“Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him.” (Genesis 18:18)
When Abraham came to the Promised Land in obedience to God’s call, God promised him that the earth would be blessed through him.
Today, God is still busy fulfilling this.
The Nobel prize, an international means of recognizing cultural and scientific advances, is one evidence that God is actively fulfilling His promise to bless the world through Abraham.
Of the seven billion people on the planet, only about 14 million are Jewish. About half of these 14 million — just over six million — live here in Israel.
Even though the Jewish People make up only 0.2 percent of the world’s population, 22 percent of Nobel laureates are Jews!
Since 1950, 29 percent of the Nobel prizes have gone to Jews, even after a third of world Jewry was destroyed in the Holocaust.
In fact, they have won over 120. When it comes to acknowledging people who are a blessing to the human race, the Jewish People are inexplicably overrepresented in the Nobel prizes!
Last Wednesday, three Jewish scientists were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry: Arieh Warshel, Michael Levitt and Martin Karplus.
“I want to congratulate you on behalf of the State of Israel and the Jewish People and every person who hopes to overcome sickness and suffering because of your work. I am sure that your breakthrough will lead to advances in medicine and further scientific breakthroughs,” Israeli President Shimon Peres told Warshel. (Times of Israel)
In just under a decade, six Israelis have won the Nobel Prize in chemistry, with Warshel and Levitt being the fifth and sixth.
Karplus, a Jew born in Austria, had fled the Nazis as a child to the United States. Warshel and Levitt also live in the US, but have dual citizenship with Israel.
They both studied and worked at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, south of Tel Aviv. Warshel, who was born on Kibbutz Sde Nahum, also studied at the Technion.
Several other Jewish people also won last week.
On Tuesday, Holocaust survivor, Francois Englert, a Belgian Jewish professor at Tel Aviv, shared the Nobel Prize in Physics with Peter Higgs of Britain for their discovery of the Higgs boson, known as the “God particle,” which some are saying caused the Big Bang.
On Monday, James Rothman of Yale University and Randy Schekman of the University of California, both from the United States, shared the Nobel Prize in Medicine with a German non-Jew.
Though small in number, the achievements and contributions of the Jewish People are enormous.
In fact, when it comes to the most important inventions, of 267 inventors, 13 are Jewish. (Encyclopedia Britannica)
Among these are Dr. Paul Zoll who developed the heart pacemaker in the 50s (an earlier version was invented by Albert S. Hyman another Jewish inventor in the 30s), Edwin H. Land, inventor of the Polaroid camera (instant photography), Dennis Gabor (holography), and Charles Ginsburg (videotape recorder).
“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)
Israel’s astonishing rebirth as an independent nation in a single day on May 15, 1948 is also a modern-day sign of God fulfilling His promise to bless the world through Abraham.
This tiny state has proved to be a technological marvel and the developer of many of the world’s leading innovations in science and technology.
Here are some significant Israeli inventions:
- Drip irrigation, a system that allows for the conservation of millions of gallons of water a year throughout the world;
- Cherry tomatoes;
- Voice mail;
- The baby monitor, and
- ICQ, the world’s first messaging system.
“At that time I will gather you; at that time I will bring you home. I will give you honor and praise among all the peoples of the earth when I restore your fortunes before your very eyes, says the LORD.” (Zephaniah 3:20)
Israel has also set itself apart in other ways; for instance:
- Per capita, Israeli academics produce more scientific papers than any other world country; (JC)
- Per capita, Beersheva has more chess grandmasters than in any other city in the world;
- Per capita, Microsoft has more employees in Israel than it does anywhere else in the world;
- Per capita, Israel has the highest number of museums in the world; and
- Israel is the only country that has the distinct attribute of having revived a previously dead language and made it its national tongue, in fulfillment perhaps of Zephaniah’s prophecy:
“For at that time I will change the speech of the peoples to a pure speech, that all of them may call upon the name of the LORD and serve Him with one accord.” (Zephaniah 3:9)
Economic Phenomenon and Good Global Citizen
“It is too small a thing for you to be My servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that My salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” (Isaiah 49:6)
In spite of all of its challenges, the state of Israel has truly emerged as a “light to the nations,” environmentally and economically.
While the world is busy tearing down trees in the name of progress, Israel is one of two countries in the world that entered the 21st century with a net gain in the number of its trees.
The focus on the environment is longstanding.
“Of all the blessed acts in which we are engaged in this country, ”Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion said, “I do not know if there is a more fruitful enterprise, whose results are so useful, as the planting of trees, which adds beauty to the scenery of our country, improves its climate and adds health to its inhabitants.”
Israel is second only to the US in number of start-ups, a country forty times its population.
In Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle, authors Dan Senor and Saul Singer describe Israel as an economic phenomenon.
In its review of the book, “The Economist” describes Israel as having more high-tech start-ups and a larger venture capital industry per capita than any other of the world’s nations.
In a recent study that ranked universities by the number of alumni who became start-up founders, Tel Aviv University was the only non-US school to make the list, tying with Duke and ranking only slightly below Princeton and Brown. And this was based on US start-up companies. (Haaretz)
The little state of Israel with its population of eight million is now a member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation (OECD), an exclusive group of 34 nations that works to promote economic progress and world trade.
In addition, Israel has hundreds of companies that are listed on the Nasdaq, the second largest stock exchange after the New York Stock Exchange, and it continues to provide humanitarian aid to peoples in need, as well as technical expertise to countries all over the world.
In fact, a day after the Haitian earthquake of 2010, 220 Israeli doctors and relief workers had been sent to that country.
Also, the Israeli non-profit Save a Child’s Heart provides free open-heart surgery to children worldwide. Almost half of the patients are from Palestinian communities.
Small Country; Big Press
Hardly a day goes by that Israel is not in the news.
Much larger countries like Mexico for example, are hardly heard from. Even China, with its population of over 1.3 billion has only recently gained prominence in the world news.
Much of Israel’s press is negative, calling it the oppressor of the Palestinians.
The world seems to think that if Israel would just let the Palestinians have their state at any cost, the world would finally be at peace.
But Israel knows from experience that any weakening of its defenses can lead not only to a national catastrophe but also international, especially in light of the fact that about half of the world’s Jewish population lives in Israel.
And since Israel contributes so much to the world, destroying this tiny nation, which has proven itself a blessing, would be irrational. Still, many are bent on just this.
End-Time Fulfillment: Life from the Dead!
“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near.” (Matthew 24:32)
It is not surprising that a Jewish state should list so many accomplishments. The Lord has truly blessed the Jewish People as promised:
“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.’” (Genesis 12:1–3)
But more is to come! Bible prophecy states that Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Messiah) will return to Israel (Zechariah 14:4) and the Jewish People will recognize Him.
“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on Me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for Him as one grieves for a firstborn son.” (Zechariah 12:10)
And when that happens, Israel’s current contributions to the world will look small in comparison, a mere foreshadowing of great things to come.
“For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?” (Romans 11:15)
In the meantime, we must consider that the world owes a great debt of gratitude to the Jewish People for all their precious contributions to the world, including the Bible and Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Messiah).