A really remarkable thread of the tapestry of Israel is the number and magnitude of miracles God is performing for a truly unique nation. No other nation can come close to producing the evidence of God’s miraculous provision and care. When one studies the Old Testament and sees the number of amazing miracles God performed for the provision and protection of His covenant people, it is logical to assume that if God is behind the formation of the State of Israel we would be able to see miracles occurring in Israel once more.
Before we discuss a few of the numerous miracles that God has performed for the new nation of Israel and the modern Jew, it is important to define what a miracle is. According to Mirriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, a miracle is “an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs.” This means that to confirm that God has performed miracles for the nation of Israel and the Jews we must see events continually going beyond the usual to the incredible. Let us analyse the evidence starting from the beginning.
1 900 years after the Jews as a people were scattered to all corners of the earth after the Romans crushed the revolts of AD 70 and AD 132, where they had experienced more persecution and attempts to eradicate them than any other culture in history, they were able to return to their historic land and re-establish their nation, culture, language, and religion. Take cognisance that this takes place three years after the holocaust which decimated the Jews as a people group. This remnant of the Jews was able to move back into the land and cope with the hatred of the Arabs, the antagonism of the British, the economic stress of mass immigration, lack of resources and infrastructure, and with little support from the rest of the world which was standing back waiting for the little nation to collapse, or be consumed by the hatred of the vast Arab aggression surrounding it. Not only did this little nation not collapse but it thrived, defeated the Arab hordes massed against Israel, and overcame many problems to become a thriving nation and the example of moral democracy in the Middle East. No other example can be given of a nation that was once dead but which was revived in one day (Isaiah 66:8). Despite overcoming adversity and many challenges, Israel is now one of the most economically stable nations in the world, a leader in science, medicine and technology, and, although one of the smallest nations in the world, boasts one of the most powerful armies and has an air force that is exceptional. Modern Israel is truly a miracle.
There is also the miracle of the desolate land. None of the occupying nations throughout 1 900 years was able to adequately farm the land that had previously been fertile and bountiful under the Jews. Nation after nation failed to make good of the land and it became more and more desolate, until the return of the Jews. The land has become prosperous and fertile once more, with Israel now exporting fruit and vegetables to Europe. It is clear that the land responds only to the hand of a Jew. It is important for the world to take note that usurping the land from Israel to give to the Arabs will only result in handing over productive land to a people who will not be able to produce food to feed themselves, let alone export any. Evidence of this can be seen in the Gaza Strip.
The restoration of Jerusalem to Israel as a consequence of the 1967 war is also a miracle. Israel did not aggressively go out seeking to capture the city from Jordan; on the contrary, Israel had contacted King Hussein and told him that there was no quarrel with Jordan but that the fight was against the belligerent military threat of Egypt, which was ongoing at the time. It was Hussein who ordered the Arab legion to shell West Jerusalem from Jordanian territory, which resulted in Jordan losing the West Bank and Jerusalem. This is an event truly guided by God’s hand. The Holy City was then under the control of Israel once again after 1 900 years and open to all religions, not just Islam.
One can truly write a book on the number of wonderful miracles that God has performed for Israel. Here are some examples:
- On 11 December 1917, Jerusalem was conquered by the British without a shot being fired, saving the Old City from the devastation of war. The Royal Flying Corps took to the air and dropped leaflets over the city of Jerusalem. The leaflets were signed by General Allenby. The signature is very similar to “Al Nebi”, the Arabic word for “The Prophet”. Many of the Turks defending the Old City had never seen a plane, and a message being dropped from the sky that was from “The Prophet” was too much for them and they fled the city. The 14th Bomber Squadron changed its motto and badge to represent its belief that it had fulfilled a prophecy from Isaiah 31:5 that day: “As birds flying, so will the Lord of Hosts defend Jerusalem; defending it He will also deliver it, and passing over He will preserve it” (KJV). The word “host” used in this scripture comes from the Hebrew tsaba which means “warfare”, so an accurate translation would be “the Lord of warfare” or “the Lord of a mighty army.” The motto of the 14th Bomber Squadron became, “I spread my wings and keep my promise” and the unit’s badge was changed to display a cross with wings. For those that follow Bible numerics there is an interesting revelation: 2 X 7 = 14, the number 2 means witness and 7 is the number of perfection and completeness. So, the squadron that carried out the air drop that fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy, symbolised “witnessing perfect completeness.”
