MATTHEW BISHOP

Pictured is Rev. Matthew Bishop holding the Israel Medal of 1962. On the back side is an image of the Roman coin that celebrated the fall of Judah in 70 A.D. In the picture is the side where a woman is holding a new baby while a tree is being planted. 

Can a nation be born in one day? I would think that would be a hard thing to do. But for those of us who are younger than 70, we would not remember how Israel became a nation again. 

Growing up studying the Bible, I never paid much attention to the fact that Jesus lived and died in a place that was part of the Roman Empire. I remember studying how Israel only had three kings that ruled over all 12 tribes. After Saul, David, and Solomon reigned as kings in Israel, the nation divided.  The two countries that formed from the divide were Israel to the north and Judah to the south.

Both of these countries would begin to sin against God and turn towards false Gods. Only eight of the 20 kings in Judah were considered good, and none of the 19 in the northern kingdom were. The books of the prophets in the Old Testament are letters warning the two nations to turn back to God and ask for forgiveness. These warnings also warn of capture and destruction if they don’t listen.

When neither country heeded the warnings, they were both captured and destroyed. Neither of these two countries would ever be a nation again. Or would they?

Later the Romans would become the ruling party over the land. The remnant of the Jewish people who lived there would long for a day when they could be a nation again. There would be a few uprisings to try to take back their land. The Romans ultimately destroyed the temple in Jerusalem and drove out the Jewish people in 70 A.D. The Romans had a coin minted to celebrate this victory. One side of the coin has a soldier standing over a weeping woman. 

If that is where the story left off, it would be just like any other story of nations that rose and fell throughout history. But this is not like any other story. The Lord told his people in Ezekiel 11 that he would scatter them and later give them back their land. In Isaiah 66:8-10 God told his people that he could do it in one day. 

So what did God do... He kept his promise. On May 14, 1948, Israel did what no other nation in histroy has done. It became a nation again after being destroyed. The only nation in history... and the Bible said it would... 

The hard thing about this is how many generations of Jewish people throughout the years lived their whole lives and didn’t see it come about. But God keeps his word. If you are eagerly waiting for God to do something in your life., remember God is Faithful. Be Patient and watch him work.  

Rev. Matthew Bishop is the pastor of Maynard Baptist Church, 1195  Juliette Road, Forsyth. The Pastor’s Corner is sponsored by the Monroe County Ministerial Association, which meets on the second Thursday of each month at 8:30 a.m. at Christ United Methodist Church, 417 N. Frontage Road, Forsyth.