This is a series of musings from my big leather (really broken-in – to the point of broken-down) chair.
- If you don’t want to believe in God, do not read Isaiah 66:7-10! It just might be the most stunning prophecy in the Bible. “’Before she goes into labor, she gives birth; before the pains come upon her, she delivers a son. Who has ever heard of such a thing? Who has ever seen such things? 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. Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?’ says the LORD. ‘Do I close up the womb when I bring to delivery?” says your God. “Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice greatly with her, all you who mourn over her.’” Isaiah wrote these words around 700 B.C., yet they predicted an event that happened in 1948, over 2600 years later! Take just a moment right now and try to predict anything… anything for the year 4612 A.D. Preposterous, isn’t it? Now, to up the degree of difficulty, try to make a prediction about one specific nation on Earth. I mean, will the United States even exist as an entity in 2600 years? Just 300 years ago, it didn’t. Will Earth be the main dwelling place for people? For that matter, will humans be the highest life form, or will we have discovered other life forms on different planets? Will the earth just be one colony in an intergalactic federation of planets? The questions are too numerous to list, and impossible to answer. Just look at the changes in the last 250 years. In 1762, the U.S didn’t exist, horses were the fastest form of transportation. Men had never seen a car or flown in plane, much less explored space. For that matter, homes didn’t have electricity, telephones, radios, or televisions… and certainly no internet. Now, if that much has changed in 250 years, imagine what might happen in ten times that long. Yet, Isaiah looks down through history to 1948 A.D. and gives a prophecy that couldn’t have even made sense to him in 700 B.C. Isaiah was a prophet in the kingdom of Judah, which was the southern kingdom that had once been part of the unified nation of Israel. The northern tribes, who had maintained the name, Israel, had been captured and deported into slavery during Isaiah’s lifetime by the Assyrians. That same mighty nation had come and laid siege to Jerusalem, which was the capital of Judah. Even though Judah had survived that siege, Isaiah prophesied that the nation of Babylon was going to come soon and capture and destroy Judah. In fact, that happened about 100 years later. So, Isaiah was prophesying about the rebirth of a nation that was going to be destroyed in about a century. Here is where it gets even more amazing: from the time Babylon overthrew Judah until 1948 there was no nation of Israel – that’s over 2500 years! However, Isaiah didn’t just prophesy that Israel would be reborn, he said it would happen in one day! Historically, nations aren’t formed in one day. Nations are birthed in the blood of revolutions and the evolution of governments. Birthing nations takes years, not days. Yet, on May 14, 1948, the British Mandate expired and Israel declared itself a sovereign nation. The next day, four surrounding nations, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria, invaded Israel from all four sides. Miraculously, the army of this one day old nation defeated all four of the armies of these larger nations, simultaneously. During the 2500+ years between Isaiah’s prophecy and its fulfillment, it would be practically impossible to count the number of Jews who were murdered. Just the numbers from the Holocaust, the Spanish Inquisition, the Russian slaughter of the Jews, and the Crusades would be in the tens of millions. Yet, here stands Israel. Has there ever been a nation so universally hated and persecuted? In 1800, Jews around the world spoke over 70 different languages, but none of them spoke Hebrew. In fact, Hebrew had been dead for nearly 2000 years. Yet, by the end of the 1800s, Eliezer Ben Yehuda had written the Hebrew dictionary and the language was revived; and in 1948, just three years removed from the kilns of Auschwitz, the nation of Israel rose from the ashes of the Holocaust. If you have trouble believing in God, the continual persecution of the Jews over the centuries would have to make you strongly consider believing in the devil. However, only God could restore this nation… against unimaginable odds; and even more to the point, only God could reveal a miraculous one-day rebirth of His nation to a prophet 2600 years in advance.