Joy Accompanied by Sorrow
Israel Celebrates 76 Years of Independence

This week Israel will be celebrating its 76th Independence Day, which has always been filled with joyful celebrations.  However, this year our Independence Day is different in various aspects. One of them is a prophetic one. 

Who has ever heard of such things? Who has ever seen things like this? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children.

Isaiah 66:8

God is the author of Zionism because He spoke about the restoration of Zion thousands of years before it took place, when the modern-day State of Israel was in fact born in one day. 

Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice greatly with her, all you who mourn over her.

Isaiah 66:10

God is calling on the nations to rejoice with Israel and Jerusalem! 

76 years ago Israel was restored and resurrected, just as God’s prophets prophesied. It was a powerful, historic event, challenging many previous generations that said it was impossible. 

The Land of Israel was absolutely devastated, desolate and in ruins, while her people were scattered all around the world. For many generations, it seemed impossible for the nation of Israel to ever be regathered and the land restored. 

However, God’s word never returns to Him in vain without accomplishing what He promised. Prophecies thousands of years old were fulfilled when God kept His word, and by His immense grace, He birthed the restored nation of Israel on their promised homeland. 

The restoration of Israel is one of the clear signs of end times in the Bible. It happened 76 years ago, but it was only the beginning of the fulfillment of many more prophecies about the end of time. 

So when Israel will celebrate its Independence Day, it will in fact celebrate the fulfilment of God’s ancient prophecy. 

As remarkable and joyful as the prophetic aspect of Independence Day is in Israel, we are also going through very heavy days with the war still raging in the land, with people still dying, with our hostages still in Hamas’ captivity, with families still displaced both from our southern and northern borders, with our cities still targeted by rocket attacks. 

In these difficult times, it became a public discussion, whether or not we should hold any kind of Independence Day celebrations, as it is accustomed every year. 

Despite its resilience and unbroken spirit, the nation of Israel is walking around with a bleeding wound since October 7th. 

Everyone is asking themselves: how can we celebrate at a time when our sons are dying defending our country? When our innocent brothers and sisters are still held hostage by a barbaric terrorist organization? 

There’s a duality in the Israeli experience, when joy always goes hand in hand with sorrow, when despite our grief God still calls us to rejoice. 

It is a powerful lesson for us, as believers. Despite the tragic and difficult circumstances we are in, God still calls us to celebrate His goodness and faithfulness. Regardless of what we see around us, we know what He promised, and we stand on those promises in faith, because He has never let us down. 

Despite how difficult this season in our life is, after many deliberations, many in Israel decided to celebrate, and not allow the enemy to take away the joy that God gave us when He started fulfilling His promises by restoring this nation 76 years ago. 

Independence Day celebrations in Israel this year will be much more subdued, humble and simple, always remembering our missing hostages, our fallen soldiers, as well as those who are out there currently defending our nation with their own lives. 

Our joy this year is accompanied by sorrow and grief, but also by hope and faith in God’s goodness and eternal promises for the nation of Israel.