As we celebrate thanksgiving month, there are many things that we can be thankful to God. You may have your own list of things to thank God for or if you still do not yet have a list, then you may imagine it in your mind or better still, write it down.
We have many reasons to be thankful for. When we were in Israel, one of the things that struck us is that prophecies in the Bible are being fulfilled in our modern times. Not all prophecies in the Old Testament were fulfilled in the New Testament. Prophecies in the New Testament are still being fulfilled and will be fulfilled. We need to be thankful that prophecies are being fulfilled. That means that the Bible is true.
Let me mention two prophecies that were fulfilled in the last 70 years.
First, the desert will bloom. The prophecy in Isaiah 41:18-20 is being fulfilled in our lifetime.
Our guide recited from memory the words of God written by Isaiah, “I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs. I will put in the desert the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive. I will set junipers in the wasteland, the fir and the cypress together, so that people may see and know, may consider and understand, that the hand of the Lord has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it.”
You would have to see it to believe it. There are greenhouses all over the wilderness that were just put up 10 to 20 years ago only. How did the rivers flow into barren heights? They have black hoses all over the greenhouse and this drip irrigation brings water to the plants. Imagine all kinds of trees and fruit trees — dates, olive trees, bananas, mangoes, vegetables and other fruits and trees in the desert. How did they do it? They brought fertile soil from other parts of Israel and brought them to the desert. Agriculture is now a top contributor to the economy of Israel. The prophecy has been fulfilled.
Second, the restoration of Israel. Can you imagine that modern Israel is just 70 years old this 2018? At the year 70 AD, the Second Temple was destroyed by the Roman Empire. Jews were scattered all over the world – a great diaspora. Due to that destruction, the only remaining remnant of the Temple is the Western Wall or Wailing Wall.
For thousands of years the Jewish people wandered the world in exile. But the Word of God is true. God would bring back them back to their land. On May 15, 1948 the State of Israel declared its independence. Just months before that on November 29, 1947, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 181. The Philippine President Manuel Roxas instructed Carlos P. Romulo to cast the crucial vote at the UN to separate Israel from Palestine. The Philippines is the only Asian country to support the creation of the state of Israel.
May 15, 1948, happened to be a Sabbath. Do you know what they read in the synagogue throughout the world on the day? It was an ancient prophecy from Amos 9:11-15:
“I will restore David’s fallen tabernacle. I will repair its broken walls and restore its ruins. I will rebuild it as it used to be . . . And I will bring my people Israel back from exile. They will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine. They will make gardens and eat their fruit. I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them.’”
Israel was planted in their own land again. The prophecy has been fulfilled.
What does it mean for Christians? The Messiah has been prophesied. We believe that the Messiah is our Lord Jesus Christ. We have to believe that Jesus is coming back again!
Let us be thankful that what is in the Bible is true, and the God of the Bible will be faithful to fulfill what is written there.
Rev. Francis Neil G. Jalando-on
Office of Communications