“And He said, ‘It is insufficient for you to be My servant, to establish the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the besieged of Israel, but I will make you a light to nations, so that My salvation shall be until the end of the earth.’ ” (Isaiah 49:6)
Is the source of Israel’s innumerable contributions to the world the result of natural factors or a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy? Israel is a tiny country, slightly smaller than the state of New Jersey, yet it consistently offers extraordinary contributions that benefit people all over the world.
Ten years ago, Israel’s enemies began a campaign to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel. Today, pro-Israel groups fight against this campaign, which is known as BDS, by focusing on Israel’s global contributions, particularly in the areas of medicine, technology, transportation, farming, humanitarian aid and more. Israel’s contributions in these realms are known for being completely out of proportion to the size of the country and its population.
Why is the modest-sized country of Israel blessed with such outsized success in so many fields?
The popular book Start-Up Nation by Dan Senor and Saul Singer, first published in 2009, offers three seemingly natural causes for Israel’s unnatural success. First, there is the leadership training and social networking that so many Israelis benefit from as part of their mandatory army service. Second, Israel is a society of immigrants, which means that the country constantly benefits from an influx of intellectual capital from all over the world. Third, questioning and challenging authority is an ingrained part of Jewish culture, providing an environment which allows innovation to surface.
Another, more Biblical approach looks to the blessing from Isaiah 49:6. In this verse, God tells the Jewish people that it’s not enough for them to be in an exclusive relationship with Him. To expand the mission of the Jewish people, God promises He will make the Jewish people “l’ohr goyim” – a light to the nations.
Gidon Ariel, co-founder of Root Source, a platform for Bible-based Christians and Jews to engage with one another and co-author of Israel FIRST!, suggested to Breaking Israel News that the miracle of the Jews returning to the Land of Israel after 2,000 years should have been enough “to turn everyone into sworn God fans.”
However, as a cursory reading of any newspaper around the world will confirm, that didn’t happen. According to Ariel, other miracles are needed, “to clarify the light the Jewish people shine on the world, [which] is the knowledge of, and respect for, the God of Israel.”
Ariel suggests that most people’s ability to see the light of God in the world is clouded, perhaps due to the influence of Satan. “The human race is still repelling this augmented light,” he asserts.
In the Book of Micah, God promises He will continue to bless the Jewish people with miracles.
As in the days of your exodus from Egypt, I will show you miracles. (Micah 7:15)
Ariel concludes with this thought, “I am no prophet, but I would offer that God needs to make good on His promises. He is finishing up His business of completing the world, with help from His partners, the human race.”
In simple terms, according to Ariel’s thesis, Israel’s extraordinary successes is the fulfillment of Isaiah 49:6 – to make the Jewish people a light to the nations. By blessing Israel with the ability to help the citizens of the world through its countless innovations, “God is making His miracle even bigger and more valuable to the world.”