Thursday, June 5, 2014

Israel Proves Who God Is

I find Israel absolutely amazing: not the geographical location (I've never been there and have never wanted to go), but the people. It's not that their customs or their cooking are interesting to me in the least, but I find the bare fact of their existence just astonishing! Just by surviving, thriving, and eventually arriving back in their homeland, Israel has proved itself the most unusual of nations. That they are not relegated to the realm of myth and fable is mindboggling.

Let's review what they've been through: there has been seven attempts by world powers to annihilate, dispossess or exterminate this people throughout human history. These were not attempts by nasty tribal neighbors (as in the book of Judges or as in pogroms in the Diaspora), but by cream-of-the-crop, world-class empires, amongst the mightiest of their day. Yet, despite slavery, murder, pillage, rape, deportation, dispersion, and attempts at assimilation by the strongest in the heavy weight division, Israel survived as a people. A notable feat on its own, certainly, but Israel transcended mere survival and returned to their homeland as a nation after thousands of years away.

Imagine the U.S. or any nation surviving such a history. Despite Paul Revere and the Raiders' sentiment in song, there's no way I could see the Cherokee Nation returning even after one such brush with genocide and ethnic cleansing. Why did Israel come back from the dead seven times? Well apart from numerological concerns, the answer, the only answer is divine intervention.

Nature points, it seems to me, to the existence of a Creator. Given its remarkable history, Israel has to be a sign of who that Creator is. If we're at all perceptive, we'd have to see that the Creator is not the god(s) of the Hindus, the Buddhists, the animists, the pagans, and certainly not the Muslims, but the God of Israel. For Israel itself is a sign from God that proves that Yahweh, the God of Israel, is God, and that he is God alone.

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