Last time I wrote this blog, my understanding, following the Israeli elections in April, was that nothing very much had changed. The reality proved different! The outcome was a stalemate – no new government was formed at all, more new elections were called, and nothing very much has happened since. Most of the members of the government kept their jobs, by default, because nobody could be appointed to replace them! Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu kept his job because nobody else had been chosen to succeed him. We are due further elections on 17th September and current polls suggest that the outcome could very well be the same as in April – no clear result and the inability to build a majority coalition to govern the country!
Meanwhile, on 20th July 2019, Mr Netanyahu passed Israel’s founder, David Ben-Gurion, as the longest serving Prime Minister in Israel’s short history. Whatever you think of Netanyahu (and the increasing polarization of Israeli politics with the inability to reach workable compromise is a symptom of the fact that you either love him or you hate him,) the passing of this milestone is a signal of Israel’s transition from a pioneer, young nation, into maturity and normality alongside most of the other nations.
Throughout history God’s chosen people, the nation of Israel, has sought to escape from its chosen-ness, its differentness, its special place in the purposes and plans of God. This has always been to their cost.
Poignantly, Tevye, the fictional milkman of Fiddler on the Roof, says, “I know I know we are Your chosen people. But once in a while can't You choose someone else!”
Let’s pray that today’s State of Israel may remain different, chosen, tuned in to its calling at the heart of the purposes of Almighty God!