My last two columns have been written with an eye toward a subject that has garnered much attention in the past few weeks. From media newscasts, radio broadcasts, special speakers and pastors and teachers, we have been hearing about the historic events unfolding more quickly with each day and night we live. One lady said to me on Sunday at my church that watching the national news at night was like listening to her old pastor preach many years ago.
Let me reaffirm here plainly — No one knows when the end of time as we know it will be. No one, according to Scripture and from the beliefs of many Bible scholars, knows when Christ will return to the earth. However, many Christians believe that He will and many also believe that even though we cannot clearly say when He will come, we can see that the stage is being set on so many fronts.
We, however, must remind our faithful readers that it is dangerous to set dates, to pretend to know what is clearly taught in Scripture that we cannot know, and all of us are urged to be ready for we know not the day, nor the hour. “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Matthew 24:35-36).
I have many precious Jewish friends and love them with all my heart and soul. I have studied Jewish history, some of their beliefs and customs, attended their celebrations and holiday events, and often wished I had been born a Jewish person. I clearly remember my pastor going to the people and urging our people to support the Jewish community in our area in every way possible because he said God had a special love for the Jewish nation and its people. He often said that it was a very happy day when in May 1948 the Jewish nation was again brought into the limelight and that it was prophecy fulfilled.
Today, I want us to look at 10 simple sounding prophecies that have been fulfilled concerning the Jewish nation, the apple of God’s own eye, that have brought about great change and much hope for all of those who love God. We are told in Isaiah 41:12-14 that Israel would prevail over its enemies and that started being fulfilled in the late 1900s after being written about in 701-681 BC. The old prophet Amos wrote in the book of his name, Chapter 9, Verses 11 and 13, that the ruins of Israel would be rebuilt. This was written about in 750 BC and that too started being fulfilled in the late 1900s.
Ezekiel prophesied prosperity for modern day Israel in Ezekiel 36:11. Isaiah 41:18-20 teaches that trees would again flourish in Israel. Isaiah also wrote that Israel’s fruit will fill the world in Isaiah 27:6. Another old prophet wrote in Micah 4:1 that Jerusalem would become the world’s most important religious center. Ezekiel also wrote in Ezekiel 29:15 that Egypt would never again be a prominent world power and rule as it once had.
Zechariah prophesied that the Jews would return to Jerusalem in the book that bears his name, Chapter 8, Verses 7-8. Isaiah 51:3 said that Israel’s deserts would flourish like the Garden of Eden. I’ve just had friends return from an extensive visit to the Holy Land and the photographs they gathered are breathtaking in their beauty. The trees and florals and fruits are again flourishing and bringing new hope to the region.
Isaiah foretold of the worldwide return of the Jewish people in Isaiah 43:5-6, and this is now being fulfilled in huge ways. In this century, we have witnessed many Jews returning to their homeland from all four corners of the world. From the East — Many have traveled home from other area of the Middle East. From the West — In the mid-1900s, many hundreds of thousands of Jews living in the United States returned to their beloved homeland. From the North — The former Soviet Union, or Russia, is located north of Israel. After years of pressure from other countries, Russia finally allowed the Jews living there to return to Israel to live. From the South — Ethiopia, which is located south of Israel, also refused to allow the Jewish people living there to return home, but in 1985, Israel struck a deal with Ethiopia’s government to allow the Jewish people to return home.
On the weekend of May 15, 1991, 14,500 Ethiopian Jews were airlifted to Israel. Isaiah’s prophecy was correct in saying that the north and south would be persuaded to give up the Jewish people. Many countries pressured Russia to allow the Jews to return home and Ethiopia was paid a ransom to assure safe passage for their Jews. Isaiah’s prophecy was also correct in saying that the Jews would return from “being scattered to the ends of the earth.”
Our closing thought is this — Please do not doubt the Word of God. God has plan for each person and for the planet. It is within His almighty power to see that each event unfolds according to his timetable and schedule. We need not fear or be overly concerned except to see that those we love have a clear presentation of the Gospel message and that we are ready to meet Him at His appearing, whenever that might be.
Brenda Cannon Henley is an award-winning journalist and writer living on the Southeast Texas Gulf Coast. Having enjoyed more than four decades in ministry, Brenda shares her columns with our readers and works with churches and faith-based programs nationwide. She can be reached at (409) 781-8788 or at brendacannonhenley [at] yahoo [dot] com.