Psalms 121:4 Behold, he that keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
As U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to announce Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, it comes at a historical time as it will be 100 years (2 Jubilee cycles) nearly to the day when Jerusalem was liberated from the Ottoman Empire by the British in 1917. And in 1917, when the British entered into Jerusalem, it was 400 years (8 Jubilee cycles) to the day of when the Turks initially entered Jerusalem in 1517. So this month will mark 500 years (10 Jubilee Cycles) since the Ottomans first captured the holy city. Historically, it will also mark 50 years (1 Jubilee Cycle) since Jerusalem was liberated in the Six Days War in 1967.
We're living in a unique time in history, as once again Israel finds herself surrounded by enemies with few friends willing to stand with her. So often we are asked, and we wonder, how things will turn out here...we've found it's usually foolish to try and predict; but one thing is absolutely certain; the God of Israel is watching over this tiny nation!
I want to share a brief history lesson about the liberation of Jerusalem. Early in 1917, John Hilton, a mechanic in the British Royal Flying Corps, attended church one Sunday morning. Noticing Hilton's uniform, a clergyman approached and told him, having read Isaiah 31, he believed that airplanes would be used by the English air force to deliver Jerusalem into British hands. He was right...but only partly...
Months later, General Allenby was seeking advice from London as he prepared to liberate Jerusalem from 400 years of Turkish rule. He received a wire from London. The wire quoted Isaiah 31:4-5, “For thus hath the LORD spoken unto me, Like as the lion and the young lion roaring on his prey, when a multitude of shepherds is called against him, he will not be afraid of their voice, nor abase himself for the noise of them: so shall the LORD of hosts come down to fight for mount Zion, and for the hill thereof. As birds flying, so will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem, defending also he will deliver it; and passing over he will preserve it.”
After receiving the wire, Allenby called for planes to fly low over Jerusalem, dropping leaflets warning the Turks of his coming. When the Turks picked up the leaflets and read the name Allenby, they heard, "Allah en Nebi", which, in Arabic, means “Prophet of Allah”, so they surrendered Jerusalem without firing a shot! A tenth century Islamic poet with which they were familiar, had written, “The man who will conquer Jerusalem and redeem it from the infidel for all time to come will enter the Holy City humbly on foot, and his name is God's prophet.” In respect for the city of his savior's death and resurrection, Allenby dismounted his horse and walked into Jerusalem on foot. The liberation of Jerusalem took place the first day of Chanukah, the feast of dedication, in 1917.
The creative providence of our God is astounding in its details, and sometimes even reveals His sense of humor. He is not asleep, and His resources are far beyond our ability to comprehend. Who could have imagined that the name of an English general and the verse of an Islamic poet, would be the combination for a bloodless victory which would also fulfill an ancient Hebrew scripture?? So, we believe, in our present situation, again, God's deliverance will come in the most unexpected ways. How He will do it this time? Watch for the unexpected ways He will work...even in your own situation!