A man brings some very fine material to a tailor and asks him to make a pair of pants. When he comes back a week later, the pants are not ready. Two weeks later, they are still not ready. Finally, after six weeks, the pants are ready. The man tries them on. They fit perfectly. Nonetheless, when it comes time to pay, he can’t resist a jibe at the tailor. “You know,” he says, “it only took God six days to make the entire world and it took you six weeks to make just one pair of pants.” “Ah,” the tailor says. “But look at this pair of pants, and look at the world!”
I have a special place in my heart for the Jews for a couple of reasons. One, because God does. And two, because Satan doesn’t. And so I rejoice with those pioneer Zionists (past and present) in the Middle East as they celebrate the 70th birthday of the founding of the modern state of Israel back in the year 1948. And what a miracle the country has been, especially when you stop to consider their preservation, return, and subsequent success. Each and everyone of those steps has been a real cliffhanger that could have easily failed and, in fact, should have failed. For instance:
● The Zionists were opposed, not just by the world’s Gentiles, especially the Arabs; but also by the majority of the world’s Jews, including the orthodox.
● The Zionists faced terrible conditions in Israel. The place had laid fallow for 2,000 years and 90% of those who came to reclaim the land soon wound up leaving.
● The Zionists found a place that was rock hard and stone covered. And where there was water, it consisted of swamps swarming with malarial mosquitoes.
● The Zionists discovered hillsides that had been completely denuded of trees and stripped of soil. The ground was so full of lime that nothing would grow.
● The Zionists came upon an encroaching southern desert that was baked in fierce heat. The soil was teaming with salt and fresh water was non-existent.
● The Zionists were outnumbered and out-armed by Arabs, who maimed whom they could not kill and at harvest time robbed and/or destroyed Jewish crops.
● The Zionists in Palestine could have, at any time, been wiped out in World War One by the Ottoman Turks or in World War Two by the German Nazis.
● The Zionists could have and should have lost their War of Independence in 1948. It was a miracle from beginning to end that they not only survived, but won.
But, unlike Canada and America, Israel has no National Thanksgiving Day to God. Tour the country and you’ll see a number of impressive monuments to national heros of independence and statehood, but none to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This is because most Zionists were and are secular Jews who give no glory to a higher power. David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister wrote, “The State of Israel exists solely due to Jewish ingenuity, audacity, courage and determination.” Famous military hero, Moshe Dayan, spoke of, “Our foremost duty as Jews is to live up to the vision of ourselves.” And Golda Meir, Israel’s only woman P.M., had one simple Jewish mantra, “Trust yourself.” Even those today in Israel promoting a national Thanksgiving Day in celebration of the declaration of statehood want it to be “a day where we give thanks to Lady History and to the many heroic players who stood behind the historic U. N. vote.”
Now it should not surprise us that a modern Jewish state, which literally owes everything to God for its existence, would leave Him out of the picture. This is what the Book of Esther (chronologically, the last historical book in the Old Testament) is all about. It is God – when His people do not make him front and centre (there is no mention of Him in Esther) going behind the scene and still working on their behalf (where you see His hand in every verse).
The bottom line? Let us give thanks to God for the Jews until the day the Jews give thanks for Him, too.