(here’s another blog from Jeremiah Smith, one of our staff who is on a 3 month stay in a House of Prayer in Jerusalem)
As a Canadian I’m patriotic (especially when we win the gold medal in hockey at the Olympics!). Yet our patriotism pales in comparison to that of Israel. This past week, I been experienced the fullness of that patriot spirit as Israel celebrated Independence Day. The patriotic spirit culminates in the weird— people hitting one another with blow-up hammers; the celebration—fireworks and dancing (all night); the memories – reenactments of the birth of Israel.
I think, regardless of your political view, the birth of Israel is nothing less than phenomenal. The creation of the State of Israel in 1948 signaled the return of the Jews to a land they inhabited 2,000 years ago. It’s amazing simply for the reason that the Jewish people have survived such a long time, despite, perhaps, some of the most brutal and systematic persecutions in history.
The Jewish people have a lot to be grateful for. The first Zionist thinkers, especially Herzl, realized that the Jews would never be safe or accepted in Europe; or anywhere else for that matter. His words, which were not accepted at the time, would prove to be prophetic as the Holocaust took its deadly toll.
But, now they are safe. They have come home to Zion. In light of that, I’ve been meditating on Jeremiah 31 this past week. Thinking about Independence Day, I can’t help but think of Gods faithfulness, that he who “scattered Israel will gather them and will watch over his flock like a shepherd”;
This is what the LORD says, he who appoints the sun to shine by day, who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—the LORD almighty is his name: “Only if these decrees vanish from my sight, declares the LORD, will the descendants of Israel ever cease to be a nation before me.” This is what the LORD says: “Only if the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth below be searched out will I reject all the descendents of the Israel because of all they have done,” declares the LORD. ~ Jeremiah 31:35-37