Our Source of StrengthApril 2, 2017 - 12:00 am
All you Israelites, trust in the LORD—
he is their help and shield. — Psalm 115:9
What is the source of Israel’s strength? Israel is still finding out.
Two of Israel’s greatest battles came in relatively quick succession of each other, but played out very differently. In 1967, Israel fought the Six-Day War. The country’s military reacted swiftly and strongly. The whole war was won in less than a week!
Jews and Israel supporters everywhere felt both awe and pride. But not enough credit was given to God. Scripture tells us, “For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory” (Deuteronomy 20:4). All of Israel’s battles are fought and won by Him.
The Yom Kippur War, fought in 1973, was a completely different experience for Israel. The war was unexpected; the army, unprepared. Israel was attacked and outnumbered. One particularly memorable battle was fought in a place now known as “The Valley of Tears,” due to the loss of life during the fierce battle that took place there.
The attack happened at night, and Israel was outnumbered and unequipped. But guess who won? God performed great miracles, and while Israel sustained heavy casualties, the country defeated its enemies.
Battles such as this one are the reason why Israel’s motto changed after the Yom Kippur War. It became “Israel trusts in God,” based on the verse in Psalm 115: “All you Israelites, trust in the LORD – he is their help and shield.” Everyone realized that God was behind the miracle. It was no accident that the war began on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year. Almost every Jew had spent that day engaged in prayer and fasting. Those are the “weapons” that helped win the war.
More than 3,000 years ago, a tiny David went out to fight a massive Goliath. He said: “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD Almighty” (1 Samuel 17:45). Then David went on to slay the mighty giant against all odds.
So it was and so it always will be: Israel’s source of strength and protection – and ours – is God.