- At the start of the 1948 war the Jews had a newly formed army of 6 000 soldiers that included holocaust survivors fresh off the boats from Europe, one tank and five pieces of artillery, yet they defeated the fully equipped and well-trained armies of five Arab nations – Egypt, Syria, Transjordan, Lebanon and Iraq. The combined area of the nations invading Israel was 162 times larger and outnumbered the Jews a hundred to one, yet Israel was victorious. There is no greater evidence of God’s protective hand over Israel than the 1948 War of Independence.
- In 1948 the UN ceasefire came just in time to save the new nation from destruction at the hands of the five Arab nations aligned against Israel. The ceasefire provided twenty-eight precious days for the Israeli military to recover, rearm and resupply. During the ceasefire, recruitment of men and women from overseas increased. The number of soldiers rose to 49 000 and weapons and armaments arrived to strengthen the ability of the army to function effectively. More airplanes arrived which were flown by veterans of World War II and in six months, Israel’s Air Force grew to be the largest in the Middle East. A new route to take food to those starving under the Arab siege of Jerusalem was also miraculously found, avoiding the Arab ambushes set along the main Tel Aviv-Jerusalem road. The road that was built was a marvel of engineering and it was completed in record time. This occurred at a time when it seemed as if there was no possible way of relieving the Jerusalem Jews.
- One of the greatest miracles has to be the Yom Kippur War of 1973. There is no record in history of a war with such an astounding turnaround in fortunes of battle. Israel was left reeling after surprise attacks by Syria and Egypt on the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur. The IDF was devastated by the attacks and seemed about to collapse, when suddenly both Egypt and Syria made huge tactical blunders that provided Israel with an opportunity to attack and force the advantage home. No comparison can be found in the annals of history to match the miraculous victory achieved by Israel during this war. Military strategists at West Point Military Academy in America will not study Israel’s wars as the outcomes are considered to be “impossible.” Nasser, the president of Egypt, was asked why he kept attacking Israel and he replied that all Egypt needed to do was win one war.
- The raid 1976 on Entebbe in Uganda to rescue the hijacked Jewish passengers who had been kept hostage in the buildings at Entebbe airport comprised a series of miracles. The rescue planes flew 3 840km over Arab and African nations without being detected. A mist over Lake Victoria hid the approaching aircraft from view, but the mist lifted in time for the aircraft to identify their target and make the correct approach. The incredible noise of four giant Hercules C130s was not heard by the 100 Ugandan soldiers, sentries and snipers, nor heard by the seven terrorists who were all continually on the alert for a rescue attempt. The rescue planes landing at the airport also went unseen, reminding one of the Biblical stories of God blinding Israel’s enemies (2 Kings 6:8-23). The Entebbe airport terminal had been built by an Israeli construction company that was able to supply the Israeli Special Forces with detailed blueprints of all the buildings. The Russian Mig fighter jets stationed at Entebbe did not scramble and there were no pilots on duty at the airport at that time. The Israeli special force units were able to destroy all the planes on the ground, preventing the Ugandan pilots from attacking the returning rescue aircraft. The assault on the terrorists took only 7 minutes and the boarding of the passengers onto the aircraft was also done in 7 minutes – remarkably efficient. Taking into account the expert planning, skill, and discipline of the special force units combined does not fully explain the rescue without adding the hand of God.
