In CBN’s new documentary, To Life, we share the untold story of how the tiny state of Israel makes a huge impact around the world through selfless humanitarian work.
It’s amazing to see how the Israel Defense Forces use medical expertise gained on the battlefield to rescue dying victims of natural disasters. For example, after major earthquakes struck Haiti and Nepal, the IDF and other Israeli volunteer groups were among the first responders. Their trained personnel rapidly set up efficient field hospitals with modern equipment to quickly diagnose and treat suffering people.
And it’s not just disaster victims: Israelis also help Palestinians, Syrians, and some of the poorest people in Africa—all for free.
Why are Israelis doing this? One motivation comes from the Hebrew phrase tikkun olam or repairing the world. It generally means that the world is fallen and it’s up to us as believers in God to fix it.
Another concept, from the rabbinical teachings of the Mishnah, says that to save one life is as if you’re saving the entire world. And so, the value of one person pulled from the rubble is worth everything.
Yet most often, when we ask why these volunteers leave their comfortable homes to do grueling work in horrific situations, they say, “We’re Israeli. It’s who we are. We’re called to be a light to the nations.”
This is based on Isaiah 49:6, where God says: “Not only will you restore to greatness the people of Israel who have survived, but I will also make you a light to the nations—” then the verse concludes: “so that all the world may be saved.”
This prophecy is to Isaiah and points to the Messiah; yet it is specific to Israel, too. And as I watched this film, I had a profound revelation that the purpose for the rise of Israel today is that all the world may be saved. The Israelis are being a light to the nations and showing off God. This is not something they have to drum up; God has put this into them.
Here in America, the founders of the Massachusetts Colony declared it would be a city on a hill. Today, our country seems far from fulfilling that great vision. My prayer is that To Life will not only show the world what Israel is doing, but also remind America of our calling to be a light to the nations. God bless you.
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