It was on this day, in 1950, that “Operation Magic Carpet,” a migration of over 45,000 Yemenite Jews to Israel, officially concluded. This is just one of many examples where Jewish people from around the world have made aliyah, which is to immigrate to the land of Israel. That’s amazing when you consider that a nation that should have ceased to exist long ago, not only exists, but thrives against all odds. According to Scripture, it is the Almighty who orchestrates these events in order to fulfill His promise to bring Abraham’s Seed back to the land of their forefathers. Yet, also according to Scripture, this exodus is nowhere near complete; according to Jeremiah this process will continue until all God’s people live peacefully in the land:
“But you do not fear, O My servant Jacob, and be not afraid, O Israel! For behold, I will save you from afar off, and your seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return and be in rest and at ease; and none shall make him afraid.” (Jeremiah 30:10)
Have you ever had a child or grandchild who was far from home? It can be heartbreaking, especially if that child or grandchild was rebellious and had left home in defiance to your authority. And then, after years apart, have you experienced the joy of that child returning to you with a different attitude and a change of heart? There’s no greater joy than to have a child, but nothing can compare to recovering a son or daughter who was lost — scripturally, its akin to resurrection from the dead. If we as human beings see it this way, can you imagine how our Creator looks upon the return of His lost and scattered children to their ancient home?
And as important as the return of God’s people to land of Israel is, the Bible makes it clear that His greatest desire is to see a change of heart in those who have been far from Him. Throughout the Scripture, the prophets foretell of a day when all of God’s people will return to the land of Israel. But before our feet return to the land of the covenant, our hearts must be turned back to our Father, the giver of that covenant.
In the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15), intense hunger prompted the wayward young man to consider just how foolish he had been to leave his father’s house. He contemplated the solution to his unfortunate situation within his heart before his feet ever started moving. It was his change of heart that brought him to the conclusion he wasn’t worthy of being called his father’s son; he was content to be regarded just as a servant. His change of heart provoked a change of attitude and that resulted in a change of scenery.
When we love our Father with all of our heart, that commitment will permeate our mind and that will, in turn, determine what we do, where we go and how we live. In other words, what’s in our heart will affect every part of our being. Thus, before the world witnesses the completed physical return of God’s people to the land of promise, our hearts must be turned back to the Father, to be in covenant with Him. We must seek Him with all of our heart and soul if we are to serve Him with all of our strength.