Kuma Adonai (Arise Oh God)
By Elisabeth Hinze
David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister, summed up life in his country pretty accurately, “In Israel, in order to be a realist, you must believe in miracles.” Smart man. Because it is on those miracles, those interventions from God, that the very existence of Israel hinges. Always has. Think the parting of the Red Sea, Joshua, Gideon, David and Goliath, the list goes on. The nation of Israel existed because the Lord of the Armies of Heaven made their fight His. Their existence depended on His intervention, His miracles.
Ah miracles… How we earnestly long for, pray for God to show up and do for us what we are incapable of doing ourselves. Because that’s the thing about miracles: in order for it to qualify as a miracle, we need to be simply unable to, too weak, too human. Which would then require God’s supernatural intervention. If we had been able to, strong enough, capable in ourselves to fix, accomplish or achieve, the glory would be ours. And our God is not in the habit of sharing His glory or His praise (Isaiah 48:2). From personal experience we know: God’s miracles are usually reserved for the no-hope situations, the back-against-the-wall areas in our lives, when it’s only God standing between us and the end of the line.
During times of war, the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) learn all about these situations. Fifteen armed conflicts in the last 60 odd years led to thousands of stories of how God showed up, how He arose to turn a battle, confuse the enemy, save a life and literally keep Israel from annihilation. Because in light of the odds, compared to the multitude of those who would wipe her off the map, Israel is simply unable to, too weak, too human. Which is why they need God’s supernatural intervention.
There are stories of a sudden windstorm, blowing away inches of topsoil to expose the minefield hidden below. Of a single Israeli tank blocking the Syrian army’s advance through the Golan Heights because they saw the lone tank as a battalion. Of battalions surrendering to one Israeli soldier, because they saw thousands where a single man stood… There are stories of God making tanks invisible, of ambushes that simply disintegrated, of men and women who knew they should have died. Of a virtually unarmed army grossly outnumbered, pushing back 6 invading armies.
Reading through the personal accounts of the men and women who saw these things happen startles you. It’s so far beyond coincidence, so much more than good luck. It was God’s intervention, the Lord of the Armies of Heaven still making Israel’s fight His. It was Him showing Himself mighty on behalf of the unable, the weak and the human in no-hope situations where only God stood between Israel and the end of the line.
But these miracles were actually more than that. For many of the men and women who lived and saw them, it was God introducing Himself personally. It was His way of showing Himself alive, real, not confined to tradition or the stories of their great-great-greeeeeeeeeat-grandfathers. God showed up in such a real way that it wiped out all traces of doubt, of disappointment and scepticism. For many, the miracle marked the first day of their walk with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
It is such miracles that I pray for as another day of Operation Tzuk Eitan (Protective Edge) draws to a close. As Hamas sets up in a hospital compound to launch its attacks from. As they use ambulances as cover to spring ambushes from. As the UN discovers rockets stored in schools in Gaza for the second time in a week. As terrorists grab hold of children to hide behind in the hope of deterring the Israelis. As it dawns on me that our Western mindset can simply not comprehend or expect such utter indoctrinated evil. As I’m growing more reluctant to read the news of more Israeli boys killed – knowing that Israel chose a ground invasion, thus putting the lives of her sons in danger, as opposed to indiscriminately bombing Gaza and killing innocent civilians. And as I resign myself to the fact that the world believes the worst despite the effort.
Yes, I pray for protection. Constantly. I pray that God would shine His light on the ambushes and bring the evil into the open. I pray for the innocent and for the scared. I pray for peace in the hearts of mothers and fathers and wives who stopped sleeping at night.
And then I pray for the type of miracles where God would introduce Himself personally. That in hearts that doubt He would show Himself alive and real and still willing to fight on behalf of His people. I pray that for many here in Israel but also many criticising Israel so vocally and even many calling and fighting for her destruction, God would arise as, well, God. And I pray the words that Israel’s shepherd king used when he stood facing the giant, “… that the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel” (1 Samuel 17:46).
Kuma Adonai, hosheini elohai, l’adonai hayeshua, al amcha birchatecha… (“Arise, oh Lord! Save me, oh my God! Salvation belongs to the Lord; Your blessings are upon Your people” (Psalm 3:7-8)
Listen to a beautiful Psalm 3 song in Hebrew here
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