May 11: 6 Iyar
It was on this day in 1948 that the British Mandate over Palestine officially came to an end, 28 years to the day, after it had begun in 1920. And as we shared in the previous devotion, it was on this day that Israel officially became a nation. It was also on this day that the nations of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq invaded the newly founded country. Long before these events transpired, the prophet Isaiah had written:
“Who has heard such a thing? … Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion was in labor, she gave birth to her children.” (Isaiah 66:8)
There are a couple of things that should be pointed out about this Scripture as it relates to our topic. First, a child can’t be born unless the mother goes through labor and endures the travail of delivering the baby. Likewise, Zion, which is not just a geographic location but is, in fact, a nation comprised of people, can’t come into being unless there is travail, as well. The sun-clothed woman, in Revelation 12, is described as being in the travail of childbirth when she delivers a male child.
“And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars; and she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.” (Revelation 12: 1-2)
This brings us to the next point: a lot of people have argued that the rebirth of Israel in 1948 was the fulfillment of Isaiah 66. Even though the enemies of Israel came against them, the nation was, nevertheless, born in one day. I agree with that, up until a certain point but as we shared, yesterday, prophecies can have more than one application. Sometimes prophecies take years, even decades, to come to the fruition of what the Creator has ordained. Perhaps it is so with this prophecy. All of Israel has not yet been brought back into the land and the Scripture tells us that the earth awaits this with great anticipation, desiring to see the people of God come together and be restored to the land. Paul put it this way:
“For the earnest expectation of the creation waits for the revealing of the Sons of God. For the creation was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him who has subjected the same in hope…For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now.” (Romans 8:19-20, 22)
Paul goes on to say that the redemption and the revealing of the sons of God is, in fact, why we were saved. So the point is we have witnessed a partial fulfillment of these prophecies and, because there must be travail for Zion to be born, we should anticipate that, as the time draws near for the sons of God to be revealed – for God’s people to come together as one – there will be more labor pains. Still, we have the promise that, if we endure to the end, we shall be saved. If we overcome, we will see the promises He has made come to pass.
Even as the world turns its anger against Israel and God’s people, let us turn our face toward our Father in heaven, that His reflection may be seen upon us. Let us strive to fulfill our purpose as a people and a nation, even in the midst of travail, and be a light to those in darkness.