The fifth day of the Hebrew month Iyar is the official date for Israel Independence Day. This year that falls on April 17.

For 2,000 years, many Jewish people lived and died at the whims of governments that considered them to be outsiders. In fact, the Holocaust became one of the best arguments for the necessity of a Jewish homeland. (It is no coincidence that Yom ha Shoah, Holocaust Memorial Day, precedes this holiday on April 8.)

Some say that the declaration of the State of Israel on the fifth of Iyar is a fulfillment of prophecy. Perhaps more conservatively stated, the declaration was a means to the fulfillment of Bible prophecy, which speaks of the regathering of the Jewish people in the land of Israel. Jewish sovereignty over the ancient homeland enabled Jewish people to return to Israel from the four corners of the world, as the Bible predicted they would.

The modern state of Israel is comprised of Jews from hundreds of countries and as many different backgrounds and languages. Yet, a distinct Israeli Jewish culture and style has been shaped by the rich diversity of the Diaspora, along with a unified commitment to a shared vision. Jews from all over the world have melded together, as demonstrated by the use of a common language. Among other things, that means the gospel of Yeshua can be proclaimed to our people using one language!

On April 8, please take a moment to pray for Jewish people who will be thinking about the Holocaust. Please pray for the effective use of the Hebrew version of the Survivor Stories video (testimonies of Holocaust survivors who believe in Jesus) in Israel. And on April 17, please pray that even as Israel rejoices in her independence, more and more of her people will come to understand their dependence upon God, and upon His Messiah, Yeshua, for peace and salvation.