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In Just One Day

"Before she was in labor, she gave birth;
before her pain came, she delivered a male child.
Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things?
Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day?
Or shall a nation be born at once?
For as soon as Zion was in labor, she gave birth to her children.
Shall I bring to the time of birth, and not cause delivery?" says the LORD.
"Shall I Who cause delivery shut up the womb?" says your God.
Isaiah 66:7-9

When the LORD turned Jerusalem around from mourning into joy and from ashes to beauty, the world was turned upside down. Who had heard or seen anything like this? For in just one day, suddenly the nation of Israel was born again! Even before the birth pains came, the baby was born! In a moment of time, just as Israel's anguish started, the nation of Israel had a new beginning!

The LORD asked, "Shall I bring to the point of birth and then not deliver?" No and never! The prophet Isaiah wrote that the nation of Israel would be reborn in just one day. This prophecy was written perhaps between 701 and 681 BC. It was fulfilled in May 14, 1948. Israel had her Independence Day as a united and sovereign nation for the first time after more than 2500 years.

On that same day, the United States issued a statement recognizing the sovereignty of Israel. Only hours beforehand, a United Nations mandate expired, ending the British control of the Holy Land. Within those historic 24 hours, foreign control of the land of Israel formally ceased. Israel declared her independence. And her independence was acknowledged by other nations. Modern Israel was literally born in a single day.

Isaiah prophesied that the birth would take place before any labor pains. This was precisely what happened. Her declaration of independence was not the result of a war but rather the cause of one. Within hours of her independence in 1948, Israel was attacked by the surrounding countries of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. She was engulfed in a war immediately after her birth! But guess what? The LORD was with her. He, Who had brought her to the time of her birth, would deliver her out of the womb. He protected Israel and delivered her from her enemies!

This brings me to the remembrance of how Israel was formed in the first place in Genesis. She went into Egypt to find food in times of famine. God prospered Joseph and made him the prime minister in Egypt. The twelve sons of Israel were reconciled. Their father, Israel, and all their family members were invited to stay in Egypt. They settled in the fertile land of Goshen. Then a Pharaoh, who did not acknowledge Joseph's achievements, came to power. The descendants of Israel were forced to work as slaves in building the great Egyptian cities.

God heard the desperate cries of the Israelites as they underwent tremendous sufferings. God sent forth a deliverer in the form of a baby to liberate His people from bondage. Moses was born in the midst of the Hebrew slaves. He was set adrift in a basket on the Nile River in an attempt to save him from being killed by the Pharaoh's men. An Egyptian princess rescued him, and brought him up as her own son.

Moses grew up and he had to flee from Egypt because of a crime that he had committed. In the backside of the desert, Moses met God in a burning bush. God sent him back to Egypt to deliver the Israelites. Moses then, with the companionship of his brother Aaron and the authority of God, confronted Pharaoh and demanded the release of the Hebrew slaves. Pharaoh's consistent stubbornness and refusals resulted in the ten plagues. These ten supernatural phenomena were orchestrated by God! The last one was the death of all the Egyptian firstborns.

After these plagues, there were more obstacles to conquer before they finally reached their Promised Land. With more obstacles, they witnessed more miracles of God. They began to trust their God in the midst of adverse circumstances. To trust and obey God for there was no other way! They crossed the Red Sea on dry ground and landed in safety on the other side of the Sea. But the journey was not yet completed.

God desired to put His laws in their hearts. He personally met all of them at Mount Sinai (Exodus 19:9-20:21). He desired to enter into a covenant relationship with them. He was binding Himself to the nation of Israel, in the form of a covenant - an eternal contract. This covenant was fundamentally important in the history of Israel. The Israelites were not to behave just like any nation of the ancient world. All of them were pagan, following depraved and corrupt moral practices and idol worships. Unfortunately, much of the Israelite history was marked by continual disobedience to the rules and regulations stated in the covenant. Her history began badly with an idolatrous act. The people made and worshipped a golden calf on Mount Sinai, the holy mountain of God. After their punishment, the covenant was renewed. They began to work on the building of the Tabernacle.

While in their journey to Canaan, the Israelites disobeyed God through unbelief. They murmured against God in the wilderness for almost everything, beginning from no food and no water. But God supplied every one of their needs! Jehovah Jireh - on the Mountain of God He will provide!

Moses then sent 12 spies to spy Canaan. There were two good reports and ten bad. Therefore the Israelites refused to enter their Promised Land because they were fearful of the giants living there. For their lack of faith in God, they then wandered for 40 years in the wilderness – round and round in almost endless circles. These aimless wanderings were summarized in Numbers 33. Then Moses died. God appointed Joshua to be the one in leading the Israelites to cross the Jordan into the Promised Land. Therein they had to fight and destroy their enemies. The walls of Jericho collapsed on the seventh day after they had marched around it for six days. Then the sin of Achan and the presumption of Israel caused their defeat in Ai. On and on throughout the book of Joshua were the records of conquests and the final settlement in the land which God had promised to Abraham and his descendants many centuries earlier. At last, they set up their homes in the Promised Land about 1400 to 1375 BC.

The birth of a baby is a journey of great joys and pains! A baby can be a dream or a vision that the Lord has placed in our hearts. But many mothers have ungodly thoughts of giving up their babies because of the excruciating pains and troubles involved. As a result, hundreds of millions actually do and have aborted their children. They give up on their struggles. But they have to live with those pains for the rest of their lives.

Strength and courage are not measured in gold medals and glorious victories. They are marked by the struggles and obstacles that we have overcome. We are more than overcomers in Christ Jesus! In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him Who loved us (Romans 8:37). Who knows that victory may be just one day ahead, just one minute ahead or just one step ahead? Just imagine that Israel gave up on May 13, 1948. If so, there would not be any modern Israel today!

Joshua means, "the LORD is salvation," and Isaiah means "Jehovah has saved." I believe that our Saviour is with us and He will deliver us into victory!

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9)

So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11)

Below are some encouraging notes from our beloved Apostle Paul:

Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. (1 Corinthians 9:26-27)

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:9-10)

Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)

Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. (1 Timothy 6:12)

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. (2 Timothy 4:7-8)

I am confident of this very thing that He Who has begun a good work in us will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6). He Who brings us to the point of birth will deliver the baby!

And there can be miracles when we believe!

Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary

Written on:
23 June 2004