When we are truly honest with ourselves, we will admit that sometimes it feels as if God isn’t real. Or that if He is, that He doesn’t really care at all about what’s happening on this blue marble called Earth.
As I write this, there are Christians across the globe being martyred for their belief in Jesus. At the same time, there are families living in the streets wondering if they will eat today. And before the hour is over, a family is going to hear the news that their child has a terminal illness and that it won’t live to see its next birthday.
When these things happen, we struggle to understand “why?” Is there a God? Does He care? Is He “omnipotent” like our theological statements claim He is?
I don’t have the answers. But I know that God is real.
We had arrived in Israel just a few short hours earlier. Jetlagged and ready to find a pillow, the four of us piled into a Jeep and made our way through a beautiful valley located between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The driver was taking us on a path known as “The Burma Road.” It’s a narrow trail, in some places barely wide enough for the Jeep itself, that was used to smuggle supplies from the port in Tel Aviv to those trapped in Jerusalem during the 1948 Israeli War of Independence. Seeing the burned out jeeps and encampments was amazing. But something much more ancient struck me on that ride.
We drove through the valley where Joshua, nearly 3,500 years earlier, prayed for the sun to stand still so that the army of ancient Israel could finish the defeat of the Canaanite kings. And that’s when it hit me: everywhere I was looking was an example of ancient Biblical history combined with the modern fulfillment of Biblical prophecy.
Israel exists today as a testimony of God’s power to carry out His will. No other nation has been defeated, its people scattered across the globe, its language lost to history, and its people nearly annihilated; only to be reborn nearly 2,000 years later. The Jewish people are once again thriving. The scattered of Israel have re-gathered. The Hebrew language is spoken fluently again. The nation of Israel exists.
Israel is so much more than a place you can visit to see some ancient ruins that provide archaeological proof of the Bible’s validity. It’s more than a place to make pilgrimage to. It’s even more than a place where you can see things that make the Scriptures “come alive.”
Israel is a place where God proves He exists and is actively involved in the affairs of humanity. I don’t have any idea why Christians are being martyred. I can’t tell you why good families lose their jobs, their homes, and their hope. And I definitely don’t understand why God allows children to become sick and die. But I’ve seen that God is alive. That He is good. And that He keeps His promises.
Come with me to Israel. You’ll see proof of God’s existence; His power; His love.
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