The descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob have phenomenal (read miraculous) staying power. What other nationality has been destroyed as a nation (not once but twice!) and survived to re-establish themselves? No one, not ever. The Jews spent a total of 2600 years scattered throughout the world and yet they retained their national identity. The history of the Jewish people is a fascinating study--not because their survival is amazing, though it is--but because every detail of it was prophesied beforehand. We believe this to be one of the greatest proofs of God's existence.
Let's start with the call of Abraham and Sarah. God promised they would become the parents of a new people (the Jews) and that He'd give them a new land (Israel) and through their descendant (Jesus), all of the families of the earth would be blessed. (Genesis 12). There was only one problem--Sarah was barren! Of course that little detail only made things more interesting. Though it took a while (Hebrews says Abraham was as good as dead!), God fulfilled this promise--when Sarah was 90 years old!
Why would God wait so long? To test their faith and to make sure everyone understood this was a bonafide miracle.
Then there was Moses. He had the job of leading the Hebrew people into the Promised Land. If you haven't read this account in the book of Exodus--you won't believe what a bunch of whiners these people were (kinda like us!). Finally, Moses predicted they would be disciplined as a nation: for not believing and for their constant complaining.
Moses prophesied that a mighty nation would conquer Israel and that the survivors would be taken captive and serve as slaves.
Isaiah added in his two cents: The mighty nation would be Babylon and they would take everything the Israelites owned. (Isaiah 39:6).
The prophet Jeremiah made this prediction in Jeremiah 25:11: "And the whole land shall be a waste and an astonishment, and these nations shall serve the King of Babylon seventy years."
It happened precisely as prophesied. At the end of seventy years, the Persian king, Cyrus, released the Jewish people to return to their land and rebuild the destroyed Temple. The amazing thing is King Cyrus was predicted by name 200 years before he was even born! (Isaiah 44:28; 45:4).
This gives you an idea of how detailed and on-target these prophecies were. Can there be any doubt prophecies concerning the future will be just as accurate?
God warned the Israelites that if they refused to obey Him they would become "a proverb, and a byword among all nations." (Deut. 28:37).
Well, they didn't obey and guess what happened--they named a plant after them--the Wandering Jew!
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