- For nearly a decade, men such as Tom Hess and James Goll led Christian groups in intersession for the release of Russian Jews. Spiritual warfare in the Soviet Union during the 1980s included praying at Communist strongholds like Red Square, Lenin’s tomb, and the building where Lenin signed the Soviet Constitution. The cracks in the Communist regime first started to appear on 11 September 1989 when Hungary pulled down the Iron Curtain on its border with Russia. Thousands of East Germans fled Russia and sought asylum in West Germany. This also marked the start of the mass immigration of Russian Jews into Israel, which reached 750 000 by 1995. It is a miracle that the Communist regime in Russia collapsed. During the seventy years of Communist rule, Jews were persecuted if they expressed a desire to emigrate to Israel; now they were able to make Aliyah without persecution or hindrance.
- During the First Gulf War, Saddam Hussein fired 39 scud missiles into Tel Aviv, damaging 10, 700 homes and buildings. Not one person was killed. A similar miracle took place in 2006 when Hezbollah fired 180 rockets at Tiberius, but only six of the rockets hit shops in the city, with no casualties, since it was a Sabbath and people were at home.
- There are many testimonies of angels protecting Israeli soldiers and units during the numerous wars and conflicts Israel has had with the Arabs. One example can be found on the Temple Mount Faithful website (1) and this transcript is from the site: “Even as a child, Gershon Salomon knew that G-d was calling him to continue the work for the redemption of the people of Israel. Gershon was involved as a youth in the War of Independence but was arrested at age 11 by the British Mandatory police. Later when he joined the IDF, he led a company in the Golan Heights. In 1958, in a battle with the Syrian Army, Mr Salomon was injured accidently when, in the heat and confusion of battle, he was run over by a tank. Syrian soldiers are trained to shoot ‘again’ any wounded Israeli soldiers. When they were about to shoot Mr Salomon ‘again’, they all suddenly ran away. Later these Syrian soldiers reported to UN officers that they had seen thousands of angels around this IDF officer and had, therefore, fled. It was at this time that Mr Salomon heard the voice of G-d speaking to him that He was not yet finished with him. Gershon Salomon understood this as a divine call to consecrate himself to the work of the Temple Mount.” Salomon’s interpretation of the miracle was that he was to be a part of the restoration of the third temple. However, God’s purpose for him is yet to be revealed.
Other examples of God’s miraculous protection of the Israeli military:
- During the 1967 War, IDF soldier Ira Rappaport and his platoon were surrounded by hundreds of Jordanian Arab legion soldiers on Mount Zion. With only 25 bullets between them the Israeli soldiers prepared for the worst. Suddenly the Jordanian soldiers started to shout “Abraham! Abraham!” and fled from their commanding position. Years later Ira met one of the Jordanian soldiers who had had his platoon surrounded and vulnerable, and used the opportunity to ask why the Jordanian soldiers had fled. His answer was that they had seen a vision of Abraham in the sky above the Jews defending them.
- During the Yom Kippur War in October 1973, a troop of Israeli soldiers led by tank commander David Yaniv, was advancing at night in the Golan Heights region, when they suddenly realised that they were in the middle of a mine field. To continue their advance meant that they had to drop down on their knees and use their field knives to probe for mines and disarm them – a painfully slow and dangerous task. Even more dangerous to the group was the presence of Syrian forces around them; they were in an extremely vulnerable position, exposed and with nowhere to escape. A whispered prayer was said by one of the men as they persevered at their onerous task. Without warning, a powerful wind suddenly blew that churned up a heavy dust storm. The soldiers crouched down low and covered their faces as best they could to protect themselves from the force of the wind. As suddenly as the wind storm blew up it died down and calm settled over the soldiers. Raising their heads from their huddled positions they were amazed to see thousands of mines that were once buried up to twenty centimetres below ground, then exposed. The soldiers were able to continue their advance towards their objective, carefully avoiding the clearly visible mines.
