By Daniel Juster

Not long ago, on a very windy and dreary day, I took my car to the shop for normal service. It would take a whole morning. There was no waiting room. So I took my umbrella and book bag and walked to the Jerusalem Central Bus Station. My plan was to study Hebrew and drink some coffee until the car was ready. On the way, the severe wind broke my umbrella. I arrived at the station wet and cold.

The Meaning of So Many Soldiers

It was a Sunday morning and the large station was filled with soldiers going back to their bases from weekend passes. They were tall and short, male and female, light skinned and dark. Wall to wall soldiers in every coffee shop and cafeteria. All carried their weapons, usually M-16's but other weapons as well. The Israel Defense Force is a large Army. Israel practices universal conscription. It has one of the most powerful armies in the world. I found a good seat at a coffee shop, ordered my cappuccino and sat down to study Hebrew.

It was then that I began to perceive an amazing, almost mystical impression, in looking at all these soldiers. It is hard to convey what I felt. A whole bus station filled with armed Israeli soldiers! What did it mean? I was struck with the sense of the supernatural. This reality is not of mere human accomplishment. Israel must defend herself in the midst of a sea of hostility. That she exists is a miracle, and that this powerful army exists is also a miracle. I reflect on my daughter, Simcha, also an armed soldier in this army. In America we ask if many guns cause greater loss or if such armament is protection. In Israel, there is no debate. The armed soldiers produce an amazing security. There is hardly ever an incident of a soldier hurting fellow Israelis with his weapon. They are well trained. I thought of the holocaust where six million of our people died. We were defenseless, but no more. I sat in awe!

The Army Itself is not Enough to Save Us

Yet I well know that Israel's strong Army, first trained by a Christian Zionist, Major Orde Wingate, is not the final answer. Indeed, for someone who is well aware of the issues of God, Yeshua, and the Last Days, this army is only a temporary instrument of Israel's safety. Indeed, the Bible tells me of a frightful time when human arms will fail and only the intervention of Yeshua will save.

As I write, we are in the midst of a painful situation. The Knesset, the Israeli Parliament, has just voted to refuse a referendum on the pull out from Gaza. This is a withdrawal from part of the extended boundaries God promised to Israel in the Bible. Jewish religious Zionists are stunned and depressed. Their frustration is enormous. A million plus Palestinians will be released from Israeli control. The cost in military protection for the Israeli settlements of 8,000 people seems, to the Sharon government, to be no longer defensible. The military has its limits. It is becoming apparent that Israel's military might is insufficient to solve all the problems. Can Israel continue to rule over 3 million Arabs who do not want to be ruled? What can Israel do? She can kill them all in a reverse holocaust. She can go to war against her neighbors and make them accept the transfer of 3 million Palestinians. She can continue to rule over them and keep the status quo. None of these solutions seem feasible or moral. Lastly, she can disengage from the Palestinian areas and let them do as they please. This is the decision of the Sharon government. However, part of that decision is also to include the major settlement blocks of Jews in the pre-'67 West Bank as part of Israel. While this may work for a time, the Bible indicates that it will not be a permanent solution. Ultimately reconciliation through Yeshua the Messiah alone will fully solve the problem.

For any Israeli, this is a very sad situation. It is difficult for us not to see Israel as including the land from the Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea. As an Israeli, I deeply share this sense. This total land mass is like New Jersey in size. Yet, most Israelis are resigned to this as the only solution.

Conditions to Attain the Promise

Most forget that the Bible says the attainment of the full borders promised in the Bible is contingent upon Israel's covenant obedience. (Deut. 19:18,19) This is so explicitly stated, that I wonder why Jewish religious Zionists and Christian Zionists do not see the reason why we are thwarted in obtaining the promises. We will someday obtain these borders. However, in the present, most Israelis are a lawless and immoral people. Adultery, fornication, homosexuality, divorce, abortion and dishonesty here are like those in the worst nations in the West.

So there is the mark of the supernatural in Israel's existence, in the amazing sight of the Army at the Bus Station, but there is so much more to see beyond this. Israel needs to embrace Yeshua, turning as a nation back to God and His Torah. This will bring Israel's full deliverance.

Scripture indicates that the present return in unbelief is preparation for the great move of God where our people repent and embrace Yeshua and His Kingdom (Zech. 12:10, Ezekiel 36). We in the Israeli Messianic Jewish movement are those who prepare the way for that great turning. Our growing numbers make it possible that Israel will turn to Yeshua.

I was filled with wonder at all of this. It was soon time to leave the station. I purchased a new umbrella hoping for better weather outside. It was not to be. The driving rain and wind continued. I navigated the streams of water and puddles and carefully angled the umbrella so it would not catch a gust of wind and be turned inside out. Soon I was a few steps from the door of the garage. I began to congratulate myself for making it with the umbrella intact. Just than a gust of wind hit the umbrella in the direction I had pointed it (the safest direction). It was so strong it snapped the umbrella in two. I stepped through the door in the nick of time. So also with regard to Israel: we will attain our security and deliverance just when it will be absolutely necessary. I had made it inside the shop, relatively dry. So Israel will survive, and we will make it to the time of our deliverance.

By Daniel Juster

Dan Juster leads the overall ministry Tikkun International. Donate to Tikkun International.

Let us know what you think - why not comment to this article:
Name Display my name ?
Yes No
Email Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comments.
08:30 03May05 Robert Stagmer
Great point that the attainment of the promise is contingent upon Israel's covenant obedience. We need to get that out to the Zionists and all others. Thanks

09:41 03May05 George L Boynton -
Very well put, "right on!!" I wholeheartedly agree and endorse it. It is Biblical. "The Lord's ear is not heavy . . ."

10:44 03May05 Robert Rand -
May you be one of many prophetic voices in Israel calling the leaders and the people to repentance (turning from sin and iniquity) and to a living faith in Him as the living God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob -- that the blessings of the Covenant may be realized and the King and Kingdom brought to the earth.

11:19 03May05 Rena -
This is a good article. Then we must pray there is a heart return to G-d, not just to the land.

12:39 03May05 Diane Bailey -
Very well put. I had just heard a similar analogy regarding prayer: that we cannot trust in our praying, (how long we pray or how hard we pray, or even that we pray at all), but in G-d alone, and the shed blood of Our Passover Lamb Yeshua. Not to say that we should not pray, for we are definitely instructed to pray without ceasing, but we must remember that it is not the strength of the horse that wins the battle, but the arm of the L-rd. May Israel return in this hour! Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we will remember the Name of the L-rd our G-d.

07:19 09May05 Russ -
While I agree whole-heartedly concerning the need for all Israel to return to Torah and turn to Yeshua, the Living Torah, I must ask: is it necessary to differentiate between "Jewish Zionists" and "Christian Zionists"? Does the accident of my birth mean so much? May I not be simply a "Zionist" - one who believes the promises of G-d are literally true, one who prays, and speaks, and gives to support the right of Israel to live free and secure in the land promised to Her?
BTW: sadly, the moral condition of the American Church seems not much different from that of Israel as described. Since even our long-suffering G-d eventually judges such sins, I cannot help but wonder how much longer until America (or Israel) receives the just punishment for Her apostasy? The L-RD is patient, but not infinitely so. So, we must all still work while there is yet day.

15:40 13May05 anonymous -
Hope you don't mind my laughter before getting to the 2nd umbrella catastrophe :) Just knew it was coming. Just like Y'shua; He's coming, too, but it won't be any laughing matter for those ones that didn't say "yes" in time. Been re-reading the OT and the Israeli armies -- large as they were usually, certainly had to rely on God for the victory, and not their own power. True for all of us.