Israel's Current Spiritual Blindness
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“Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. 5 Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: 6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord. 7 So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. 8 And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: BUT THERE WAS NO BREATH IN THEM” (Ezekiel 37:4-8).
The most significant sign of the end times is the restoration of Israel to her land and the creation of the modern state of Israel.
The continued existence of Israel in spite of 2,000 years of global disbursement is one of history’s amazing stories and it was prophesied in ancient Bible passages such as Deuteronomy 28-30. In Deuteronomy 28 God warned that if Israel turned away from Him and rebelled against His law she would be scattered to the ends of the earth and troubled wherever she went.
“And it shall come to pass, that as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it. 64 And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone. 65 And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the Lord shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind: 66 And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life: 67 In the morning thou shalt say, Would God it were even! and at even thou shalt say, Would God it were morning! for the fear of thine heart wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see” (Deuteronomy 28:63-67).
This is a perfect description of what happened to Israel following the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 A.D. But the same prophecy said Israel would return to the Lord.
“And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath driven thee, 2 And shalt return unto the Lord thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; 3 That then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee. 4 If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the Lord thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee: 5 And the Lord thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers” (Deuteronomy 30:1-5).
Ezekiel gave more information about the return of Israel, telling us in the prophecy of the valley of dry bones that she would return in two stages. First, she would return to the land in a spiritually dead condition (“no breath in them”). After that she would be converted. See Ezekiel 37:7-10.
We are witnesses to the fulfillment of the first part of this prophecy. In May 1948 the new state of Israel was established. The official declaration said: “Our call goes out to the Jewish people all over the world to rally to our side ... and to stand by us in the great struggle for the fulfillment of the dream of generations for the redemption of Israel.”
U.S. President Harry Truman immediately announced his recognition of Israel. The Jews celebrated throughout the world. In Rome they paraded under the Arch of Titus, which was built by the Roman emperors to celebrate the destruction of Jerusalem and the Second Temple.
Israel is, indeed, back in the land, but as Ezekiel prophesied, she remains in a spiritually-dead condition.
A large percentage of Jews today are “secular.” They might observe a few Jewish traditions and rituals, but they have no conviction that the Scripture was divinely inspired and no passion to know God and obey Him in all things.
Even the leaders of the Zionist movement that ushered in the modern state of Israel were, for the most part, “secular, non-observant, Jews, and many were even anti-religious” (Price, The Battle for the Last Days Temple, p. 250).
Theodor Herzl, the father of the Zionist movement, was not motivated by religion but by nationalism (New World Encyclopedia). He stated in his diary that he was “agnostic.”
In the official proclamation of the modern state of Israel in May 1948, there was no mention of “God”--only a vague reference to the “Rock of Israel.” This was because many of those who founded the state were staunchly opposed to any reference to God. For example, Aaron Zisling of the Labor Party said, “I cannot sign a document referring in any way to a God in whom I do not believe” (cited from My Life, Golda Meir, p. 223). The word “Redeemer” was left out of the announcement for the same reason.
Many of Israel’s most revered leaders and war heroes since 1948 were “secular Jews.”
This includes Israel’s first prime minister, David ben Gurion. His vision was “of a new type of Jew, ‘emancipated from religion,’ whose Judaism would be expressed by a national framework” (Motti Friedman, “The Making of the State,” The Jewish Agency for Israel, July 1998). Ben Gurion held “radically anti-Halakha [Jewish Religious Law] views” (“Judaism in Israel: Ben Gurion’s Private Beliefs,” Israel Studies, Vol. 4, Iss. 2, 1999, p. 64).
Golda Meir, one of the greatest of modern Israel’s heroes, said, “I wasn’t at all pious” (My Life, p. 104). Her autobiography gives no glory to God for the restoration of Israel and no faith that God’s promises to Israel will be fulfilled. Her “vision of our future” was merely that Israel “remains a flourishing democracy and a society resting on social justice and equality” (My Life, p. 460). She was a feminist who basically abandoned her husband to pursue her socialistic dream of nation building.
Moshe Dayan, prominent Israeli leader (Minister of Defense, Minister of Agriculture, Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces), was a “secular Jew” whose faith in God was vague to non-existent. He gave God no glory in his autobiography, ending it with the following purely humanistic sentiments: “But our foremost duty is to live up to the vision of ourselves, to fashion a pioneering state, a creative society that flourishes from the fruits of its own labor, a courageous state prepared to fight to the death to defend itself, a people of ideas and ideals striving to achieve their national and historic purpose--the revival of the Jewish nation in its homeland” (Moshe Dayan: Story of My Life, 1976, p. 621).
Benjamin Netanyahu became Israel’s Prime Minister in 2009, the first Prime Minister to have been born in Israel since it became a state. In A Place Among the Nations: Israel and the World (1993), Netanyahu doesn’t mention God or His laws and covenants. For Israel’s military victories he gives glory to the military rather than to God (pp. 274, 371, 397). He says that Bible prophecy does not tell us what to expect for the future (p. 372). He attributes the modern rise of the Jewish state to “a human spirit that refuses again and again to succumb to history’s horrors” (p. 401).
As for the truly religious Jews, they are walking in the footsteps of the Pharisees of old who professed to honor the Holy Scripture but actually exalted Jewish tradition above God’s Word.
And the greatest evidence that Israel remains in the condition of spiritual death is the fact that she persists in rejecting her own Messiah, Jesus.
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