In Search of… The Blessing

bat-creekAs believers in Jesus, and joint-heirs with Him, we have the rights of sons and daughters of the King. The same blessings that applied to the nation of Israel in Scripture apply to us as believers as well…

I was almost a year old when David Ben-Gurion declared the establishment of the State of Israel. Almost a year to the day later, the UN voted by majority vote to admit Israel as a member. Here are some interesting facts about Israel that you may not know:

  • For all of the terrorist attacks we hear about, Israel has one of the highest life-expectancy rates in the world. At #4, it is far ahead of our own United States (a distant #33).
  • The only three U.S. states geographically smaller than Israel are Rhode Island, Delaware, and Connecticut. However, in 2012, Israel had the 43rd largest economy in the world (based on gross domestic product).
  • Israel has the highest standard of living of any country in the Middle East, and has the third highest in all of Asia.

So how can this be? Consider the words of Mark Twain. In 1898, Mr. Twain was living in Austria, where he witnessed vicious anti-Semitic attacks, and subsequently penned an article entitled “Stirring Times In Austria” (Harper’s Magazine, March 1898). One of the responses he received was from an American Jewish lawyer who asked, “Will you kindly tell me why, in your judgment, the Jews have thus ever been, and are even now, in these days of supposed intelligence, the butt of baseless, vicious animosities?” Twain’s response was in the form of an essay titled “Concerning the Jews”. He stated:

“If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of star dust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way. Properly, the Jew ought hardly to be heard of; but he is heard of, and has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallest of his bulk. His contributions to the world’s list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also way out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers.
He has made a marvelous fight in the world, in all the ages; and has done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be vain of himself, and be excused for it. 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; other peoples have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished.
The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?”

Right now in our world, the Middle East is as unsettled as it has been in decades. Between uncertainty in Egypt and Libya, violence and revolution in Syria, protracted war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and incessant saber-rattling in Iran, the survival of Israel seems to be nothing short of a miracle.

“So, what does this have to do with me?” you may ask.

The mystery of Israel’s survival is not just that they have survived, but that their survival is a living picture that, in Christ, you will live and not die. Your life is meaningful and full of purpose. God made you, chose you, and loved you from the foundation of the world, and no amount of persecution, tribulation, or trial will snatch you from His hand. In Christ, you are a child of the King— princes and princesses, royal priests, and heirs to all that God has to give you.

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