- A career officer in the IDF, Avigdor Kahalani, had been severely burnt in the Six Day War when his Centurion tank was hit by an Egyptian shell and caught fire. After three years and sixteen operations, Kahalani forged his medical papers so that he could re-join his unit. He was soon reunited with his tank unit and was once more at war – this time operating in the north on the Golan Heights. Under the continual attack of the Syrian army, the Israeli military was struggling to hold back the advancing Syrians. Kahalani was put in charge of a hastily-assembled squadron of tanks and crews that was a mixture of men from different units. The confusion was a result of the surprise attack by Syria and Egypt at the start of the Yom Kippur war. The seven tanks of Kahalani’s hastily-formed unit were sent to what is now called ‘The Valley of Tears’ in memory of the battle, to hold back the Syrian advance. On arriving there they found themselves facing an armada of Syrian tanks. If the Syrians succeeded in passing them, there would be nothing stopping the Syrian advance into the Galilee valley, and cities such as Tiberius and Nazareth would be completely vulnerable. Kahalani told his tanks to advance. In a modern-day David-versus-Goliath scenario, Kahalani ordered his tanks to send a barrage of fire, hoping that that would cause the Syrian tanks to halt their advance and meet the attack, thus giving time for Israeli reinforcements to arrive. In total amazement, Kahalani watched as the vastly superior force of Syrian tanks turned and fled the battlefield, and Syrian soldiers began running from the battlefield in all directions. No explanation has been given for the action of the Syrians but the Israelis call it a miracle. It was part of the turning point of the war, when imminent defeat turned into victory.
- Israeli soldiers were again under God’s protection during Operation Cast Lead (December 27, 2008 – January 18, 2009). Paratroopers were called upon to go into Gaza to quell the rise of Hamas terrorist activity. (Going into Gaza for a Jew is like heading into the lion’s den: the Israelis are at a great disadvantage by heading into unknown territory and entering an enemy’s home ground. They will come across prepared ambushes, booby traps, snipers and rocket launchers). The paratroopers that were making their way to the collection point were asked if they had their dog tags with them. Many Israeli soldiers going into battle against the Arabs will ensure they have not only the standard dog tag on a necklace, but will have tags in each of their boots, because of the predisposition of the Arabs to mutilate their victims. The paratroopers were called to gather for prayer, led by a rabbi, and the pre-battle tension turned into a focused calm. The battle in Gaza was fraught with bombs and rockets exploding, and intense machinegun and rifle fire. At the end of the battle the only casualty of the paratroopers was a trooper who had a cut from when a rocket hit a wall and a chunk of cement from the explosion became a projectile that struck his upper arm. On moving out from Gaza to the collection point, the soldiers noticed a full rainbow arching over where the military vehicles were waiting to transport them back to base. This was a sign to them that the miraculous protection they had received in Gaza was by the hand of God.
- One of the latest stories of God’s miraculous protection of the Israelis was reported by Marney Blom, News Director for Acts News Network, in her report on 15 November 2012, Israel: When There is War, There are Miracles. She points out that although Hamas has launched thousands of rockets into southern Israel since 2006 causing huge damage to settlements, miraculously very few Jews have died. The rockets fired by Hamas have very often struck businesses, homes and on one occasion a school when the buildings are not occupied, so there were no casualties.
“As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people” (Psalm 125:2).
The vast evidence of God’s miracles performed for Israel must be a motivation to the Church to become part of the Father’s care for the covenant people. Is it not the responsibility of the Church to continue to pray for Israel, to continue to pray that God’s hand of provision and protection will be upon the nation and her people? The evidence of the magnitude and scope of God’s miracles for Israel clearly shows that it is God’s will (Isaiah 62:6). It is also clear from the testimonies that our God is fighting for Israel; He is after all “the God of Israel”, yet most of the Church is sitting on the side-lines watching. Are not angels empowered by the prayers of the Saints (Daniel 10:12-14)? As Israel becomes more and more ostracised in the world – a sure sign of the times – she will need Christians of faith who have the moral courage to stand in support of Israel, who believe that their prayers can make a difference for the future of Israel and the world.
(1) The Temple Mount Faithful: http://www.templemountfaithful.org/leader.htm