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Remembering Israel's Six-Day War

June 5-10, 2017, marks the 50th Anniversary of Israel’s momentous victory against a massive Arab attack in the 1967 Six-Day War. What had been the cry of the Jews for centuries, “Next year in Jerusalem,” in 1967 became the cry, “Now and forever in Jerusalem!”

It has been 50 years since the 1967 Six-Day War, and the effects of this amazing event in Israel's history still impacts the world today. Under the prompting of Egyptian President Gamal Nasser, Egypt, Jordan and Syria joined forces to “drive the Jews into the sea.” Nasser had received reports from Russian advisors that the time was right to start a war with Israel. The surrounding Arab armies had hoped their victory would be decisive — that they would once and for all rid themselves of the Hebrew nation. But, because of continuous provocation by threatening Arab forces, Israel was prepared. Guided by miraculous overrulings, Israel skillfully out-maneuvered the attacking Arab armies within six days!

Forced into a defense of their country, Israel gained the Golan Heights, the West Bank of the Jordan River, the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip and, most importantly, East Jerusalem. By international standards, these captured territories became part of the Nation of Israel. Yet, the Israelis immediately made it known to the world that they would trade the newly acquired territories for the sake of peace with their Arab neighbors (aside from East Jerusalem). On the day after the war, Israel’s Minister of Defense Moshe Dayan famously stated, “I’m waiting at the phone.” But no one ever called.

The Six-Day War has arguably been the most emotionally proud moment in recent Jewish history. For thousands of years, Jews have regarded Jerusalem and the West Bank as their biblical heartland. King David proclaimed Jerusalem as the capital of Israel over 3,000 years ago, and so in 1948, when the Jordanians forced all of the Jewish residents out of Jerusalem, the Hebrew people were devastated. But, by God’s providence, the Six-Day War brought the Jews into possession of their capital once again! What had been the cry of the Jews for centuries, “Next year in Jerusalem,” in 1967 became the cry, “Now and forever in Jerusalem!”

But, while Israelis were jubilant over their victory, the world view was indifferent at best and resentful at worst. Russia broke any relations with Israel immediately following the war. Jewish communities were systematically shunned or expelled from Arab countries. Arab nations voiced relentless cries of foul-play, which infected other countries of the United Nations. And, world opinion of Israel has remained negative due to carefully crafted propaganda which claims that Israel is “occupying Arab territory.”

Some Christians may question, why should the Six-Day War have any bearing on our walk in Christ? The answer is that Israel has been and will always be “the apple of God’s eye.” What God declares as His Land, should be respected by His children. (See Zechariah 2:8-13; Leviticus 25:23) Both Old and New Testament prophecies point to Israel as playing a pivotal role in God’s Kingdom soon to come when Christians and Jews will work together as the "stars of heaven and the sand which is upon the seashore" to "bless all nations of the earth." Genesis 22:17, 18

Zechariah 8:23 “Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.”

Amos 9:11, 14, 15 “In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old… And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God.”

The Apostle James spoke of the time when the “tabernacle of David” would be restored:
Acts 15:14-17 “Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord…”

These and many more scriptures answer the question why Christians should value the fulfillment of prophecy in the Land of Israel. The Six-Day War is just one of countless miraculous end-time events bringing the world closer to God's Kingdom, when not only Christians and Jews, but all mankind will be blessed by the promises of God through His Son Jesus. As the Apostle Paul declared, Israel's salvation will mean "life from the dead!"

Romans 11:15, 25-32 “For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? …For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins…”