Subsisting on Miracles
Vol: 113 Issue: 1 Tuesday, February 1, 2011
In May, 1967, Egyptian and Syrian troops began massing along Israel’s borders. Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping. Egyptian President Gamel Abdul Nasser filled the airwaves with calls to drive the Jews into the sea.
Facing five well-equipped, Soviet trained Arab armies, Israel’s defeat was virtually a foregone conclusion. But instead of defeat, Israel managed to achieve a stunning victory.
In just six days, Israel doubled its territory, capturing the Sinai Peninsula, the Golan Heights, Gaza, the West Bank and the Old City and Temple Mount.
The Six Days War was universally hailed as a miraculous victory. But it wasn’t Israel’s first miraculous victory, nor would it be its last. Every single one of Israel’s wars ended in victory. And every single one of those victories was miraculous.
No one can explain how Israel won the 1948 War of Independence. The US Army War College at West Point doesn’t even study Israel’s victory. When asked why, they replied, “We don’t teach miracles here.”
In the early 1990’s I was blessed to make the acquaintance of Gershon Saloman, the head of Israel’s Temple Mount Faithful while I was working with the This Week in Bible Prophecy television program.
When we met for the first time, it was for an interview for the program. We soon became fast friends. Gershon stayed at our home when he was in Canada, and when I was in Jerusalem, he returned the favor.
I was invited to celebrate Shabbot (the Sabbath) with him and his family in his home. It was one of the most moving experiences of my life. I say all that to preface the fact that the story Gershon told me was friend-to-friend, and not a canned fund-raising speech he was using to raise money for the TMF.
When I met Gershon, he walked with a cane, and from the way his back was bowed, I assumed he was born with a spinal defect, like spina bifida or something similar.
At his home in Jerusalem, after our Shabbot dinner, he told me the story of what happened.
Gershon is a tenth generation ‘sabra’ (native born Jerusalemite) who fought in every one of Israel’s wars including the 1948 War of Independence. His wife stood on the balcony of their home and pointed to a field behind their house.
During the Six Days’ War, “The Jordanians were right there,” she pointed. “Gershon’s unit was right over there. We could see the fighting from here.”
In 1958, during a battle in the Golan Heights, Gershon was wounded when an Israeli tank accidentally ran over him. The tank caught the collar of his shirt and FOLDED HIM OVER BACKWARDS, snapping his spine.
The Syrians overran his position and began shooting the wounded Israeli soldiers. As they were about to shoot him, Gershon told me, they suddenly dropped their weapons and ran away.
Later, he said, these Syrians soldiers reported to UN officers that they had seen ‘thousands of soldiers surrounding the crippled IDF officer and had, therefore, fled.
He showed me documentary evidence in the form of a UN after-action report filed by a UN observer. He went to see Gershon in the hospital because he witnessed the Syrian retreat and was mystified by the cause.
Gershon’s story of angelic warriors is not the first I’d heard — it was merely the first time I’d heard the story first-hand from an eyewitness.
Soldiers in all of Israel’s wars have reported seeing angels on the battlefield. Israeli tanks under the command of Colonel Uri Ram were welcomed into Shechem by enemy Jordanian troops during the Six Days War.
The Jordanians inexplicably mistook the Israelis for Iraqis. By the time they realized their mistake, they had no choice but to surrender.
A lone Israeli stumbled into a Jordanian trench where he single-handedly captured Ammunition Hill, leading to the capture of the Old City of Jerusalem the following day.
An Egyptian tank commander in the Sinai surrendered his entire column to less than a dozen Israeli tanks on the second day of the Six Days War. He later said that he saw thousands of them.
“The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place.” (Psalms 68:7)
A group of Israeli commandos were trapped in a minefield in the dark when a sudden gust of wind blew the sand away, exposing all the buried mines and enabling them to escape safely.
An Israeli documentary series entitled “Against All Odds” details miracles a lot harder to explain, like strange beings with flaming swords defending a Jewish farming community from marauding Arabs.
The list goes on. Like any other purported miracle, I suppose that one could take these apart and find some natural, rather than supernatural cause.
The Egyptian tank commander could have seen a mirage. Maybe the Jordanians in Shechem had never seen an Iraqi tank. Maybe the lone Israeli that captured Ammunition Hill was merely lucky.
I don’t know what explanation one might come up with for Gershon Saloman’s account.
The Bible identifies the archangel Michael as Israel’s guardian angel. (Daniel 10:13) Daniel specifically notes that at the time of the end:
“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” (Daniel 12:1)
The prophet Zechariah predicted that in the last days, God would send His angels to fight alongside Israel.
“In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them.” (Zechariah 12:8)
As Glenn Beck noted on his program yesterday, it isn’t just Egypt, but the entire Middle East that’s on fire. It almost sounded like he used yesterday’s OL for his research.
I doubt that is the case but he followed the same line of reasoning and it led him to many of the same conclusions. Not necessarily because Beck is following Bible prophecy. It is because Bible prophecy has begun driving events.
The Arab Middle East is preparing itself – perhaps being prepared might be a better way to describe it – for one last pan-Arab push against the Jewish State. As Beck also noted, the common enemies are really the US and Israel.
Israel’s preservation since 1948 is no less miraculous than its preservation in the desert during the flight from Egypt under Moses.
During the First Gulf War Saddam fired thirty-nine Scud missiles into Israeli cities and towns hoping to divide the UN coalition.
Most of the Scuds Saddam fired landed inside inhabited areas like Tel Aviv. For comparison purposes, a single Scud missile fired at a US barracks at Dharan in Saudi Arabia killed 28 Pennsylvania National Guardsman.
But in all the attacks on Israel, not one single Jew was killed. The only deaths inside Israel directly attributable to the Scud attacks were an Israeli-Arab and a Saudi security guard.
Israel wasn’t part of the coalition. Israel wasn’t friends with Kuwait. Israel had nothing to do with it. But Israel is always the ultimate target. It just goes to prove that without a daily dose of miracles, Israel would have been wiped from the map long ago.
Israel’s existence is a daily miracle, punctuated at times by whole series of miracles and yet there remain those unwilling to acknowledge the Divine Hand of protection over the Jewish State.
That Divine Hand is not conditional; that is to say, where the Lord may well remove His Hand of protection from America, He will not, cannot withdraw it from Israel.
There is no covenant relationship between God and the United States of America. America could collapse, be destroyed or otherwise vanish from the pages of history as completely as did the Roman Empire.
But Israel cannot. The Bible forecast Israel’s restoration to the exact same piece of real estate from which the Romans evicted them in AD 70. That restoration occurred in 1948.
The restoration of Israel marks the beginning of the countdown to the return of Christ within that generation. Israel can only be restored for the first time once. Bible prophecy makes no allowance for Israel to be destroyed and restored again.
“Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is His name: If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever.” (Jeremiah 31:35-36)
Note that the word ‘ordinance’ means ‘law.’ God has decreed the existence of Israel forever as a matter of Divinely-settled law. Israel’s miracles aren’t over. Not by a long shot.
If anything, they are just beginning.