and given promises and oaths. We are held to a higher accountability than are other nations. Yet believers in Yeshua/Jesus, from whatever nation or ethnic group, are held individually to a higher standard than even unbelieving Israel is: we know the God and Lord who has forgiven us our sins and given us a new heart and the Holy Spirit, and given us peace and gift of eternal life with Him. We have the whole Bible, the whole counsel of God.

We are called to intercede and to take the gospel to the Jew first, that they might repent and believe it, and come home to their Father in Heaven, looking on Him whom they pierced. From the days of Samuel the Prophet and Judge, the Jewish people have wanted a king like the Gentiles have to rule over them, and go to war for them, and to judge them. YHVH, in the person of Yeshua the Messiah/Christ and Son of God, will restore the Kingdom of God to them and be their King when He returns. He is holy and righteous, attributes which God has called His people to become, to the glory of the Father.

“The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength eighty years. Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. Who knows the power of Your anger? For as the fear of You, so is Your wrath. Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psa. 90)

This article originally appeared on Streams in the Negev, January 29, 2018, and reposted with permission.