David and Goliath Again and Again!
By Ian Bowen
The nation of Israel is a miracle. How do you explain 2000 years of exile and the holocaust, yet Israel survives? How did the Hebrew language revive after 2000 years? How is a barren desert now fertile? Indeed it is the story of David and Goliath repeated again and again!
Time and again we read of God’s promise to watch over His people. One example is of two parallel stories which happened 3000 years apart. The Philistines occupied Michmash so that Saul had to retire to Gilgal. King Saul with 600 men was far outnumbered by the Philistines with 3,000 chariots and 6,000 horsemen. Israel held low ground while the Philistines held high ground protected by steep cliffs. In secret, Jonathan said to his armor bearer “let’s go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised, it may be the Lord will work for us, for there is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few.” And Jonathan climbed up through a passage in the cliffs and slaughtered about twenty men, resulting in a victory. (1 Samuel 14:15)
In 1917, a Turkish garrison of several thousand was based at Mukhmas (Michmash) whom the British expected would try to re-take Jerusalem. Brigadier Gilbert planned a surprise attack against the Turks - if only they could get over the cliffs. All night long he thought that he had read of this situation before. He opened his Bible and suddenly remembered a battle in the very same valley 3000 years before, where Jonathan found a way through the cliffs. With the realisation that history was being made, the British retraced the steps of Jonathan and caught the Turks asleep. Blowing their trumpets in the midst of the Turks created total panic and victory was gained.
Brigadier Gilbert notes in his journal, the 2000 year old prophecy of Daniel that in 1335 years Israel would be delivered from its enemies. The date was 3 December 1917 when the keys of Jerusalem were handed to the British army. God’s promise given more than 2,600 years before the event, was fulfilled in the exact manner foretold by Daniel 12:12 and on the exact day given by Haggai 2:18-20 AD622, the year that Mahomet fled from Mecca, is the beginning of the Mohammedan calendar which lasted until 1917, its duration being exactly 1335 lunar years (Daniel 12:12). Taking AD622 and adding the periods 1260 days, 1290 days, and 1335 days we arrive at AD1844, the Toleration Decree abolishing the death penalty for conversion from Mahommedanism; AD1873, possible inception of anti-Semitic movement in Germany; and AD1917, Jerusalem’s deliverance from Turks.
The 1947-1948 War of independence was a miracle war that fulfilled Bible prophecy in returning Jerusalem to the Jews again. (Luke 21:24) Israeli plans to destroy the runways of the Egyptian, Syrian and Lebanese air forces resulted in their command of the air in five hours.
Another miracle battle was fought over the town of Safed/Tzfat. Jewish forces were outnumbered 10 to 1. Arab forces were heavily armed while Jewish troops counted every bullet they shot. A homemade Israeli mortar, the Davidka, was used in battle and provided extreme noise and horrific explosions which scared Arab forces away. An unusual weather change to rain during the battle started a rumour in the Arab community that Israel had acquired the atom bomb and the entire Arab community had fled, enabling the city to be captured. By the end of the war, Israel had tripled the size of the area it controlled.
During the 1973 War, General Carlani, a hero survivor from the 1967 war, was ordered to hold his ground with only seven tanks left, against the Syrians. With defeat imminent for Israel, he ordered his remaining seven tanks forward, storming over the hill down into the valley firing as they went. Without explanation, the Syrians were struck with fear, retreated and started fleeing on foot. What caused this change around?
Some say that the real miracle of the war happened thousands of miles away. After a refusal of help from a USA statesman, Golda Meir picked up the phone at 3 am and called the private line to President Nixon saying “President Nixon, if you don’t help us, the Jewish people will not survive”. Nixon said something strange. “I could almost hear my mother’s voice – ‘Some day, Richard, you will be in a position where you can help save the Jewish people and when that day comes you must do everything in your power’”. Israel was assisted overnight. Many analysts say that decision and that action at that moment was the essential element that saved Israel from destruction.