When God created His perfect world, His plan was to lavish mankind with blessings beyond imagining and enjoy fellowship with His creation. After the chasm between God and man formed, there were only flashes of connections between men and God (Enoch, Noah, etc.).
As is His nature, God responded to those relationships with blessings. But it was when Abraham came on the scene that God decided He had found a man through whom He could bless others. “Through you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”(Genesis 12:3)
Ever since then, the children of Abraham’s grandson (later renamed “Israel” by God) became the nation through whom God chose to channel blessings to the world. At no time, however, have those blessings been as numerous as when Israel is in her own land.
In honor of Israel’s 70 years of existence in the modern world, we present seven areas in which Israel has impacted your world.
My mother-in-law, who has a strong prophetic gift, once told me she had recently prayed for a sick man. She gave him an unusual word about his illness, “I feel God will provide healing for your sickness through Israel.” Sure enough, a week later, it was announced on the news that an Israeli company had had a medical breakthrough for this man’s very condition.
It may rarely become international news, but in Israel it seems almost weekly we hear about a new invention from an Israeli company being welcomed into the medical world. From a laser that can shatter kidney stones without surgery, to a wearable exoskeleton that allows the paralyzed to walk again, to bones that can be grown from a patient’s fat cells, the accomplishments are both lifesaving and jaw-dropping. Israeli ingenuity has been proven in fighting everything from the common cold to cancer.
For years babies have benefited from the close care of the non-radiation cordless baby sensor that monitors their movement and breathing. And, just this week the Israeli news showcased a handheld ultrasound machine that nervous mothers-to-be can use with their smartphones at home.
Life-saving products such as WoundClot bandages help compress and clot large wounds, allowing more time to get the patient to a hospital. And with the recent accolades Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem has received for its da Vinci Robot—which is so precise it can perform brain and spinal surgery with minimally invasive procedures—it is evident that science fiction is just where our scientists go to get ideas for their next invention.
With awareness of autism rising, one of Israel’s neatest new inventions is a non-invasive sensor that can test newborns for autism. As some know, autism is managed best the earlier it is discovered, but sadly, it is usually not diagnosed until the child is several years old. This new testing ability will not only give the child a better shot at thriving, but it also allows the medical field to learn more about early stages of the condition.
The da Vinci Robot is so precise it is now used internationally to perform the most intricate surgeries.
While Israel may be known for her tech companies, one of her lesser-known qualities is her heart for the less fortunate. Israelis are often the first ones on scene when a natural disaster strikes around the world. But even without an emergency, you’ll find them in various third world countries using their creativity and training local citizens so they can break out of their devastating environments.
When it comes to helping people, providing edible food and clean water are at the top of the list. To protect food resources, Israelis created GrainPro bags that resist destructive forces such as mildew and insects.
To conserve water, Israel’s drip system, invented in 1965 and now used globally, consumes a fraction of the water that traditional watering methods use.
Our population has doubled in the past 20 years. And since much of Israel is desert with the Sea of Galilee as our only large water source, necessity has pushed Israel to pursue a variety of solutions. Today, most of Israel’s water supply is drawn from the Mediterranean Sea, desalinized and offered on our dinner tables.
While the water processing plants in Israel are massive and complex, Israel has a mobile version that can be used to purify water from the filthiest swamps with a hand pump.
And, if you are nowhere near any kind of water source or electricity, Israel has created an appliance that can quite literally pull water out of thin air.
Teams of Israeli experts are working in third world countries like South Sudan, one of the most dangerous countries in the world, where they built an entire model farming village to train the locals in the ways of Israeli agriculture. Israel has provided humanitarian aid to over 140 countries!
Israeli doctors are also recognized around the world for their willingness to treat patients from enemy countries. Syrians caught in their bloody civil war continually bring their wounded clandestinely over the border to Israel where several thousand Syrians have been given medical aid. Israel doesn’t require information as to who they are or which rebel group they are from. Many have spent months in Israeli hospitals.
In the West Bank and Gaza, Palestinians shun the shame from their neighbors and bring their children to Israeli hospitals for treatment they cannot get from their own doctors. Also, Israel is the only nation that permanently accepts and treats victims of radiation from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986. Almost 3000 children have been resettled in Israel for ongoing treatment due to radiation.
A model village built by Israelis in South Sudan to train locals to grow their own food.
While the term “western nation” has become more synonymous with a technologically advanced nation, a western nation is largely so because of the Christian—and by default, Jewish—influence on its social structure.
Classic examples of this culture are the Judeo-Christian values of caring for orphans, widows, and the poor in general. While other fundamentally godless social structures such as dictatorships or communism would choose to rid society of its weaker members, western nations (both on a governmental and individual level) give countless financial aid and man-hours feeding, clothing and giving medical care to the “least of these.
If you’ve ever researched “Jews in the Arts” you are probably aware of the many well-known actors/singers/painters who were, and are, Jewish. However, while the Jewish people have been blessed with creative genes, as with everything in Jewish history, I can’t say we have always used our giftings to make the world more, shall we say, holy. But a deal is a deal, and God does not repossess his blessings. And so, Jews have, even in their lost state, left a mark on the world.
Ageless songs like, “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” were written by Jews, and the latter is rumored to have been written about Israel. Irving Berlin wrote scores of songs—so many of them incredibly famous—like “God Bless America” and yes, “White Christmas.”
