Is Israel’s existence really something supernatural? It is clear that miracles are a part of the biblical past, but in the political present they are either not recognized, or are ignored.
Some of the classic miracles in the Bible include the parting of the Red Sea, Balaam’s talking ass, the manna that fell from heaven, the sun standing still in the heavens, Jesus walking on the water and many other paranormal phenomena. It is often taken for granted that we understand these to be miracles, but it still depends on whether or not we believe the Bible. And even then, people often confuse miracles with magic tricks. Most people today simply use science as a crutch to dismiss miracles entirely.
So how can we understand the founding of the State of Israel in 1948 and its current existence? As a trick, as a political coincidence, or as something supernatural? First of all, it depends on how we approach the Bible, for without the Bible, miracles don’t make any sense. In Scripture, prophets describe how the Jewish people will one day return from every corner of the earth to the Promised Land. Nearly 2,000 years after the destruction of the Second Temple, an independent and sovereign State of Israel arises for the third time in its biblical homeland. It is true that from a Jewish viewpoint this is easier to understand than it is for many Christians.
For the Jewish people, a circle has closed in its 3,500 years of history. But even the continued existence of the Jewish people is already like a miracle, as American author Mark Twain (1835-1910) described in Harpers magazine, shortly before the founding of the State of Israel:
“The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed; and made a vast noise, and they are gone … The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was … All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?”
One hundred years earlier, Frederick the Great of Prussia (1712-1786) asked his general Hans Joachim von Ziethen whether he could provide proof for the existence of God, to which Ziethen replied, “The Jews, your majesty.”
If, in fact, the Jewish nation proves God’s existence, then conversely the supernatural nature of Israel’s existence is also proven. In the Bible, the nation of Israel plays a leading role alongside God. So, too, today in the eyes of many Israel has assumed a disproportionately important role in global politics. Many take offense at this, but it’s not the first time. The Jewish people make up just 0.1 percent of the world population, and yet from this tiny chosen nation arose the world’s two largest religions, Christianity and Islam. And, lest we forget, it was from the Jewish nation that was born the Redeemer.
The millennia of the history of Israel are like a cosmic miracle, unparalleled and filled with mystery! Anyone who tries to explain them without God will find himself in crisis, as the fulfilled promises cannot be explained away as coincidences. Or did the nation of Israel simply have more luck than all other nations? Each person needs to decide for themselves whether to regard the existence of Israel as something supernatural, or mere coincidence. On this topic, Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, once said, “Anyone who doesn’t believe in miracles is not a realist.”
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