I have never heard a better argument for the existence of God than the foretelling, 2600 years beforehand, of the rebirth of the nation of Israel. Never in humanity has a people group been scattered across the globe, without a land or government, then suddenly re-born as a nation (and after nearly 2000 years dispersed!?). But God foretold that’s what would happen with Israel—as a sign to all nations.
But after explaining last Sunday what I’m going to re-summarize, I had a guy who does not believe say to me, “Hey, coincidences happen.” It reminded me that if a person really doesn’t want to find God, we humans can always find reasons to push Him away. Nevertheless, He’s put amazingly convincing evidence in historical/verifiable geo-political events involving millions of people all over the world—that’s pretty hard to fake. So let’s look at the historical facts:
The Jewish people and the Messiah will be a sign to all nations. Isaiah writing in 680 BC, saw the events of 1948: In that day the Root of Jesse [Messiah] will stand as a sign for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious. In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time…and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth. Isaiah 11:10-12, (680 B.C.) The “Root of Jesse” refers to Messiah—Messiah would come from the lineage of King David (see Isaiah 9:6-7). Jesse was David’s father. If you’ve ever wondered why the long lineages are recorded in Matthew or Luke—they’re showing that Jesus’ father and mother both trace back to King David.
Isaiah writes that the Messiah’s “place of rest,” Jerusalem, will be glorious and nations will rally to this Messiah, Jesus—that’s happened. Stop and think about the probability of this alone–that this Messiah to come will have nations following him (not just Israel). Yet Jesus, who did nothing political or forceful, has somehow gained a dramatic following all over the globe by His love—more people follow Jesus than any other (how did Isaiah know?).
Re-gathered a Second Time
Then Isaiah says a second time–note that Isaiah wrote this before Israel was re-gathered a first time (the first time happened several centuries after Isaiah’s death) — the Jewish Exiles will be re-gathered from all over the earth. Jesus said it would be a sign that the time for the Gentiles to turn to God was almost done. The week before He was crucified, Jesus foretold the same global/national events Isaiah foretold: As Jesus approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now [your enemies]…will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.” Luke 19:41-44 “[Israel] will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” Luke 21:24 (before 64 A.D.) Jesus foretells that not only would Jerusalem and the Temple be wiped out because the Jewish people rejected him and crucified him, but that also the Jewish people would be scattered among the nations, having no homeland until the “time of the Gentiles” (the time for non-Jewish people to turn to God) was fulfilled.
How could Jesus have predicted in 32 A.D. what would happen in 70 A.D. and continue on for nearly 2000 years? The roman general, Titus, leveled Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 A.D.—then for nearly 2000 years the Jewish people would have no homeland, no government, and would be scattered across the globe. In 1927 Floyd Hamilton wrote, “Palestine today is a land of ruins…the land that formerly supported such a large population is now barren and capable of supporting only a mere fraction of its former population.” (Hamilton, 1927) When your grandparents were born, Israel was still scattered and not a nation and Palestine was barren. But the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel also foretold the miraculous event that happened in 1948.
Think about this, right after the Satanic Holocaust of 1945, when an evil power tried to dominate the world and exterminate the Jewish people (6 million Jews were killed by the Nazis), yet three years later German Jews, Russian Jews, Ethiopian Jews, American Jews, European Jews returned to the land they had been exiled from for nearly 2000 years. In 1948 a Nation was Born! The New York times reported: “The declaration of the new state by David Ben-Gurion, the first Premier of reborn Israel, was delivered during a simple and solemn ceremony at 4 p.m.”
God foretold all this through Isaiah as a Sign: Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children…they will bring all your people, from all the nations, to my holy mountain in Jerusalem.” Isaiah 66:8, 20 (680 BC) How do you explain world history in our day, pre-written as a sign from God in 680 B.C., also foretold by Jesus? This is not mythology, this is not religion, this is history—God’s-story unfolding. Religion is our attempt to reach God. Jesus is God’s attempt to reach us—all of us! Anyone truly seeking can know—this is the True God! What He wants to know is very simple—“will you seek me and love me and obey me knowing how Jesus demonstrated my love for you?” What’s your answer to Him?