Then there is Bob Dylan, known to be a Messianic Jew, who won a Nobel Prize for his music and lyrics. In fact the list of musicians is a mile long: Judy Garland, Paul Simon, Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, George Gershwin and Leonard Bernstein for a start. From the smooth vocals of Lenny Kravitz, to the crass persona of the band Kiss, to the modern sounds of rapper Drake, the Jewish influence on music spans across every genre. The percentage of comedians and entertainers is way over the top compared to the total number of Jews in the world. Even in the complex world of filmmaking, tons of Jews have thrived in creating both entertaining and thought-provoking movies from “Indiana Jones” to “Schindler’s List.”
Research “Jews in the Arts” and you’ll soon become aware of the many well-known actors/singers/painters who are Jewish.
Israel’s most extensive list of accomplishments is likely in the field of hi-tech. There’s a running joke among Israelis who scoff at the impossible mission anti-Israel activists take on when they commit to boycotting Israel—since many of today’s common tech devices such as computers, cellphones and a good amount of the software that runs them were either invented by or are currently run by Israeli companies.
Even with a population of only 6.5 million Jews (and 1.7 million Arabs),where a large percentage of the Jewish community immigrated to the land and speak Hebrew as a second or third language, Israelis pop out more new tech inventions per capita than almost any other nation.
Among Israel’s more popular inventions that have made it to your neighborhood are the thumb drive (USB key), the MobileEye camera on the back of your car and Waze, the world’s largest community-based traffic and GPS navigation software. Our family has used it in China, Thailand, Europe and North and South America.
But hi-tech isn’t just about the latest and greatest. Some Israeli inventions have been around long enough to be worthy of the Hi-tech Hall of Fame. The original text messaging ICQ software invented in the 90’s was the brainchild of an Israeli.
The 70’s yielded the 8088 chip that served as the core building block of the IBM personal computer. Even the transformation of the print machine into the modern office printer that sits on your desk is at your service thanks to the minds of Israelis.
Incidentally, out of 892 Nobel Prizes awarded, 201 or 22.5% were presented to Jews, a mere 0.2% of the world’s population. How do you account for that?
Among Israel’s more popular inventions that have made it to your neighborhood is the thumb drive (USB key).
Without a doubt, Israel is a nation with a great need for self-defense, and original and creative weaponry is high on the priority list. When my family and I sat in our sealed rooms during the Gulf War in 1991, Israel used America’s Patriot missiles to defend against Saddam Hussein’s barrage of Scud missiles. The Patriots were only partially effective and needed several minutes pre-alert to hit their target.
With Hamas rockets landing on Israeli soil in as few as 15 seconds from the moment of launch, new technology was needed. The Iron Dome’s 90% success rate in taking down Hamas’ rockets is one of the reasons Israelis and visitors can continue with their daily lives even in times of high tension with bordering enemy lands. In fact, the Iron Dome is now taking down mortar shells seconds after they are launched.
Israel’s contribution to security is not just for war. If you’ve ever used a firewall to protect your emails or website, you can thank Israel. Their security companies, both online and in the real world are second to none. Israeli security firms like the world-famous Black Cube and Checkpoint (or at least world famous to those who require such services) are often contracted for large events and by dignitaries when traveling abroad.
The Iron Dome’s 90% success rate in taking down Hamas’ rockets is one of the reasons Israelis and visitors can continue with their daily lives.
However, despite their widely known success in the field of entertainment, perhaps nowhere have Jews had more influence on the world than in the realm of worship. True, today when you think of worship music, few think of Israel as the source of a groundbreaking worship experience. But, in fact, everything you know about worshipping the one true God, originated in Israel. The Psalms, written thousands of years ago before musical notations were invented, are still sung by Jews and Christians today. Even the variety in our worship songs—such as songs of prayer, repentance, adoration and even songs of unspeakable gratitude and joy are modeled after the ones written and recorded in the Bible—from Moses to Jeremiah.
While Messianic Jewish music today is widely considered merely a genre of music that invites circle dancing with long swirly skirts and banners, the truth is that Messianic music from today’s state of Israel embodies an incredible variety of sounds from the many nations in which Jews have dwelt for the past two thousand years. From the complex rhythms of South America to the symphonic sounds of Eastern Europe to the fluid strings of the Middle East, Israeli worship embraces the sounds of many tribes and tongues.
When Job was in his deepest despair his heart declared, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, Blessed be the name of the Lord.” This is where the Jewish heart of worship begins. No matter what has happened or will happen, the Lord is to be blessed. You will find this mentality over and over throughout Jewish culture. Jews don’t bless the food they eat; they bless the Maker of food! And at a funeral, the traditional prayer doesn’t mention the deceased at all—it only blesses the Maker of Life.
Israel has long been a resource for spiritual revelation for the Church. The existence of the Bible itself is a precious gift to man penned almost entirely by Jews. But as centuries of division between the Church and the Jewish people have separated Christians from their roots, some spiritual jewels God has given the Jewish people to share with the world lay yet untouched.
We who have accepted redemption through Yeshua have direct access to God. But even that access was foretold to the world by Jews. Some people may be offended to think that God would only send some blessings through a specific people group. But they are not offended when they are told that to enjoy the benefit of running water they must go to a faucet, and to enjoy the blessing of electricity they must search for the switch on the wall.
We all know that God’s promises are eternal and His desire is for Abraham’s descendants to be a blessing to all the families of the earth. What other blessings is the worldwide Church missing out on because as a whole, they have not recognized Israel in her calling?
The variety in our worship songs – such as songs of prayer, repentance, adoration and even songs of unspeakable gratitude and joy are modelled after the ones written and recorded in the Bible.
This article originally appeared in Maoz Israel Report, July 2018, and reposted with permission.