This article is written to Jews (regardless of belief) living in the Diaspora. If you live in Israel, then please forward to your Jewish friends, acquaintances, and relatives who are living in the Diaspora.
I would like to discuss some Biblical and historical background to help highlight Israel’s purpose in God’s plan, and then plead with you to act accordingly.
An amazing break in history is recorded in Genesis 12. God calls Abraham (for a reason that I will discuss) and defines a spiritual battle that will result from this calling. Up until this point in biblical history, the people living on Earth had a way to learn about God. That is because there were people around who had known God in a very personal way, or who had witnessed His miraculous actions on the Earth. How do I know this? Because Genesis 5 and 11 tells us exactly when Adam’s descendants lived relative to the time of Adam. And if you read this without skipping over the numbers (yeah, I know many of you skip this part of your Bible), then you will learn that Adam was still alive when Noah’s father was alive. Noah’s was the first generation that did not have personal access to the testimony of the oldest living human being, and we see how that generation went.
Noah knew God and had the honor of God’s closing the door of the ark behind him (Genesis 7:16), as well as witnessing a world-wide flood. Based on Genesis 11, Noah was still around when Abraham was alive, and Noah’s son Shem outlived Abraham and Isaac. Abraham lived at a cross- roads of history. It was the first time that humanity was about to lose a direct testimony of God on the Earth. It was therefore critical that God create a testimony on Earth so all of humanity would learn about Him. He did this by creating a nation that all of humanity could look at and learn about God through God’s dealings with that nation.
In Genesis 12, the calling of Abraham is accompanied by a promise that God would bless those who bless him and curse those who curse him. Why? Because God’s intent in creating the nation of Israel was so that all of the world would know who He is, and Satan therefore would constantly do battle against Israel to try to prevent the world from learning about God. The battle was therefore defined in Genesis 12 as being between those who would work with God to propagate the evidence of who He is, and those who would try to destroy that evidence. The concept that Israel was created as God’s evidence to the nations can be seen in several places in the Bible. One example can be seen in Exodus 32:12 when Moses argues that God shouldn’t destroy Israel for their sin (of the golden calf) because of how it would look to the Egyptians, and again in Numbers 14:15 because of how that would look to all of the nations.
The blessings and curses of Deuteronomy 28 indicate that God will bless Israel if they follow Him and curse Israel (including exile to the nations of the world) if they don’t follow Him. Thus, all of the world can see the miraculous survival of Israel even in the midst of exile, and know that God is bringing His word to pass.
Perhaps the most important (to us at this time) example of a passage that discusses the concept of Israel as God’s evidence to the nations is Ezekiel 36: 22–32. Ezekiel prophesies that the children of Israel will return to the Land at a time when they don’t deserve it, and He will do it for the sake of His Name in the sight of the nations! That is, despite the curses of Deuteronomy 28, God will bring back the children of Israel to their Land at that particular time in history, and that time is NOW. And lest anyone think that Ezekiel 36 can be spiritualized, take note that Ezekiel was not even prophesying to people – he was prophesying to a bunch of dirt and rocks (Ezekiel 36:1), just as he was in Ezekiel 6:2 for the purpose of prophesying exile.
In 1882, the first wave of aliyah began. From there, the population of Jews living in the Land miraculously doubled every 13 years, not so much from new births as from aliyah from many different nations. This doubling of population happened through two world wars, through many wars in Israel, and through a declaration of statehood. Many people argue that Israel happened because of World War II. I would say the opposite. WWII happened because Satan saw the doubling in population every 13 years from 1882 and he know that his time was short, so he raised up Hitler to try to prevent the return from exile of the children of Israel to their Land.
This incredibly fast doubling in population stopped happening about the time of the Yom Kippur War in 1973, but a reasonably high population increase still continues.
The prophecies in the Tanach indicate that God is going to bring back the children of Israel to their Land in such as way that it would overshadow the exodus from Egypt (Jeremiah 23: 7-8), that we will never again be rooted out of our land (Amos 9:15), and that He will hasten it in its time (Isaiah 60:22). That hastening occurs at a time of deep darkness on the Earth (Isaiah 60). Furthermore, the prophecies indicate that ALL of the descendants of Jacob will return (Ezekiel 39:25-29).
Folks – that hastening is happening. It has been happening for 140 years, and the speed is about to pick up once again. What are you waiting for? I’m sure you all have many good reasons to stay in the Diaspora. The Jews in Germany in the 1930s also had good reasons to stay where they were. In fact, they were exactly the same reasons that you have now. I’m sure every time you see a Holocaust movie, many of you probably say to yourselves, if only they had gotten out of Europe before then.
I have a strong sense that we are going to see 1 million Jews make aliyah over the next 5 years, and that a very severe housing shortage (due to short-sighted planning on the part of the government) is going to cause housing prices to at least double and possibly even triple during that time. Housing prices in Israel typically double every 10 years. I expect this to get much worse over the next several years, so every year you delay to come and to buy an apartment it will get that much harder.
Please don’t wait any longer. If you are convinced that you cannot possibly come because you are too old, then at least encourage your children to come. It will never be easy, but it will only get harder if you keep waiting.
And for those of you who are already here in the Land – pray that the government’s eyes are opened to see the need for a huge amount of affordable housing to be built – the lives of many people may depend on it.
Avraham made aliyah from the US in 2012. He lives in Ra’anana with his wife and four children.