In 1864, famed British Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon proclaimed, concerning the then-still-anticipated restoration of the nation of Israel:
There will be a native government again; there will again be the form of a body politic; a State shall be incorporated, and a King shall reign (emphasis added).
In November 1948, six months after Israel’s national rebirth, its first chief Ashkenazi rabbi, Isaac Halevi Herzog penned the poem that was a prayer and that, for many devout Jews, is more significant and important than David Ben Gurion’s Declaration of Independence.
Notably, the preacher and the rabbi had the same understanding of what the creation of the Jewish state portended: the coming of a Messiah King who will redeem Israel and all Creation.
It is a prayer worth joining in and praying with Israel:
Our Father in Heaven, Rock and Redeemer of Israel, bless the State of Israel, the first manifestation of the approach of our redemption. Shield it with Your lovingkindness, envelop it in Your peace, and bestow Your light and truth upon its leaders, ministers, and advisors, and grace them with Your good counsel. Strengthen the hands of those who defend our holy land, grant them deliverance, and adorn them in a mantle of victory. Ordain peace in the land and grant its inhabitants eternal happiness.
Lead them, swiftly and upright, to Your city Zion and to Jerusalem, the abode of Your Name, as is written in the Torah of Your servant Moses: “Even if your outcasts are at the ends of the world, from there the Lord your God will gather you, from there He will fetch you. And the Lord your God will bring you to the land that your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will make you more prosperous and more numerous than your fathers.” Draw our hearts together to revere and venerate Your name and to observe all the precepts of Your Torah, and send us quickly the Messiah son of David, agent of Your vindication, to redeem those who await Your deliverance.
Manifest yourself in the splendor of Your boldness before the eyes of all inhabitants of Your world, and may everyone endowed with a soul affirm that the Lord, God of Israel, is king and his dominion is absolute. Amen forevermore.
This article originally appeared on Jerusalem Watchman, April 19, 2018, and reposted with permission.