What does it mean to be eternal?
It’s a difficult concept for our minds to grasp. Our general notion of things is that they have a beginning and an end. History has conditioned us to see peoples and nations in the same way.
Even the mightiest of empires have eventually crumbled. Where are the Romans, Persians, Aztecs and Mongols? Some might still exist, but only as shadows of their former glory.
The sociopolitical map of the world is constantly shifting. Israel and the Jews have not been immune to this. But something sets them apart.
Israel and the Jews have faced perhaps more conquests than anyone else. In some cases, in particular with the Romans and the Nazis, these were concerted efforts to erase Israel and the Jews from the annals of history.
And yet, here Israel is.
Despite being targeted for not only conquest, but annihilation by some of history’s greatest powers, the Jews somehow endure. And not only endure, but thrive in a reborn nation state. Somehow, Israel is eternal in a way that those former powers could only dream of.
The unassailability of the aforementioned empires was based on wealth and military might. Israel’s is based on something that’s, well… more unassailable.
The Bible contains many verses concerning God’s everlasting covenant with the fathers of the nation of Israel. But it is the prophet Jeremiah (31:35-36) who best conveys the truth of the matter:
Thus says the Lord, who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar— the Lord of hosts is his name: “If this fixed order departs from before me, declares the Lord, then shall the offspring of Israel cease from being a nation before me forever.”
In other words, heaven and earth as we know them would have to pass away for Israel to cease to exist as a nation. And the power behind that promise makes all the wealth and military might in the world pale by comparison.
Israel cannot be snuffed out for one simple reason: He said so.
What a privilege to live in a time when we can witness the eternity of Israel manifest in the reborn Jewish state. And in so doing, what we are really witnessing is God’s faithfulness.