3. The Sign Of Israel
The supreme achievement of our fathers in
prophetic study was their confident expectation that before long there could be
a large-scale return of Jews to the Land. The first sign of this came thirty
years after the completion of Eureka, but another thirty or forty years were to
pass before the movement really got going.
The fact of the Return is now so familiar that
our younger generation are incapable of getting excited about it. Yet a careful
combing through those heartening prophecies in Jeremiah -- such a lot of them --
can be guaranteed to quicken the pulse-rate of anyone who will shrug off his
laziness and go painstakingly through them all.
On that foundation it is possible to build up a
more detailed prophetic picture, and thus make certainty more
The Lord's mini-parable of the fig-tree putting
forth leaves is especially valuable. The shouting omission of fruit from that
picture is almost deafening, especially when set alongside the trumpet-blast of
Christs cursing of the luxuriant but fruitless fig tree, so obviously an acted
parable of the barren religion of the Israel on which he fruitlessly sought to
Today the state of Israel is just like that. The
early diatribes of Isaiah were not only accurate pictures of the prophet's own
day, they were also anticipations of an idealistic people gone to seed in our
They blithely call evil good and good evil. They
emulate and surpass the sexual lewdness of "civilised" western nations, making
highly efficient use of modem abortion methods that are so much better (yet so
much like) the old style birth control - passing babies through the fire to
Moloch. Observance of the wholesome precepts of Moses has become a decadent
concentration on a scrupulous and elaborate separation of meat and milk, and
without having a clue why they do it. Instead of gladly poring over the writings
of their own prophets, they give themselves to the inane futilities of
mediums-"wizards that peep and that mutter"-and especially to a schizophrenic
enthusiasm for astrology-"the queen of heaven" and all that crush. They beat
ploughshares into swords, spending a fantastic proportion of the national income
in the process, while encouraging a never-widening social gap between prosperity
and destitution, yet in their hearts they know how unsure their safety is: "Let
us eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow another holocaust" (All this is cease
lessly documented in the Jerusalem Post and Jewish Chronicle).
What a decline has set in from the fine ideals
and unstinted dedication of an earlier generation of Zionists! Their very name
is a prophecy, for Zion means ‘a dry place'.
Yet - can it be credited? - there are amongst us
starry-eyed enthusiasts who see the present State of Israel as the beginning of
the Kingdom of God. Is it possible to believe that the Messiah who wept over
their stony-hearted indifference to himself will nevertheless gladly gather a
people who today are at least as godless as their forefathers? If in the first
century he wept over Jerusalem and pronounced its doom, is it likely that he
will come next week and rejoice at the welcome it still stubbornly refuses to
The State of Israel, so attractive in so many
ways, has nevertheless been founded on rejection of the God of its Fathers and
on a sublime reliance on what can be achieved by human endeavour and cleverness,
in other words, on justification by works such as Jews have always been good at.
To this day it is their individual and national philosophy.
Happily there is another side to this picture.
Jesus himself said: "Ye shall not see me until ye say, Blessed is he that
cometh in the name of the Lord". So if Messiah is ever to come to save his
people, the seed of Abraham, there must be some sign of repentance first.
Even Almighty God Himself cannot save people who stubbornly refuse to