By Sitiveni Rabuka (Sunday, October 26, 2008)
Miracles on the battlefield ... Israeli soldiers talked of divine intervention in their six-day war
Ni sa bula. On 14 May (!) 1948, against all odds, having been dispersed all over the world for two millennium, Israel was re-birthed as a nation fulfilling prophecies in the Old Testament Books of Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and Isaiah.
This re-birth astounded the world. Never before had an entire race of people, widely scattered around the world, without a homeland, re-establish itself as a nation and in one single day, as well! Israel is the only nation with this unique, historical experience.
Historians and theologians before this event were generally of the view that God's Word in the Old Testament on gathering and restoring His people as a nation back on the land He promised them, were not to be literally taken, because it simply was just not possible. When a race of people is scattered among nations, they usually are assimilated into other cultures and communities, which renders their coming together as a nation virtually impossible.
This view was demolished when Israel was re-born as a nation in 1948 and generated great interest in Biblical prophecy as realisation grew that God means exactly what He says! Jeremiah 31:10, the prophet says" Hear the word of the Lord, O nations; proclaim it in distant coastlands: He who scattered Israel will gather them and will watch over His flock like a shepherd."
No sooner had Israel proclaimed its independence on Friday 14 May 1948, five Arab nations, Egypt, Syria, Trans-Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq launched an attack against the newly re-born and tiny nation, on the same day! They were out to destroy the new state, and reclaim the land for the setting up of another Arab state. The Arab states far outnumbered and out-gunned the Jews. They had troops, artillery and other military hardware that the Jews did not have. Azzam Pasha, Secretary General of the Arab League at the time, confidently declared; "This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades."
Given the clear superiority of the Arab states in heavy arms, fire power and troops, an Arab victory was expected and boldly predicted. Very few felt that Israel would survive the onslaught.
But Israel bravely fought back, and won what they called their war of independance and liberation against Arab aggression. They gained more territory, and when the war was over the Arabs were left with less territory and more wounded. Had the Secretary General, Azzam Pasha known Jeremiah 31:10 in which God promises to watch over His people, having returned them to the promised land, like a shepherd over his flock, one wonders whether he would have still been so confident of Israel's destruction.
The Israeli-Arab conflict, however, did not end. Israel went on to survive, the 1956 Suez Canal crisis; the 1967 six day war; and the 1973 Yom Kippur war. In every war and conflict, reports of supernatural and angelic interventions on Israel's behalf came from both the Israelis and the Arabs. The prophet Zechariah had foretold that in the end times, God will defend Israel and send His angels to fight for and with His people. Zechariah 12:8 "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."
A story is told of a small Jewish community, Pekiin under siege by Arabs who were determined to wipe them out. However, they encountered huge strange beings with flaming swords, and they ran away in great fear, as the astonished village rabbi watched them.
During the 1967 six day war, Gershon Saloman lay badly wounded and saw Syrian soldiers moving into their area shooting wounded Israeli soldiers. They were about to shoot him, when all of a sudden they fled the area leaving their weapons behind. The Syrian soldiers later reported to UN officers that they saw "thousands of angels" surrounding the wounded soldier and that was why they ran away.
An Israeli military historian recorded that during the 1973 Yom Kippur war, an Israeli soldier in the Sinai took captive an Egyptian column and led them to where the Israeli troops were. The Egyptian commander was asked why he and his men gave themselves up to the lone Israeli soldier. He responded with surprise; "One soldier? There were thousands of them." He said that as they neared the Israeli lines, the "soldiers" began disappearing. The Israeli soldier reported that he was by himself when the Egyptian commander and his men surrendered to him. He was totally unaware of the "thousands of soldiers" the Egyptian soldiers saw with him, since he himself did not see them. Psalm 91:10-11 promises that "No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling, For He shall give his angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways."
Bill McKay, a film producer who investigated miracles surrounding Israel's existence and has produced a documentary called In search of a miracle- Against all Odds, said that military experts are puzzled as to how the Israelis won wars they should have lost. Israel's victories just do not make any sense to them.
The documentary shows an eye witness account; Commander David Yinni, during the 1973 Yom Kippur war, preparing to retreat from the Syrian army, when he realised that he and his men were trapped in the middle of a minefield. He ordered his men to clear the mines using their bayonets, crawl on the ground and dig 30 inches deep, carefully disengaging the mines. The slightest mistake and they were in peril of being blown up. One of his men prayed. Suddenly, a windstorm came upon them. It was so strong that it lifted up their tanks and rocked them. By the time the storm moved on, it had literally blown 30 inches of topsoil off. The Israeli soldiers could see every single mine and quickly made their escape.
God's protection over Israel is also for nations and people who believe in Him and worship Him as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
Fiji was brought out of a dark history of cannibalism, tribal wars and ancestor worship, thanks to the early pioneering missionaries who brought the Bible and the Light of the Lord Jesus Christ into the lives of our forefathers.
We thank God our Father, for the Light of Christ in this land, and if we remain faithful God will do the "impossible" in our personal lives and in this nation. The nation of Israel is living testimony of the God of the impossible. He did it for Israel, so will He also move on behalf of those who believe, obey and love Him, in this nation.
When I look back at the dates I write about in this article, I can admit that for me 14 May was the only convenient day for my plan in 1987. That the day coincided with Israel's Independence Day, and the first arrival of Indian workers into Fiji - I have often wondered - whether it really was a coincidence and not divine design.
I made the Declaration of our Republic at midnight on 6 October 1987 to coincide with the date of the Yom Kippur War and for Fiji to start its new journey on October 7, '7' being the number serious students of theology and God associate with our Creator.
But, we still celebrate the day the chiefs surrendered their sovereignty in 1874 and the date we partly got it back in 1970, as our national day. Most people do not know the date we became a Republic!
But, stay encouraged - the Lord thy God is near thee. Shalu Shlom Yerushalayim! Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! And pray for the peace of our beloved nation! Have a great and blessed week.
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