the improbable resurrection of Israel (part 1)

the improbable resurrection of Israel (part 1)

Proclaim this word: This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘I am very jealous for Jerusalem and Zion' (Zechariah 1:14).

One question lies at the root of every human interaction.

This question is so basic – and possibly banal – that we don’t often acknowledge it and seldom articulate it audibly; and yet this question resides firmly, defensively, protectively as a guardian in our subconscious minds.

It may not present in the front of our awareness, at the fore of our conscious thinking; but it remains fundamental to human transaction, both exceptional and mundane.

Why should I trust you?

Trust can be defined as an assured reliance on something – a person, a truth, an ability to deliver. 

Trust is a positive outcome to my primal question: why should I have confidence in you?

Why should I trust you to provide daycare, or education, or coaching, or transportation for my child?

Why should I trust your products to take home to feed myself, my family?

Why should I sense trust as I engage in commercial transaction to buy this technology, this vehicle, this house, this clothing from you?

Why should I have confidence as I entrust my hard-earned money, my investments or other assets to your stewardship and care?

Why should I feel safe living next door to you? Engage in a neighborly relationship with you?

Why should I entrust the governing of my community or nation to you?

Trust can be a somewhat bizarre concept. We need to learn – and to teach our children – to analyze and protect ourselves from that which is untrustworthy.

Some of us trust too naturally as a default setting and continue to trust unless give reason not to.

Others won’t trust until trust is earned.

Here’s where this is relevant in the formation of our worldview.

The Scripture assumes the existence of God and asserts that we all know intuitively and by external evidence that He is there.

The Psalmist says that the heavens declare God’s glory and majesty and supremacy (Psalm 19).

In Romans 1, Paul says the evidence for God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse (v.20).

But why should I trust the God of the Bible? Why should I trust this ancient book as His message conveying His eternal truth and carrying His sovereign authority?

To those questions of trust and confidence, the Lord gives a powerful and compelling response. And this confirmation is particularly addressed to our present vantage point as those observing the continuing conflict in Israel as the New Year dawns.

The Jewish people – their identity, their history, and their future – provides a powerful apologetic (from Greek apologia – to give a reason or defence) both for acknowledging God’s existence and a rational motivation for trusting the Bible as His Word.

Here’s how:

For centuries, cynics have written the Bible off as being an anachronism, a collection of ancient Hebrew fables and myths; a compilation of Jewish quasi-history, legends, ambitions and dreams.

After all, Israel as a national entity has not existed since the destruction of the Holy City, the burning of the great Temple and the slaughter of 1.1 million Jews by the Romans in 70 AD.

The Jewish people existed, but the nation of Israel emphatically did not.

Consequently, so much Bible prophecy relating to the state of Israel – and to the return of their Messiah – has been labelled an accumulation of Jewish guesses and hopes, of wishful projections that would be left unfulfilled and ultimately forgotten.

However, in the late 1800s Zionism – the ideology of a Jewish homeland and nation – began to percolate. All over the world, the descendants of Abraham through Isaac – the child of promise – began to experience an otherwise inexplicable growing intensity to their generations-old dream of statehood.

The highly improbable rebirth of the nation of Israel – and in their ancestral homeland – on May 14th, 1948 was clearly the fulfillment of God’s predicted restoration as promised to the Hebrew people through the patriarchs, and the prophets, specifically Zechariah.

Only in the mid-20th century was this undeniable, indisputable evidence for the unique power of Scripture – and the God of the Bible – realized. It was able to be witnessed globally. 

And the proof accumulates exponentially as the tiny nation – home to 7 million Jews (slightly more than in the US and Canada combined) – continues its struggle against incredible odds and aligned enemies, both rival nations and terrorist organizations who have specifically adopted the extermination of the Jewish state as a core component of their foreign policy and their raison d'etre.

Takeaway – as we launch our study of the writings of the ancient Jewish prophet Zechariah, we’ll observe that this is the most Messianic book of the entire Old Testament teaching us about the Lord Jesus Christ.

And we will witness – in a way that prior generations could only dimly perceive – God’s unfolding plan of redemption for Israel as seen through His progressive revelation as it continues to unwind before our watching eyes.

This is what the LORD says: "I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the LORD Almighty will be called the Holy Mountain" (Zechariah 8:3).


~ graphic taken from Wikipedia

About Us

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. - Galatians 3:28 The community at Bethel includes a wide range of ages and backgrounds. Young and old, families and singles, English-speakers and those with a French mother-tongue, various ethnic and religious backgrounds. We reflect the make up of the city of North Bay. More importantly though, we are a group of people who Jesus has saved through his work on the cross. By God's plan of redemption we were all brought into one family as brothers and sisters in Christ, given a mission to reach into our world and make disciples for Him. We hope you will find at Bethel a friendly, loving group of people striving to live for Jesus Christ. Whether you are visiting for the day or trying to find a permanent church home, you are welcome to join us as we together seek out Him.