10 Reasons to be Thankful for Israel
With half a dozen upcoming Israel tours planned, this tiny nation remains one of our most prominent destinations as a faith-based travel company. And no matter how many times we journey there—leading Believers on Christian study tours—God never fails to use this historical and meaningful landscape to transform our hearts.
Israel remains significant to America as well. In a letter written early in our nation’s history, John Adams proclaimed to Thomas Jefferson, “I will insist that the Hebrews have done more to civilize man than any other nation.” In recent years, U.S. leaders from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama have praised the special relationship our country has with Israel. George W. Bush summed up the similarities between America and Israel like this:
“Israel and the United States share a common history: We are both nations born of struggle and sacrifice. We are both founded by immigrants escaping religious persecution in other lands. Through the labors and strides of generations, we have both built vibrant democracies, founded in the rule of law and market economies. And we are both countries established with certain basic beliefs: that God watches over the affairs of men and values every human life.”—George W. Bush
With these similarities in mind, here are ten reasons we at Inspiration Cruises & Tours are thankful for Israel:
- In a sea of dictatorships calling for its destruction, America finds a faithful friend and ally in Israel. This small country generously allows the U.S. to store food, munitions and fuel within its borders in case our troops or citizens need them in the Middle East. Israel also permits the U.S. Navy to use their seaports. “Israel has always been pro-American. Israel will always be pro-American,” said Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
- Despite being around the size of New Jersey, Israel’s geographic diversity makes it one of the most spectacular and scenic countries we visit—from the stark, rocky landscapes of the Negev Desert to the lush vineyards and rolling hills of Galilee. “You will be a crown of splendor in the Lord’s hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God”—Isaiah 62:3.
- The robust and renowned Israel Defense Force (IDF) uses its resources with great restraint. They responsibly and ethically defend their borders simply so they may live in peace. In fact, the enemies of Israel inflict more casualties on their own civilians than the IDF does. This provides an excellent example to other nations on the world stage.
- The Judeo-Christian values upon which America was built—from the Ten Commandments to the idea of God-given, inalienable rights—date back to the Hebrew people and the Torah. As President Dwight D. Eisenhower said in 1958, “The teaching of their ancient belief is filled with truth for the present day…The health of our society depends upon a deep and abiding respect for the basic commandments of the God of Israel.”
- The technological innovations developed in Israel continue to impact our lives—and yours, too! Israeli developers are responsible for the invention of voicemail technology, instant messaging, USB flash drive technology, the ground-breaking Intel processors of the 1990s and even Indigo digital printing presses (which help us produce brochures, postcards and more for our ministry partners).
- The people of Israel offer a gracious example of forgiveness toward Christians. Despite centuries of persecution perpetrated on them in the name of Christ, the Jewish people welcome the support and friendship of Christians who reach out to them in love.
- Over the last few decades, Israel’s countless medical breakthroughs have been improving and saving lives all over the world. These include the GI tract visualizing PillCam, the Mazor Spine Assist surgical robot, optical heart beat monitors and the WatchPAT sleep apnea device. Israel is also a world leader in stem-cell research, changing lives across the globe with its new therapies.
- Israelis have proved to be some of the kindest and most integrous people we have met anywhere in the world. We’re grateful to have the privilege to know and work with so many of them every year. The citizens of Israel have become our friends, partners and extended family.
- Just as God’s Word states, the Jewish people have been a blessing to all people on earth (Gen 22:18). Jesus, Savior to all, was born through the lineage of King David. As the Christmas season begins, this is something for which American Christians, and Believers the world over, will be eternally grateful.
- Finally, Israel is proof of God’s providence, protection and faithfulness to keep His promises. As the LORD told Abram, “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 12:3. And in Genesis 15:13, “All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever.” The existence of the Jewish people after so many centuries of persecution is a testament of God’s sustaining presence in their lives. And the reestablishment of this homeland in 1948 was no less than a modern miracle.
Have you visited Israel? Do you share God’s love for the Jewish people? We would like to hear why you’re grateful for the nation of Israel.